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Feb 7, 2013

Pedrosa Takes Bragging Rights Away From MotoGP Test In Sepang (Updated)

Dani Pedrosa (26).
FIM MotoGP World Championship Test
Sepang, Malaysia
February 7, 2013
Day Three Test Times (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Dani Pedrosa (Spain), Honda RC213V, 2:00.100, 44 laps
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain), Yamaha YZR-M1, 2:00.429, 60 laps
3. Valentino Rossi (Italy), Yamaha YZR-M1, 2:00.542, 60 laps
4. Marc Marquez (Spain), Honda RC213V, 2:00.636, 54 laps
5. Cal Crutchlow (UK), Yamaha YZR-M1, 2:00.734, 53 laps
6. Stefan Bradl (Germany), Honda RC213V, 2:01.003, 43 laps
7. Alvaro Bautista (Spain), Honda RC213V, 2:01.502, 48 laps
8. Bradley Smith (UK), Yamaha YZR-M1, 2:02.093, 48 laps
9. Nicky Hayden (USA), Ducati GP13, 2:02.184, 60 laps
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy), Ducati GP13, 2:02.277, 43 laps
11. Katsayuki Nakasuga (Japan), Yamaha YZR-M1, 2:02.616, 21 laps
12. Aleix Espargaro (Spain), ART-Aprilia, 2:02.628, 47 laps
13. Andrea Iannone (Italy), Ducati GP13, 2:02.864, 35 laps
14. Kosuke Akiyoshi (Japan), Honda RC213V, 2:03.082, 28 laps
15. Michael Laverty (UK), ART-Aprilia, 2:03.874, 47 laps
16. Randy De Puniet (France), ART-Aprilia, 2:04.066, 39 laps
17. Wataru Yoshikawa (Japan), Yamaha YZR-M1, 2:04.137, 18 laps
18. Hector Barbera (Spain), FTR-Kawasaki, 2:04.211, 41 laps
19. Takumi Takahashi (Japan), Honda RC213V, 2:04.288, 46 laps
20. Danilo Petrucci (Italy), Suter-BMW, 2:04.531, 34 laps
21. Karel Abraham (Czech Republic), ART-Aprilia, 2:04.766, 65 laps
22. Hiroshi Aoyama (Japan), FTR-Kawasaki, 2:04.915, 51 laps
23. Claudio Corti (Italy), FTR-Kawasaki, 2:05.107, 41 laps
24. Lukas Pesek (Czech Republic), Suter-BMW, 2:05.321, 40 laps
25. Yonny Hernandez (Colombia), ART-Aprilia, 2:05.407, 48 laps
26. Colin Edwards (USA), FTR-Kawasaki, 2:05.913, 46 laps
27. Bryan Staring (Australia), FTR-Honda, 2:05.970, 41 laps




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa remains on top as first test comes to an end

The first test of 2013 concluded today with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa maintaining his place at the top of the timing sheet with a time of 2'00.100. Teammate Marc Marquez finished his first test of 2013 in 4th position with a top time of 2'00.636 after experiencing his maiden crash in the premier class.

Dani finished at lunchtime after completing his scheduled testing programme. He spent the morning working on engine braking, the balance and distribution of the additional weight of the bike, and he also had the chance to test the new compound Bridgestone tyre. He completed a total of 44 laps, recording his fastest on lap 4 in the morning when track conditions were perfect.

Marc enjoyed another strong start to the day but had a small crash in the final corner after losing the front of the bike under braking. After the crash, he recorded his fastest time on lap 32 of 33. In the afternoon, he completed a race simulation run of 20 laps to complete his first test of the season and ended the day with a total of 54 laps.

The team will return back on track in Sepang later this month on the 26, 27 and 28 of February.


Dani Pedrosa 1st 2'00.100
"We can leave Sepang with a good feeling, because we had good lap times on all three days. We were able to put in a lot of laps and, above all, try out some important things with the engine and the bike weight to adjust to the three kilos more for this season - dictated by the new rules. Today we focused on rear tyres, in particular the new Bridgestone hard compound. It is similar to the old one with a little more grip in some areas, but it also creates more chatter. We finished the test well and hope to continue like this in the following ones"


Marc Marquez 4th 2'00.636
"I am very happy with the results that we have had from these three days, above all because I gradually got more consistent with my times. This was what we were looking for from this test. Day by day we improved our times, but this is secondary really. The important thing is that we made our first race simulation, which has helped me to understand the class and the bike better and his given us a lot of information for the next test. We also had a first crash, which luckily was fairly light. I lost the front on the brakes, but I was unhurt and the overall verdict on the test is still very positive"


Shuhei Nakamoto HRC Executive Vice-President
"Both riders have been working hard this week and we are very happy. For Dani, he is happy with some test items and not with others but this is normal for the winter test. Marc hasn't been testing so many things as the primary purpose of this test for him is to familiarise himself with the MotoGP machine, which is more important"




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory Racing Team:

Successful Sepang Test for Yamaha Super Team

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi today completed the third and final day of the first official MotoGP test of 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Despite the threat of bad weather both riders were able to enjoy a good amount of dry track time to work through a number of potential engine and chassis specifications for the 2013 YZR-M1. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo delivered his trademark consistency from day one, leading the time sheet at times and never straying far from the front. The Mallorcan was under the official race lap record of the Sepang circuit this morning and just a tenth of a second from the official pole record. He went on to complete a long run this afternoon to wrap up the test.

