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Mar 24, 2013

Valentino Rossi Rules On Second Day Of MotoGP Testing At Jerez

MotoGP: Valentino Rossi (46) testing his Yamaha YZR-M1 at Jerez.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Jerez, Spain
March 24, 2013
Day Two Test Times (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha YZR-M1), 1:39.525
2. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Yamaha YZR-M1), 1:39.540
3. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Yamaha YZR-M1), 1:39.574
4. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda RC213V), 1:39.630
5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati GP13), 1:40.322
6. Alvaro Bautista, Italy (Honda RC213V), 1:40.686
7. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda RC213V), 1:40.714
8. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda RC213V), 1:40.783
9. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Ducati GP13), 1:41.088
10. Nicky Hayden, USA (Ducati GP13), 1:41.325
11. Hector Barbera, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.376
12. Bradley Smith, UK (Yamaha YZR-M1), 1:41.398
13. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.444
14. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Suter-BMW), 1:41.529
15. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati GP13), 1:41.603*
16. Randy De Puniet, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.686
17. Claudio Corti, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.701
18. Ben Spies, USA (Ducati GP13), 1:41.702
19. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.916
20. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:42.050
21. Bryan Staring, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:42.107
22. Colin Edwards, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:42.154
23. Hiroshi Aoyama, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:43.959
24. Michael Laverty, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 1:44.185
25. Lukas Pesek, Czech Republic (Suter-BMW), 1:44.874
*test rider

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:


The second day of action at Jerez got underway at 2.00 p.m. due to the track conditions following yesterday’s rainfall.
It was a positive start for the team with Andrea immediately setting a good time to move into 5th place in the timesheets. Unfortunately, on lap 15 he was victim to an unexpected but harmless crash that forced him to interrupt the testing day.
Ben instead managed to keep a constant pace aiming to collect useful data for the Championship.
Late in the afternoon a brief rain shower came down and all the MotoGP riders came back into the pits.
Tomorrow sees the last day of testing to finalize the set-up before the season gets underway.

Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
"It was a positive day despite the crash that forced me to stop. I was able to have a good feeling with the bike and get some good impressions. I'm sorry for the fall but I was trying to improve my pace and unfortunately these things can happen. I am very positive and I hope to be fast as soon as possible. "

Ben Spies - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“We didn’t have a great day, but now we know a little more about the bike and we improved quite a bit even with my shoulder problem. I am happy because it feels better and better. We know we are a bit slower than where we wanted to be, but I had some good laps, we worked hard and we have got some changes to do tomorrow to get more confidence with the bike.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Weather finally allows for some dry test time in Jerez

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez were back on track today in Jerez for the second day of the final pre-season test.

The track dried slowly after yesterday's downpour and allowed the riders to begin their intended test programme. Dani, worked with the rear shock and some electronics and confirmed other feelings from these previous winter tests. He finished the day 4th fastest with a 1'39.630 lap, recorded on his final lap of 39, just one tenth off the fastest time of the day. Marc, on the RC213V for the first time in the dry here in Jerez, spent the day working on rear grip. He finished 7th fastest with 1'40.714 on lap 21 of 36.

The final day of testinMotoGP™ Official Test Jerez 24th March 18hg in Jerez will take place tomorrow from 10h00 - 18h00.

Dani Pedrosa 4th 1'39.630
"Today we were lucky enough to be able to complete some dry laps which was important, even though the track was quite dirty. We reconfirmed some things from the other tests here at a different track, nothing really new. Unfortunately we were not able to complete the whole programme before the rain came again but happy that we did some laps. Let's hope tomorrow stays dry so we can continue our programme and finish in the best way before Qatar"

Marc Marquez 7th 1'40.714
"We managed 36 laps and improved quite a lot from the beginning to the end but we can still improve a lot further. At first I found myself riding the Moto2 lines but gradually I learnt and began taking different lines which suit the MotoGP machine better. We worked on the rear grip and struggled to improve, maybe we spent too much time in this area. However, we fixed some problems and now we have some new issues to deal with that we must work on tomorrow"

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Yamaha One Two as Rossi Returns to the Top in Jerez

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 24th March 2013

The second day of the final pre-season MotoGP test was again played out in difficult weather conditions today with riders having to splash through a water-filled morning before being able to enjoy some dry track time later in the afternoon.

