Stoner, Lorenzo, Rossi, And De Puniet Back On Track: MotoGP Testing Resumes At Motegi And Brno

With MotoGP's summer break halfway done, testing resumes later this week for some of the top names in the sport. Current and former champions take to the track at Brno and Motegi, with Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki all testing a range of material.

The most relevant test for this year's championship will be held at Brno, where Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will be testing the factory M1s. Lorenzo's aim will be to test his collarbone, while Rossi continues to work on set up, chasing minor improvements to the major step forward made during the Aragon test. The Yamaha pair will also hope to be testing Yamaha's seamless gearbox at the two-day test, the first time that the factory riders will get to try out the new seamless transmission. So far, it has only been tested by Yamaha's test riders in Japan, working on reliability. Whether the Brno test means that the seamless gearbox will be ready for use later this season remains to be seen.

Over in Japan, Yamaha's test team, consisting Wataru Yoshikawa and Katsuaki Nakasuga, will be at Motegi, where they will be joined for a private test by Honda's test team and Suzuki. Motegi sees the temporary return of Casey Stoner to the MotoGP fold, where he will be replacing the injured Kousuke Akiyoshi. Stoner will be testing Honda's 2014 RC213V to be used by the factory team, and also continuing work on the Production Racer Honda is building as a replacement for the CRT bikes. Joining Stoner will be his former crew chief Cristian Gabarrini, an indication of just how seriously HRC are taking this test.

The return of Stoner to testing has spawned a veritable firestorm of rumors that the Australian is about to make a shock return to MotoGP. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo stated when the test was announced that there were no plans for Stoner to race as a wildcard in 2013, though he made no comment on any plans for 2014. In an interview with, Gabarrini offers his opinion, that Stoner's return is only a reflection of his desire to ride the bike, and that he is unlikely to want to return to racing. One of the conditions of the test is that it will be done in private, with no media present, meaning that Stoner can just focus on and enjoy riding without enduring the questions of reporters.

Also present at the test will be Randy de Puniet, who will be continuing work on Suzuki's MotoGP machine. Development is still ongoing on the bike, with Suzuki's return to the series scheduled for 2015. Development is focused on extracting more performance from the engine and chassis, while waiting to start work with the spec electronics systems. Speaking to, Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio explained that Suzuki is still using the Mitsubishi electronics at the moment, as Suzuki's engineers are still working on analyzing the spec Magneti Marelli ECU which all MotoGP bikes must use next year. The process of porting software from one system to the other is tedious and time-consuming, with existing algorithms having to be reimplemented for an entirely different system, and an analysis made of which algorithms need to be changed to accommodate the differing hardware specs and data inputs between the two systems.

How much news emerges from the tests remains to be seen. While Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will doubtless be quizzed about the test once they arrive at Indianapolis for the Indy round of MotoGP, news of Casey Stoner's lap times will either have to come from official HRC press releases, or from spies at the test. With three teams present, there are more opportunities for such leaks to occur.

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Only thing we need to hear from Stoner is a tweet that he had fun.

(lap times and some footage of him hustling around Motegi would be real tasty though!)

Even tastier would be a report of what the Suzuki was like to ride. And while I'm being greedy the Yamaha too. I know, dreaming...

I'd like to see Casey have a go at the Sir Al Cathcart end of season tests - every MotoGP bike compared and contrasted. Be very interesting to hear what they're all like with a top level rider on board. Shame it won't happen.

I thought he would only want to return to an 800cc gp bike, well he may just "tasting" right now but I think he's about to swallow something... own spit?? time will tell.

Down vote welcome (y)

AFAIK, both Lorenzo and Rossi only have one unsealed engine left in their allotment for 2013.

How could they possibly run the seamless box, other than just one of their two bikes with it?

It has been a question before..
Has Yamaha built a set of casings which the old and new gearbox can fit ?
The new gearbox was designed a while ago. It's been subject to extensive testing.

