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Feb 26, 2013

Pedrosa Quickest On Rain-Shortened First Day Of Sepang Test Two

Dani Pedrosa (26).
FIM MotoGP World Championship Test
Sepang, Malaysia
February 26, 2013
Day One Test Times (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda RC213V), 2:01.580, 43 laps
2. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:01.815, 25 laps
3. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda RC213V), 2:01.942, 23 laps
4. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda RC213V), 2:01.959, 38 laps
5. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:02.028, 25 laps
6. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:02.272, 28 laps
7. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Honda RC213V), 2:02.362, 32 laps
8. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati GP13), 2:02.801, 22 laps
9. Nicky Hayden, USA (Ducati GP13), 2:03.143, 46 laps
10. Bradley Smith, UK (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:03.632, 24 laps
11. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Japan (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:03.734,24 laps*
12. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia-ART), 2:03.941, 28 laps
13. Ben Spies, USA (Ducati GP13), 2:04.047, 25 laps
14. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Ducati GP13), 2:04.050, 32 laps
15. Wataru Yoshikawa, Japan (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:04.590, 23 laps*
16. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati GP13), 2:04.626, 38 laps*
17. Hiroshi Aoyama, Japan (Kawasaki-FTR), 2:04.743, 30 laps
18. Randy de Puniet, France (Aprilia-ART), 2:05.288, 22 laps
19. Takumi Takahashi, Japan (Honda RC213V), 2:05.510, 34 laps
20. Colin Edwards, USA (Kawasaki-FTR), 2:05.518, 21 laps
21. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (BMW-Suter), 2:05.827, 35 laps
22. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Aprilia-ART), 2:05.838, 26 laps
23. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Aprilia-ART), 2:05.908, 29 laps
24. Hector Barbera, Spain (Kawasaki-FTR), 2:06.062, 30 laps
25. Claudio Corti, Italy (Kawasaki-FTR), 2:06.306, 26 laps
26. Bryan Staring, Australia (Honda-FTR), 2:06.730, 34 laps
27. Lukas Pesek, Czech Republic (BMW-Suter), 2:07.991, 25 laps
28. Michael Laverty, UK (Aprilia-PBM), no times recorded
*=test rider

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha MotoGP Team:

Yamaha Factory Racing were back in Malaysia today for the first day of the second official test of the 2013 season at the Sepang International Circuit. The riders were able to test throughout the morning but were then forced to call off the remainder of the day’s testing due to rain.

Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was again quick to get up to pace, managing to complete a total of 25 laps before retiring for the day in second position, 0.235 seconds from first. The Mallorcan spent the day focusing on bike set up in the search for better acceleration from his YZR-M1.

Italian rider Valentino Rossi suffered a technical issue with the 2013 YZR-M1 early in the session however was able to continue testing with the 2012 machine to gather valuable data. Rossi completed the day’s riding in fifth position, less than half a second from first.

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 2nd Time: 2.01.815 Laps: 25

“Today we just tried to improve our current settings. We made some modifications but nothing special. We need to improve the acceleration a little bit but for the moment no new bits to try. The track was more slippery than the first test due to the rain which has left the tarmac in a worse condition.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 5th Time: 2.02.028 Laps: 25

“The first day is not so bad, but we were unlucky because we had a small problem with the bike which had the new chassis so we had to stop and use the old bike. We made some tests with that using just one tyre and my pace and my lap times were not so bad. After we waited for the afternoon for the real work but the rain came so we decided to stop and continue tomorrow. If it rains again tomorrow we will do some laps in the wet conditions.”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

“A good first test day here at Sepang, but quite short because of the rain. We reconfirmed all the parts we decided to use from the last test and also probably for the rest of the season. We will continue with them to find the best balance and settings. We are not finished yet and we need some more dry track time!”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director

“Unfortunately we started as we finished the last test, the rain came and interrupted our work. At the beginning of the day the track conditions were not great and by the time the circuit got better the storm had arrived. We couldn't do a lot of our testing but our homework was not so much for today. Tomorrow should be fine to achieve the main objectives of the test so we can proceed on the final day with the long run to optimize the settings for the start of the season.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa fastest and Marquez third as rain stops play early in Sepang

After leading all three days in the first Sepang Test two weeks ago, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa maintained his position at the top of the time sheets and Marc Marquez continued his good performance as the second Sepang Test got underway today.

