Another fascinating day of testing was completed at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday, with Valentino Rossi’s best lap of 2’00.271 setting the standard as the second official test finished.
The Italian – who was quickest on Thursday and also at the first test at the track three weeks ago – was 0.247s seconds faster than the time he set to qualify on pole position for the 2009 Malaysian GP. The Fiat Yamaha rider was followed on the timesheet by Ducati Marlboro pair Casey Stoner (2’00.512) and Nicky Hayden (2’00.703), both of whom felt the benefit of the new engine in the Desmosedici GP10 prototype on which new swingarms were tested. Hayden’s time was an improvement of just over 1.5s on his Thursday best lap.
Making it three Yamahas inside the top five times were Monster Yamaha Tech3 pairing Colin Edwards and Ben Spies. The former overcame electronic problems from Thursday to post a best lap of 2’00.988 on Friday – the fourth and final rider of the test to come in under the 2’01” barrier – whilst rookie Spies’ time of 2’01.014 shows that he is already finding a superb level with his M1 as he prepares for his first full season in MotoGP in 2010. Spies completed a race simulation on the second day and was pleased with his consistently fast times.
The Rizla Suzuki team tested their new GSV-R engine for the first time at this test and veteran Loris Capirossi made progressive improvements across the two days to post a 2’01.320 on Friday, making him the sixth quickest of the two days. He tested a range of other aspects on the bike first tried three weeks earlier and rode just over 100 laps this time out.
Repsol Honda riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa were seventh and eighth fastest respectively on their RC212V machines. Dovizioso enjoyed a productive two days and on the second went round in 2’01.439, whilst Pedrosa was 0.039s behind. The Spaniard experienced a fall on Thursday and was uninjured, returning to the track later in the day and working throughout Friday as well.
Rookie Hiroshi Aoyama made impressive strides throughout the two days, with the Interwetten Honda MotoGP rider ninth in the timings with a 2’01.692 set on Friday as he felt vast improvements on the RC212V. He was followed by fellow MotoGP debutant Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) who set a best time of 2’01.732, despite having hurt his arm the previous day in a slide.
Randy de Puniet of the LCR Honda team was the final rider to break the 2’02” mark with his 2’01.980, and was followed on the timesheet by Mika Kallio who completed the highest number of laps across the two days (just over 140).
Marco Melandri of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team continued to adapt to the RC212V, and rookies Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Ducati), and Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) – whose fall on Thursday had no ill effects – were all present as they amassed laps on their respective Desmosedici machines.
Another MotoGP debutant for this season, Marco Simoncelli of San Carlo Honda Gresini, suffered a crash early on Friday morning. The Italian had completed just two laps when he fell, cutting short his day’s work, and was taken to hospital as a precaution. Later in the day Simoncelli confirmed he was feeling better.
A notable absentee from this test was Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who is still recuperating from a training accident which happened two weeks ago in which he injured his right hand.
You can see the full testing results from both days at Sepang here.
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