Pedrosa quickest as 1000cc test wraps up at Valencia, Bautista joins Honda
1 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 1m31.807s (Wed)
2 Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 1m31.968s (Wed) +0.161s
3 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 1m32.338s (Wed) +0.531s
4 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m32.550s (Wed) +0.743s
5 Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m33.256s (Wed) +1.449s
6 Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 1m33.332s (Wed) +1.525s
7 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 1m33.433s (Wed) +1.626s
8 Randy de Puniet Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1m33.544s (Tue) +1.737s
9 Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team 1m33.648s (Wed) +1.841s
10 Alvaro Bautista San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m33.814s (Wed) +2.007s
11 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 1m34.142s (Wed) +2.335s
12 Kousuke Akiyoshi Repsol Honda Team 1m34.546s (Wed) +2.739s
13 Franco Battaini Ducati Team 1m34.840s (Wed) +3.033s
14 Carmelo Morales TeamLaglisse (CRT) 1m35.911s (Wed) +4.104s
15 Ivan Silva BQR Inmotec (CRT) 1m36.695s (Wed) +4.888s
16 Yonny Hernandez BQR FTR (CRT) 1m37.279s (Wed) +5.472s
17 Federico Sandi Grillini Team (CRT) 1m38.680s (Wed) +6.873s
18 Gianluca Nannelli Grillini Team (CRT) 1m39.173s (Tue) +7.366s
The Official two-day MotoGP Test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia concluded on Wednesday, with Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner fastest on their factory Hondas. The Test also saw Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso wrapping up their first rides of the 2012 Yamaha M1, Valentino Rossi trying out an experimental Desmosedici GP12, Álvaro Bautista testing the 800cc RC212V and a range of CRT bikes on track.
Repsol Honda riders Pedrosa and Stoner were the pace men, the Spaniard recording the best lap of 1’31.807 in the morning with his Australian team-mate 0.161s behind with his best effort. The two were the only riders under 1’32” as they worked on a chatter issue encountered on Tuesday, and HRC Test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi supplemented their feedback on a third machine.
Ben Spies managed to get within half-a-second of the top time, as the American shouldered the Yamaha Factory Racing workload. Spies rode 75 laps on Wednesday to add to the 73 he did on Tuesday, focusing on a new engine specification and electronics.
Dovizioso completed his first Test on a Yamaha, riding the 2012 M1 on Wednesday alongside new team-mate Crutchlow. The Italian concentrated on getting himself comfortable on a new machine as Crutchlow and his crew set about correcting a wheelie issue, and the Brit was the last rider to get within a second of Pedrosa.
The Ducati Team made progress with Rossi and Test rider Franco Battaini, the latter riding Nicky Hayden’s bike after the American injured a wrist in Sunday’s race. Rossi continued to work on adapting to the new Desmosedici chassis, an experimental frame which will be further adapted according to the feedback gained here for the next test at Sepang.
As well as on-track testing there were off-track negotiations taking place too, and Bautista put pen to paper on a deal with the San Carlo Honda Gresini team for 2012 on Wednesday. Eager to start work immediately he headed out on the RC212V which Hiroshi Aoyama ended the 2011 season with, and by the end of the day had completed 55 laps.
Another rider on this year’s Honda was Stefan Bradl, and the German Moto2 Champion put in another solid day’s work on the LCR team’s machine, with a decision on his future still to be made.
Héctor Barberá concluded his first Test with his new Pramac Racing team satisfied with the improvements made to the Desmosedici, likewise Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) was out on the GP12.
The CRT progress continued too with Carmelo Morales leading the way on the Team Laglisse’s BMW/Suter machine. Iván Silva and the Inmotec project were also on track, as was Moto2 rider Yonny Hernández with BQR’s FTR/Kawasaki. The session was briefly red flagged just before 2pm local time when Gapam’s Federico Sandi crashed, but action resumed shortly after with the Italian escaping any harm.
