The factory Yamaha team concluded a 1-day test at Misano on Monday, taking the 2012 Yamaha MotoGP machine out for the second time, after an earlier test at Brno. The test had originally been planned as a public test together with Honda and Ducati, but Ducati withdrew from the Misano test in July, and Honda pulled out shortly after the Brno test, both factories saying that they had nothing to test. As a result, the test morphed into a private test, leaving a small band of journalists to twiddle their thumbs in the press room, with no access to times and no access to the pit lane.
As a result, we have only the times released by the factory to go by, and with Jorge Lorenzo posting a 1'33.7 and Ben Spies posting a 1'34.3, both men were a couple of tenths quicker on the 1000cc bike on Monday than they were during the race on the 800s a day earlier. The difference with Brno was mainly down to the difference in the tracks: Brno is a big horsepower circuit with plenty of places where the added grunt can come into play. Misano is much tighter, with a lot of low-gear corners exiting onto the straights, meaning that neither the 800 nor the 1000 could use their horsepower to full effect. As a consequence, the extra mid-range of the 1000 largely went to waste. Even from the press room, sat above Misano's front straight, it was clear the 1000s were struggling to get the power down, the bikes wanting to wheelie all along the pit straight.
The small difference in times between the 1000s and the 800s rather validates Colin Edwards decision to join the NGM Forward team aboard a CRT machine. At Indianapolis, Edwards had said that while the CRT bikes would struggle at horsepower tracks like Brno and Mugello, there would be tight tracks like Laguna Seca and the Sachsenring where they would be much more able to hold their own. Given the fact that the times Lorenzo posted on Monday aboard the 1000 were pretty much identical to the times he was running in race trim during qualifying, Misano could be another track where the CRT bikes might be in with a chance.
Below is the official press release from Yamaha:
Yamaha Complete Second Successful 1000cc Test in Misano
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies had their second opportunity to ride the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1 today at the Misano circuit in San Marino. The test followed Lorenzo's flawless Grand Prix win yesterday, his second Italian victory of the season. The bikes tested were the same as first used in Brno in August, with minor changes to set up and electronics for the tighter, twistier Misano circuit.
Position : 1st Time: 1'33.7 Laps: 60
"It's been a little bit more difficult here than Brno, which is a very fast track. Misano is a little bit slower so the difference between the 800 and the 1000 is much smaller. It's difficult to understand the riding style you must use straight away. We've made a lot of progress in a couple of hours and the bike has a lot of potential. I'm very excited about the future. We've been working on the electronics to help in the braking area but mainly I've been getting used to the riding style of the bike and also adapting the bike to my riding."
Position : 2nd Time: 1'34.3 Laps: 74
"We rode the same bike as we did in Brno but we changed a bunch of things and started working on a lot of electronics. Misano is a much more physical track; it's quite tight so there's a lot of wheelies and rear spinning. It's fun to ride but very physical compared to the 800. I enjoyed it a lot and we went quite fast on it, getting some pretty good lap times. We've got a lot of data now for the engineers to go away and work on the next step for our next test. I think next year is going to be really good and I'm looking forward to racing the thousand!"
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'33.7
2. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'34.3
Misano Record Lap
J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2011, 1'33.906
Misano Best Lap
C.Stoner (Honda) 2011, 1'33.138