Thursday, March 1, 2012

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 the second pre-season MotoGP™ Test at the Sepang International Circuit concluded on Thursday with Casey Stoner leading the times. The Repsol Honda rider posted a 2’00.473 in the morning; an effort that registered the best time of the entire Test though was 0.8s off his best effort from the first pre-season Test at the same track.

Dani Pedrosa trailed 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 as the Italian continues to make big strides on the Yamaha.

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 2012 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 posted to Twitter 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.

Alvaro 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 told at the end of the day: "This morning I had a hard time riding, it’s clear that I 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 of the top time set by Stoner, with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden following in 11th and 12th respectively. The Ducati Team pair have work to do, with Rossi reporting that the outstanding issues are corner entry and riding position and that the riding position geometry was better at the first Sepang Test. Progress made with the traction control, however, has reportedly been good.

Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing ) wrapped up the second Test in 13th position with a best time of 2’03.681, three seconds ahead of Avintia Racings’s Yonny Hernandez and Ivan Silva.

source: MotoGP Official

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