Teammate Rossi continued to go from strength to strength having been reunited with the YZR-M1, the Italian again improving on his time from the day before by nearly half a second to finally dip under the 2'01 mark and finish in third place just over a tenth of a second from teammate Lorenzo in second.

The Japanese Yamaha engineers will now take the valuable data gained back to Japan to work towards the second Sepang test in a few weeks time.


Jorge Lorenzo Position: 2nd Time: 2.00.429 Laps: 58

"I think these three days have been positive for us. We tried many things and some of them were good. We need to reconfirm again in another track but here we were able to improve a little bit. I was able to make a simulation this afternoon, the first one I've done in Sepang in my GP career. I felt strong physically, mentally and riding so it was good. The other riders are also really strong so it promises to be an interesting season."


Valentino Rossi Position: 3rd Time: 2.00.542 Laps: 55

"I'm very happy, all three days were very good. We worked hard on the bike and improved day by day. The third day was the best, we were able to stay less than half a second from pole position and the lap time is higher which is interesting. Today we finished third in the standings which is theoretically the front row so I'm very happy with this first test."


Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"The whole test has been quite positive and we finished today finding two directions for the rest of the season. Also Jorge's long run this afternoon was quite consistent, I think that was one of our tasks we were aiming for, to be fast is one thing but to be consistently fast is what it takes to win in racing. Overall we are pretty satisfied, both Jorge and the team worked really hard in these hot conditions, we're looking forward to coming back to see how we can improve even more."


Massimo Meregalli
Team Director

"This has been a really important and positive test. We have been able to work really well and our Japanese engineers have a lot of data so they are really happy. We can go home pretty satisfied and the engineers can continue working on the project, we will see what we can do in a few weeks. Jorge has been very consistent and fast throughout the test in many different circumstances so we are very pleased with him. On Vale's side he removed a lot of weight from his shoulders, I see him very happy because he is finally back riding a bike that he enjoys, which is what he was looking for. I can't say more than that! The team has performed extremely well and both riders have worked very hard, it's been a successful start to the year."




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

Crutchlow and Smith conclude successful Sepang test

British duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith set the fifth and eighth fastest times at the Sepang International Circuit today to conclude a successful start to the MotoGP winter testing schedule for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.

A best time of 2.00.734 ensured Crutchlow finished inside the top six on each day and after improving his pace by over a second throughout the test he finished in fifth position on the final timesheets.

Having made improvements with corner entry rear grip yesterday, Crutchlow turned his focus to working on his pace an d consistency on worn tyres today, and he was satisfied with the progress to finish 0.634s away from Dani Pedrosa's best time.

Rookie teammate Smith produced another fantastic performance and included in his 48-lap stint was an impressively fast and consistent full race simulation, which he completed in searing heat and humidity on the hottest day of the test.

The 22-year-old has made a seamless transition from Moto2 to the heavier and more powerful YZR-M1 machine and his race simulation gave him priceless information on where he can improve when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team returns to Sepang for a further three-day test later this month.

Smith ended with a best time of 2.02.093 today, which was within two seconds of the quickest pace set by Pedrosa and he was only a second away from the top six. His fastest time at the test was yesterday's 2.01.931 that secured him the eighth quickest time overall.

Cal Crutchlow 5th 2.00.734 53 laps:

"It has been a very positive week and I am where I expected to be and that's right behind the top four factory bikes. I can't really ask for more than that and I'm pleased with my lap times because my bike is almost identical to the bike I rode last year. Today I was doing a lot of laps on old tyres and trying to stay consistent and I've improved. I also feel like I've made good progress in improving on the brakes, so it has been a productive test and good to be back on track after the winter break. I've built up my confidence each day but it is obvious that 2013 is going to be incredibly tough. There is some amazing talent on really good machinery but I am really looking forward to it. I'll be ready to give it 100% as always and come the first race in Qatar I'll be ready to challenge. Credit to Bradley as we ll because he has done a fantastic job this week. This was his first proper test in MotoGP and he has got faster and more confident each day. I have been very impressed with him and it is going to be good being his teammate this season."

