2011 MotoGP Qatar Combined Test Times From Both Days

Combined times from both days of the final MotoGP test at Qatar:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous Day
1 27 Casey Stoner Honda 1:55.681     2
2 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1:55.745 0.064 0.064 2
3 11 Ben Spies Yamaha 1:56.294 0.613 0.549 2
4 58 Marco Simoncelli Honda 1:56.433 0.752 0.139 2
5 4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1:56.439 0.758 0.006 2
6 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1:56.444 0.763 0.005 1
7 14 Randy de Puniet Ducati 1:56.445 0.764 0.001 2
8 1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:56.682 1.001 0.237 1
9 5 Colin Edwards Yamaha 1:56.716 1.035 0.034 2
10 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1:56.726 1.045 0.010 2
11 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1:56.798 1.117 0.072 2
12 19 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1:56.931 1.250 0.133 2
13 46 Valentino Rossi Ducati 1:56.988 1.307 0.057 2
14 65 Loris Capirossi Ducati 1:57.345 1.664 0.357 2
15 17 Karel Abraham Ducati 1:57.499 1.818 0.154 1
16 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:57.730 2.049 0.231 2
17 24 Toni Elias Honda 1:58.250 2.569 0.520 1
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Whats up with Tony Elias? Slowest rider on track, Slowest Honda by almost 2 seconds, and the only Honda outside the top 6.

I still cannot for the life of me work out why LCR signed Elias over RdP. Or why RdP chose Ducati over Honda.

Neither LCR nor De Puniet chose anything. He was forced out of LCR to make room for the Moto2 champion.

IIRC, it was being reported at the time that RdP was holding out on LCR, Honda was offering "support" to bring in the Moto2 winner, whoever that was going to be.  As the season played out, and with the passing of the Inter Wetten team, the only place that could have gone was/is LCR.  Who knows what would have happened if RdP had re-upped with LCR right away?  Then again, he may turn up on the better end of the deal, anyway.

This, of course, begs many questions about next year...

Suppose Elias finishes up with a good year.  Who will HRC entice to bring in a 2nd or 3rd (all new) bike to the grid, to make room for this year's Moto2 champion?  Can they afford to grow the MotoGP grid that much every year?  (that would be nice, wouldn't it?)

Well,Dorna had no options other than to promote the Moto 2 champion. In fairness to Toni he was hardly going to accept a Ducati ride and a shuffle had to be made. Unfortunately Randy lost out....maybe. He showed at Valencia and last night that he's not too uncomfortable with the Ducati and,yes its early days,but a good season for him may see him sign off by defeating one if not both works riders over the length of the season.What a motivation that will be and what a coup.If he stays on top of his game and the Ducati early on,Ducati will be forced to keep him up to speed with any new kit. Operation 'save face'.
On the face of it right now it appears to be a two horse race this year.
Honda vs Yamaha for the titles and podiums. The Ducati riders fighting for glory amongst themselves within any race.
Back to Elias,he is the only true sattelite Honda equipped rider (LCR).
Gresini made no bones about the San Carlo team being fully factory backed.
The tragic events in Japan will motivate Hiro and gain him at least equal kit from HRC.That is only sensible and logical.At a time when all of Japan have to work together as never before,they are hardly going to equip one of their native sons with second string kit and rightly so.

HRC's Mr Nakamoto says they have given Elias a special chassis to try and help him get heat into the rear (see story above). Getting temperature into the rear tyre has been a perenial problem for Elias in MotoGP. Given that he did not appear to have any such problems in Moto2 on what were commonly regarded as excessively hard tyres, this indicates to me just some of the performance gulf that exists between to two classses. Time to adjust that unique riding style somewhat Mr Elias. Adapt or die.

I thought Toni had problems with the Bridgestone front.

Except Rossi is a fan of McCoy and his riding style. Elias....not so much :P IIRC, McCoy won multiple races in the premier class - is this correct?

I saw a Motogp feature on Elias a few years ago. He talked about his riding style and how it causes problems with tyre heat. His style, whilst dramatic to look at, doesn't help with this issue. His size makes this a real issue, as he just can't get enough weight over the rear of the bike. Those were the words from him and his engineer (at the time).

I agree...

I actually like Elias and his riding style. But he has proven in the past that he's not a MotoGP rider. And now he has snatched that Honda seat from Randy that really deserved another season on that bike. Randy has evolved into a great rider during the last seasons in MotoGP, and could have done a brilliant job on the Honda this year. Now he is forced to make the best of a crappy ride on te satellite Duc.

I hate when politics and economics descides how the seats are filled in MotoGP....

It does suck to see RDP on a sat. Duc. He rode the crap out of the Honda last year and I hope he does the same this year. It makes me wonder where he'd be if he had better support and didn't have to push so hard to be near the front

I feel bad for RDP, but I think his riding style may suit the duc.

It reminds me of Stoner when he moved from the sat. Honda to Duc. He couldnt keep the Honda on the track for crap but when he got on the Duc he turned to gold.

I have a (hopeful) feeling we may see Randy do the same this year.

I wonder if the Yahama's are actually slower than the Honda's. Maybe it's the fact that Stoner is just 58kg and Dani is just 51kg while Spies is 71kg.

