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Feb 29, 2012

Ben Spies Sets The Pace, Repsol Honda Sits Out On Day Two Of Sepang Test Two

Ben Spies (11). Photo courtesy of Yamaha
Yamaha Keep Up the Pace in Sepang

Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo were back in action today for the second of three days of testing at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia. The Yamaha Factory riders took advantage of another day of mixed weather to test out the wet settings of the 1000cc YZR-M1 for the first time. A dry morning's riding saw both make big improvements on yesterday's dry times, wrapping up the day in first and second respectively.

Spies used today's sessions to focus on set ups on the wet and the dry whilst team mate Lorenzo concentrated on refining the power delivery of his M1 with throttle and engine control. Tomorrow will mark the final day of testing for the MotoGP riders here in Sepang.

Ben Spies
Position : 1st Time: 2'01.285 Laps: 35

"Today went well, the rain caught us out again but we got everything we needed to do done before lunch including some different chassis set ups and some electronics which we were pretty happy with. The rain started to come down so we waited until it subsided a little bit but with still a full wet track with standing water which we needed. We haven't ridden the thousand in the rain and I've never ridden this track in the rain so it was good to get some laps in. I had quite a good feeling with the bike in the rain; straight away it felt pretty good so we rode in full wet conditions and stayed on wets when it dried out a little and was greasy. We've got a lot of stuff to do tomorrow so we're hoping for a dry day!"

Jorge Lorenzo
Position : 2nd Time: 2'01.293 Laps: 26

"Today we improved a little the connection with the throttle and the engine, it's much smoother and easier to ride, a big step forward from yesterday. We were able to try the 1000cc M1 on the wet for the first time and we went very fast so it's been a positive day and we are very motivated to improve the bike more. We managed to complete everything we wanted to test so it's been good!"

Test Times

1. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 2'01.285
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 2'01.293
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 2'01.522
4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 2'01.695
5. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 2'01.748
6. Hector Barbera (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 2'01.989
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team 2'02.130
8. Franco Battaini (ITA) Ducati Team 2'03.566
9. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2'05.816
10. Ivan Silva (SPA) Avintia Racing 2'07.532
11. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Avintia Racing 2'08.213

Sepang Record Lap
C.Stoner (Ducati) 2007, 2'02.108

Sepang Best Lap
V.Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 2'00.518

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team miss today's test but is ready for tomorrow

Due to an engine failure on Dani Pedrosa's RC213V machine yesterday, HRC sent the engine to Japan for analysis.

The feedback after the investigation was positive, however it arrived after lunch when the Sepang circuit was drenched by heavy rain, so unfortunately the Repsol Honda riders were unable to take to the track.

Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa will return back on track tomorrow and resume their testing programme.

More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati:

Ducati Team makes progress at Sepang despite bad weather

For the second day in a row, poor weather conditions affected the MotoGP test at Sepang International Circuit, where day two was interrupted by precipitation shortly after midday. The track surface didn't dry, and the teams were forced to suspend their work and wait for tomorrow's final day.

Nonetheless, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden carried out a number of tests with the electronics, with both riders reporting positive first impressions. Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for conditions similar to those of today.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 5th, 2:01.748 (18 laps)
"The weather hasn't been kind to us. With my condition, maybe I wasn't going to be able to do many more laps anyway, but we have a lot of stuff to try. It was definitely cooler today, with more rubber on the track, and we went faster. We made a couple of small steps and I would say today was the most competitive I've been all year. I like the changes to the electronics, especially at the first touch of the throttle. We talked about going out in the rain, but the risks seemed to outweigh the rewards. I look forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can put together all the pieces we've learned and do some good lap times."

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th, 2:02.130 (18 laps)
"Another day practically lost, which is really a shame because for us it's very important to ride as much as possible, and today's track conditions were much better than yesterday's. Given that we knew rain was predicted for the afternoon, we tried to focus as much work as possible in just the first twenty or so laps this morning. Using both bikes, we tried the new traction control, some software updates with the wheelie control and other small details that have to do with the seating position. I had good impressions with all of those, so we put it all into the setup of just one bike and put on a new tyre, only for it to start raining. Game over. On the plus side, I had a good feeling with all of the new stuff, so I hope we can work a little longer tomorrow."

