2009 Valencia Post-Race Test Day 2 - Lorenzo Beats Stoner, Spies Faster Again

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.


Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'31.939 0.000
2 27 Casey Stoner Ducati 1'32.195 0.256
3 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'32.528 0.589
4 11 Ben Spies Yamaha 1'32.942 1.003
5 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1'32.981 1.042
6 3 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'33.025 1.086
7 14 Randy de Puniet Honda 1'33.111 1.172
8 36 Mika Kallio Ducati 1'33.125 1.186
9 65 Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1'33.211 1.272
10 33 Marco Melandri Honda 1'33.326 1.387
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Ducati 1'33.345 1.406
12 4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1'33.546 1.607
13 40 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'34.206 2.267
14 58 Marco Simoncelli Honda 1'34.230 2.291
15 19 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1'34.540 2.601
16 400 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1'35.261 3.322
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


Back to top


I wonder if Yamaha will flirt with the idea of throwing factory equipment in the direction of Spies and Edwards. What could be better for the sport or for Yamaha's brand identity. They certainly don't want to cost a factory rider the championship, but why not give Spies and Edwards the ability to harass the non-Yamaha aliens who fall back into the 4th or 5th position?

I think there is a fine line between harassing the other aliens and harassing the title contender. Seems like a big risk.

I think the satellite Yamaha bikes will be closer to factory than the Honda satellite teams. It's been that way in the past and I think this will allow Ben to either be competitive or pad his excuse book. It's a win-win.

Though the difficult thing to watch is when the riders you KNOW will not be able to keep a hot pace the entire race distance get into 2nd or 3rd and the leader (insert any of the top 4 names here) gets an insurmountable lead. They have a right to run as fast as they can and slow the pace from their position on back. But it makes for incredibly boring races. In 125 and 250's the lap times fluctuate enough that someone can usually catch up, but the motoGP riders seem far too consistent. I fear that Spies will take on this role unless he expands the alien list by 1. Hopefully he'll have the equipment to do it or the sense to not be a liability to Yamaha in those situations. If there's a case of just too many riders that can keep a leading pace, then qualifying, warm-up lap strategy and the first corner will be all that more important and we'll get to see some dramatic race starts, if not dramatic races.

i read somewhere that scott redding would be testing a moto2 bike

was this just a random rumour or is he going to be out tomorrow? really keen to see him end up with a good ride next year

There are a few people riding Moto2, but there are a whole cartload of others wandering around doing deals. Moto2 has turned into a real pay-to-play class, including for the talented and established names. I know Redding is interested in Moto2, and that teams are interested in him. But he also needs to bring a couple of hundred thousand euros in sponsorship if he wants a ride. 

if danny webb was able to do that for his jack & jones ride i'm sure redding can too, he is a race winner after all

do you think we'll know within the next few weeks about the moto2 riders?

125's and moto2 should be so awesome next year, who needs motogp

200k euro = ~ $300k. Can you throw out some barometer numbers? For instance, a (middle of the pack) rider in WSBK is bringing W dollars to a team, a rider in WSS is bringing X dollars to a team, a rider in BSB is bringing Y dollars to a team, a rider in the 250 class was bringing Z dollars to a team. It is hard for me to appreciate how much a rider must bring with him/her as the price of admission, regardless of level of talent.

that write up made me feel like i was there today. I could almost hear the bikes as described. should hold me over for a couple weeks. …appreciated

i don't think Yamaha really care what Yamaha rider wins the championship. they just want to win. if Rossi , Lorenzo and Spies where not running for the lead and Edwards was i am sure he would have the best bike out there.
Shame the Moto2 is still so unorganized and so few bike running.

Spies only has to finish 5th every race next year as an example 17 races this year 11 points for 5th place = 187 he would only have to wait for one of the top four to fall or DNF to get extra points he would be right up there..

Wow, look at Big Ben Gooooo!!! IF Ben can mix it up with the aliens, I think Valentino will not go further with "it's me or him" comment that made a lot of headlines. Ben will be the one to prove that even sattelite bikes can be very competitive. Vale would rethink that it's not all about the bike with all the cool upgraded parts, but also the RIDER. Vale in his old age, would just have to ride harder and take more risks to beat all these younger crazier riders. I like to see all the Yamaha boys get a long, but beat each other up on the race track. I'm still a big Rossi fan and I hope he breaks more records with Yamaha. Goooo Vale!!!

I think he's the last person you'd have to convince that the rider was important. His complaint is that HE is doing the 'donkey work' in developing this great bike. The M1 that they ride came from his garage. Valid complaint or not, I believe that is the frustration.

I believe that most of his frustration could be down to dilution of team focus. A team typically has one key #1 rider, and everything that hte wider team does is to devleop the bike for thier #1 rider, as he is the most likely to win.

Having two equal ranking riders gives the teams choices to make, and unfortunately, when you have to provide 'the best' to two people, you end up compromising in something.

