News 3 Feb 2012

Honda's Stoner completes three-day Sepang test fastest

Australian continues to shine while developing Repsol Honda's RC213V.

Casey Stoner put forward another incredible performance at Sepang on Thursday.

Casey Stoner put forward another incredible performance at Sepang on Thursday.

The third and final day of the Official MotoGP Test concluded on Thursday at Sepang, with Casey Stoner breaking under the two minute mark on just his second lap out to dominate the field by over half a second.

The first on-track MotoGP action of the year concluded on Thursday at the Sepang International Circuit, with the new 1000cc machines noticeably quicker than the 800s of last year as the top four paced under the circuit’s best lap set by Valentino Rossi in 2009.

Casey Stoner was half a second clear of the rest of the field on his Repsol Honda RC213V, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa his closest challengers the first part of the day, though an afternoon rain storm halted any attempts to catch up with the world champion and all lap times from the morning remained unchanged.

Stoner was the pace man laying down a time of 1:59.607 on just his second lap of the day, over a second quicker than his best lap from yesterday.

He and teammate Dani Pedrosa focused on testing suspension settings and a new clutch, with the Spaniard setting the third fastest lap of the day with 2:00.256, an improvement of 1.252 from Wednesday.

Factory Yamaha riders Lorenzo and Ben Spies successfully found base set ups for their YZR-M1s, focusing on chassis balance and electronics to manage the increased horsepower of the 1000cc bikes.

Lorenzo’s best effort was 0.591s behind the top time of Stoner, with Spies landing fourth and 0.888s from first before ending the day early following a minor crash on one of the Yamaha test bikes.

The Test concluded on a high note for the Ducati Team with Valentino Rossi moving up two spots in the ranks to fifth fastest, bettering his time by over a second from yesterday and happy with the changes to the front end of the GP12 thus far.

Nicky Hayden was only able to complete a couple of laps in the afternoon due to weakness in his injured shoulder hindering his ability to hold onto the 1000cc bike with any corner exit headshake.

The American confirmed that he will ride at the Jerez Test along with the CRT prototypes before the second Official Test at Sepang later this month.

The Pramac Racing Team wrapped up a successful Test with rider Héctor Barberá, who bettered his time from yesterday by eight tenths, breaking into the two minute mark with a best lap of 2:00.929 as he worked on testing new Bridgestone tire compounds.

The Spaniard was two tenths ahead of British Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who had a minor crash just after 11am that set his thus far rapid progress back slightly.

Italian Andrea Dovizioso wrapped up his second successful test aboard the 2012 Yamaha M1 ranking jut behind teammate Crutchlow with a best lap of 2:01.257.

Álvaro Bautista was satisfied with the three day test, and today quickened his pace on the Honda of the Gresini Team by sixth tenths, while newcomer Stefan Bradl put in another solid day’s work on the LCR Team Honda.

The Moto2 champion concluded his third day of testing with the 11th fastest time (2:01.894) while trying out tyres as well as making one more back to back chassis comparison in the morning.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) put in the 12th quickest time while testing tires on his GP12, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards worked on diagnosing chatter issues.

The Texan’s time of 2:04.722 put him 15th, while Avintia Racing’s Iván Silva and replacement rider Jordi Torres completed the times after recovering from their engine problems of the day before.

2012 Sepang MotoGP Test Final Times:
1. Casey Stoner 1:59.6
2. Jorge Lorenzo 2:00.2
3. Dani Pedrosa 2:00.3
4. Ben Spies 2:00.5
5. Valentino Rossi 2:00.8
6. Hector Barbera 2:00.9
7. Cal Crutchlow 2:01.1
8. Andrea Dovizioso 2:01.3
9. Alvaro Bautista 2:01.4
10. Nicky Hayden 2:01.7
11. Stefan Bradl 2:01.9
12. Karel Abraham 2:02.2
13. Katsuyuki Nakasuga 2:02.3
14. Franco Battaini 2:03.0
15. Colin Edwards 2:04.7
16. Ivan Silva 2:08.2
17. Robertino Pietri 2:09.6
18. Jordi Torres 2:10.2