Latest MotoGP Results
Maverick Viñales remains the man to beat in the Moto3 class, the JHK T-Shirt LaGlisse rider topping the timesheets on the second day, just as he had done on the first. The Spaniard was fast, beating the Moto3 race lap record by over a second on Wednesday, helped in no small part by the wind having dropped off since yesterday.
Alex Rins leads the chase for Viñales, the Spaniard just under a quarter of a second off the pace of his compatriot, while yesterday's 2nd fastest man Luis Salom has dropped to 3rd, though only a couple of hundredths slower than Rins. Romano Fenati managed to disrupt the KTM party, the Italian finding one and a half seconds from his FTR Honda, to leap up to 4th place, three quarters of a second behind Viñales, and just ahead of Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin on the AirAsia KTM. Khairuddin was the last rider to get within a second of fastest man Viñales, the rest still some way off the pace.
Nico Terol got his 2013 season off to a good start at Valencia, the Mapfre Aspar rider ending the first day of testing on top of the timesheets. Local boy Terol, who has a corner named after him at the Valencia circuit, is always fast at the track, and Tuesday was no exception, the Spaniard ending in the top three in all three Moto2 sessions.
Terol leads a group of Kalexes, Julian Simon's good form on the Italtrans bike continuing, ending ahead of 2012 Moto2 runner up Pol Espargaro. Espargaro, hotly tipped for the 2013 title, took his time getting up to speed, ending the first two sessions in 5th and 10th respectively, before pulling out a blistering lap at the end of the day to top the final session, and take 3rd overall. Scott Redding had a solid first day of testing at Valencia, the Marc VDS rider benefiting from the combined rider/weight limit, as it brings the lighter riders much closer to the combined weight of Redding and his Kalex Moto2 machine. Times among the Moto2 class are tight: under two tenths separate the top three, while the top ten are all within a second of Terol's best lap.
Maverick Viñales topped the timesheets on the first day of testing for the Moto3 class at Valencia, leading a KTM charge which saw Austrian-powered bikes take eight of the top ten slots, with only Romano Fenati on the FTR Honda in 6th, and Efren Vazquez in 8th on the Suter-built Mahindra.
The first day of testing has already seen the title favorites put a gap between themselves and the chasing group. Viñales was fastest, with Luis Salom just fifteen hundredths behind him, and both men well under the Moto3 pole record for the Valencia circuit, which stands at 1:41.263. Alex Rins is the 3rd fastest man, the Spanish youngster just under six tenths behind his compatriots, and the last man within a second of Viñales. Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin leads the chasing group, just over a second behind the JHK T-Shirt LaGlisse rider, and three tenths ahead of Aspar's Jonas Folger.
The first test of the 2013 MotoGP season is completed, and Dani Pedrosa has completed a clean sweep, topping the timesheets on all three days. The Repsol Honda man confirmed his role as title favorite by posting a fast lap under the existing pole record set by Jorge Lorenzo last year. He also opened up a serious gap to the trio who have been chasing him all test long, putting nearly a third of a second on Jorge Lorenzo, the Yamaha man falling just short of his own pole record. What may worry Lorenzo more is the fact that Pedrosa declared at the end of the day that his objective was not to be fastest, but test the bike.
Valentino Rossi closed the gap to his teammate, ending the test a tenth from the time set by Lorenzo, though still four tenths from Pedrosa's best lap. Rossi also leapfrogged over Marc Marquez, finally finishing ahead of the Repsol Honda rookie after ending the first two days behind him. Marquez finished as 4th fastest, six tenths behind Pedrosa, and the young Spaniard also had his first crash of the season, losing the front end on the way into the final corner. Marquez walked away unhurt, his Repsol RC213V did not fare quite so well.
Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets once again on the second day of testing at Sepang, the Repsol Honda man getting off to a flying start and cracking into the 2'00s early in the session. He was joined there by Jorge Lorenzo, the Factory Yamaha rider once again shadowing Pedrosa, ending the day just two hundredths behind the Repsol rider. Marc Marquez confirmed his first day times were no fluke, the only other man to post a lap in the 2'00s, though the rookie was a quarter of a second slower than his teammate on Wednesday, losing a fraction of the ground. Valentino Rossi once again took 4th spot, the Italian still just under half a second off the two title favorites. The Honda men continued to work on engine durability, while Yamaha riders Lorenzo and Rossi had new engines with more acceleration to test, and a new chassis aimed at curing the pumping from the rear wheel of the bike.
2013 MotoGP Sepang 1 Test, Day 1 Times: Pedrosa Leads, Marquez Impresses, Rossi Returns, Ducati Disappoints
Dani Pedrosa has ended the first full day of MotoGP testing at Sepang at the top of the timesheets. The Repsol Honda man was fast throughout the day, finally setting a time that would not be beaten with an hour left of the test.
Though Pedrosa's best time would not be beaten, it was challenged, Jorge Lorenzo using the final minutes of the session to post his fastest lap of the day, falling just eight thousandths short of Pedrosa, but still right on the pace. Most impressive performance of the day goes to Marc Marquez, who was fast out of the box, led the session at one point and finished the day less than five hundredths of a second behind his teammate. Marquez had been expected to make a strong start, and be within a few tenths of Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but getting within a few hundredths can be classed as exceptional.
Valentino Rossi's return to Yamaha was a happy one: the Italian was fast and smooth, leading the session at one stage and ending the day in touch with the leaders, four tenths behind Pedrosa, just under four tenths slower than Jorge Lorenzo. Stefan Bradl also impressed on the LCR Honda, now in factory spec, taking 5th spot behind Rossi, and just under a tenth ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man Cal Crutchlow, who ended the day in 6th. Alvaro Bautista was the last man within a second of Pedrosa, the Gresini Honda man eight tenths off the pace of the Repsol rider.
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.
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: