Archive - 2012 - Race Or Practice Result
The penultimate day of combined testing for the MotoGP and World Superbike teams at Jerez brought good news for Ducati, in both series. Nicky Hayden ended the day as fastest, posting the fastest timed lap set by a Ducati this year at Jerez, just a hair outside the 1:39 bracket at 1:40.090. That is nearly half a second quicker than the time he posted during qualifying back in April, despite cold conditions which made it difficult to get the Bridgestone tires up to temperature. Hayden was the fastest man of the day (using the chassis raced at the end of the 2012 season, not the evolution brought to the track for testing), three quarters of a second quicker than Marco Melandri on the BMW Italia WSBK machine. Melandri picked up the pace quickly at the test, closing in on the times set by Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes, both of whom have now flown home, Aprilia and Kawasaki having completed their test programs.
Ducati's WSBK and MotoGP riders have joined some of the World Superbike men at Jerez as testing continues, offering an interesting comparison between the two series. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the fastest time was set by a World Superbike rider, Eugene Laverty taking top spot on the factory Aprilia, having already spent two previous days on the track. Tom Sykes ended the day in 2nd, the Kawasakis once again running without transponders, while Nicky Hayden ended with the 3rd fastest time on his first day of testing aboard the Ducati GP13 Desmosedici MotoGP machine. Hayden was two thirds of a second behind Laverty, but it is the American's first day back in the saddle, and the Ducati MotoGP bike has notoriously struggled around the Jerez circuit. Hayden was within three tenths of his qualifying time from earlier in the year.
Michele Pirro continues to impress as Ducati test ride, once again going faster than Andrea Iannone. Meanwhile, the Ducati Panigale clearly has a lot of work left to be done, Carlos Checa nearly three seconds slower than Laverty on the Aprilia. Slowest man of the day was Andrea Dovizioso, though he rode very little due to neck problem, his neck having locked up solid after making an unexpected motion.
The riders return to the track again on Thursday.
The weather offered the HRC riders another window of opportunity on the final day of testing at Sepang, with the track dry enough for a few more hours of riding on Wednesday. Marc Marquez leaves the circuit as fastest of the two full-time MotoGP riders, the young Spanish rookie unable to match his time from Tuesday as he worked through a range of set up options ahead of the test in February. A longer run had been planned at the end of the day, but the return of the rain put a halt to any such ambitions.
Alvaro Bautista was also slower on the final day of testing, his gap to Marquez consistently just under six tenths of a second, just as it was on Tuesday. Bautista spent more time evaluating the Showa suspension and new brake parts from Nissin, as part of a program to decide whether to continue with the Japanese-built suspension and brakes or not. At the end of the test, Bautista told Jose Maroto of Spanish magazine Motociclismo that he and the team had decided to continue with the Showa suspension, a decision that will please HRC, as Honda plan to use Showa suspension on their production racer to be launched in 2014.
Tom Sykes was once again fastest man of the day at Jerez, despite a small crash in the middle of the day. Sylvain Guintoli is quickly up to speed on the factory Aprilia, ending day 2 in 2nd, and just over quarter of a second behind the Kawasaki man, and half a second ahead of his new teammate Eugene Laverty. Loris Baz is 4th fastest, a second behind his teammate, though the times for the Kawasaki men are both unofficial, and given by the teams, Kawasaki not having fitted a transponder.
Among the WSS riders at Jerez, Michael van der Mark continues to impress, the Ten Kate Honda man once again topping the timesheet, nearly half a second quicker than the reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu on the Kawasaki. Fabien Foret is third fastest, but he is over a second slower than Sofuoglu, and over 1.5 seconds behind Van der Mark. The young Dutchman has proven himself a fast learner aboard the Honda Supersport bike.
Testing continues tomorrow, when Ducati's MotoGP and WSBK teams will join the riders, as well as the BMW WSBK Team. Honda, meanwhile, will be calling it a day.
The weather that had threatened to disrupt the HRC test at Sepang held off on Tuesday, allowing Alvaro Bautista, Marc Marquez, and Honda test riders Kousuki Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi to put in some serious testing at the Malaysian track. Though wet early on, the track had dried up enough by the end of the morning for times to start to improve.
Marc Marquez ended the day as the fastest man, the young Spaniard continuing his rapid adaptation to riding a Honda MotoGP bike. Despite having a total of just 115 laps on a MotoGP bike, his time of 2:01.355 is already fast enough to have put him in 8th during qualifying for the race at Sepang back in October, and that was against riders with almost a whole season of racing behind them at that point. Marquez also tested the 2013 version of the RC213V, though his main focus was working on his riding style and learning to go fast on a MotoGP bike. So far, he is on course to do that.
While Honda's MotoGP riders have headed to the far east to continue testing, their World Superbike counterparts have trekked south to Jerez, joining a large group of WSBK riders testing at the circuit. The choice of the World Superbike men proved to be a far better one than HRC's, with the test taking place under close to ideal conditions at the circuit in the south of Spain.
The name at the top of the timesheets is no surprise, Tom Sykes carrying the momentum he gained at the end of the 2012 WSBK season on into testing. Though both Kawasaki men went out without transponders, their reported times were fast, Sykes ending the day with a lap of 1:41.3, nearly nine tenths quicker than anyone else. Second fastest man was Michel Fabrizio, the Italian now riding an Aprilia RSV4 with the Red Devils Roma squad, and impressing in his early rides on the bike. Fabrizio ended ahead of factory Aprilia man Eugene Laverty, though the margin was slim, just over five hundredths of a second.
