Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stoner sets early scorcher at Sepang

The MotoGP™ paddock was back at work on their 2012 machines on the third day of the Official Test at Sepang on Thursday, with Casey Stoner topping the first half of the day with a blazing time of 1’59.607 set on just his second lap.

Under slightly cooler conditions after a sweltering day Wednesday, the 1000cc prototypes hit the track Thursday morning, and reigning World Champion Stoner cleared the pack with the fastest time the Sepang International Circuit has seen thus far. Stoner is using the third and final day to test the new Bridgestone spec tires with his Repsol Honda RC213V and to work with the clutch to smooth out chatter issues.

Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was second in the timesheet, 0.591s off the lead pace of Stoner, while using the morning comparing various new settings on his M1. Team-mate Ben Spies had a crash at the 12:30 mark while testing a new chassis this morning, the Texan was unscathed and managed the fourth fastest time of 2’00.495, before retiring for the remainder of the day.

Dani Pedrosa was third fastest with a time of 2’00.256, the Spaniard working on comparing two different chassis on his Repsol Honda and testing suspension and tire pressure settings to deal with chatter the heavier 1000cc bikes have many of the teams working on.

Valentino Rossi lapped his Ducati Desmosedici GP12 just under four tenths of a second behind Pedrosa while still testing new parts on the bike. Team-mate Nicky Hayden is suffering some strength issues with his recovering shoulder, the American put in 16 laps and a time of 2’01.729 to rank tenth for the morning. Both Ducati Team riders are satisfied that the front end feel issues the suffered in 2011 are largely resolved.

Hector Barbara climbed the ranks from yesterday with a best lap of 2’00.929 aboard the Pramac Racing bike while testing new Bridgestone tire compounds. The Spaniard was two tenths ahead of Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who had a minor crash just after 11am that set his thus far rapid progress back slightly.

Next in the rankings was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso with a time of 2’01.257. The Italian was two tenths ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the Honda of the Gresini Team, who is continuing to gather confidence on the Honda RC213V, his first 1000cc GP bike.

After a busy day testing two different chassis, Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) is spending the day tire testing. His time of 2’01.894 put him 11th in the lineup, four tenths ahead of Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), who is also testing tires today.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards is still diagnosing chatter issues, the Texan’s time of 2:04.722 put him 15th, while the Avintia Racing’s Ivan Silva and replacement rider Jordi Torres completed the times after recovering from their engine problems of the day before .

source: MotoGP Official

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