Dani and teammate Marc both went out on track around 10.30am but heavy rain in the past few days had left the track quite dirty and slippery, which was reflected in the early lap times - almost two seconds slower than the first test.

Dani spent the morning working on suspension and with engine mapping, especially in corner entry. He recorded the fastest lap of the day on lap 17 of 43, with a time of 2'01.580. Marc, once again happy to find his confidence with the bike from the beginning, spent the morning trying some different settings but was limited due to the track conditions, he took his fastest lap of 2'01.942 on lap 17 of 23 placing him 3rd for the day. He had a small crash in turn nine, but at such a slow speed he was able to pick up the bike and ride back to the garage unaffected.

Unfortunately heavy rainfall arrived again at 14h30 local time which ended the track action on this first day. Testing resumes tomorrow at 09h00 local time.

Dani Pedrosa 1st 2'01.580
"Today we continued trying things out with the bike here in Sepang, focusing most of all on suspension. We also worked a little on the electronics. The track wasn’t 100% after the rainfall from the past few days, but we were able to ride well. In the afternoon it rained again, and we used this to perform some laps in the wet. Tomorrow we will continue with the work that we have scheduled”

Marc Marquez 3rd 2'01.942
"Today went pretty well. It's just a shame that the track was so slippery, because we weren't able to collect all the data that we wanted due to the times not being so fast. We were not able to ride a lot in the afternoon either, because as soon as we got on the pace it started to rain and we aborted the session. We hope that the surface is better tomorrow, with more grip and less rain. Our aim is to be able to put in laps, gain experience and test out a lot of things that we have pending"

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Sepang, 26 Feb: today the MotoGP grid again descended on Sepang for the second pre-season test ahead of the 2013 campaign. From 10am local time LCR racer Stefan Bradl proceeded the fine tune of his Honda RC213V Factory Spec. ending the day in fourth ahead of Rossi.

On day one of three the premier class riders were greeted by warm humid weather conditions with some poor rain in the afternoon and Bradl continued to build his confidence even in the wet lapping the Malaysian surface 38 times with a best lap time of 2’01.959.

Stefan: “Actually the track conditions were worse than the first test so today’s lap time is not as good as my first outing here. Due to the slippery surface it took me a while to get a proper confidence and a proper speed but we were able to put in many laps trying out some braking system components and geometry settings. Around 3pm it started to rain so I had a couple of laps in the wet aboard the 2013 machine for the first time and the verdict was quite positive”.

More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar Team:


POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider back on the pace as preseason continues in Malaysia

Two weeks on from the first test of 2013 the MotoGP teams and riders were back at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today to continue in earnest with their preseason preparations. Including factory and test riders there were 27 participants on track today, compared to 28 last time, from 10am until 6pm. The final three hours were a washout due to a tropical downpour, by which time Dani Pedrosa had again proved to be the dominant force followed by Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez. A lack of grip, perhaps caused by recent rain or a car event held yesterday, was the riders' principal enemy today but Aleix Espargaró showed no signs of holding back as he once again dominated amongst the CRT riders on track.

Twelfth fastest overall with a lap time of 2'03.941, it has been a positive start to the three-day session for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider. After being the standout CRT rider in the last test Aleix was again the reference point today, clocking his best time on his 27th lap of 28. The Spaniard worked on both his 2012 and 2013 bikes today, making back to back comparisons and working out a clear development strategy for the future. Meanwhile his team-mate Randy De Puniet worked on ironing out the front end chatter he had suffered in the last.

12th Aleix Espargaró 2.03.941 (28 laps): "There has been a lot of rain in the days leading up to this test and yesterday there were a lot of cars on track so I guess that's why the surface was so slippery today. You can see from the lap times that the conditions were not optimum but we focused our work today on comparing this year's bike with last year's. Unfortunately we didn't get through our full schedule because of the rain."

18th Randy De Puniet 2.05.288 (22 laps): "Compared to the last test the track was vetry dirty today and there was very little grip. We did a couple of runs on the base setting we found in the last test and tried to iron out the front end chatter we had encountered. We had two different settings to try but it was difficult to draw any real conclusions because of the state of the track surface. We stopped for a little break halfway through the session and that's when it started raining so we couldn't carry on."

