–  MotoGP 2013 – Sepang Test – Day Two
–  Weather: Hot, sunny, afternoon rain – Track temperature: 38 degrees – Ambient temperature: 30 degrees

Sepang Day Two Times:

1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.549s (Lap 29/37)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.568s (6/52)
3. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.803s (20/34)
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 1.038s (20/45)
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.311s (31/41)
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.369s (5/31)
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.729s (18/46)
8. Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.931s (32/40)
9. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.110s (30/51)
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.379s (33/51)
11. Kosuke Akiyoshi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 2.526s (16/29)
12. Katsayuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.701s (10/30)
13. Ben Spies USA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 3.002s (22/27)
14. Wataru Yoshikawa JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 3.156s (6/39)
15. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 3.169s (15/29)
16. Aleix Espargaro ESP Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 3.251s (29/40)
17. Randy De Puniet FRA Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 3.791s (38/63)
18. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 4.284s (47/48)
19. Takumi Takahashi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 4.559s (41/44)
20. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.786s (23/32)
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.989s (15/28)
22. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB (ART CRT) 2m 5.028s (12/54)
23. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.417s (13/31)
24. Claudio Corti ITA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 5.721s (21/22)
25. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.837s (27/36)
26. Colin Edwards USA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 6.205s (22/23)
27. Bryan Staring AUS Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 2m 6.898s (22/33)
28. Lukas Pesek CZE IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 21.512s (12/14)
* Control ECU.

On the second day of MotoGP™ testing in Sepang, which was narrowly cut short by rain, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo that led an ever-improving grid.

Whilst the two Spanish front runners were edging ever closer to Lorenzo’s record set last year, with Pedrosa posting a 2.00’549, just 0.019s ahead of his compatriot, it was the mid-section and back-end of the group that showed the greatest improvements, with the likes of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s rookie Brit, Bradley Smith, improving by 1.5s over yesterday to come eighth and Ducati Team finding well over half a second more.

But the main contenders remained the same as yesterday, with Pedrosa and his rookie teammate Marc Márquez, who placed third, working on the RC213V’s electronics package and weight balance, whist both putting in impressive times. And it was the same story for Yamaha once more, as Italian Valentino Rossi continued his form from yesterday, improving his time as well, though not making ground on the top three. Lorenzo and Rossi continued to evaluate the 2013 M1, in a bid to decide which parts are an improvement over last year’s title-winning machine.

Behind Rossi in fifth, Tech 3’s British hopeful Cal Crutchlow once again proved he is continuing where he left off last year, finishing just over seven tenths off the top working on corner enrty, whilst LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl had a less than ideal day evaluating his new machine, after doing fewer laps due to feeling unwell in the morning. He finished one position lower than yesterday, albeit still managing to keep Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista at bay in seventh, as he continues on his quest for the best Showa suspension set-up and bike geometry.

Tech 3’s Bradley Smith ultimately came in just over 1.3s below Pedrosa, with Ducati’s American Nicky Hayden and Italian Andrea Dovizioso in tow, as the pair managed to significantly improve their pace from yesterday. Looming just behind were HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi and Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who managed to finish ahead of Pramac Racing’s US rider Ben Spies, who not only put in more laps today after shoulder issues, but also upped his pace significantly. He did however state that he can’t push the bike to the limit, and as such is not touching the settings until he can ride the bike to his full capabilities. Splitting him from his also improved Italian rookie teammate Andrea Iannone, by over 1.3s, was Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa.

The Power Electronics Aspar pair of Spaniard Aleix Espargaró and Frenchman Randy de Puniet led the CRT field once more, as both riders evaluated a new chassis and swingarm, with Came IodaRacing Project’s Italian Danilo Petrucci, who worked more on the ECU, and HCR test rider Takumi Takahashi in tow. Avintia Blusens’ Japanese entry Hiroshi Aoyama looked had fewer ill effects from his broken left wrist as he improved to 20th, ahead of teammate Héctor Barberá, who was working on the electronics and trying to overcome chatter issues.

Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, sighting chatter issues with his ART, headed a much-improved Michael Laverty on the Paul Bird Motorsport ART bike, who managed to beat teammate Yonny Hernandez by two places, as the Colombian struggled with chatter as well. Splitting them was NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti, with teammate Colin Edwards and Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring completing the line-up.

The test was dry until the final hour, after which rain stopped proceedings for the day. Track time will resume tomorrow morning at 10am local time.

– HRC Report

Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finished the second day of testing in the same first and third positions where they’d ended day one, confirming the positive work the team had done over the winter and also confirming the status of Marquez as one of the elite riders in the MotoGP World Championship. Also having strong second days were Honda riders Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) and Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini RC213V). Bradl started his day after noon and was quickly up to pace. His fifth lap was his fastest en route to the sixth fastest time. Bautista was fastest on lap 18 of 30, after which the expected afternoon rain and thunder arrived, putting an early end to the second of three days of testing.