Bradley Smith 8th 2.02.93 48 laps:

"I am really happy with the way this test has gone and my lap times and final position have already given me a lot of confidence. I didn't come here with any expectations but to be eighth is where this bike needs to be. I am still not getting all of the potential out of the YZR-M1 but I am gaining in confidence with every lap I complete and it has been mission accomplished in terms of coming here and understanding how the bike needs to be ridden. I still need to be a lot smoother but I am happy to be within two seconds of the fastest time. I knew that was possible but the hard work starts now to close that gap even more. The race simulation was amazing to build up my experience but it was seriously hard work. It was the hottest day and it is very physically and mentally demanding to ride a MotoGP bike at that pace over a long distance. It is hard to concentrate but the best thing was on the last lap I did a 2.02.9 and my best lap was a 2.02.5. So I was consistent and while I need to be faster, I'm really happy to be leaving this test having learned so much. I need a good sleep now to digest all the information I've taken on but already I can't wait to be back on the bike here later this month."




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

Promising end of Sepang MotoGP tests for Karel Abraham

Czech MotoGP rider Karel Abraham finished 22nd in the first off-season MotoGP tests at Malaysian Sepang Circuit. Learning to ride his new ART motorcycle Abraham made his best lap time 2:04,766 at Thursday evening and looking forward to next tests at Sepang in the end of February.

Karel Abraham
"žI was able to improve my best lap time and get it under 2:05. Another positive moment is that I can do my best laps constantly. Obviously I expected to be faster. Especially in the last half-hour I felt really good and it´s pity that I wasn´t able to improve the best lap time. However I really like the bike and I hope that we found good set up in the end which can be perfect starting point for next tests."

Marco Grana, Cardion AB Motoracing chief mechanic
"It was difficult day for us. We did lot of work on the bike and we improved our lap time to 2:04,7 but we aren´t fast enough. We solved the problem with chattering of front, but we are still weak in braking. Karel has started to understand the bike and he´s happy with the feeling on it, but he brakes too soon. It´s not problem of ART, Karel needs to forget Ducati bike from previous season. This causes his "žbraking problem". For next tests we must do everything to let Karel forget Ducati era."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

MotoGP Test Sepang Day 3

MotoGP Test Sepang, Malaysia
ay three of three-day test.
February 7, 2013

Weather: Hot, sunny
Track temperature: 51 degrees
Ambient temperature: 33 degrees

PEDROSA COMPLETES TESTING DOMINANCE

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) took top honors for the third
consecutive day of MotoGP testing at the Sepang International
Circuit, cementing his dominance and making him the early favorite
for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship. Team-mate Marc Marquez
finished his first three-day Sepang test with the fourth fastest time
after having been third fastest on the first two days, and also after
concluding a successful race simulation. And Honda riders Stefan
Bradl (Team LCR Honda MotoGP) and Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda
Gresini) again finished with the sixth and seventh fastest times, as
they'd done a day earlier.

The test marked the first time in his career that Pedrosa had swept
to honours on all three days of of a test, though that wasn't his
aim. His aim was to improve his Repsol Honda RC213V, which he did
through a structured and efficient testing programme. Pedrosa
diligently worked through a number of development issues on the
second year 1000cc machine, with an emphasis on weight distribution.
By rule, the Repsol Honda RC213V weighs three kilograms more than it
did last year and Pedrosa, who bore the brunt of the development
work, was tasked with finding the optimal location for distributing
the added weight.

He left the test satisfied and looking forward to returning in less
than three weeks' time, when he hopes to test new Ohlins forks and
shocks, clutch parts, and software settings.

The 19-year-old Marquez narrowly missed out on finishing third, the
hypothetical front row, for the third day in row, though there was no
shame in finishing fourth. Just ahead of him were two world
champions, Valentino Rossi in third and reigning world champion Jorge
Lorenzo in second.

Marquez showed dazzling speed in the first test of the new year,
putting himself near the top of the order from the outset. The team
studiously provided him with the tools needed to improve his
efficiency on the Repsol Honda RC213V and he made the most of them.
He had a brief setback in the morning when he crashed for the first
time in the MotoGP class, but he was unfazed and quickly got back up
to speed. His fast lap of 2m, 0.636s came on the 32nd of 33 laps, at
the 5.548km Malaysian circuit.

In the afternoon, Marquez did a simulated race, 20 laps at speed to
learn how the motorcycle would react with a lighter fuel load and
used tyres. The times were remarkably consistent, which is what
Marquez and the team were looking for as they head into the season.

Stefan Bradl nearly dropped below the 2m, 1s mark, missing out by
.003s. The second year MotoGP rider continued to adapt to the 2013
Team LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V, which is the same spec as that of the
Repsol Honda riders. Three days of testing produced gradually
diminishing lap times, which highlighted the progress of the young
German. Now the team will digest the data collected to be ready when
they return here at the end of the month.

