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Nov 13, 2012

Rain Disrupts First Day Of MotoGP Testing At Valencia, Yamaha Factory Team Relocating To Motorland Aragon (Updated)

Valentino Rossi (46) tries out his new Yamaha YZR-M1 at Valencia. Photo courtesy of
Rain stops play on Day 1 in Valencia

The temperamental weather which affected last week's Grand Prix in Valencia, has once again disrupted proceedings in the first day of testing in Valencia.

There was a lot of anticipation for the first day of testing for the 2013 season, as the Repsol Honda Team welcome their new rider, Moto2 champion, Marc Marquez. However, with rain arriving in the morning, neither Marc or Dani Pedrosa took to the track.

Weather permitting, testing will continue at the Ricardo Tormo circuit tomorrow.


"Unfortunately the weather has been pretty bad all weekend and continued today. Let's hope it will brighten up tomorrow and at least stay dry so that we can test the new 2013 prototype machine".


"I have this fantastic bike here but unfortunately the weather isn't very good! It's better to be patient and wait as it's important to test the bike in the best conditions possible. I spent some time with the team this morning and I learnt many things but I still have a lot to learn. I know the power will be very different and also the electronic controls, also the carbon brakes and tyres will be something I need to adapt to, but step by step we will learn. I'm really excited to get started but we we agree that it's best to test the bike in the dry for the first time, I just hope the weather will improve tomorrow!".

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

Crutchlow and Smith frustrated by rain at Valencia test

Cold temperatures and intermittent rain showers meant the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team's all-new British line-up of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith experienced a frustrating start to preparations for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship in Valencia today.

Early morning blue skies were quickly replaced by heavy cloud cover and the Ricardo Tormo track had only been open for 10 minutes when rain started to fall.

Rain continued to fall at regular intervals throughout the day and Crutchlow and Smith both opted not to venture out of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage.

The weather disruption proved particularly frustrating for Smith, who was eager to get his first laps on the YZR-M1 machine to kick-off preparations for his rookie year in MotoGP next season.

The 21-year-old sat in his new leathers for the majority of the day but his hopes for an improvement in conditions never materialised. Heavy rain is forecast for the second day tomorrow, but Smith plans to complete some laps to gauge the performance and feel of the YZR-M1 in wet conditions.

Cal Crutchlow:

"Today was pretty frustrating because I didn't even put my leathers on. Everybody was really pumped up and excited for the start of the 2013 season but it made no sense to go out. We need a dry track to evaluate the material we have got, and unfortunately it looks like tomorrow is going to be even worse with heavy rain. It is a pity because we only need a couple of hours on track to check a couple of things. We'll see what happens but if it was dry today it was going to be difficult for me. My crash in the race on Sunday has left me with quite a lot of pain in my left hand but it still would have been good to go out and do some riding."

Bradley Smith:

"To say I am disappointed is an under statement. I've been looking forward to today for months, so to not even get out on track for one lap is a bit frustrating, but there is nothing I can do about it. When I got in my leathers yesterday and sat on the bike for the first time, it really hit home what a big day in my career this was. It i s a shame that I'm still waiting to try the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 for the first time but my chance will come. For most of the day the conditions were the worst possible. I was only going to get let out if the track was really soaking so I could get a feel for the bike. It looks the weather is going to be even worse tomorrow but at least I'll get out for a few laps and that will be a bonus."

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

Yamaha To Test in Aragon

Valencia (Spain), 13th November 2012

Due to restrictive weather conditions Yamaha Factory Racing will not remain at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia for the remainder of the scheduled test.

The team will move this evening to the Motorland circuit in Aragon for a one-day test tomorrow, 14th November.

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

Valencia, 13th November: the first official MotoGP test for the 2013 season in Valencia saw the majority of the premier class riders spending the day at the garage as cold ambient temperatures and rain hampered teams' efforts.

LCR racer Stefan Bradl took to the track on his RC213V as planned but lapped the Spanish circuit 5 times only posting the second lap time of the day (1'36.198).

Stefan: "Unfortunately we are very unlucky with the weather conditions this year and I made only few laps because the track conditions were pretty bad. We know we are pretty competitive in the wet so we wanted to make a proper test in the dry but today was impossible".

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Testing hindered by rain at Valencia

After a much-deserved day off following the season-ending race in Valencia, the MotoGP teams and riders were back at the same Spanish circuit today for the first half of a two-day test. Unfortunately, the session was heavily affected by the weather, as rain and sprinkles fell off and on throughout the day. Nonetheless, Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso both opted to put in considerable track time as they begin their work preparing for the 2013 season.