Even if it fit in the same cases it would count as a new engine, so they'd have to be very sure it would last at least as long as the current ones. Aren't JL99 and VR46 onto their 4th engines already? Might be too big a risk.

Gearboxes slide in and out, to change ratios etc, for each track, without splitting the casings.
It's possible the present cases were designed for this coming upgrade.

...could the gearbox, assuming a cassette type, 'simply' slot into a used engine? The engine itself would not have been opened rather one gearbox removed and another installed.

A tech-y type / rule nerd would know. Surely there is at least one reading?

That neither Dani nor Marc are testing. I can understand it from Dani's point of view (to the point that he's more or less happy with his bike, and given past history, he knows he needs all the time off he can get).

I have to say I'm a little surprised that Jorge is out testing again. Given his collarbone issues, surely the more time off the better. I hope Suzuki have a good test, and Honda get all the data they're looking for, and Casey has fun.

if Casey were testing the Suzuki. We know the Honda will be competitive, maybe he will give some useful feedback about the production racer but other than that the sport really needs Suzuki to come back and be good enough to get podiums. No slight on RdP but if there is an alien who is not currently racing and is prepared to test I would be doing everything I could to secure their services.

Don't think Casey could really do a Sir Al as he is way way too close to the sport whereas Sir Al is no threat to any of the manufacturers. Nice dream though :-)

Jorge's decision to test is probably more about getting himself match fit rather than any sorting of the bike. A smart move really as he can always come in or slow down if there is a problem, he won't be trying to string together 20+ laps at race pace unless he is pain free and thinks that his team mate needs a talking to ;-)

Why else would he risk his collar bone? My sense is that the new gearbox is recognised as crucial to winning races and Yamaha recognise it's time to throw the dice and introduce it. Without it, with Marquez ever improving and Dani proven to be so strong in the second half of the season, they could be spectators as Honda cruise to the Championship. Jorge isn't going to give up the Championship without a fight, as we have already seen, nor is Lin Jarvis, who needs results having staked a lot on putting this year's team together. So it's new gearbox for Jorge and Vale. And, since on past performance Tech 3 almost certainly won't get it this year, we can see why Cal so badly wants to be on a factory spec bike. In the second half of the season, riding with the old gearbox, he's really going to feel the difference.

If Stoner was testing the Suzuki he would ride it blazingly fast no matter how good or bad it is. Suzuki would think that they got it real close right off the drawing board. For development they are better off with someone who needs everything to be just right to go fast.

There is little doubt that Casey has an unnatural ability to ride around problems. But he is also very sensitive to issues with the bike. The problem with Ducati, is that they rarely listened to him. Hubris, plain and simple.

Suzuki would do well to have him aboard their bike. That, however, is very unlikely.

beat me to it. Casey was ignored by Ducati as they focussed on the wins and not the losses. Even Rossi's crew worked that one out :-)

Schwantz reputedly commented that test riders who couldn't turn lap times within half a second of his were not helpful was probably pretty close on the mark.

Points mean prizes for Yamaha in the manufacturers table, so they wouldn't risk a high value GP rider when the test riders/dyno can take the risks IMO.
A gearbox failure at high speed is not going to be a pleasant thing and Smith would probably pass on the opportunity and be quite happy for the factory guys to get it first!
Seriously, if its ready the 99 and 46 will get it.

In reading the comments I got confused about Lorenzo, Rossi, and the other Repsol riders. This test right now is just test riders I believe. None of those guys are testing so talk of Jorge or Dani are premature. That's not till after Brno where they should be healthy enough if I read things right. RDP14 is a contract rider who is moonlighting as a test rider and CS27 is now only a test rider.

The real rider/bike test we'd all like to see is CS27 on the Ducati. How bad is it right now on spec tires? Casey would be able to say. Course that'll never happen. He's a Honda man in perpetuity.

In an article mainly about Casey, reported today `Yamaha and Suzuki also had a presence at Motegi on Tuesday, while almost 9,000 kilometres away Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi conducted a test session of their own at Brno in the Czech Republic'. Hope this helps.