More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

MotoGPâ„¢ testing resumes in Sepang with Pedrosa on top

Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa remained on top as MotoGP™ pre-season testing continued in Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit today as him and rookie teammate Marc Márquez sandwiched the Yamaha Factory Racing bike of world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

The day started off dry at Sepang but rain after 2:30pm local time resulted in much of the pack waiting in their garages. Pedrosa, who had aimed for a long stint and is now targeting that goal on Wednesday, topped the timesheets with his 2’01.580 lap time. Valentino Rossi had also intended for efficient race-distance runs but will also have to wait, having placed his Yamaha fifth. This he set with the 2012 spec Yamaha, as engine problems on the latest 2013 model stopped him from getting a run on it.

The conditions confirmed that LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was fourth overall, continuing to analyse the two setup options he first trialled at the earlier test. With his best dry time just 17 thousandths of a second slower than the slowest factory Honda racer, less than a second covered the top seven; that particular group was rounded out by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, with British rookie Bradley Smith ending the day firmly inside the top ten despite a small crash as he lost the front. Crutchlow and Smith are both left with no parts to test, and are focussing solely on set-up and riding style.

Ducati Team also saw both of its runners finish inside the top ten, as Andrea Dovizioso and 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden managed eighth and ninth positions. The Audi-owned squad grabbed attention early on as it rolled out its machines with brand-new fuel tanks. Dovizioso cited he was pleased with getting more time on the bike, and said that the upgrade, despite being small, was a positive step. Further down the order, test riders from all three factory outfits worked on an assortment of programmes, with Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Waturu Yoshikawa pairing up for Yamaha while Ducati ran Michele Pirro and Honda Takumi Takahashi.

At Ignite Pramac Racing Team, Ben Spies fought to 13th place as he continued to battle a shoulder injury, whereas teammate Andrea Iannone evaluated two engines in order to assess the weight distribution of his Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team machine.

Once again, the Power Electronics Aspar of Aleix Espargaró set the pace in the CRT class, escaping a minor incident at Turn 1 when the ART had slid away from the Spaniard. Teammate Randy de Puniet was 18th, completing 22 laps in comparison with Espargaró’s 28. Racking up most mileage was the aforementioned Hayden’s factory Ducati, as the American completed 46 tours.

17th fastest Hiroshi Aoyama was the leading Avintia Blusens representative on their FTR-Kawasaki bike, with teammate Héctor Barberá seven places further back. Colin Edwards’ day finished in 20th position for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, edging out Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, who this year has switched to a CRT from a prototype Ducati.

The field was completed by Claudio Corti on the second Forward Racing machine, plus Gresini’s Bryan Staring and Ioda’s Lukáš Pešek. Just ahead of this trio was the Paul Bird Motorsport ART of Yonny Hernandez, although teammate Michael Laverty was unable to run on the new in-house PBM bike as the team continued to install the Magneti Marelli ECU.

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

First day of Sepang test marked by bad weather

Truly extreme weather conditions welcomed the MotoGP teams back to Sepang for day one of the second IRTA-organized test ahead of the 2013 season. The morning’s suffocating heat gave way to the typical afternoon tropical rain shower, which in turn became a proper cloudburst, making it impossible for riders to lower their times from the morning.

The Ducati Team was in full force at the Malaysian circuit, with Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden ready to try changes to their Desmosedici GP13’s electronics and frame, while test rider Michele Pirro continued development work with his ‘laboratory’ bike.

Dovizioso turned a total of 22 laps, his 2:02.801 being 1.2 seconds off of Pedrosa’s best time of the day and good for eighth place, while his American teammate did the most laps of anyone at 46, his 2:03.143 time putting him ninth-best. Pirro was sixteenth-best with a time of 2:04.626.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), 8th, 2:02.801 (22 laps)
“I’m pretty satisfied with today. My feeling with the bike has improved, and now I know it better than I did two weeks ago here at Sepang. Today we did tests with the electronics, and we also made a comparison between two bikes with different configurations—one had a different fuel tank and weight distribution—but we didn’t have much time. It was nothing too major, but it was a positive step. I used just one set of tyres, so all things considered, the gap to the top is acceptable. That said, we still have to work hard on corner entry and corner speed.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th, 2:03.143 (46 laps)
“It’s good to be back to work in Malaysia. This morning we lost a bit of time sorting out some electronics mapping, but then we were able to do some good riding. Ducati brought a couple of things to try, mainly some changes to weight distribution, which helped make the bike a little nimbler on change of direction. Also, I’m able to brake better with the same amount of pressure on the lever. We still need to work on it, but anyway, it’s an improvement. With the weather, we obviously didn’t get a full a day with a dry track, but it was important for me to ride in the wet. We know the gap to the front is still too big, but we’re slowly making progress, and hopefully we can reduce it further over the next two days.”