Spies + bike = 221kg which translates to a 156.294 lap time
Casey + bike = 208kg which translates to a 155.681 lap time

At this point I am at a loss for calculating any advantage this might mean or how to calculate what the lap times would be if they were both the same weight.

Doesn't matter, just thinking out loud.

5 more days - go Spies!


Good analysis, maybe acceleration is not the full story though, maybe the heavier rider can put "more heat" in the tyres or brake harder , the strongest guy can manhandle the 240bhp harder and for a longer time, I'm eager to watch how the actual race develops, racecraft is the one factor that I give to The Ben, besides the GOAT is similarly sized!

It's been addressed before, light weight is probably advantageous for acceleration even if top speed has more to do with aerodynamics (so you just need a fairing adapted to the rider body, Simoncelli has a different fairing than Pedrosa for example).
You don't neccesarily see the lightest riders with the higher top speeds.
As mentionned, the problem for light weight riders is generating heat in the tires and "manhandling" a bike, flick it over quickly in a chicane is easier for heavier/taller riders for instance.
So overall one's body characteristics comes with strenght and weaknesses and this is the rider job to make the most of it (pretty much like a bike which might be better or worse than the competition in different areas)

I agree that RDP is a good and talented rider in motogp, he is able to be at the front when it especially comes to qualifying which means only the fastest laps are counted. But just try to Look at him in the race, he is a quite inconsistent rider, very contradictory to what he did in the qualifying. You could check yourselves last season when he was on the satellite honda. He was quite often on the front row and challenged the riders for few laps before finding himself in the back fighting for small points left. Thus, testing and qualifying are the two things which are some sort of distinctive, particularly the former, from the race itself, requiring consistent and stable lap times, not only the fast and fastest ones. But yeah, in the end, I really hope that all of the riders can be better than last year. PEACE.... I know Dudes all You wanna see tight races in motogp like the ones in wsbk. Let us just get rid of boring races, motogp is not a bike parade indeed.

Ok, so Elias is doing excactly what better than Randy at the moment...? :)

I'm not saying Randy is world champion material, but he's a lot better MotoGP rider than Elias ever will be. Elias size and ridingstyle is more suited for smaller bikes (125cc, 250cc, Moto2) where he has (obviously) performed great over the years. But in MotoGP the results have never been that great, and he is proving this already this year. I know it's early on in the season (still testing), and it's a new bike for him. But the fact is that he has ridden a lot of MotoGP bikes before, and is still dead last in the timesheets behind the likes of Karel Abraham and Cal Crutchlow, who has never ridden a MotoGP bike before and are on bikes that are (on paper) a lot worse bike than the Honda that Elias is on...

Until such time as RdeP puts it on the podium a few times then I think Elias' record is superior. Same story for their respective GP careers. RdeP has alway been inconsistent - nothing has changed. O.K he was having a good run on the RCV last year until cruelly injured through no fault of his own. But was he not holding out for a 100% pay increase with Suzuki which compromised his position on the LCR? I though Chechinello had a contract in front of Randy which he baulked at signing, waiting for Suzuki.
Yes, all that said the man is still fast and his grab it by the scruff of the neck and be damned style might see him put a few good races together of the recalcitrant Ducati.

Ignoring the talent riding the bikes for a moment, the average lap times per manufacturer are

Honda 1'56.332 (1'56.148 without Elias)
Yamaha 1'56.855 (1'56.564 without Crutchlow)
Suzuki 1'56.931
Ducati 1'56.967

Meaningful? Probably not, but looking at the spread of each manufacturers riders I couldn't help myself.

@SV650Nut ,

If we follow your "formula" (just another excuse for riders you like) Dani would be much faster than Stoner. Toni Elias would be up there and Dovi would be quicker too.

Having said that, Mladin has said he thought Spies has a large upper body and this would limit his speed on a motogp bike. Look at his shoulder width and this can't help down the straights. Mind you, Simoncelli is HUGE. But this is a really useless talking point because what can we do to change this situation? Combine weight and rider for minimum weights or make Stoner and Dani bulk up?

I've heard so many excuses for slower bikes/riders this testing season:
- Honda has special trick clutch
- Honda has midget riders
- Ducati are putting all their efforts into 2012
- Spies is still a new rider (not this year)
- Yamaha is slower than last year
- blah blah blah.......

Accept the fact, Doohan has returned !

Well, actually I was trying to say that maybe the Yamaha's weren't really down on acceleration power and that it was just maybe attributable to the differences in the load that the engines had to propel.

I already know Spies is the better rider :-)

Besides the much publicized Ducati crashes who else had offs during the tests? Trying to gauge if this was mainly a Ducati trait or the typical Qatar sand on the track stuff.

is the only manufacturer to see ALL his riders crashing during these 2 days (every rider once except Rossi and DePuniet twice).
As far as I know Bautista fell once at 250 km/h at the very end of the test, Elias once, Crutchlow twice.
No falls for the 3 others Yamahas and I don't think any other Honda rider than Elias fell (no Repsol for sure).
Losing the front IS a Ducati pattern, and it's not new from this year.