MotoGP: 2010 Sepang test 1 - day two

Spies fifth fastest, just behind the Big Four

The second day of MotoGP pre-season testing in Malaysia ended with the Big Four of Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa on top of the time sheets.

Morning rain showers followed by a sunny afternoon provided for mixed track conditions on the second day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit.

As he did on day one, Rossi recorded the fastest lap as the only rider clocking in just under 2:01. The Fiat Yamaha rider wore the “chicken helmet” he used in the 2009 race at Sepang when he clinched his ninth World Championship, perhaps as a reminder of just who is the man to beat this season.

Valentino Rossi, wearing his "chicken" helmet" led all riders in both days of the Sepang test.

Valentino Rossi, wearing his "chicken" helmet" led all riders in both days of the Sepang test.

Ducati Marlboro’s Stoner also repeated his day one performance, once again recording the second fastest time at 2:01.320. Stoner didn’t take to the track in the morning, waiting instead for the track to dry up in the afternoon.

“We are quite happy with the test. Today didn’t start really well because of the rain and the wet track, which set us back a few hours, but when it finally did dry out we were able to make some progress. We have definitely improved the set-up of the bike, trying some different things with the swingarm,” says Stoner. “The lap times are still not where we want them to be and we have to work on taking another couple of tenths off on hard tires, but to be consistently doing 2:01.9 or 2:02.0 laps is a decent pace. Considering that we are using a different engine to the one we’ve had for the last three years and some other new parts that we still need to get the best out of we certainly can’t be unhappy with where we’re at. There is work to do but we have two more test sessions before the season starts for real. In general I am really pleased with how it’s gone.”

Casey Stoner showed little sign of the ailments that kept him out of several races in 2009.

Casey Stoner showed little sign of the ailments that kept him out of several races in 2009.

Stoner’s time placed him between the two Fiat Yamaha riders, Rossi and Lorenzo. Fourth was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who trimmed over a second off his best time from day one. Pedrosa and his teammate Andrea Dovizioso spent most of the afternoon testing suspension set-ups, as the Honda team switches to Ohlins shocks from the manufacturer’s own subsidiary Showa.

“We were working mainly on the rear suspension and we’ve managed to collect a lot of data that should help us for the next test here in two weeks’ time. We were also testing swingingarms and at the end of the day I could feel the improvements, and so I’m happy about that,” says Pedrosa. “Yesterday it took me longer to get into a rhythm on the machine because it was the first day back in the saddle, but today it was much better – though I’m not at 100 per cent yet.”

World Superbike Champion Ben Spies was fifth on the day, clocking in at 2:02.266. Spies improved on his day one time by 0.712 seconds. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 racer complained about jetlag on the first day and spent much of day two adapting his riding style to the YZR-M1.

“I rode as good and as hard as I could considering how I've been feeling. I'm not wanting to make any excuses but I didn't feel really good with the jetlag,” says Spies. “It was still a good test because I learned a lot about improving my riding and adapting my style to suit the Yamaha MotoGP bike. It is hard to break some of my old superbike habits at the moment but I made some big improvements in a couple of places on the track where I was really struggling, particularly in the braking. It started to feel more natural today and I got down to some decent times on race tires.”

Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards take to the track in Malaysia.

Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards take to the track in Malaysia.

Spies’ teammate and fellow Texan Colin Edwards was seventh fastest, spending day two working on chassis and swingarm options.

“This has been a great test and I'm really happy. The big bonus of the test has been the performance of the engine. Putting it simply it seems they have made the engine with more power and more reliable,” says Edwards. “Accelerating off the corner was a problem last season but with the new engine it is a strong point. I tried a few things with the chassis and at this stage of the year it is all about crossing off pieces that work and those that don't. We found a couple of things that improved the bike and gave me more confidence and a couple of things we need to work on.”

Eighth on the time sheet was Nicky Hayden who, unlike his Ducati Marlboro teammate, rode in the morning on the wet track. Hayden was the fastest rider in the wet conditions.

Nicky Hayden rode in the morning session despite the wet track.

Nicky Hayden rode in the morning session despite the wet track.

“I am satisfied but I could be happier. These past two days have flown by and the weather hasn’t helped us to make the most of the track time available,” says Hayden. “Anyway, this morning we got the chance to find a wet setting for the new forks and engine. When we went out in the dry I could feel an instant improvement on yesterday and I set a decent pace but then we didn't improve further. I would have liked to post a better lap time but just when we put some new tires in the rain came back. However, it was a very positive test and I can’t wait to get back to work at the next one in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Teams and riders will have a couple of weeks to process their data before returning to Sepang for another test Feb. 24-26.

2010 MotoGP Sepang Test 1 Day Two Results
Pos.RiderTeamBest Lap
1stValentino RossiFiat Yamaha2:00.925
2ndCasey StonerDucati Marlboro2:01.320
3rdJorge LorenzoFiat Yamaha2:01.680
4thDani PedrosaRepsol Honda2:01.822
5thBen SpiesMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.266
6thAndrea DoviziosoRepsol Honda2:02.272
7thColin EdwardsMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.479
8thNicky HaydenDucati Marlboro2:02.493
9thAleix EspargaroPramac Ducati2:02.647
10thLoris CapirossiRizla Suzuki2:02.763
11thMarco MelandriSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:02.810
12thHector BarberaAspar Ducati2:03.032
13thRandy De PunietLCR Honda2:03.043
14thHiroshi AoyamaInterwetten-Honda2:03.195
15thMarco SimoncelliSan Carlo Honda Gresini2:03.245
16thAlvaro BautistaRizla Suzuki2:03.274
17thMika KallioPramac Ducati2:03.359


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