Valentino Rossi was finally given the conditions that allowed him to show his pleasure at being back on the YZR-M1. In the afternoon’s dry spell and on a European circuit he knows well, the nine time Champion rose quickly to the top of the timesheets, staying there until the close of the day and reminding everyone that the special relationship between ‘the Doctor’ and the M1 has not lost its magic.

Teammate Jorge Lorenzo, yesterday’s fastest rider in the wet, was just 0.015 seconds behind Rossi as today’s session ended, the reigning World Champion continuing to stay on the pace at the sharp end of the time scores.

Tech3 Satellite rider Cal Crutchlow was next in the standings, making a Yamaha 1,2,3.

Valentino Rossi
1st / 1.39.525 / 39 laps
“Today's test session was very positive for us. I’m so happy, especially because we used a different style of setting. It is very important for us to understand this setting, which can help and effect my riding style to ride the bike in a better way and stay more constant, especially with good lap times on old tyres.

To make the first position with a time of 39.5 is good and also being as fast as Jorge. Me and my team are very happy with the pace and I think we will try to continue to work on this way.”

Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / 1.39.540 / 34 laps
“The track was dry but not in perfect conditions today, there was not so much grip and we had some problems in some corners, where the bike was not very stable.

In general it was a very positive test. We worked on suspension and electronics today and we saw that compared to Austin the Yamaha's were much more competitive.

There are three Yamaha's in the top three and that is good for the motivation of the brand. The track is not in the best condition, it’s dry but it’s not perfect because of the rain. I think we have to focus on getting more stability on acceleration and get more comfortable with the race pace.”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“We are of course happy that it dried up and that we were able to do fourty laps today in dry conditions. Lap times were quite good.

We are still not so satisfied with the set up so we will continue to work on that. Lap time wise Cal, Vale and Jorge are very close and in front of Honda, which we are of course very happy with, but the gap is quite tight! We need to work more on the set up tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“Finally we managed to have a good and valuable practice. We were able to work very well on the base set up and we had quite good results.

Now we are ready to test the last new items tomorrow. We will confirm the difference between the two chassis’ and decide which one to use in Qatar.

We didn't have any problems today, just good steps made by trying different settings. It has been a very positive day.”

More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Valentino Rossi moved ahead on yet another rain-affected day at Jerez, topping the Sunday MotoGP™ testing timesheets from Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow joined his fellow Yamaha riders in the top three.

The first half of the day featured little track activity. Although there was no driving rain at that point, the track surface was greasy and semi-dry, meaning neither Slick nor Wet tyres would be completely suitable. After three and a half hours, now with a dryer surface, more runners elected to peel out of the pit lane.

Rossi was just 15 thousands of a second quicker than Lorenzo, leading the way on his lap of 1’39.525. Less than half a tenth separated the top three riders and the final position marked the first time Rossi had topped any MotoGP™ session since first practice for last year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

“It’s not important, but it’s very important!” Rossi smiled. “To end the day with the best lap time is great, not just because of the position but also because we modified some of the settings of the bike after the first test to adapt the M1 more to my style. It’s good because I am able to go faster, like Jorge, in all sectors of the lap. For tomorrow, we have a new chassis with some small differences, so both Jorge and I will try it. We hope to be able to improve our level a bit.”

Dani Pedrosa was today’s leading Repsol Honda Team bike in fourth, ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso who ran several new small parts, as the second Repsol bike of Marc Márquez finished seventh.

Sixth was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who missed over an hour of running following a crash towards the end of the afternoon. While testing different suspension to that of yesterday, the Spaniard lost control at Sito Pons corner and picked up small fractures in the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand; now resting, he will be back in action on Monday morning.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden rounded out the top ten, but both the German and Italian endured crashes during the day. All riders had hoped for either fully wet or fully dry conditions in order to conduct proper comparisons for setup changes, although the former was preferable. That was certainly the case for rookies Bradley Smith and Bryan Staring, plus Danilo Petrucci who was running a new chassis for Came IodaRacing Project.