Eager to try his new Desmosedici for the first time, Dovizioso was one of the first riders out when the track opened at 10:00 a.m., and he managed to turn four laps on slick tyres before the precipitation arrived. He then did his first of several exits on rain tyres, and was joined by Hayden after lunchtime. Both riders then rode in the afternoon with wet setups.

The Ducati Team will be back at the Valencia circuit tomorrow for another day of testing.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 3rd, 1:39.868, (41 laps)
"I'm happy after my first day, mainly because I have a good feeling with my crew and I had a good lap time in the wet, even compared to the wet times over the weekend. The conditions weren't ideal for a debut on a new motorcycle, but anyway, it was important for me to do some kilometres on the bike. The Ducati is known for working well in the wet, and I can confirm that, but obviously, we have to try it in the dry. Unfortunately, it looks like the weather tomorrow will be like today."

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 5th, 1:42.571 (30 laps)
"It was a wet test day, but we did some exits. I was mainly testing some shock settings and some things that we didn't get a chance to try during the weekend because of the changing conditions. I also tried a different frame that Valentino had tried, and that I wanted to use in the wet. Obviously, dry weather would have been better, but it's never a bad thing to do some laps. It would be nice to get some sun tomorrow, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. If not, we'll probably ride a bit in the wet again."

More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Valentino Rossi made his long-awaited re-emergence on a Yamaha today at the rain-hit first 2013 season test in Valencia, as the MotoGP™ grid had to cope with difficult conditions on its first day of 2013 season testing.

Yamaha Factory Racing's Rossi went out for an initial shakedown in the morning when it was still dry, but very cold. He then set out putting in more laps once the rain had arrived, ultimately finishing the day in sixth. His teammate Jorge Lorenzo opted not head out on track in the unfavourable conditions. Yamaha has since confirmed it will not take part in tomorrow's test in Valencia, opting instead to test in Aragón. Repsol Honda Team's hotly anticipated debutant Marc Márquez was another rider not go out on track, with the youngster instead waiting for a dry track for his MotoGP™ debut. This was also the case for Dani Pedrosa, who was set to evaluate the 2013 model against the machine he raced with last weekend.

Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso caught the last bit of dry track in the morning to make his first outing on the Italian machine, finishing the day in third, and stating that his initial impressions were good. His teammate Nicky Hayden did not step out until 2pm, deciding to wait for the track to be completely wet before setting a time. He was working on his suspension and briefly tried a new chassis, although stated that in the wet conditions it was tough to judge progress. His time saw the American in fifth place on the timesheet.

Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone, who was also making his debut in the premier-class, only did one out-lap before returning to the pits in the morning. Like Márquez, he was waiting for better conditions to start his MotoGP™ career, however decided to take the plunge in the afternoon, ultimately finishing 13th, after completing the second most laps with 40. Standing in for the injured Ben Spies and also taking his first spin on the Ducati was Michele Pirro, who ended the day in 7th.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 was also to see new-boy Bradley Smith head out on track for the very first time on a MotoGP™ machine, however MotoGP™ veteran Loris Capirossi jumped on his bike first in the morning to set some laps in the dry. This was part of Capirossi's job as MotoGP™ Safety Officer, meaning he has now tested the majority of bikes on the grid. Smith however, opted to stay in his box, although stated if tomorrow is wet from the start he is likely to head out. His teammate Cal Crutchlow, nursing a broken bone in his hand from the weekend, decided not head out, hoping for improved weather tomorrow.

LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl was given the 2013 Honda to try for the day, yet posted his initial time this morning on his current machine. Ending the day in second, the German did not go out in the wet, putting in only five laps. GO & FUN Honda Gresini's Álvaro Bautista was the first to put the hammer down this morning, topping the timesheets for the first part of the day with a five-lap stint. This was however all the Spaniard did, as some new parts from Honda were not testable in the wet, meaning he is hoping for dry weather tomorrow.

Cardion AB Racing Karel Abraham took his first outing on his new ART machine, having switched to the CRT bike from the satellite Ducati. Abraham was hesitant to head out once the rain came, yet ultimately put in 27 laps for the day to get used to his new bike. NGM Mobile Forward Racing was pitching its Suter against two Kawasaki-powered FTR machines, with Claudio Corti lapping on both early on, and Edwards heading out on the FTR just before lunch in the wet. Edwards stated that he was very content with the FTR and would make it his motorbike of choice. Edwards ended the day in 11th and Corti in eighth.

Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaró was continuing work on his new chassis, whilst teammate Randy de Puniet was working with a new swingarm among other upgrades. Both were left frustrated by the weather, yet will continue their test work tomorrow even if it rains. Avintia Blusens' Hiroshi Aoyama was one of the early ones out on track with the team's BQR-FRT, with Héctor Barberá also familiarising himself with his new machine. Aoyama ended the day in fourth [dry time] and Barberá in 14th.