More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:

Abaja back in action in Malaysia

Karel Abraham with the entire team returned back to Malaysia to complete second pre-seasonal testing. First day was influenced by Brno´s rider crash leading to enormous waste of time during the reparation of the bike. Fastest time which Abraham achieved was 2:05,838. Today´s fastest rider was Spaniard Dani Pedrosa who set the time 2:01,580.

Karel Abraham
„Initially everything was running due to a plan, I rode well and first laps were pointing towards good result. Unfortunately, in one very well performed lap I fell down. Nothing happened to me, but I didn´t finish that lap and following motorcycle repair took some time. When I re-joined the track, there was a massive shower. Than the track was drying up and has started to rain again. Under such a bad conditions there was no chance to achieve some better result. Meantime we are still using the older engine, it looks that the better one we´re gonna test maybe the last day.“

Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„Today we were one of the firsts going out from the pit, the weather was nice and everything was looking good. We were trying to solve out the problem which we have since first testing here in Sepang. Unfortunately, our rider fell down in eighth lap and we lost plenty of time with motorcycle repair. I hope it won´t be raining tomorrow, because we have a lot of work to do. We still lose a lot of time on brakes, Karel is braking earlier than the other riders. Tomorrow, we are going to focus rather on Abaja to be in good psychical mood than on Aprilia itself.“

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Crutchlow and Smith back in action at second Sepang test

Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith enjoyed a positive start to the second MotoGP test session at the Sepang International Circuit today, the Monster Y amaha Tech 3 Team riders both finished inside the top 10 on a rain-hit first day.

Crutchlow was fast straight out of the box this morning and a time of 2.02.272 set on only his fifth lap put him in second position. But a slippery surface and track temperatures that soared to over 60 degrees in searing heat meant lap times were considerably slower than those posted at the first Sepang test earlier this month.

Former World Supersport Champion Crutchlow couldn't better his pace of 2.02.272 in a further 23 laps on track, but that personal best was only just over 0.3s away from the top three and left him sixth on the timesheets.

Smith quickly established himself inside the top 10 as the British rider continues to build up his experience on board the YZR-M1 machine.

He was lying in 10th position and he had just set a personal best time of 2.03.632 when he crashed on his 25th lap. Smith walked away unhurt from the spill which came after he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine in the third gear Turn 7.

Smith was preparing to return to the track this afternoon but torrential rain started falling with just over three hours of track time still available. Heavy cloud cover meant the Sepang International Circuit was slow to dry and further heavy rain later in the day meant both Crutchlow and Smith opted to take no further par t in proceedings.

Cal Crutchlow 6th 2.02.272 – 28 laps:
“I'm happy enough with today because all you could do was ride around to the grip that was available. This morning the track condition wasn't good at all. It was greasy and the heat was just making it worse and you can see the lap times are a fair way off what we were doing here only recently. I was 1.5s off my best time from the first test and Pedrosa was abo ut the same. Once I got to my best lap time today I pretty much stayed at that pace for the rest of the day because the grip wasn't there. There were a few crashes and it was obvious that we'd got used to the grip that we had at the last test but it wasn't there and when people started to push they crashed."

Bradley Smith 10th 2.03.632 – 24 laps:
“This morning was another good learning process for me because the track condition was completely different to the first test. It was dirty and slippery and it meant that I had to ride smoothly, which is how I need to be riding this bike all of the time. I've been a little too aggressive but in those conditions I had to ride the bike in a completely different way. The crash was another part of the learning process too. I'd had a couple of warnings in the previous two laps but I kind of shrugged them off because I'm not sure what the limit is. Now I know the limit although a crash is never ideal. I'd done all my laps on the same set of tyres and now I know what the warning signs are I'll be better prepared in the future.”
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