Leading CRT was Héctor Barberá in 11th position, ahead of Tech 3’s Smith, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró and Ioda’s Petrucci. Incidentally, Espargaró sampled a single wet lap in the closing stages but elected to return straight to the pits, whereas teammate Randy de Puniet – who ended the day in 16th place, behind Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro – was caught out and crashed.

Rounding out the top 20 were NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti, Ignite Pramac Racing Team’s Ben Spies, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham and PBM’s Yonny Hernández. The Colombian’s teammate, Michael Laverty, was all set to continue testing the team’s own-built chassis – on which much ECU work was carried out yesterday – but was also delayed by the rain en route to 24th slot.

The aforementioned Staring, Forward’s Colin Edwards and Avintia Blusens’s Hiroshi Aoyama occupied positions 21 to 23; the latter may have destroyed a set of Wet tyres while running on a drying track, but was able to extract direct comparisons in similar conditions to those he finished in yesterday. The second Ioda bike of Lukáš Pešek, the Czech newcomer in the CRT ranks, backed up the 25-bike field.

Monday brings the last day of pre-season testing before the 2013 MotoGP campaign commences in Qatar on 7th April. Sunshine and blue skies are wished for in the paddock, but weather reports are warning of more rain. The green light will be switched on at 10am local time (CET).

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Jerez, 24 March: unfavourable weather conditions at Jerez circuit limited productivity of MotoGP group even today, with the premier class riders leaving the pits only after lunch on dry weather tyres. LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl was relatively pleased with his daily work as he initially missed front end feeling on his RC213V. The German was 8th fastest with 1’40.783.

Stefan: “Today it was not the perfect day for us but, at least, we had some dry conditions. However, with poor grip conditions after yesterday’s washout, we have struggled with the front going into the corners in the braking areas. It took us some time to analyze the problem and to find a solution and I also crashed because of this lack of confidence with the front. When we adjusted the problem I could lap with more confidence increasing my feeling but I know we still have to fine-tune the package to go faster”.

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

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow took full advantage of improved weather conditions to storm into the top three on a second day of MotoGP testing in Jerez that was dominated by Yamaha's 2013 YZR-M1 machine.

Although there was no repeat of yesterday's torrential rain, much brighter skies and a strong wind didn't dry the track quickly enough for any meaningful testing to commence until after 1pm.

Having waited patiently to start crucial set-up work on his YZR-M1 machine, Crutchlow was able to quickly find a fast pace and a 1.41.247 on only his third lap moved him into second position.

As track conditions and grip levels improved, Crutchlow was able to improve his pace to a 1.39.574 that secured him a brilliant third position on the timesheets with a gap of just 49 thousandths of a second behind factory Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

The majority of the afternoon session took place in sunny but breezy skies but the grey clouds that were a constant feature yesterday returned with 90 minutes of track time left and rain started to fall again.

The showers quickly stopped but with conditions far from ideal, Crutchlow took no further part in proceedings.

A dry track presented rookie Bradley Smith with the ideal opportunity to put in vital laps on slick tyres after yesterday's rain had restricted him to just 14-laps on Bridgestone's wet weather rubber.

Smith was able to complete 41 laps this afternoon and gain valuable time on track as he continued to adapt to the YZR-M1 machine. He set a personal best time of 1.41.398 that left him less than 0.1s outside of the top 10 and only 0.7 s away from the top six. He also grasped the chance to pursue nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi for a short spell earlier, learning how to improve his riding technique to suit the heavier and more powerful YZR-M1 after a two-year spell in the Moto2 category.

Cal Crutchlow 3rd 1.39.574 – 44 laps:

“I am very happy with how today went and it was good to get in some laps in the dry. We had a few things to try with the bike and the weather meant we could assess what was positive and negative. It wasn't easy at the start because the track was really dirty and then later on it got quite cold and slippery, but we got some important work completed on the set-up. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a great job and I am sure with some small adjustments tomorrow we can be faster. The pleasing aspect of today was I was very consistent and that makes me confident for when we come back for the race here. The fact that the top three was filled by Yamaha also bodes well for the race in a few weeks. I am right in the mix with the factory bikes again and this is very satisfying for me."