All CRT machines, along with the 1000cc prototypes on track, tested Bridgestone’s 2012 compounds too, with positive feedback.
– HRC Report
Repsol Honda factory team riders Dani Pedrosa and World Champion Casey Stoner topped the time sheets at the end of the two-day MotoGP test held at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit close to Valencia, the final test of 2011.
Pedrosa and Stoner have found the transition from 800cc to 1,000cc almost seamless and were fastest virtually throughout the two days completely overshadowing their rivals as they continued testing the RC213V grand prix machine in readiness for 2012 the debut season for 1,000cc capacity regulations in MotoGP.
Pedrosa’s time of 1m 31.807s, set on lap 12 of his 45 lap stint was just 0.161s faster than Stoner’s best over the two days. Pedrosa was over half a second faster than third placed Ben Spies (Yamaha 1,000cc).
The RC213V has made improvements to several areas of performance since the last test, at Brno, in August. Stoner is impressed with the overall development made particularly to the front end which allows for a better corner entry and better feed-back.
Pedrosa worked on the engine mapping and suspension of his RC213V and was in positive mood at the end of the final session.
HRC MotoGP test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi was also on hand for the two-day test to give his invaluable input to the development of the new race machine. Akiyoshi, seventh in the Valencia Grand Prix last Sunday covered 32 laps of the track with a best time of 1m 34.546s.
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini announced they have reached an agreement with Alvaro Bautista for the 2012 season. The 26 year old from Tavavera de la Reina, Spain, with the permission of his former team Rizla Suzuki, took to the track on a 2011 Honda RC212V 800cc machine.
Despite never having raced a Honda in MotoGP and no previous experience with his team of technicians Bautista quickly adjusted to the RCV and acquitted himself well. After his 55 laps on the RCV he was ninth fastest with the 800cc machine with a time just two seconds off Pedrosa’s fastest lap on the RC213V 1,000cc.
Newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl was given the opportunity to test the LCR Honda RC212V 800cc over the two days and set impressive lap times on his debut aboard a MotoGP machine, which has almost twice as much horse power as his title winning Moto2 mount. The young German, a seven times GP winner, put in 61 laps of the 4.005km circuit running consistently running in the 1m 34s bracket with the fastest in a time of 1m 34.142s
The teams now take a well earned winter break before the next MotoGP test, three-days at Sepang, Malaysia beginning on January 31.
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st 1m 31.807s.
“We had another good day of testing today. Basically we’ve been working on the engine mapping, to better manage the power of the bike, and with the rear shock. The changes we’ve done on the bike from Brno to here have been positive and we finish the year with a good feeling. It will be interesting to go to Sepang and continue working under very different conditions, with harder tyre compounds and a much higher track temperature. In general, I’m leaving Valencia in a good mood, more for the improvements we’ve made than for the lap times, which are not so important for me in winter testing”.
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 2nd 1m 31.968s.
“Everything has gone pretty well to be honest, on the first day we just needed to compare the bike to the one we tested earlier in the year. There have been a few small improvements especially in terms of the bike working with the new 2012 tyres. The front tyre gives us quite a lot of chatter so this is something we are trying to improve and the new bike helped with that slightly but we’d still like to improve that point a little more. Something we’ve had since last season with the 800’s is a lack of feeling and some chatter coming from the rear on the way into the corner which is something we still need to improve with the RC213V but we believe we know the direction to go in to improve this situation. Overall it’s been a positive test and it’s the end of a long season! I’m looking forward to going home now and having some rest, enjoying time with family and friends and preparing for the arrival of our child in February, then we’ll be back revitalized and ready for 2012”.
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda: 10th 1m 34.142s.
“First of all I want to thank Honda and LCR Team for this great opportunity. I really enjoyed riding a MotoGP bike and I was impressed by Lucio’s team know-how and high level: we made a very good job together exploring the potential of this bike. I learnt a lot from this experience and I want to thank everybody for their support”.
