The second day of testing for the Moto2 class at Barcelona took place under far better conditions than the first. The day started off relatively sunny and dry, but damp patches and a cool track made for a treacherous track, which caught many riders out. The main victims were Roberto Rolfo and Alex Debon, two of the men tipped for success in the class, who both suffered serious shoulder injuries. Rolfo dislocated his shoulder and will be out for four weeks, while Debon fractured a collarbone and is likely to be out for a similar period. The Spaniard was taken to Valencia in the afternoon to undergo surgery to set the collarbone. Rolfo's injury came at a time when the Italian was doing well. He had just set the second time of the day behind American Kenny Noyes when he went down on a damp part of the track. In addition to Rolfo and Debon, the list of fallers included Thomas Luthi, Fonsi Nieto, Raffaele de Rosa and Julian Simon, though these riders came away relatively unscathed.
At the end of the day, it was the Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa who reported the fastest time on a Suter MMX, ahead of Frenchman Jules Cluzel, also on a Suter, with the Colombian Yonni Hernandez in 3rd aboard a Blusens BQR. But while the teams are still using a mixture of engines - with a power difference of over 15 horsepower in some cases - the times need to be taken with a very large helping of salt, especially as these times have been released by the teams, rather than recorded by the official timekeeping.
Claudio Corti of the Forward Racing team illustrated the difference best to GPOne.com, saying "I was on the front straight, and ahead of me was [Mike] di Meglio. Our bikes were matched pretty evenly, but we passed [Yuki] Takahashi easily." Given that Takahashi and the Tech 3 team are using a Superstock engine, and are well down on power, Takahashi's fifth fastest time is fairly impressive.
The same could be said for Kenny Noyes' sixth fastest time, set aboard the Jack&Jones Promo-Harris bike. The team has elected to use a CBR600 engine in a relatively mild state of tune, while they concentrate on developing the chassis. Other teams - including Scott Redding's Marc VDS team, who are fielding Suter MMX bikes - have chosen to put full Supersport-spec engines into their bikes, to allow their riders get up to race speed as quickly as possible. The argument will be settled once and for all from March 1st, when the grid are to receive the official Honda Moto2 engines, leveling the playing field.
Testing is due to continue tomorrow, but with more rain forecast, some teams are packing up early. The tricky conditions today were summed up succinctly by Kenny Noyes in the press release issued by the American rider:
"We were cruising today at about 85% because the track was real cold. There were guys crashing everywhere. The grip just wasn't there. But we got in a couple of hours on good work in the morning when the sun was out. The track was slow because of the low temperature and because there was no rubber down after the rain, but it was good for the team to know that our feedback from the earlier tests is starting to pay off. My feeling is that with normal track temperature and some rubber down we'd be over 2 seconds faster, which is about right. Anyway, we are all gonna get faster and a lot is gonna depend on the state of tune of the official Honda engines that we will not get until the official IRTA tests. When the temperatures started to drop in the afternoon, we backed off a bit and worked on running a steady pace in the 50´s to try and get a feel for how the bike will be when the tires start to wear. So far so good! I love this bike!"
Times courtesy of MotoGP.com:
|Shoya Tomizawa||Technomag-CIP||Suter MMX||1'49.4|
|Jules Cluzel||Forward Racing||Suter MMX||1'49.6|
|Yonni Hernández||Blusens STX||BQR||1'49.6|
|Julian Simon||Mapfre Aspar Team||RSV||1'49.8|
|Yuki Takahashi||Tech 3 Racing||Tech 3||1'49.8|
|Kenny Noyes||Jack&Jones by A. Banderas||Promo-Harris||1'49.9|
|Roberto Rolfo||Italtrans STR||Suter MMX||1'50.0|
|Claudio Corti||Forward Racing||Suter MMX||1'50.1|
|Alex Baldolini||Caretta Technology||ICP||1'50.3|
|Dominique Aegerter||Technomag-CIP||Suter MMX||1'50.7|
|Mike di Meglio||Mapfre Aspar Team||RSV||1'51.0|
|Sergio Gadea||Pons Racing||Kalex Pons||1'51.0|
|Mashel Al Naimi||Blusens STX||BQR||1'51.2|
|Fonsi Nieto||G22 HolidayGym||Moriwaki||1'51.2|
|Scott Redding||Marc Vds Racing Team||Suter MMX||1'51.2|
|Axel Pons||Pons Racing||Kalex Pons||1'51.4|
|Raffaele De Rosa||Tech 3 Racing||Tech 3||1'51.5|
|Thomas Luthi||Interwetten Moriwaki Racing||Moriwaki||1'51.8|
|Robertino Pietri||Italtrans STR||Suter MMX||1'51.9|
|Joan Olivé||Jack&Jones by A. Banderas||Promo-Harris||1'51.9|
|Stefan Bradl||Viessmann Kiefer Racing||Suter MMX||1'52.0|
|Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||RSV||1'52.8|
|Vladimir Leonov||Vector Kiefer Racing||Suter MMX||1'52.9|
|Yannick Guerra||G22 HolidayGym||Moriwaki||1'53.6|