2013 MotoGP Sepang 1 Test Times Comparison: Day 1 vs Day 2, 2012 vs 2013

Times dropped for the MotoGP men on the second day of testing at Sepang, much as you might expect once the riders have had a night's sleep to assimilate what they have learned from the previous day's testing. Comparing the times between the first and second days of testing provides an interesting view of where improvements were found, and who had gained the most between the two days.

The average improvement for all of the riders was around seven tenths of a second between the first and second days, but there were a few truly notable exceptions. The gains - or in some cases, losses - are shown in the two tables below, the first sorted in order of the fastest times set on the second day of testing, the second table sorted by improvement. 

Biggest winners of the day are Ben Spies and Colin Edwards, both gaining over two seconds over their times from Tuesday, but as both are suffering with injury - Spies is still coming back from major shoulder surgery at the end of last year, while Edwards suffered a recurrence of a neck problem - there are extra factors at play here.

Of the uninjured riders, the biggest leap was made by Bradley Smith, the young British rider making huge steps on the Tech 3 Yamaha. Smith cut over 1.5 seconds off his time from Tuesday, and is rapidly gaining confidence on the Yamaha M1. The improvement is visible from his body language - Smith admitted to being very tentative on the bike yesterday, while feeling much more comfortable on the second day - but it is also clear in his times. When comparing Smith's progress with Stefan Bradl from 2012 (see table at bottom), Smith is on target to match Bradl's trajectory in 2013. Smith is already nearly half a second quicker than Bradl was on the second day of the first Sepang test in 2012, and he is also closer to the front runners. In 2012, Bradl was 1.5 seconds slower than fastest man Casey Stoner, today, Smith was 1.4 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa.

Danilo Petrucci also had a good day, as the teams start to get to grip with the spec Magneti Marelli ECU. Petrucci took just under a second and a half off his best time from yesterday, helped in no small part by the spec ECU, with the IODA team now able to start switching on functions like traction control. Petrucci is closing in on the Aprilia ART machines, and the pace of progress is good. The bike is still a long way off the prototypes, but the CRT field is starting to bunch up.

Good news also at Ducati, where the three riders without an injury also made a big step forward. Andrea Iannone improved the most, taking 1.331 seconds off his best time from yesterday, but the factory men of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso also made big steps forward, 1.226 and 1.156 seconds respectively. The Ducatis are still a long way behind - Hayden is over a second and a half behind Pedrosa - but the gap is not as embarrassing as it was on Tuesday. 

Of the favorites, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo improved by nearly identical amounts, both men taking six tenths off their best times from Tuesday. Valentino Rossi found fractionally less on his second full day back on the Yamaha, improving by 0.57 seconds, while Marc Marquez made the least improvement, taking just under four tenths off his time from the day before. Given how fast Marquez already is on just his fourth full day on the bike, he could be forgiven for not improving quite so rapidly. He was much more consistent, however, and this too is important.

The comparison with the test times from 2012 continues after the day 1 vs day 2 tables.

Day 1 vs Day 2 Times, ranked by Day 2 time

No. Rider Bike Day 1 Day 2 Diff
26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:01.157 2:00.549 -0.608
99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.165 2:00.568 -0.597
93 Marc Marquez Honda 2:01.201 2:00.803 -0.398
46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:01.584 2:01.038 -0.546
35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:01.881 2:01.311 -0.570
6 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:01.789 2:01.369 -0.420
19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:01.981 2:01.729 -0.252
38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2:03.460 2:01.931 -1.529
69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:03.336 2:02.110 -1.226
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:03.535 2:02.379 -1.156
72 Kosuke Akiyoshi Honda 2:02.972 2:02.526 -0.446
T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha 2:02.968 2:02.701 -0.267
11 Ben Spies Ducati 2:05.086 2:03.002 -2.084
T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha 2:03.456 2:03.156 -0.300
29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2:04.500 2:03.169 -1.331
41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 2:03.782 2:03.251 -0.531
14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 2:04.283 2:03.791 -0.492
9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 2:05.753 2:04.284 -1.469
37 Takumi Takahashi Honda 2:05.154 2:04.559 -0.595
7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 2:05.919 2:04.786 -1.133
8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 2:05.469 2:04.989 -0.480
17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 2:05.694 2:05.028 -0.666
33 Michael Laverty Aprilia ART 2:06.507 2:05.417 -1.090
71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 2:06.426 2:05.721 -0.705
68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 2:05.656 2:05.837 +0.181
5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 2:08.206 2:06.205 -2.001
67 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 2:07.044 2:06.898 -0.146
52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 2:07.015 2:21.512 +14.497