Lucio Cecchinello, team owner LCR: “We have concluded two positive days of testing with Stefan and I was impressed by his skills and the way he studies the bike: he gave us a very precise technical feedback and I was surprised about that. Now we will proceed our negotiations with our sponsors and Honda to fix our 2012 program in the next hours”.
– Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing has now completed the second of the two days of the official Valencia MotoGP test. Rider Ben Spies spent the sessions working through two differing engine specifications and a number of frame and geometry settings on the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1. The data will now go back to Japan with the Yamaha engineers who will work on the next stage of development ahead of the first 2012 test in Malaysia at the end of January. Despite missing the valuable input of team mate Jorge Lorenzo, all the required testing was completed within the two days.
At the conclusion of the test Spies was third in the timesheets with a best lap time of 1’32.338 after completing 57 laps.
Ben Spies / 1.32.338 – 57 laps
“It’s been a long two days. We had a lot of work to do with Jorge not being here but we’ve got through everything. I think we got the guys working in the right direction, we’re still quite a way from Qatar and what we’ll be racing with but we’ve got a good idea of what we need to work on. There’s a lot of potential in what we have so they’ll go back to Japan now to work on it for a couple of months and we’ll see what we have as a package next year. The team and engineers have worked really hard for the last couple of days so a big thank you to them.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director / “It’s been a really good test. We got a lot of data, everything we were missing in the previous tests from cancellations and injuries etc. The work that we’ve done is good, the schedule is completed and we are quite satisfied. There is of course still some work to do but I think it’s been positive. Now they’ll check the data in Japan and we’ll see the next step in January. Ben did a really good job; I’ve never seen him so focused in a test. It’s the best way to start the new season.”
Crutchlow and Dovizioso complete positive 1000cc debut in Valencia test
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow concluded a successful first test on board Yamaha’s new YZR-M1 1000cc MotoGP machine at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia today.
Taking advantage of gloriously sunny conditions during the two-day test, the 26-year-old completed 142 laps and was able to give Yamaha engineering staff a wealth of information and data.
The British rider set a best lap time of 1.33.652 on the opening day as he quickly got to grips with the new bike and the 2012 spec Bridgestone tyres. Crutchlow made a significant step today and as he got more comfortable with the new generation YZR-M1, he was able to lap 1.1s faster to finish fourth on the final timesheets with a best lap of 1.32.550.
This week’s test also gave Andrea Dovizioso his first opportunity to acquaint himself with the Tech 3 Team and the YZR-M1 1000cc machine. Dovizioso’s vast experience was a huge benefit to Yamaha technicians who were able to obtain valuable feedback from the Italian. Dovizioso completed 118 laps and set a best time of 1.33.256 to shave 0.6s off his best pace set on the opening day.
Crutchlow and Dovizioso will continue their preparations for the 2012 World Championship campaign at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on January 31.
Cal Crutchlow / 1.32.550 – 142 laps
“This was a very important test to get used to the new 1000cc YZR-M1 and thankfully the weather was in our favour and we could get in a lot of laps to understand the ea rly potential of the bike. The 1000 seems to suit my style a little better and I have to say that Yamaha has done a very good job and we are already working from a strong base. The bike feels quite similar to the 800 YZR-M1 but Yamaha has managed to keep the strong points of this year’s bike. You can immediately feel the extra horsepower, which is impressive, but I’m happy because I could keep a very consistent pace. I’m looking forward to the winter break now. I learned a lot in my first season in MotoGP that will help me be much stronger in 2012. I’d like to thank all my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew for their efforts this year. They’ve given me their maximum support and I am grateful for that.”
Andrea Dovizioso / 1.33.256 – 118 laps
“Firstly I want to thank the Tech 3 staff for making me feeling immediately welcome and at home this week. I’ve been really excited to start this new adventure together and it was a positive and productive test. This test was my first chance to ride the 1000cc bike and the power of the engine is very impressive. The riding style is very close to 800cc and the bike has a lot of good points for my style. There are some areas I have identified we can improve for the next test in Sepang and I gave a lot of important feedback that should help Yamaha improve the bi ke during the winter break. Now I will take a break to recharge the batteries and return in Sepang looking forward to getting back on the bike and carrying on the positive work we did here in Valencia.”
