Archive - Feb 2012
Press releases from the teams that rode on the second day of the MotoGP test at Sepang:
Yamaha's Ben Spies topped the second day of testing at Sepang, but the session was once again badly affected by rain. While vastly improved track conditions in the morning saw most riders take over a second off their times from yesterday, heavy rain started after just a couple of hours, calling a premature halt to the proceedings for everyone. Once the downpour eased off a little, track action resumed as the teams started work on the wet setup of their bikes.
In the dry conditions of the morning, Spies led a Yamaha whitewash. The Texan was faster - by the slimmest of margins, a few thousandths of a second - than his factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, while Andrea Dovizioso ended the day as 3rd fastest, beating his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Cal Crutchlow for the first time since joining the team. Behind the Yamahas, Nicky Hayden led the Ducatis, fractionally behind Crutchlow and a quarter of a second faster than the Pramac satellite bike of Hector Barbera. Valentino Rossi continued to work on the revised electronics package of the Ducati, ending the day in 7th, behind Barbera but within a second of Spies.
The justification for flying halfway around the world to go testing in Sepang is simple: While Europe is still dealing with the after-effects of winter, plagued by cold, wind and rain, the temperature at Sepang is reliably warm, and despite the usual tropical storms in the afternoon, the chance of having a dry track to test on is very good.
Of course, it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes, the rain falls much earlier, and the intensity of tropical thunderstorms makes it unsafe to go out on the track until the storm has passed, and the amount of rain that falls leaves a lot of water on the track.
Such was the case on the first day of the second MotoGP test at Sepang. A tropical storm moved in shortly after lunchtime, and the heavy rain left wet patches on the track for most of the afternoon. All the air miles gathered by riders and team staff flying in from around the world were mostly in vain, as they sat in their garages waiting for the rain to pass.
2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 1 Press Releases - Including An On-Board Video Lap Of Sepang With Casey Stoner
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after day 1 of the second test at Sepang. Included is a video lap of the Sepang circuit, shot from on-board Casey Stoner's Honda RC213V:
Casey Stoner sits on top of the timesheets at the end of a weather-affected first day of testing at Sepang. The Repsol Honda man ended the day ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa, with the factory Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies behind. Alvaro Bautista put the satellite Gresini Honda into 5th, ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden, while Cal Crutchlow ended the session in 7th, just ahead of Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa and Lorenzo were the only riders to get within a second of Stoner's best time, however.
With heavy rainfall interrupting proceedings shortly after lunchtime, track time was limited; few riders put in much more than 30 laps, with Casey Stoner and Avintia's Yonny Hernandez - the Colombian having saved his MotoGP ride by promising to pay the sponsorship he will bring in installments - the most garage-bound of riders with just 16 apiece. The rain came on top of a track that was already dirty from car races held at the Sepang circuit just over a week ago, and the intense track temperatures meant that grip levels were much lower. With difficult conditions, posting fast times was hard, despite the lower grip removing some of the chatter which the riders had suffered at the previous test.
Where the first MotoGP test at Sepang at the end of January was an emotionally-charged affair - returning to the Malaysian circuit for the first time since the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli, and with massive anticipation of the brand new GP12, designed and built in record tempo over the winter break - the second test there seems almost humdrum in comparison. With just four weeks between the first and second tests for the MotoGP class, there has been no time for radical changes to the bikes that rolled out here in January, the focus instead being on the hard grind of crunching the numbers on the massive quantities of data that are gathered at every test, analyzing and testing the setup of the new machines, and finding out exactly how to go fastest with the bikes.
But if the glamor of the first test is missing, these will be a far more telling and a far more important three days than the first run out of the year in January. The easy improvements, achieved by grinding off the rough edges of the machine, have been found, and now the teams will focus on polishing, polishing and more polishing, looking for hundredths where previously they sought tenths of a second. The data from this test will form the basis for the bikes in race trim.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the season opener at Phillip Island:
If the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship taught us anything, it's that this looks to be a two-horse race. Assuming no major wrenches are thrown in the works. Aprilia's Max Biaggi and Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa had the pace of everyone else in the field covered. Handily. And each of the early championship-protagonists cruised to victory without having to worry about the other after a couple of off-track excursions.
Broc Parkes was again the fastest man on track in Sunday morning's Supersport warm up session. The pole man finished more than a half-second quicker than Fabien Foret, who was followed home by Sam Lowes, Vladimir Leonov, and Kenan Sofuoglu.