 

Day 1 vs Day 2 Times, ranked by improvement

No. Rider Bike Day 1 Day 2 Diff
11 Ben Spies Ducati 2:05.086 2:03.002 -2.084
5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 2:08.206 2:06.205 -2.001
38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2:03.460 2:01.931 -1.529
9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 2:05.753 2:04.284 -1.469
29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2:04.500 2:03.169 -1.331
69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:03.336 2:02.110 -1.226
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:03.535 2:02.379 -1.156
7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 2:05.919 2:04.786 -1.133
33 Michael Laverty Aprilia ART 2:06.507 2:05.417 -1.090
71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 2:06.426 2:05.721 -0.705
17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 2:05.694 2:05.028 -0.666
26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:01.157 2:00.549 -0.608
99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.165 2:00.568 -0.597
37 Takumi Takahashi Honda 2:05.154 2:04.559 -0.595
35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:01.881 2:01.311 -0.570
46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:01.584 2:01.038 -0.546
41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 2:03.782 2:03.251 -0.531
14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 2:04.283 2:03.791 -0.492
8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 2:05.469 2:04.989 -0.480
72 Kosuke Akiyoshi Honda 2:02.972 2:02.526 -0.446
6 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:01.789 2:01.369 -0.420
93 Marc Marquez Honda 2:01.201 2:00.803 -0.398
T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha 2:03.456 2:03.156 -0.300
T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha 2:02.968 2:02.701 -0.267
19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:01.981 2:01.729 -0.252
67 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 2:07.044 2:06.898 -0.146
68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 2:05.656 2:05.837 +0.181
52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 2:07.015 2:21.512 +14.497

 

Comparing the improvements between the second day of testing in 2013 with the second day of testing in 2012, the biggest surprise is just how much faster Dani Pedrosa is this year. Pedrosa is nearly a second faster than he was at the 2012 test and goes from being fourth fastest to topping the timesheets. Pedrosa's improvement is second only to Stefan Bradl, but Bradl's improvement is expected, given that 2012 was the German's first year on the bike. The third most improved rider is Valentino Rossi, another unsurprising name given the Italian's switch from the Ducati, on which he struggled so badly, back to his beloved Yamaha.

Jorge Lorenzo also made a good step forward, improving his time by exactly half a second from the year before, while the median improvement is around two tenths of a second, Cal Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden, test rider Katsayuki Nakasuga and Alvaro Bautista all improving by around the same amount.

Comparing the plights of Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso is also interesting. Spies is nearly two seconds slower than on the Factory Yamaha last year, when he was second fastest at the test behind Casey Stoner. How much of that is down to his recovering shoulder is unclear, but it will be a factor. The difference in Dovizioso's times is positively intriguing: Sepang was the second opportunity at which Dovizioso had a chance to ride the Tech 3 Yamaha last year, and he took some time to adapt his style. Dovizioso was just 9th fastest after the second day of testing in 2012, 1.265 behind Stoner. In 2013, on the Ducati Desmosedici, Doviziosi was 10th, 1.830 slower than Pedrosa. Yet he is only two tenths slower than he was last year, giving some insight into both how hard it is to switch bikes - even when switching from the Honda to the Yamaha, both of which are acknowledged to be much easier to ride - and that the Ducati may not be quite as bad as it looks. If Dovizioso can find some of the improvement he found during 2012 on the Yamaha as the season progressed, the Italian could do better than many fear he will do. The numbers suggest that this story is not quite as cut and dried as many believe.