Alvaro Bautista was half a second behind fellow Honda rider Bradl
ending the test. Bautista's fastest lap came on the 29th of 48 laps
at the end of a three lap run. He and his Go & Fun Honda Gresini team
are the only ones using Showa suspension, which meant he spent the
day doing short runs to evaluate the differences in suspension setup.
The work was made more difficult by scorching heat, the hottest of
the three days, which made the track greasy and exacerbated chatter
problems that most riders were suffering.

Bryan Staring (Go & Fun Honda Gresini) successfully concluded his
first MotoGP test aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-powered FTR-framed CRT
machine. The Australian admitted there was still much to learn, but
added that the team had been instrumental in helping with what by
necessity is a steep learning curve. Staring incrementally improved
his times over the course of the test and fully expects to be more
competitive when the next test commences.

HRC test team rider Kosuke Akiyoshi completed his test programme
early, finishing with the 14th fastest time. Fellow test rider Takumi
Takahashi was the 19th fastest rider after putting in 46 laps.

The Honda riders will return to Sepang in three weeks time, Feb.
26-28, to continue their off-season testing.

HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 0.100s
We can leave Sepang with a good feeling, because we had good lap
times on all three days. We were able to put in a lot of laps and,
above all, try out some important things with the engine and the bike
weight to adjust to the three kilos more for this season - dictated
by the new rules. Today we focused on rear tyres, in particular the
new Bridgestone hard compound. It is similar to the old one with a
little more grip in some areas, but it also creates more chatter. We
finished the test well and hope to continue like this in the following ones.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC212V): 4th, 2m, 0.636s
I am very happy with the results that we have had from these three
days, above all because I gradually got more consistent with my
times. This was what we were looking for from this test. Day by day
we improved our times, but this is secondary, really. The important
thing is that we made our first race simulation, which has helped me
to understand the class and the bike better and his given us a lot of
information for the next test. We also had a first crash, which
luckily was fairly light. I lost the front on the brakes, but I was
unhurt and the overall verdict on the test is still very positive.

Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V): 6th, 2m, 1.003s
The result of these three days of work is quite good for me. I think
we have completed our job gathering more data ahead the next test
here. Even today I was working on a raft of things from traction
control, to suspension and brakes and Bridgestone gave us a new rear
hard tyre to test. At the end I run the circuit 43 times growing my
confidence on this bike. There's more work to do before the first
race of the season but we leave Sepang with a good base.

Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 7th, 2m, 1.502s
The intense heat that we've had over the past few days ended up
making it considerably harder work out on track. That didn't affect
our schedule, however, and we continued with the job of setting up
the Showa suspension. We are making progress, but we still have a lot
of work to do and our aim remains to have everything ready for the
season start in Qatar. We have gathered a lot of data that we will
use at the next test here in Sepang at the end of the month.

Bryan Staring (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 27th, 2m, 6.481s
There is still a lot to learn, but I think that we are on the right
track with the help of the guys on the team. They never put me in any
difficulty and always have me trying out technical solutions, without
distracting me too much from just adapting to this new style of
riding. Sepang is definitely not the best circuit at which to make
your debut, as it is so long and it is hard to learn all the lines.
In any case, I am motivated. Today I improved my time from yesterday
and I am convinced that very soon I can be competitive.




More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Ducati Team's 2013 season starts with first official test at Sepang

Today marked the conclusion of the three-day IRTA-organized test at the Malaysian Sepang circuit, where teams prepared for the new MotoGP Championship, to start on 7 April in Qatar.

Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden took to the track on their Desmosedici GP13 bikes.

The Italian, who is making his debut with the Desmosedici this year, had to adapt to a bike and team that are completely new for him and, thanks in part to his recent experience aboard other factory bikes, was able to give his first real feedback to the Ducati engineers regarding the frame, electronics and engine characteristics.

The American, beginning his fifth season aboard the Italian bike, tried to find his rhythm as he used the three days of testing to provide his own valuable input for the future development of the bike.

The team certainly can't be satisfied with its results, so it heads home aware of the challenging work that must be carried out in order to get back toward the top of the time sheets. They will begin trying new ideas during the next test at Sepang at month's end and at the Jerez test in late March.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th, 2:02.110
"We obviously can't be happy when our times are that far off of the top guys, but we knew it was going to be tough. Sepang has never been a particularly good track for Ducati: we raced here in October, and the bike hasn't changed much since then. We found a couple little things over the course of the test, which allowed us to improve our consistency on day three, but I think we need something big. Anyway, it was nice to be back on the bike and working with the guys. The team has worked extremely hard, and we just have to stay motivated and keep giving them the right information so that we can hopefully start making some real progress soon."

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 10th, 2:02.277
"Yes, it was a difficult test but we didn't expect it to be any different. We're here to improve the situation and everybody knows the level we are now so we have to improve. We tested as much stuff as we could, because we're focused on improving the bike. The gap to the others is big, and we pushed a lot to understand the bike. I gave a lot of feedback, maybe too much! We don't know how the next test in Sepang will be. There's too short a time between now and then, so it's difficult to do something big in this time. We still have to decide which parts we can bring to the second test. Unfortunately, we need time to try something big."

Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati MotoGP Project Director
"Obviously, we're not satisfied. We knew we were starting from a base that needed significant development work, but it's not nice to realize we're still so far from the leaders. Still, our engineers gathered important data, and now the only thing to do is to roll up our sleeves and continue the development program in the factory. The goal is clear: bring Ducati back to the top of the results sheet as soon as possible."

Ducati Monster 795 ABS Launch
Following the Sepang test, the NAZA Group, Ducati's exclusive importer in Malaysia, unveiled the new Monster 795 ABS in the Ducati Team box, with the help of Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso and the Ducati Team management.




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Pedrosa takes top spot in first official MotoGP™ test at Sepang

Sepang International Circuit - Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-hard. Rear: Soft, Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather: Tue: Dry, Wed: Wet/Dry, Thu: Wet/Dry. Ambient 27-32°C; Track 27-55°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Dani Pedrosa set a time of 2'00.100 early on the final day of testing at Sepang International Circuit to finish on top of the timesheets at the first official group test of the 2013 MotoGP™ World Championship.

Pedrosa was quickest on all three days of the group test and set his benchmark time today on the combination of the hard compound front and medium compound rear slick. Second fastest overall was Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo with a best time of 2'00.429, while his teammate Valentino Rossi was third quickest in Sepang, clocking a time of 2'00.542.

After claiming the honour of being the top CRT rider last season, Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro was the quickest CRT rider at the first Sepang test, his personal best time of 2'02.628 placing him in thirteenth position overall on the timesheets. Twenty-eight riders took part in the first group test of the year and the gap from the fastest to slowest rider was 5.870 seconds, an improvement of almost five seconds compared to the same test last year.

In a welcome change to the CRT ECU test which took place on the two days before the group test, the weather at Sepang over the three days of testing was mainly fine, with only the last hour of the second and third day of testing affected by rainfall. Track temperatures over the three days varied from 27°C to 55°C and thanks to the mainly fine weather, all the slick tyres Bridgestone brought to Malaysia, including a CRT-specific soft rear slick and two hard compound rear slicks for the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha machines were tested extensively. Large amounts of rider feedback and empirical data have been collected and will now be analysed at Bridgestone's technical centre in Kodaira, Japan.

Bridgestone will be back on the ground at Sepang for the next MotoGP™ group test which will take place from February 25-28.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"This was a very good test for us and has helped refine the direction of our tyre development for this year. The CRT-specific rear slick we brought to Sepang gave the CRT riders an improvement in rear grip with enough durability to make it a viable race option, so this is promising. Testing of the two new hard compounds we supplied to the works teams also provided useful data, and we will now look to test these options at different tracks in future as part of our ongoing tyre development programme.

"Overall, I'm pleased with what we achieved here in Malaysia and I'd like to thank all the teams and riders for their cooperation over the last five days of testing. I'm also happy that so few riders crashed during the test and I hope this trend continues throughout the pre-season tests."




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

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ LEAVES SEPANG TEST AS UNDISPUTED CRT TOP DOG

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider leads the way for CRT riders for third successive day of testing

After three days of hard work, the first MotoGP test of the year concluded today at Sepang. It was a sunny and hot day at the Malaysian circuit, in which many riders set their best times in the early hours of the test when the track temperatures were lower. Four men led the way (Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi and Márquez), but others like Crutchlow, Bradl and Bautista also proved to be competitive. Pedrosa was the fastest rider of the day and of the test, with a time faster than Loreno's 2012 pole lap. The riders return to Malaysia in two weeks time for another test.

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Aleix Espargaró was, for the third consecutive day, the fastest CRT competitor. He again chipped tenths off his best time, dropping six-tenths off his previous best for a 2'02.628 lap. That was quicker than his qualifying time for the Malaysian GP last October (2'02.628). He was the 12th fastest overall, ahead of several riders on official bikes. The Spaniard continued to try out his new ART chassis, with which he is having positive results. Teammate Randy De Puniet had a problematic day, following two previously positive test sessions. The Frenchman was unable to lower his lap time and could not continue to improve the setup of his new chassis.

12th Aleix Espargaró 2.02.628 (47 laps): "I am very happy. The new chassis works perfectly and we took a step forward today. It was very hot today and this morning I matched my best times from yesterday straight away. It is hard to ride fast when it is so hot. I didn't do my best lap until 1pm. I have only put in around 70 laps with this bike and the feeling is excellent, which has given us such a fast pace. We have to be satisfied with our best lap today, because it was an improvement on my qualifying time from last year. It is also the best CRT time by some way, and not too far off the MotoGP bikes. We have started the year very well, but we have to continue working and the next test will see us using the old bike to compare again."