– Ducati Report
Just as was the case yesterday, the second and final day of Valencia’s post-race MotoGP test was blessed with ideal weather conditions.
Valentino Rossi was among the first riders to get on his bike after the track was opened, and he worked tirelessly with his team and Filippo Preziosi to carry out the tests requested by the engineers, who will continue working on the 2012 project tomorrow in Bologna.
Once again, official test rider Franco Battaini substituted for Nicky Hayden, who has an injured scaphoid in his right wrist, though the American stayed at the track and followed the test from the Ducati Team garage. Hayden will likely undergo a small operation in the coming days to speed up his recovery.
MotoGP concludes its 2011 season of racing and testing, and will return to action with the first winter test, planned in Sepang, Malaysia, from January 21 to February 2.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.332 (62 laps)
“These were two important days of testing because we needed to collect a lot of data for the next few months of work, which will be crucial. The positives of this bike are certainly the engine, which I like, and the fact that it handles a bit better than the previous one. It’s definitely more fun, in part because you can get sideways more. The frame isn’t bad, but it needs work. We have to improve the braking, because I need to brake harder and later, and we need to improve traction under acceleration. Filippo has many ideas, and now we have a little time to apply them before next year’s tests.”
Filippo Preziosi (Technical Director)
“We were lucky to have sun and generally much better conditions than what we had over the race weekend, and this allowed us to take full advantage of both test days. Unfortunately, Nicky wasn’t able to ride, but at least he’ll have plenty of time to recover before the first test at Sepang next year. We asked Valentino, Franco (Battaini) and the other Ducati riders to carry out a series of comparisons between different solutions, as there are still chassis parameters that we have to define for the project we’re working on. It has been really hard work, but we’ve collected a lot of information that we’ll now use for the design that we’ll be doing in the coming weeks.”
– Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
During the two-day official MotoGP test at the Valencia circuit, Bridgestone debuted the final specification 2012 tyres, providing them to all teams for the duration of the test.
The test was conducted mostly with the new-era 1000cc machines including five Claiming Rule Team (CRT) bikes from BQR Inmotec, BQR FTR, TeamLaglisse and the Grellini Team. Every rider’s tyre allocation comprised only the 2012 tyres, marking the first full usage of the 2012 tyres that Bridgestone have been developing for one year.
The new family of tyres has been developed with the objectives of achieving easier riding characteristics by improving warm-up performance and with a wider temperature operating range, and rider feedback is positive.
This is an important test not only from a tyre perspective but because it is the first time that next year’s rider changes take effect and the 1000cc bikes have been on track at the same time.
Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This test was the first opportunity for us to give all the riders our finalised 2012 specification tyres so it was very important for us. Every rider used our 2012 spec tyres for both days of testing on the new era of 1000cc machines, including five of the new CRT bikes.
“The tyres we supplied are those that will be used for next season, but this test was the first official one for the 1000c bikes so this is the first stage in learning these new machines so we are not resting on our laurels. We will keep learning their characteristics with each test and continue our tyre development into and through next season.
“We started developing this new family of tyres from the post-Valencia test at this time last year and used every test opportunity during this season to continue with our development programme, and I am confident what we have will be a marked step forward in addressing the specific concerns from this year.
“Specifically, our objectives from these new tyres are to make their grip characteristics easier to manage, to improve warm-up performance and to increase their temperature operating range. From the data we have collected from the last two days, I am satisfied that we have met these objectives and rider feedback has been positive so I am confident for tyre performance next year. I’m also happy with the positive feedback even from CRT teams about our new tyre and its warm-up performance.
“I’d like to thank all the teams and riders for their support these last two days and for the significant role they have all played in developing these tyres this year, for the time they dedicated on track and for their feedback and comments.”