Winner of the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Pedrosa, 27, improved throughout the session to finish with a best lap of 2m, 0.549s on the 29th of 31 laps. The MotoGP World Championship runner-up spent his time continuing to work on the weight balance before the skies opened up. Still, he was able to lower his lap time from Tuesday by over half a second.

That set him up for Thursday’s final day, when he plans to try the harder compound Bridgestone tyres while fine tuning his set-up.

MotoGP rookie and Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez had another productive day on the Repsol Honda RC213V. Marquez, the youngest rider in MotoGP-he turns 20 on Feb. 17- lowered his time by .4s with his fast lap on the 20th of 27.

The team has slowly been acclimating Marquez to the electronics, which have proven him to be a quick study. Today he was able to dial in a little more traction control, which allowed him to further understand the behaviour of the Repsol Honda RC213V. What the team has discovered is that Marquez, like the rider he replaced, Casey Stoner, tends to use less electronics than most riders, instead relying on his innate feel for the motorcycle.

Bradl also cut his time by about .4s, while working on race settings. The 23-year-old German arrived late to the track after a restless night, but quickly got down to business. His fifth lap was his fastest and he’d complete another 24 while working through rear suspension settings for most of the day. Bradl then completed a 15-lap endurance run before the rain interrupted his test program.

Bautista, 28 from Spain, was behind Bradl in seventh place with his best lap coming on the 18th of 30. Bautista put in a full day’s work, mostly working on the geometry of the 2013 chassis, which is different than the 2012 Honda RC213V. The morning was spent on chassis setting and in the afternoon it was time to test the brakes. The testing program included suspension work, but the afternoon rains washed out the latter part of the day, and, with it, forced the Go & Fun Honda Gresini team to alter their test schedule. The team saw the rain as an opportunity and Bautista was able to gather some data about wet weather performance, but the track wasn’t universally wet, which compromised the data gathering.

The end result is that Bautista and his team have an ambitious final day of testing planned before they head back to Italy to prepare for the late-February second test here in Malaysia.

Australian Bryan Staring continued his learning curve aboard the Go & Fun Honda Gresini CRT machine, while slightly hobbled from his Tuesday crash The 25-year-old MotoGP rookie had a smoother day than he’d had a day earlier and put in 28 productive laps. Having a day’s more familiarity with the FTR chassis, powered by a Honda CBR1000RR motor, Staring, like his fellow Honda riders, was able to lower his lap time while maintaining his position. His improvement was achieved from working on the geometry of the frame and comparing data from last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

HRC test team riders Kosuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi also had productive days. Akiyoshi was 11th fastest among the 27 riders and the fastest of the test riders. Takahashi put in 38 laps and finished with the 20th fastest time while testing parts that may one day find their way onto the factory machines.

The first test of the 2013 concludes on Thursday afternoon.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 0.549s
Today I was able to try some more things on the bike and we made a few positive steps forward from yesterday. The feeling is good, I’m happy and that’s what’s important. We had planned to try a few more things in the afternoon, like the hard compound tyres, but it started to rain early and we were unable to go out. We hope that it is good weather tomorrow so that we can try them out, as in the coming season it will be important to ride fast on that compound. We also hope to continue moving forward with our quest for the best bike setup.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC212V): 3rd, 2m, 0,803s
I am happy because we improved our pace a lot and that is what our focus was for today. The final stints on track were more consistent, which helped us to obtain better data. Today I started to work a little with the electronics and we have a few ideas to put into practice tomorrow or in future tests. This is making me learn new things and I am little-by-little understanding the way the electronics behave on this bike.

Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V): 6th, 2m, 1.369s
This morning I took the track later than the others due to some sleeping issues. Unfortunately, I could not sleep properly last night and I started my daily testing program a bit later, but it was still a productive day for us. Once I joined the track I could immediately set an acceptable lap time and we proceeded with our rear suspension settings for the major part of the day. After that we decided to go for a 15-lap long run to improve the average speed before the rain interrupted our TO DO list.

Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 7th, 2m, 1.729s
It ‘s been a day during which we did a lot of work. We worked mainly on trying to improve the setting of yesterday, speaking of the geometry of the frame because this bike is very different compared to that of last year. In practice all morning we devoted to finding a better setting, but we could not find what I wanted. In the afternoon we tried new brakes that we were very satisfied with and when we planned to do some tests of suspension the rain came to ruin everything. However, we did some laps on a wet track, but the conditions were not optimal. Hopefully, tomorrow we have time to complete the work of this first test session of the year.

Bryan Staring (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 27th, 2m, 6.898s
Today I had a little pain from yesterday’s crash, but after a few laps I was able to pick up the pace. With the engineers we worked on the geometry of the frame and we did some comparative tests on data from the last year. I am happy to work with them, because they are very professional and I have a great help. I also improved slightly my time from yesterday, but I think that to make a quantum leap we need another test session. However, I am convinced and determined to do well and be ready for the start of the championship.