16th Randy De Puniet 2.04.066 (39 laps): "The test was going very well up until today. We had found a few things with the new chassis that we liked, but today we lost our way a little. I don't know if it's down to the rise in temperature, but today there was much more front end chatter than on previous days. We tried lots of things, but none really convinced us. Besides today, we have a lot of information from these three days to look over, so over the next fortnight we will analyse it in detail so that we can come back to Sepang at the end of the month with solutions."




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL ENDS SEPANG TEST SESSION IN SIXTH PLACE

Sepang, 7 February: ultimate day of testing on Sepang surface for MotoGP grid saw the LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl producing the 6th fastest lap time while chasing the best set up of his RC213V Factory Spec. Ideal conditions for most of the day gave Bradl vital time on track to evaluate his Honda machine and his growing confidence was evident throughout the testing days as the German was able to lower his lap time from Tuesday by over half a second.

The end result is that Bradl and his Team had a productive 3-day of work before they head back to Europe to prepare for the late-February second test here in Malaysia.

Bradl 2'01.003: "The result of these three days of work is quite good for me. I think we have completed our job gathering more data ahead the next test here. Even today I was working on a raft of things from traction control, to suspension and brakes and Bridgestone gave us a new rear hard tyre to test. At the end I run the circuit 43 times growing my confidence on this bike. There's more work to do before the first race of the season but we leave Sepang with a good base".




More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens Racing:

Good season start for Avintia Blusens Team at the Sepang test

Barberá and Aoyama successfully complete the planned programme

Sepang, 7 February 2013. Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team has begun the 2013 season with some intense days of tests that started last Sunday, 3rd February, and have finished this morning. They have been days of hard work in which the objectives laid down have been achieved to move forward and improve in upcoming tests. The first two days -additional test scheduled and reserved only for CRT teams that will use the new Magneti Marelli ECU (Electronic Control System)- were to solve the last details remaining to be defined and to carry out the first tests with the new electronic pack. Unfortunately, the rain that fell on Monday on the circuit prevented CRT teams to progress all they wanted before the next day their MotoGP mates incorporated to perform together the three remaining days.

At the end of these three days, Blusens Avintia riders completed, between the two, almost 250 laps on the Sepang track, allowing them to try and to improve solutions for the next test that will also take place at this circuit at the end of the month. Héctor and Hiroshi worked on electronics, suspensions and tested a new softer tyre, specific for CRTs. The technical side of the team and the drivers are satisfied with these days of practice in which, in addition to the planned work of development, they have been able to test with those who will be their rivals for the entire season. There is still a way to go but first impressions are positive.

7 Hiroshi Aoyama: "It has been a very interesting days. The work done has been positive and we leave the Sepang Circuit with lots of information. The first two days were dedicated to new electronics and the rest to the development of chassis and suspensions. We believe to have found the right direction to solve the problems of chattering and in the second test we will be able to apply it to improve the performance of the bike. We must also work on electronics but these days I have preferred to focus on the suspensions and the chassis. The hand has bothered me a little bit but when we return here, it will be much better. "

8 Héctor Barberá: "We have done a good job and I am happy with how the days have gone, but we still have much to do. The new electronics has worked well but we haven't been able to use its full potential. For the moment we have had to find a compromise with the engine braking and the power input for all turns the same and that has limited us against the clock. I am sure that in the next tests it will be solved. As regards the cycle part, we have had quite chattering at the entrance to the curves and it is difficult for us to solve it, but we are going to have a new chassis and I am sure we will improve a lot that. It is the first contact with the bike after a few months without activity and the conclusion is positive. The team has worked perfectly and we have much room for improvement before the start of the Championship."




More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Lap times drop as Pedrosa leaves MotoGP™ Sepang on top

Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa heads into the two-week break as the man to beat after ending the final day of the Sepang test on top, as riders across the field dropped their laps times once more.

Pedrosa's rookie teammate Marc Márquez gave everyone a scare in the morning as he crashed in the final turn at speed, although he walked away unscathed and could continue his work on his second bike. He stated that he tried to turn in despite missing his braking marker and lost the front. A record lap set by Spaniard Pedrosa of 2:00'100 was not beaten all day, as Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo ended just over three tenths off, himself focussing on a race simulation later in the day.

His Italian teammate Valentino Rossi also showed that he could get below the 2:01 mark, leaving it until just before lunch to post his fastest time that saw him end the day in third behind his teammate. Spaniard Márquez, despite going quicker again today, was this time unable to finish in the top three as he put in a lengthy run at the end, yet stayed a close fourth, challenged by the impressive Cal Crutchlow, the last rider below the 2:01 mark, on his 2012 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. The Brit said afterwards he hoped to receive some of the upgrades the factory team is testing, as he feels there is some more speed to be found.

LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl just missed out on that feat with a time of 2.01'003, although the German looked on good form as he went quicker once more on his RC213V. Go & Fun Honda Gresini's Spaniard Álvaro Bautista improved over yesterday's time, getting more dialled in to the bike's geometry and Showa suspension, with British Tech 3 rookie Bradley Smith continuing his steep, but progressive, learning curve in eighth. Smith also undertook a race simulation early in the day before setting his best time.

The Ducati Team will be buoyed by progress, with US rider Nicky Hayden gaining over a second over the three days, as he ended the day in ninth, with Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso less than a hundredth behind. Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga was the first outside of the top ten, in front of Power Electronics Aspar's Spaniard Aleix Espargaró, who put in a tremendous effort to place his CRT 12th, and just over 2.5s off the top. He ousted Pramac Team's Italian rookie Andrea Iannone into 13th, who was without American teammate Ben Spies today, as the Texan decided to sit it out and let his shoulder recuperate before the second Sepang test. He finished the overall standings in 15th.

HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi headed Paul Bird Motorsport's Brit Michael Laverty, who has improved by nearly 3s over the three days on his MotoGP™ debut. He beat established French Aspar rider Randy de Puniet, who finished ahead of Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa, Avintia Blusens' Héctor Barberá and HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi. Came IodaRacing Project's Danilo Petrucci ended the day in 20th, in front of Cardion AB Motoracing's Karel Abraham, Avintia's Hiroshi Aoyama, NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Claudio Corti and Ioda's Lukas Pesek. Rounding out the back of the grid are PBM's Yonny Hernandez, who is still trying to fix chatter issues, as well as NGM's Colin Edwards and Gresini's Bryan Staring. Edwards was left frustrated by the lack of progress, but said that the work had now been done to come to the second test with a much more complete package.




More, from a press release issued by Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

PEDROSA LEADS FIRST MotoGP TEST OF 2013 AT SEPANG

Lorenzo, Rossi, rookie Marquez, Crutchlow also close to top

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 - Two-time Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Dani Pedrosa led the first official MotoGP test session of 2013, turning a top lap of two minutes, .100 of a second on his Repsol Honda this week at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Defending MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest in the three-day preseason test session at 2:00.429 on his factory Yamaha M1. Lorenzo's teammate, seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, was third quickest at 2:00.542 in his return to Yamaha.

"We can leave Sepang with a good feeling because we had good lap times on all three days," said Pedrosa, who won in 2010 and 2012 at Indianapolis. "We were able to put in a lot of laps and, above all, try out some important things with the engine and the bike weight to adjust to the 3 kilos more for this season, dictated by the new rules.

"Today we focused on rear tires, in particular the new Bridgestone hard compound. It is similar to the old one with a little more grip in some areas, but it also creates more chatter. We finished the test well and hope to continue like this in the following ones."

2012 Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez started his rookie MotoGP season in impressive fashion, finishing the test with a fourth-best time of 2:00.636. He walked away positive about his debut despite Thursday morning on his Repsol Honda RC213V.

"I had the first crash with a MotoGP bike," Marquez said. "But we know why I crashed, and the important thing is to understand it. We knew the first crash would come eventually. And now I know a bit better where the limit of the front tire is. So bit by bit we are learning about everything."

Cal Crutchlow was the only other rider to dip into the two-minute bracket, turning in a 2:00.734 aboard his Tech 3 Yamaha.

2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden was the top American rider. Hayden, from Owensboro, Ky., was ninth quickest on the factory Ducati Desmosedici GP13 at 2:02.110.

"We obviously can't be happy when our times are that far off of the top guys, but we knew it was going to be tough," Hayden said. "Sepang has never been a particularly good track for Ducati. We raced here in October, and the bike hasn't changed much since then. We found a couple little things over the course of the test, which allowed us to improve our consistency on day three, but I think we need something big.

"Anyway, it was nice to be back on the bike and working with the guys. The team has worked extremely hard, and we just have to stay motivated and keep giving them the right information so that we can hopefully start making some real progress soon."

The test also was disappointing for American Ben Spies, who only managed the 15th best time of 2:03.002 on his new Ignite Pramac Ducati machine. His sub-par performance wasn't totally unexpected. Spies is returning from major shoulder surgery and said he is still not back to 100 percent fitness. He missed the final day of the test.

"I woke up this morning and felt a little bit sore from the two days of riding, and, with only starting rehab two to three weeks ago, it's not just my shoulder but my general physical fitness is nowhere near where it needs to be," Spies said. "We need to be smart and do things the right way. We've had enough setbacks in the last few months. It's important not to go over the limits and do anything silly, or make any mistakes and dig ourselves in a hole physically instead of building forward for the next test."

Veteran American rider Colin Edwards ended the test 27th out of 28 riders at 2:05.913 on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR-Kawasaki. Edwards, who took part in the separate CRT test Feb. 3-4 at Sepang, was hampered by a sore neck and a new motorcycle that was far from being sorted out before the test.

