Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First day of private testing in Jerez

With the opening round of the 2012 MotoGP™ season just six weeks away, several MotoGP CRTs shared the Jerez circuit today in a private test that continues through Wednesday.

Monday at the Circuito de Jerez closed with a private test that saw several CRT (Claiming Rule Team) riders aboard the bikes that will debut in the MotoGP World Championship this season, including the first ride for Danilo Petrucci aboard his Ioda Racing prototype .

Power Electronics Aspar Team riders Alex Espargaró and Randy de Puniet were in attendance for their second shake down of the ART (Aprilia Racing Technology), focusing on a new frame and swingarm, and testing carbon brakes for first time. De Puniet expressed that he was happy to be testing on a track with other CRTs present, as well as with Abraham and Barbara on track with their satellite bikes, in order to able to gauge where the team is, saying "Today we worked on suspension and also on the electronics. I'm a little upset because I didn’t go as fast as in November, when we were here testing. But on the other hand, I’m not worried because we still have two full days of work left. This afternoon we will analyze the information extracted in the first day of testing to see how we can improve for tomorrow."

Meanwhile team mate Espargaró ended his day early due to not feeling well. "This morning I struggled a bit to get my pace here in Jerez, a faster track than Valencia. As the day passed, I started to feel terrible and I had trouble staying focused . We were able to modify some aspects of chassis, but I decided to end the day early. Now understand why I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike. I decided to come to the hotel, lie down and rest until morning."

Mattia Pasini completed first day of the second test for the Italian this year posting 7 tenths behind Espargaro as he continues to adapt to the ART CRT of the Speed Master team.

Today marked the very first test for Danilo Petrucci aboard his Ioda Racing prototype CRT machine ahead of his first World Championship experience. The Italian tested out frames by both Ioda and Aprilia, posting his fastest lap aboard the Ioda chassis.

The Ducati test team was also on track with rider Franco Battaini working on electronic development for the GP12, though testing took place on an older version of the Ducati as the factory bike was not present at the circuit. Battaini also made with a few laps on the satellite GP12 as a shakedown for Karel Abraham who will be present tomorrow. Nicky Hayden had originally hoped to participate at this test, although his shoulder surgery performed earlier this month has left him unable to ride, though he is hoping to be ready for the next Official Test at the Malaysian circuit in 28 days.

Paul Bird Motorsport was present with James Ellison, though having just received the bike this morning the team spent the day working on an initial set-up and Ellison did not hit the track, though tomorrow the Briton will have his very first run on the ART bike ahead of his return to the premier class.

Tomorrow will also see Karel Abraham of CardionAB Motoracing joining the field of riders, with Hector Barbera of Pramac Racing riding on Wednesday, the final day of the private test.

Unofficial lap times Monday (recorded by teams):

MotoGP (CRT) 
1. Randy De Puniet, ART 1’41.6 (57 laps)
2. Aleix Espargaró, ART 1’42.6 (47 laps)
3. Mattia Pasini, ART 1’43.3 (43 laps)
4. Danilo Petrucci, IODA 1'43.3 (43 laps)

source: MotoGP Official

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