February 29, 2012  |   By Media Release - MotoGP

Spies Tops Rain Hindered Second Day At Sepang

Day two of the second Official MotoGP™ Test of 2012 at the Sepang International Circuit finished with Ben Spies leading the field after rain hindered testing and Honda riders were sidelined.
There was plenty of early activity at the start of the second day of testing at the Malaysian circuit, with the riders who entered the track immediately bettering their times from the day before thanks to cooler track temperatures.

Absent from the track however the Honda riders: Repsol’s Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, LCR’s Stefan Bradl and San Carlo Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista did not enter the track due an engine failure in Pedrosa's RC213V machine yesterday forcing HRC to prevent their riders from participating in the test today. The engine was sent to Japan for analysis overnight, the results of which HRC stated were positive and that the Honda riders will be back on track tomorrow. Also absent today was Karel Abraham who withdrew from the event yesterday after injuries from a crash at the private Jerez test last week prevented him from riding.

Spies topped the time sheets early in the day with a lap of 2’01.285, 1.6s quicker than his best time of yesterday and half a second faster than the lead time set by Casey Stoner. Jorge Lorenzo followed his Factory Yamaha team-mate by 0.008s (1.2s faster than his time of yesterday) as the pair tested updates to the electronics, chassis and engine of the YZR-M1 to help improve corner exit speed.

Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) were third and fourth, both pacing nearly two seconds quicker than their best times yesterday. The pair did not continue riding in the wet afternoon, but the British rider was happy with a new engine specification he is tested though he reported that it requires a riding style adjustment, while the Italian was pleased with a new bike set up on his Tech 3 Yamaha that allowed for a more efficient riding position. “Today was the first day that I could run well and in a comfortable position, and being two-tenths off the official Yamaha is not too bad. I tested the new engine specification and so far it has been positive,” reported the Italian at the end of the day.

Héctor Barberá ventured out into the rain on his Pramac Racing Ducati, sporting the new rear light that will be compulsory for rain riding in 2012. Standing water on the track led to the Spaniard hydroplaning and falling in turn 13, though he walked away unhurt. His time of 2’01.989 set in the morning put him sixth in the lineup and was 1.6s quicker than his time from yesterday.
The Ducati Team pair both set times more than a second quicker than the day before with Valentino Rossi opting not to run his Ducati Team GP12 in the rain while Nicky Hayden made a few laps on a drying track later in the day.  Hayden reported that tomorrow he will continue with some set up changes in search of better grip.

NGM mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards encountered an electronics throttle connection issue that did not allow the Texan did not improve his time from the day before, while Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez continued riding throughout the wet afternoon, both improving by over half a second as they continue with the development of their Avintia Racing BQR-FTR machine.