Rain continues to plague MotoGP testing, this time severely curtailing testing for the Honda teams out at Sepang. Dani Pedrosa's decision to sit this test out may well prove to be sensible, with rain looking likely to severely restrict testing over all three days at Sepang.
The first day of the test saw Marc Marquez, Alvaro Bautista, and Honda test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi sit out part of the morning session, waiting for the weather to clear and the track to dry. It eventually did, giving the Honda men a couple of hours' dry track time after noon before the rain cut the test short again at 2pm local time. The temperatures, humidity and rain left the track dirty and lacking grip, but that did not prevent Alvaro Bautista from getting close to the existing race lap record at the Malaysian circuit, though the Go&Fun Gresini rider was nearly 2 seconds off pole time. Bautista had spent the day testing uprated suspension supplied by Showa, in an attempt to allow him to close the gap to the Ohlins runners.
The heavy rain promised for the second day of the MotoGP test at Valencia never came, the track drying towards the end of the day, allowing almost everyone to get out and put in a number of laps on a dry track. Dani Pedrosa ended the day on top of the timesheets, posting a time underneath the race lap record, a sign that the condition of the track was good enough at the end. Cal Crutchlow ended as 2nd fastest, a third of a second behind Pedrosa, and a little over a tenth quicker than Stefan Bradl, who has just announced a contract extension with LCR and HRC.
A dry track allowed Marc Marquez to make his debut aboard the RC213V, the young Spaniard making a very impressive debut. Marquez built speed quickly, ending the day a little over a second behind Pedrosa after just 27 laps on the bike, and three tenths slower than Alvaro Bautista. Andrea Dovizioso was also quicker than the first day, finally getting some dry time on the Ducati and ending nine tenths behind Pedrosa. Bradley Smith put in laps on both a damp track and in the dry, finishing the day 2.2 seconds behind Pedrosa.
Times at the end of second day of testing at Valencia:
The weather blighted the first day of testing at Valencia, with half-decent conditions in the morning with a damp track giving way to harder rain as the day went on. The wet weather meant that a number of riders decided to pass up on testing today, meaning that for example both Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith did not make it out onto the track today. Marquez will be testing at Sepang at the end of the month, while Smith will ride tomorrow if the heavy rain which is expected arrives.
Two eagerly awaited debuts did take place, however: Valentino Rossi turned a number of laps on the Yamaha, the Italian quickly up to speed and looking much more comfortable on the bike, despite the conditions. Andrea Dovizioso also took to the track on the factory Ducati for the first time, taking the place of the departing Rossi. It was far from ideal, but Dovizioso said afterwards he had been positively surprised by the bike. It was too early to make comparisons with the Yamaha and Honda - dry time on the bike would be needed before it would be possible to do that - but the engine had been less aggressive than he expected and the bike had better traction in the wet than the Yamaha, something he had noted when riding with Rossi earlier this season.
The 2013 season is already well underway, and already it's been badly affected by the rain. Though Tuesday dawned bright and sunny, the first showers started moving in shortly before 10am, when the test was due to start, sprinkling just enough to make slicks a risky proposition, but not enough to be able to use wets properly. It started raining more heavily later, and with a track now fully wet, there has been a mixture of riders on the track already.
Given the massive difference in the conditions, the times are meaningless. Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl got out early to test the track, but soon headed back once it started raining more heavily. Bradl has two bikes in his garage, one 2012 satellite spec RC213V, and one factory Honda RC213V. Valentino Rossi made a very early appearance, rolling out onto the track immediately after 10am. Rossi is notorious for hating mornings, and this is probably the earliest he has ever taken to the track at a test, normally only rolling out an hour or so after everyone else.
Rossi does look supremely comfortable aboard the Yamaha M1, however. During one wet stint he was out posting consistent 1'47 laps, and looking very comfortable. Andrea Dovizioso, out for the first time on the Ducati, was nowhere near as fast, running in the 1'50s at the same time Rossi was lapping several seconds faster.
Pol Espargaro has started the 2013 Moto2 season in much the same way he finished the last. The HP Pons rider was the fastest man of the day at a sunny if rather chilly Valencia, posting a time already a couple of tenths quicker than his pole record set on Saturday. Julian Simon was immediately quicker on the Kalex than he was on the Suter, having moved from Team BQR to Team Italtrans, while Mika Kallio was 3rd quickest on the Marc VDS Racing bike. Nico Terol underlined his speed at the Valencia circuit by ending the session in 4th.
It was a day of bike and team swaps, though riders were being reshuffled rather than having new riders enter the class. The rookies are few, though Tech 3 has a brace of them in Danny Kent and Louis Rossi. Sandro Cortese is also new to the class, though he did not test at Valencia, but will make his Moto2 debut at Albacete instead later in the week.
Unofficial times for the Moto2 class, provided by the circuit:
Results and summary of an incident-packed final MotoGP race of the 2012 season at Valencia:
Results and summary of an impressive Moto2 race at Valencia:
Results and summary of a chaotic wet Moto3 race at Valencia: