Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spies leads as rain halts Sepang track action

Early intermittent rain storms paused the track action at the Official MotoGP™ Test at Sepang by the midway point of day two, with Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo leading the times and no Hondas yet on track.

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 conditions. Absent from the track, however, were all of 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 as Honda technicians further investigated an electronics issue that Pedrosa encountered yesterday.

Ben Spies led the timesheet by the mid-morning 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 to help improve corner exit.

Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) were third and fourth in the lineup, both pacing nearly two seconds quicker than their best times yesterday, with the British rider claiming satisfaction with a new engine specification he is testing though he reported that it requires a riding style adjustment. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) brought up fifth, with Hector Barbara and Valentino Rossi following close behind and all bettering their times from the day before.

Rain showers sent the field back to their garages, with only Héctor Barberá venturing out on his Pramac Racing Ducati in the wet. The Spanish rider sported the new rear light that will be compulsory for rain riding in 2012. Standing water on the track led to Barberá hydroplaning and falling in turn 13, though he walked away unhurt.

NGM mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards encountered an electronics issue with engine braking early on, though the team was able to resolve it and Edwards declared he was pleased with the progress made, though the issue did not allow the Texan did not improve his time from the day before.

Karel Abraham will be absent from the rest of the Test. The Cardion AB Motoracing rider withdrew from the event yesterday after injuries from a crash at the private Jerez test last week prevented him from riding.

source: MotoGP Official

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