Sepang 1 Day 2 2013 vs Day 2 2012 Times

No. Rider 2013 Bike Time 2012 Bike Time Diff
6 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:01.369 Honda 2:02.414 -1.045
26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:00.549 Honda 2:01.508 -0.959
46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:01.038 Ducati 2:01.886 -0.848
99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:00.568 Yamaha 2:01.068 -0.500
35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:01.311 Yamaha 2:01.565 -0.254
69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:02.110 Ducati 2:02.354 -0.244
T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha 2:02.701 Yamaha Test 2:02.941 -0.240
19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:01.729 Honda 2:01.933 -0.204
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:02.379 Yamaha 2:02.160 +0.219
5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 2:06.205 Suter BMW CRT 2:05.603 +0.602
11 Ben Spies Ducati 2:03.002 Yamaha 2:01.052 +1.950
17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 2:05.028 Ducati 2:02.598 +2.430
8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 2:04.989 Ducati 2:01.788 +3.201

 

Rookie Comparison: Bradley Smith 2013 vs Stefan Bradl 2012, Sepang 1, Day 2

  Bradl vs Smith       Diff Gap to fastest
2013 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2:01.931 -0.483 1.382
2012   Stefan Bradl Honda 2:02.414   1.519

 

Times dropped for the MotoGP men on the second day of testing at Sepang, much as you might expect once the riders have had a night's sleep to assimilate what they have learned from the previous day's testing. Comparing the times between the first and second days of testing provides an interesting view of where improvements were found, and who had gained the most between the two days.The average improvement for all of the riders was around seven tenths of a second between the first and second days, but there were a few truly notable exceptions. The gains - or in some cases, losses - are shown in the two tables below, the first sorted in order of the fastest times set on the second day of testing, the second table sorted by improvement. Biggest winners of the day are Ben Spies and Colin Edwards, both gaining over two seconds over their times from Tuesday, but as both are suffering with injury - Spies is still coming back from major shoulder surgery at the end of last year, while Edwards suffered a recurrence of a neck problem - there are extra factors at play here.

Comments

How about 2007 vs 2013

Interesting that Ducati still haven't posted a time faster than Casey's best race lap set back in 2007. On the other hand the next best Ducati race lap time back in 2007 was Capirossi with a 2.03.4 so they're comfortably ahead of that.. still one might expect more given the 6 years of development and an extra 200cc!

Total votes: 36

Faster problems

I'm asking a few questions:
It's my understanding that the big advantage the Duc had in 2007 was the GPS fuel mapping - the bike knew to run lean into cornders (saving fuel) and rich coming out of corners and down the straits (mad power)- which caught the other teams off guard. True? False?
And I'm not taking anything away from Casey's talent.
Then everybody caught up on that bit of tech.
At some point, no matter what you do to the bike or how amazing the top riders are - eventualy aren't the tires the limiting factor?
So isn't there an absolute max lap time that even with another years worth of new bike the tires will let go at a certain point?

Total votes: 29

It's pretty much all about

It's pretty much all about who can take the tires to the max of their potential in more area around the track than the next guy.

Even club racers can slide a bike out of a corner, that isn't what made Casey so special. He could flirt with the limit of the 'stones pretty much any where he chose to.

Total votes: 33

I'm comparing Ducati to Ducati

So no - There is definitely no electronic advantage compared to today's GP13s in fact there would be a large disadvantage, and of course no advantage over the other Ducati's in 2007 (and I question how much of an advantage it was over the other bikes in 07 considering Capirossi finished that year a distant 7th - and who's best Sepang lap time that year was only 12th fastest over a second off Stoners)..

Tyres maybe, but there again I would say the Bridgestone RACE tyre would have improved over the years.

Total votes: 30

Sector times

Is anybody keeping track of sector times?

Total votes: 24

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