News 3 Feb 2011

Pedrosa scorches to fastest lap on day two at Sepang

Dani Pedrosa was fastest on Wednesday for Repsol Honda in Malaysia.

Dani Pedrosa was fastest on Wednesday for Repsol Honda in Malaysia.

Spanish Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa’s fourth lap on Wednesday stood firm as the fastest of the second day of the official MotoGP Test at Sepang, with his effort of 2:00.770 placing him well clear of the rest of the riders.

Completing 39 laps of the circuit in total the Spaniard was immediately into his rhythm in the morning, and ended the day 0.664s ahead of second placed Casey Stoner.

“I think it’s the first time I’ve ridden so fast on this track, but you’re just fresh in the morning and I did four very good first laps,” Pedrosa said. “I was not looking for a time, but I saw that the track conditions were good and I pushed.

“The closer you get to the limit, the clearer the changes you are doing on the bike become, which lead you in the right direction.

“Today I tried the new engine, which has improved from Valencia, some chassis configurations and rear shocks.

“Tomorrow the plan is to continue comparing both bikes and it would be great to come away with the chassis and engine decided for the next test.”

Pedrosa’s teammate Stoner set his best lap of the day on his penultimate turn of the circuit, posting a 2:01.434 which meant that Pedrosa remained the first and so far only rider to break under the 2:01 barrier in this test.

Both he and Stoner rode on old front forks whilst third Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso tried a new option.

The Italian was fourth on the timesheet, just four-thousandths of a second behind Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies whose best time of 2:01.508 placed him third at 0.738s off Pedrosa’s pace.

The American set out to confirm the differing specifications between the two M1 machines he rode on day one, also working on engine settings, as he continued the process of working with his newly formed team.

San Carlo Honda Gresini duo Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama made it five RC212V prototypes inside the top six as they both got within two-hundredths of a second of Dovizioso.

Simoncelli spent part of the day working on front suspension selections.

World champion Jorge Lorenzo closed his day with the seventh best lap. The factory Yamaha man rode a new M1 chassis which he hopes will now be modified for the second Sepang test in three weeks, and his time of 2:01.563 was 0.793s down on Pedrosa.

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) rode the highest and fewest number of laps of the day respectively.

The Spanish rider’s 63 turns produced a best time of 2:01.687, whilst Edwards’ 33 laps yielded an effort just over three-hundredths off that of Bautista as he tested new tyres for Bridgestone.

Héctor Barberá was the highest placed Ducati rider on his Aspar Team machine in tenth position, with factory rider Nicky Hayden 11th (+1.609s on Pedrosa) and Pramac Racing’s Randy de Puniet 12th (+1.656s).

The Frenchman had a crash inside the final hour of the day at Turn 9 which he fortunately escaped unharmed from.

As was the case on day one Valentino Rossi struggled with his shoulder, the Italian registering the 13th best time with a lap of 2:02.597 that came on the 40th of his 42 laps, and which left the Ducati rider 1.827s off Pedrosa.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow is also nursing a shoulder problem and the British rookie was lucky to avoid further aggravating the issue when he fell inside the final hour of the day.

Crutchlow set a best time of 2:03.032 before his crash at Turn 6, which he attributed to a greasy surface due to the sweltering Malaysian heat.

Two Ducatis followed the Tech 3 man in the shape of Loris Capirossi’s Pramac machine and Karel Abraham’s Cardion AB Motoracing GP11, with Toni Elías’ LCR Honda completing the timesheet at 3.256s off top spot.

The third and final day of the test is scheduled to commence at 10:00am local time on Thursday.