March 01, 2012 | By Media Release
Stoner Sets The Mark As Sepang Test Comes To A Close
The second Official MotoGP™ Test of 2012 in Malaysia came to a close with the reigning World Champion again top of the timesheets, closely followed by team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso.
The third and final day of testing at Sepang was held in hot and dry conditions, with teams setting out early to make up for time lost yesterday due to rain. All riders were out on track upon opening, including all four Hondas, and under ideal 40 degree track temperatures Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) posted a 2’00.473 in the morning. That time remained as the best of the three days as the World Champion focused his efforts in the afternoon on efficient fuel consumption.
Dani Pedrosa pursued his team-mate by 0.175s as the Spanish rider focused his efforts on chassis modifications to improve stability under braking and reduce front end chatter. Andrea Dovizioso was three tenths from Stoner with a time of 2’00.802 on his Tech 3 machine after the Italian found a more efficient and comfortable riding position yesterday.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was fourth quickest and ended his day with a race simulation that revealed the more powerful 1000cc bikes will require careful tyre management. The 2010 World Champion reported that the new soft Bridgestones lost their grip early in the simulation, making braking more difficult due to sliding. The Spaniard also reported that the electronics improvements made during this test made corner entry easier and smoothed out the YZR-M1 overall.
Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies ended his day early, completing 28 laps with a best time of 2’01.432 set before a crash in the early afternoon. The American walked away from the fall unhurt though did not re-enter the track in the afternoon and his time from the morning placed him eighth in the line-up. Spies commented that he was happy with the electronic improvements though he and his team "haven't pushed the bike to its limit yet”.
Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) climbed to fifth position by the end of the day with a best lap 2’00.986, half a second off the leading time of Stoner and 0.245s ahead of the quickest Ducati in the field, the Pramac Racing GP12 of Héctor Barberá.
Álvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini ) recovered from a crash in the morning to post a time of 2’01.275, over a second quicker than his time set on Tuesday, placing him seventh. The Spaniard declared at the end of the day: "This morning I had a hard time riding, it’s clear that I have a lack kilometers on the bike and yesterday we didn’t ride, plus I had a silly fall today but then picked up speed and reached a good pace."
Newcomer Stefan Bradl finished the day in ninth and 1.019 off the top time set by Stoner, with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden following in 10th and 11th respectively. The Ducati Team pair have work to do, with Rossi reporting that the outstanding issue remains riding position and that the set up for it was better at the first Sepang Test. Developments made with the traction control, however, has been reportedly been good.
Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing ) wrapped up the second Malaysian Test in 13th position with a best time of 2’03.681, a one second improvement from his last visit to the circuit, while Avintia Racing riders Yonny Hernández and Iván Silva also improved the team’s performance with a best lap that was 1.6 seconds faster than at the first Sepang test.