After the silly seasons manipulations to raise Jorge's position in the team upwards, Rossi is bound to be concerned about where the factory will head, especially for somebody with some pretty major goals that he wants to hit (total wins especially). he wants to be on the best bike for him, not the best bike for the Fiat team.

To use a comment from superbikeplanet

There is no 'I' in 'team.' But, there IS a massive '1' in the Fiat Yamaha team.

and it belongs to one side of the wall.

The donkey work was done by Burgess and Yamaha, Rossi was riding around like Lorenz, collecting data.
So it's not HIS M1, it's Yamaha's M1. Remember Rossi whined in 2007 that Furusawa should return back to chief duties to get development done because he needs the best bike on the grid to beat Stoner. So then it wasn't him who could improve the M1 and it's still not him today.

Rossi is pissed because now someone with his talent, Lorenzo, is also on the best bike and beats "his majesty" on the same equipment, Rossi's ego isn't designed to handle such a situation.

And btw, Lorenzo's manager Hirsch told the press that Rossi took over Lorenzo's setup on a couple of occasions this year.

So Rossi isn't carrying the weight of the Yamaha MotoGP team on his shoulders.

Keyword there being Setup. Not development for years, just setup.

So Rossis engineer is doing the donkey work with Yamaha, but Lorenzos engineer is doing nothing? yet both teh riders are just providing data?

I am guessing lorenzos input on bridestones in '08 provided the design of the '09 model as well? but without his engineers input?

Nice story on ego, I guess lorenzo doesnt have one when demanding to be an equal rated rider within the team?

Did Lorenzo's manager also comment on the amount of times Lorenzo borrowed Rossis setup? what about makign a comment on how all data is shared around the wider yamaha team?

The yamaha motogp team weight rests completely on the shoulders of Lin Jarvis - I wonder what he has to say about Vale?

No surprise here. I named Burgess because I forgot the name of Lorenzo's crew chief Ramon Frocada.
My point is that the whole team does "the donkey work". There is nothing what Valentino is doing that Jorge isn't.
And when Rossi says "the front of the bike is not stable in corner 3" than this feedback leads to the same "enlightenment" of the Yamaha engineers as if Lorenzo is saying it.

I'm argumenting that the Yamaha M1 is not so much better than the Suzuki GSV-R because Valentino vocalizes the weaknesses of the bike better then Loris. It's because Yamaha has the smarter engineers, a team structure where problems are solved more efficiently.

When Jorge wants the same machinery as Valentino then I call this fair, nothing to do with an inflated ego. He shows the same speed, he deserves the same quality in equipment.
When Rossi demands the departure of Lorenzo then I call this brazen. It requires the ego the size of a sun to think Yamaha will drop a rider that shows the same speed as him for a fraction of his salary.

And his demand to drop Lorenzo means also that he lied when he said he always likes "a good fight". What could be a better prospect to get into "fairing bashing good fight" than to have a team mate with his speed, the same bike and shared setup data?
There can be only 1 explanation for this: Rossi is afraid to lose against Lorenzo. He can't say that Lorenzo has the better bike, the better tires like in 2007 with Ducati/Bridgestone. When Lorenzo wins, it's because Jorge is faster than Valentino.
And how does the myth of being the best/fastest rider of the planet go along with loosing against a youngster on the same machine?
Rossi knows he'll be in trouble if Lorenzo is champion 2010, and he's afraid of loosing his majesty status.

It will take a lot to have Rossi lose his status over a guy that has not won anything, whats with the comparision, it doesn't make any sense, and only time will tell, i still dont think Lorenzo will ever get the same treatment, saying so by Yamaha doesn't mean that he will, besides what if Rossi wants to make demands, i believe he can, can anyone else make the same demands, look at the last 30 years and give me a name, till then is just speculations, nobody knows what goes on with doors closed, can Lorenzo outperform Rossi?, thats yet to be proven, he gave him a good run, but outperform? difficult to say.

Age has nothing to do with racing , Troy Bayliss was 39 in 2008 when he crushed his rivals and won the title , and will be back in 2010 racing again its in the blood no escape , Valentino is not that old , looking at his fitness he still has some more serious years to look forward too and so do we ....

So, does he want more credit or does he want his own team? Yes, he did all the work, but i don't understand what does he want? Does he want the FIAT team all to himself and don't include a teammate? Oh, I see he wants his rival Jorge out and take in some rookie like Ben to spank around or else he would jump ship to Ducati and face even a greater rival Stoner. Wouldn't Stoner give him a big headache as well? Well, I hope he gets what he deserves and stays with Yamaha. I'd jump ship as well to an 1198 (not GP) in 2011.

The bike actually says 1198 on the side. I don't know why they changed from 1098 (probably because it's not an 1100cc bike), but they did. I say keep it simple and call it by its proper name, F09.

Rossi is sounding a bit like Doohan in his prime. I develop the bike they follow me around on my setup etc. Its just how it runs like in any sport everyone copies the fastest until someone else is and they all change. Vale you just have to win and the mind games are running thin. The current group of riders dont seem to be so unsettled by the mind games. I wonder if you miss Max and Sete?