– Yamaha Report

he first official MotoGP test of 2013 entered its second day today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were again quick to get up to speed, taking over half a second off their times from day one by the early afternoon before rain came in to disrupt the day. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo was again running in second position as he ran through various updates to the 2013 YZR-M1, wrapping up the day just 0.019 seconds from front man Dani Pedrosa. Teammate Rossi put in another strong day, sending a clear message about his capabilities as he completed the session in fourth place, less than half a second from the front. Both riders were working through set up positions along with differing chassis and engine specifications to make up for time lost due to bad weather at the end of season test in Spain last year.

Jorge Lorenzo – Laps 43, Time – 2’00.568
“Today in the morning the conditions were good and I could easily do the lap times from yesterday, I improved by more than half a second. Later we tried some little parts we couldn’t try yesterday, but not so much and the bike didn’t improve a lot. In the last hour it started to rain so I decided to exit and ride in the wet. We made more than eight laps in the rain. I think it was important to find the feeling in these conditions and also try the new tyre.”

Valentino Rossi – Laps 45, Time – 2’01.038
“The second day of testing in Sepang is finished and the balance of the day is positive for us, especially as we finished some work on the bike. We have some different parts for the bike for this season and we continue to work on the setting. The positive is we improved compared to yesterday in terms of time on one lap with the new tyre but especially on the rhythm, I was half a second faster than yesterday which is not so bad. Fourth position is quite good especially as we are less than half a second behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo the front. Unfortunately it started to rain so we had to stop earlier, because our target this afternoon was to go into 2’00 but we will try again tomorrow.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“This morning went pretty smoothly and we were directly faster than yesterday. Our competitors improved also but that’s life in this sport. The only thing I can say at this moment is that we are happy with what we are doing, concentrating and Jorge is feeling good on the bike. Let’s continue tomorrow and see what we can achieve to finish the test.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“The schedule for the day proceeded well, we got a lot of good data this morning on both sides. Jorge spent a lot of time with the 2013 configuration and he is pretty satisfied. For sure there is room to improve and we will continue to work on it. Vale is happy too, he compared some different settings and he found one he liked. Now he will work on the 2013 bike this afternoon. If our starting point is as good as we think then we are in a good shape.”

Crutchlow and Smith make big progress in Sepang
The second day of the 2013 MotoGP winter testing campaign saw the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team make impressive progress in hot and humid conditions at the Sepang International Circuit today. Eager to build on an impressive sixth position on the opening day, Crutchlow was one of the first out on track this morning and the British rider needed just seven laps to improve his pace from yesterday. The 27-year-old spent the majority of the day working on a range of different settings to improve corner entry performance for the severe braking points from high speed into the first and last corner and the tight Turn 9. A personal best lap of 2.01.311 put Crutchlow in fifth position and he was the leading non-factory rider after completing 41 laps today.

Bradley Smith’s growing confidence was evident from the early stages of today’s session and the 22-year-old demonstrated speed and consistency that bodes well for his rookie season in the MotoGP World Championship. Ideal conditions for most of the day gave Smith vital time on track to build up his experience of Yamaha’s YZR-M1 machine after a two-year spell in the ultra-competitive Moto2 category. And he demonstrated how quickly he has adapted to the heavier and more powerful MotoGP machine with one of the most eye-catching performances of the second day. Smith has been working closely with his experienced crew, led by chief engineer Guy Coulon, to understand how to change his riding style and he improved by 1.5s to jump into eighth position. He set a best time of 2.01.931 to finish just over 1.3s behind 2013 World Championship contender Dani Pedrosa before today’s session was ended prematurely when heavy rain started to fall on the Sepang International Circuit with 90 minutes remaining on the clock.

Cal Crutchlow – Laps – 41, Time – 2’01.311
“Today I mainly looked at improving the bike on corner entry and one setting was an improvement but we lost a bit of turning performance. This track has some severe braking points, particularly going into the first and last corner where you arrive in the braking zone while flat-out in sixth gear. We need to keep the rear tyre more on the floor at corner entry, so it was good to try and get more rear grip to help me enter the corner without the rear sliding too much. I’ve still got a few tenths to find but it seems on used tyres I’m around the same pace as Valentino and that’s positive but I still feel a little bit rusty after the winter lay-off. Another key target for this test is to get a good understanding with my new Japanese engineer from Yamaha. He worked with Andrea (Dovizioso) last year and we just need time to understand how he works. We are working closely together and I am looking forward to his input this season.”

Bradley Smith – Laps – 40, Time – 2’01.931
“Today’s performance and the final lap times makes me feel really happy but I am not going to get carried away. I am happy with the job I have done and to be so fast on such a long and technical track is great for my confidence. But I know reducing the gap to the leading group will be very difficult. There’s still a long way to go but it is nice to be so m uch faster than yesterday and to see some real progress. A lot of it is down to trusting the bike and having the confidence to ride it to the absolute limit to get the best out of it. I’m not at that point yet but each time I go out I get a better feeling. The great thing with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is they make me feel calm and concentrated and they give me a focus to work on my technique out on track. The lap times are coming from the work we are trying to improve in key areas. It never feels easy on these bikes and you don’t get time to rest, but when it becomes more like your friend then you start making steps forward. The team gives me a plan and an area to work on and I try to implement it on track.”