After debuting in Repsol Honda livery for the first time yesterday, Casey Stoner rode his 2011 RC212V to the top of the time sheet in Sepang today, during day one of the first official MotoGP test of 2011. The Sepang test sees all seventeen MotoGP competitors in action and marks the first time Valentino Rossi has ridden in his new Ducati livery and Casey Stoner in full Repsol Honda colours.
Three Honda riders are in the top five at the end of the first day, with Yamaha racers filling the other two spots. Stoner jumped ahead of defending MotoGP champ Jorge Lorenzo by 0.403 seconds on the 47th of his 52 laps to take top spot, while Dani Pedrosa lapped 0.450 seconds slower than his Repsol Honda team-mate for third position. Marco Simoncelli of the satellite San Carlo Honda Gresini team produced the fourth fastest time of the day and Ben Spies, riding a factory Yamaha this season, rounded out the top five.
Valentino Rossi, still recovering from shoulder surgery performed last November, rode only 30 laps and posted the twelfth fastest time. The seven-time champion says his current condition makes tucking in behind the fairing, braking and turn-in all quite difficult.
“For sure I’m very far from 100 percent, but I can ride the bike,” said Rossi after his first official Ducati test.
Regardless, the new Desmosedici rider said he has been able to improve the front-end feeling on the bike, widely considered to be its biggest weakness.
Testing in Sepang continues on Wednesday and concludes on Thursday evening.
Sepang MotoGP Test Times – Day 1
1. Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda Team 2m 1.574s (52 laps)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing 2m 1.977s (44 laps)
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team 2m 2.024s (61 laps)
4. Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 2m 2.295s (52 laps)
5. Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing 2m 2.332s (29 laps)
6. Alvaro Bautista ESP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2m 2.422s (65 laps)
7. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 2m 2.483s (65 laps)
8. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team 2m 2.507s (57 laps)
9. Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2m 2.514s (60 laps)
10. Randy de Puniet FRA Pramac Racing Team 2m 3.152s (63 laps)
11. Kosuke Akiyoshi JPN Honda Test Rider 2m 3.224s (49 laps)
12. Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team 2m 3.365s (30 laps)
13. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team 2m 3.508s (65 laps)
14. Loris Capirossi ITA Pramac Racing Team 2m 3.695s (63 laps)
15. Hector Barbera ESP Aspar Team 2m 3.767s (59 laps)
16. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2m 4.009s (62 laps)
17. Toni Elias ESP LCR Honda MotoGP 2m 4.238s (64 laps)
18. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing 2m 4.470s (52 laps)
19. Bike #T1 JPN Yamaha Test Rider 2m 4.717s (58 laps)
20. Bike #T2 JPN Yamaha test Rider 2m 5.235s (48 laps)
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix (10th October)
Jorge Lorenzo ESP Fiat Yamaha 2m 1.537s
Fastest race lap by manufacturer:
Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 2m 2.117s
Andrea Dovizioso ITA Honda 2m 2.427s
Alvaro Bautista ESP Suzuki 2m 2.895s
Nicky Hayden USA Ducati 2m 3.062s
Fastest 2010 Sepang test lap:
Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha 2m 0.271s (Day 2, Test II)