Next on the calendar is the Moto2/Moto3 test Feb. 12-14 in Valencia, Spain. The MotoGP riders return to Sepang for a second test session Feb. 26-28.

The 2013 MotoGP season starts April 7 with the Grand Prix of Qatar. The sixth Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 16-18 at IMS.

2013 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event. Visit www.imstix.com, call (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or visit the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.imstix.com. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.




More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

POSITIVE CONCLUSION TO SEPANG TEST

The final day of the opening MotoGP test of the year took place under scorching temperatures of over 30 c° - over 50 c° on track- at the Sepang circuit. Despite the intense heat, Alvaro Bautista and his tecnicians continued to work hard with Showa technicians in order to obtain valuable suspension data. The long process will put Bautista in the best shape to be competitive when the season begins. Bryan Staring continued his learning process in the MotoGP class. On a tough track for a debutant, the Australian made significant improvements and is looking forward to even more at the next Sepang test, at the end of February.

Alvaro Bautista ( 2' 01" 502 43 laps) "The intense heat that we've had over the past few days ended up making it considerably harder work out on track. That didn't affect our schedule, however, and we continued with the job of setting up the Showa suspension. We are making progress, but we still have a lot of work to do and our aim remains to have everything ready for the season start in Qatar. We have gathered a lot of data that we will use at the next test here in Sepang at the end of the month."

Bryan Staring ( 2' 05" 970 41 laps) "There is still a lot to learn, but I think that we are on the right track with the help of the guys on the team. They never put me in any difficulty and always have me trying out technical solutions, without distracting me too much from just adapting to this new style of riding. Sepang is definitely not the best circuit at which to make your debut, as it is so long and it is hard to learn all the lines. In any case, I am motivated. Today I improved my time from yesterday and I am convinced that very soon I can be competitive."




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

FIRST MOTOGP TEST OF 2013 COMLPETED

The third and final day of the first test of the 2013 season was completed today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Andrea Iannone put in 23 laps, and his times saw him slot into 13th position after further reducing the gap to the two top Ducati riders. It was a day off for Ben Spies following the positive results achieved in the previous days, as his general physical condition prompted a decision to finish early and focus on preparing for the next test, to be held here from 26 to 28 February.

Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
"I am satisfied after these three days of testing even if the gap to the first is still big, however, it is not my goal now. I am focused on learning and improving as much as possible, and we are succeeding. I am happy because I have a good feeling with the team and we are working hard. I would be faster but I know that it is too early, but I am confident".

Ben Spies - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
" The first two days on the bike were positive for not riding through for about three and half months. I think the test that we did was good for the first time on bike and actually the lap time was faster than I can expected to be, it was a good test to get back on the bike but the second day I just had a little bit too much pain on my shoulder to keep going on but I think we are going to have a sort of improvement and we will come back in the same track here in three weeks and I hope to feel a lot better."




More, from a press release issued by CAME IODA Racing Project:

A very hot and humid day closed the first MotoGP Officil Test of the 2013. Dani Pedrosa was again the fastest rider with 2'00.100 followed by the Yamahas of Lorenzo, at 0.329, and Rossi, at 0.442.

Came Iodaracing Team development plan continued this morning with Lukas Pesek that has got the 24th position with 2'05.321, after 40 laps, at 5.221 from Pedrosa. The Czech rider has begun to work on the set up of his IODA-SUTER BMW showing to start to find a good feeling with it and with the new class, improving his lap time of almost two seconds.

In the afternoon Danilo Petrucci did 34 laps before it started to rain, finishing in 20th position with 2'04.531 at 4.431 from Pedrosa's best lap. The young rider from Terni has continued to develope the new Magneti Marelli ECU, but because of the rain he couldn't improve his 2'04.284 got yesterday that is his best lap during these three days.

Next MotoGP Official Test will take place from February 26th to 28th again on Sepang Circuit.

Danilo Petrucci, Pilota MotoGP # 9: "Today we have focused our work on the development of the new ECU, but the rain has ruined in part our plans. At the end of this five days I'm quite happy, the new arrival was the Magneti Marelli ECU that, after some little problem at the beginning, showed to have a good potential and from the next test we will see great improvements. In two weeks we will come here again and we will have the IODA-SUTER 2013 with a new chassis developed also with datas collected in these days".

Lukas Pesek, Pilota MotoGP # 52: "I'm quite happy today because we have improved a lot our lap time. I like very much my IODA-SUTER, I have a good feeling with it but I need to do more kilometres to understand it in a better way. I'm very happy to work again with my chief crew, the same of 125cc years, we have a good feeling and in this way it's easy to work and improving faster. I want to say thank you to all the team for their great job and also to Giampiero Sacchi and Came for the great opportunity that they gave to me".