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Sepang, 29 Feb: Honda riders had to sit out the second day of testing at Sepang race track which saw riders from Yamaha, Ducati and CRT Teams joining the Malaysian surface despite some rain showers with Spies on the top of the standing on 2'01.285.

Due to an engine issue on Pedrosa's RCV yesterday, HRC engineers had to sent the engine to Japan for a deepen analysis. For safety reason 4 RCV riders including LCR racer Stefan Bradl have skipped day two but results of HRC investigation was positive and the Honda riders will be back on track tomorrow.

More, from a press release issued by Honda:

MotoGP Test Sepang Day 2

MotoGP Test Sepang, Malaysia
Day two of three-day test.
February 29, 2012

Weather: Hot and sunny, rainy


All four Honda riders sat out the second day of the Sepang test as a
precaution pending the resolution of an engine failure suffered by
one of the Honda RC213Vs late on the first day of testing.

The engine on the RC213V of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa suffered
a failure late on Tuesday while he was on his 36th lap of the 5.548Km
circuit outside of Kuala Lumpur. Pedrosa had earlier set the second
fastest time, second only to team-mate Casey Stoner, the pace-setter
on the opening day.

Pedrosa's engine was flown to Japan from Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday
night for inspection and analysis, but it arrived at the Honda Racing
Corporation race shop after the Wednesday lunch break, by which time
the Sepang International Circuit was doused in heavy rain. That meant
a day of no testing for Repsol Honda riders Stoner and Pedrosa, San
Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista, and LCR Honda MotoGP rider
Stefan Bradl.

The Honda riders will return to the track on Thursday for the final
day of the three-day test.

More, from a press release issued by MotoGP:

Day two of the second Official MotoGP™ Test of 2012 at the Sepang International Circuit finished with Ben Spies leading the field after rain hindered testing and Honda riders were sidelined.

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 temperatures.

Absent from the track however 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 due an engine failure in Pedrosa's RC213V machine yesterday forcing HRC to prevent their riders from participating in the test today. The engine was sent to Japan for analysis overnight, the results of which HRC stated were positive and that the Honda riders will be back on track tomorrow. Also absent today was Karel Abraham who withdrew from the event yesterday after injuries from a crash at the private Jerez test last week prevented him from riding.

Spies topped the time sheets early in the day 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 of the YZR-M1 to help improve corner exit speed.

Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) were third and fourth, both pacing nearly two seconds quicker than their best times yesterday. The pair did not continue riding in the wet afternoon, but the British rider was happy with a new engine specification he is tested though he reported that it requires a riding style adjustment, while the Italian was pleased with a new bike set up on his Tech 3 Yamaha that allowed for a more efficient riding position. "Today was the first day that I could run well and in a comfortable position, and being two-tenths off the official Yamaha is not too bad. I tested the new engine specification and so far it has been positive," reported the Italian at the end of the day.

Héctor Barberá ventured out into the rain on his Pramac Racing Ducati, sporting the new rear light that will be compulsory for rain riding in 2012. Standing water on the track led to the Spaniard hydroplaning and falling in turn 13, though he walked away unhurt. His time of 2'01.989 set in the morning put him sixth in the lineup and was 1.6s quicker than his time from yesterday.

The Ducati Team pair both set times more than a second quicker than the day before with Valentino Rossi opting not to run his Ducati Team GP12 in the rain while Nicky Hayden made a few laps on a drying track later in the day. Hayden reported that tomorrow he will continue with some set up changes in search of better grip.

NGM mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards encountered an electronics throttle connection issue that did not allow the Texan did not improve his time from the day before, while Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez continued riding throughout the wet afternoon, both improving by over half a second as they continue with the development of their Avintia Racing BQR-FTR machine.
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