Bradley Smith 12th 1.41.398 – 41 laps:

“Today was positive because I really need dry track time and also to get some data of riding the bike on a track other than Sepang. I felt much happier than in Malaysia because it is a track I definitely like and we can see from the top three that it suits the Yamaha very well too. Immediately from the first exit I felt comfortable and knew my reference points quicker. It was easier for me to pick up the pace and we made some really good improvements and progress during the first four exits. We tried some set-up modifications to get an idea about my feedback and at that point we realized that we were going in the wrong direction and just as we came back to what I liked it started raining and that was a shame. I still need to improve a lot but the gap to the firs t six is not as big as Sepang and that is a positive. I followed Valentino for a short time today and it was a very interesting experience. I could pick up some things about riding technique and I could understand that I need to be a little smoother."

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Progress for Ducati Team at day two of Jerez test

Once again, bad weather affected the second day of the final IRTA-organized test ahead of the MotoGP championship that starts in two weeks. The track was wet in the morning and late afternoon, but there were nearly three hours of totally dry conditions just after lunchtime, enabling the Ducati Team to turn a decent number of laps and to try various settings with the Desmosedici GP13.

Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were able to verify the good progress made with the GP13’s revised weight distribution, which they had already tried at the second Sepang test last month. In addition, they tried a new aerodynamic solution, with a different fairing. They enjoyed positive results in the windy conditions, with the Italian posting the fifth-best time in the day’s standings. Nicky also worked well in the afternoon, but his planned attempt to lower his time with a new tyre was thwarted by the rain that ended the day prematurely.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 5th, 1:40.322 (30 laps)
“Looking at the result, you could certainly say the gap of seven tenths isn’t bad, but you can’t really refer to the times because it will probably be dry tomorrow and the track will be faster. Today we did a number of tests with the setup, and I’m curious to see what we can do tomorrow. Anyway, there are a number of aspects we have to work on because we’re still behind.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 10th, 1:41.325 (35 laps)
“We finally got a couple of good hours of track time. It was a bit windy, but the track dried up and grip was okay. I was struggling with the wind in the fast corners, and those are important at Jerez. We tried the different fairing, and it helped a little in the wind, but in the fast corners I didn’t have as good a feeling in the front. Things didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, though my hand was a little better in the dry than I had expected. It was a little weak, but I was able to ride 35 laps with no drama.”

Development Team rider Michele Pirro completed a total of 32 laps, working mainly on the chassis, posting a best time of 1:41.603 and finishing the day in fifteenth place.

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


Espargaró clocks thirteenth fastest time with De Puniet sixteenth

After yesterday's rain the second day of the final preseason test at Jerez proved to be largely fruitful, with the track drying out by lunchtime to allow for productive afternoon before the heavens opened once again at around 5pm. After a winter that has seen the time sheets dominated by Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Márquez at Sepang and Austin, today it was the turn of Valentino Rossi to return to the top and stake his claim as a contender for the crown of MotoGP World Champion once again.

After preferring not to ride in the mixed conditions yesterday the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team had plenty of work to do today. Aleix Espargaró made back-to-back comparisons between his bikes from last year and this year, the Spaniard finishing with the thirteenth fastest time of the day after 49 laps. His team-mate Randy De Puniet spent much of the day working through an issue with his engine braking and was fortunate to escape unhurt at the end of the day after a crash in turn eight.

13th Aleix Espargaró 1.41.444 (49 laps): "We finally had some dry track time today and we had a lot of work to do on the bike, so luckily every lap we did was productive. We still need to make some comparisons between last year's bike and this year's so we dialled them both in with similar set-ups and did some back-to-back tests. I love the new bike but I don't know it as well as the 2012 version so we're working on it. We tried a bunch of different set-up options on both bikes to try to find a more comfortable setting. If the weather is good tomorrow we will work on getting the lap time down."

