Post Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:30 pm

Moto GP Day 2 Testing

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Factory Ducati's Valentino Rossi spent the morning frantically testing and analysing new electronic settings and software the at the Sepang MotoGP test today, getting as much work done before the heavens opened and it pours down with rain - which it did at lunchtime.

The Doctor has new software, traction control and anti-wheelie to get dialled in to the 2012 Desmsosedici GP12 but is losing a hours of track time to the weather - and it doesn't look like it will be any drier for tomorrow...

“Another day practically lost, which is really a shame because for us it’s very important to ride as much as possible, and today's track conditions were much better than yesterday's. Given that we knew rain was predicted for the afternoon, we tried to focus as much work as possible in just the first twenty or so laps this morning," said Rossi.

"Using both bikes, we tried the new traction control, some software updates with the wheelie control and other small details that have to do with the seating position. I had good impressions with all of those, so we put it all into the setup of just one bike and put on a new tyre, only for it to start raining. Game over. On the plus side, I had a good feeling with all of the new stuff, so I hope we can work a little longer tomorrow.”

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Former MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has made a big step forward on the second day of MotoGP testing at Sepang, saying the throttle response with a new motor has vastly improved and laptimes in the wet have borne that out.

The Spaniard was second fastest, albeit by eight one-thousandths of a second, to team-mate Ben Spies but both knocked more than a second off their laptimes from yesterday on a track that has been washed clear of rubber by torrential downpours.

“Today we improved a little the connection with the throttle and the engine, it’s much smoother and easier to ride, a big step forward from yesterday. We were able to try the 1000cc M1 on the wet for the first time and we went very fast so it’s been a positive day and we are very motivated to improve the bike more. We managed to complete everything we wanted to test so it’s been good," he said.

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Yamaha led a clean sweep of the timesheet on day two of the official MotoGP test at Sepang principally because Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were kept off track while technicians explored an engine failure and then, like yesterday, the heavens opened and teams switched to wet settings.

Pedrosa got a dash warning light on his final run yesterday and technicians sent the engine back to Japan for analysis. It was thought both riders would return to the track this afternoon but the weather had other ideas, so it was left to the Yamaha men to set the fastest times.

Spies' time of 2'01.285 was one and a half seconds faster than he managed yesterday and quicker than Stoner's time from yesterday by five-tenths while Lorenzo was only eight on-thousandths behind him.

“Today went well, the rain caught us out again but we got everything we needed to do done before lunch including some different chassis set ups and some electronics which we were pretty happy with. The rain started to come down so we waited until it subsided a little bit but with still a full wet track with standing water which we needed," said Spies.

"We haven’t ridden the thousand in the rain and I’ve never ridden this track in the rain so it was good to get some laps in. I had quite a good feeling with the bike in the rain; straight away it felt pretty good so we rode in full wet conditions and stayed on wets when it dried out a little and was greasy. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do tomorrow so we’re hoping for a dry day!”

It was a good day for Yamaha all round as Tech3 new boy Andrea Dovizioso was only a quarter of a second behind the 2010 World Champion and his team-mate Cal Crutchlow was only a further two-tenths in arrears. Nicky Hayden was again fastest Ducati in fifth on a 2'01.748 with Hector Barbera next along.

Valentino Rossi put in a 2'02.130, a second faster than yesterday, with Ducati tester Franco Battaini again standing in for the injured Karel Abraham who has gone home after being unable to ride following a Jerez testing crash.

Unsurprisingly, Colin Edwards was fastest of the CRT bikes.

Sepang MotoGP test day two - conditions dry then biblical

1 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.285 - - 35
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.293 +0.008 +0.008 26
3 Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.522 +0.229 +0.237 18
4 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.695 +0.173 +0.410 22
5 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:01.748 +0.053 +0.463 32
6 Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team 2:01.989 +0.241 +0.704 26
7 Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 2:02.130 +0.141 +0.845 18
8 Franco Battaini Cardion AB Motoracing 2:03.566 +1.436 +2.281 20
9 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:05.816 +2.250 +4.531 7
10 Ivan Silva Avintia Racing 2:07.813 +1.997 +6.528 31
11 Yonny Hern?ndez Avintia Racing 2:08.213 +0.400 +6.928 16

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Honda has withdrawn all of its factory and supported bikes from the second Sepang MotoGP test on safety grounds until an electronics issue highlighted by Repsol man Dani Pedrosa can be solved and the Spaniard's engine has been sent back to Japan for analysis.

The Spaniard came into the pits yesterday with a dash warning and HRC technicians are still working to get to the bottom of it but expect to be back on track tomorrow. Pedrosa said yesterday: "On my last run, I had a small issue, I saw a red light on the dashboard, so I took the clutch and stopped. We have to analyse now what it was."

In any event, not a huge amount of dry track time has been lost to either of the works riders, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl as it has been pissing down since lunchtime and looks like it is not clearing off any time soon.

A team spokesman said: "Due to an engine failure on Dani Pedrosa's RC213V machine yesterday, HRC sent the engine to Japan for analysis. The feedback after the investigation was positive; however it arrived after lunch when the Sepang circuit was drenched by heavy rain, so unfortunately the Repsol Honda riders were unable to take to the track. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa will be back on track tomorrow and resume their testing program."
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