Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest rider on the second day of testing at Valencia, with the lack of wind helping the Spaniard to drop into the 1'31 bracket. Lorenzo set his fastest time on the new soft tire Bridgestone has brought, which both Lorenzo and Hayden reported as giving more edge grip. Lorenzo spent the day testing some electronics and suspension.
Casey Stoner was the second fastest man of the day, ahead of Valentino Rossi, and the increasingly impressive Ben Spies. The Texan is still using basically the same setup he started the weekend on, and is continuing to work at changing his bike from a Superbike style to a more MotoGP style, easing off the brake earlier and carrying more speed through the middle of the corner. So far, he has dropped roughly half a second a day, and he enters the winter break confident for the season to come.
Nicky Hayden set the 5th fastest time while working on the Ducati GP10. The Kentucky Kid is still running back-to-back tests with the GP9, figuring out whether to use the engine with radically revised firing order which Ducati has been using in the GP10 or not. The difference between the noise the two different configurations make could not be more striking. Where the GP9 is a true screamer, the GP10 is being called a "V-Twin", and sounds for all the world like a Yamaha M1. Standing up at the long left hander of Turn 13, watching Jorge Lorenzo chase Nicky Hayden, it was hard to tell the difference between the two bikes.
The really interesting part of listening to the new Ducati was the almost complete lack of interference from the Traction Control. When Mika Kallio came through the turn (or the Hondas or Suzukis, for that matter), the TC was cutting in heavily, making the engine spit and sizzle like it was going off. When Hayden or Stoner came through using the new Ducati, the GP10 barely missed a beat, just the occasional cough as it dropped a spark.
Honda also has virtually a new bike, with just about everything changed but the angle of the V between the front and rear cylinders. The biggest change, though, has been the switch to Ohlins suspension. Dani Pedrosa spent the day exploring the way the suspension and the new chassis work, making major adjustments to gather data, rather than chasing lap times. Andrea Dovizioso also spent time chasing setup, despite a big crash in which he injured his hip.
Suzuki radically improved times that had been set on the GSV-R, with Loris Capirossi testing new electronics, engine parts and an exhaust system, while Alvaro Bautista continued just getting used to the bike.
The contrast in approach between Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama was interesting, with the Suzuki rider starting with a lot of traction control and gradually backing it off. Aoyama started yesterday and this morning with no traction control at all, and has been adding it bit by bit in various corners to add a little speed. It is a remarkable thing to hear an 800cc MotoGP bike, especially one that uses TC so audibly as the Honda, rounding Turn 13 with a smooth, sweet-sounding engine.
Much confusion surrounded the Moto2 times, with riders sharing bikes and riding without transponders. After much headscratching, questioning and detective work, a bunch of journalists finally figured out the truth behind the figures. As expected, Toni Elias was the fastest, riding the Gresini Moto2 bike, which uses a Moriwaki chassis and, according to Toni Elias, a relatively stock engine. Second of the Moto2 bikes was American Kenny Noyes, riding the Antonio Banderas Promoracing bike, which uses a Harris chassis and a CBR600 engine with an HRC kit. Noyes finished ahead of Superstock 1000 champion Xavier Simeon, who was sharing a bike with Elias, and Joan Olive, who is sharing a bike with Noyes.
Testing finishes tomorrow, but a number of riders will be leaving tonight. Ben Spies will be returning to Texas tomorrow, but his Tech 3 team mate will be staying on for another morning's testing, after missing out on testing today. Colin Edwards apparently ate something that disagreed with him, and he spent the day in his motorhome suffering for it.
|7||14||Randy de Puniet||Honda||1'33.111||1.172|
|17||00||Toni Elias||Gresini Moto2||1'37.279||5.340|
|18||9||Kenny Noyes||Promoracing Moto2||1'37.881||5.942|
|19||00||Xavier Simeon||Gresini Moto2||1'38.979||6.040|
|20||5||Joan Olive||Promoracing Moto2||1'39.266||7.327|
|21||Axel Pons||Pons Kalex||1'39.9||7.9|