16th Randy De Puniet 1.41.686 (37 laps): "Even though the weather was better today we had to wait until lunchtime before we could ride because the track was quite damp. At the start we had a few problems under braking, I didn't feel comfortable with the bike and I was struggling to stop it so we had to work on that all day, adjusting the engine braking. We had it sorted for the afternoon but it started raining. We wanted to do one last run at the end of the day just to test a few things but I crashed at turn eight. I was lucky I wasn't hurt because we don't know why it happened so we have work to do tomorrow."

More, from a press release issued by Honda:


The second day of the three day MotoGP test at Jerez began with the same wet conditions as yesterday that caused disruption for the entire opening day. It was lunchtime before the rain stopped and the track began to dry out allowing the riders to fit slick tyres and get down to serious testing and development work. The rain returned at 17.00. ending any chance of faster lap times.

Dani Pedrosa was again the fastest RC213V rider. The Repsol Honda teamster spent a large part of the dry time confirming machine settings developed at earlier MotoGP winter tests concentrating on rear suspension and electronics. His Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez worked on rear end grip in a bid to improve his performance but ended the day a little frustrated that his efforts did not deliver the hoped for results. Both riders need dry track time tomorrow in order to complete the programme HRC engineers have set for Jerez.

Alvaro Bautista's day ended early, two hours before the end when he crashed his Fun&Go Honda Gresini RC213V. Bautista was taken to the track side medical center for treatment which revealed two small fractures to the fingers his left hand. However, Bautista had made good use of the dry track top to record sixth fastest time of the day while testing new Showa suspension parts.

Stefan Bradl was another RC213V rider to fall, his second crash in two days, the slippery surface was his undoing today but he escaped unhurt and will be fit to test tomorrow when he hopes for optimum conditions to complete his winter test programme by fine-tuning the set-up of his RC213V.
Fun&Go Honda Gresini CRT rider Bryan Staring got the dry weather he so desperately needed to learn all he could about his new mount and the Jerez circuit and was delighted with his performance on day two of the test. The Australian ran 39 laps today and set fast consistent times during the dry period to end the session with growing confidence in the machine and his Gresini Honda pit crew.

Honda rider quotes:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Hnda: 4th. 1m 39.630s.
"Today we were lucky enough to be able to complete some dry laps which was important, even though the track was quite dirty. We reconfirmed some things from the other tests here at a different track, nothing really new. Unfortunately we were not able to complete the whole programme before the rain came again but happy that we did some laps. Let's hope tomorrow stays dry so we can continue our programme and finish in the best way before Qatar"

Alvaro Bautista, Fun&Go Honda Gresini: 6th. 1m 40.686s.
"We didn't need the crash because we were having a good day and getting a lot of work done together with Showa. The latest updates were working well but we didn't get to finish the programme we had planned. It's a shame but the only consolation is that we would have had to stop shortly afterwards anyway because of the rain.
Unfortunately I ended up with fractures to two of my fingers and a knee strain which has put the final day of the test in doubt. We will let the Clinica Mobile doctors assess my condition in the morning and take it from there."

Marc Marquex, Repsol Hnda: 7th. 1m 40.714s.
"We managed 36 laps and improved quite a lot from the beginning to the end but we can still improve a lot further. At first I found myself riding the Moto2 lines but gradually I learnt and began taking different lines which suit the MotoGP machine better. We worked on the rear grip and struggled to improve, maybe we spent too much time in this area. However, we fixed some problems and now we have some new issues to deal with that we must work on tomorrow"

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda: 8th. 1m 40.783s.
"Today it was not the perfect day for us but at least we had some dry conditions. However, poor grip conditions after yesterdays washout with the front end going into corners, in the braking area. It took us some time to analyze the problem and I also crashed because if a lack of confidence with the front. When we had adjusted the problem I could lap with more confidence increasing the felling with the bike but I know we still have to fine-tune the package to go faster."

Bryan Staring, Fun&Go Honda Gresini: 21st. 1m 42.107s.
"I am really happy because we have been able to make a lot of progress compared to yesterday and, with the help of the team, set some fast and consistent lap times. I have to say that I really love Jerez, I reckon it is one of the nicest tracks in the world and that has given me another push. Now we need to confirm our pace tomorrow and try to show everybody and myself what my true potential is."

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