2011 Brno MotoGP Test Final Times: Stoner Fastest 1000, Lorenzo Fastest 800

Casey Stoner was the fastest of the 1000cc riders at the end of the one-day test at Brno, the Repsol Honda rider putting in a fast lap at the end of the day to get close to the pole record of the circuit, but coming just a couple of hundredths short. Stoner was expected to be fast - this is his third day of testing on the 2012 Honda RC213V - but the big surprise came from the Yamahas, both Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies getting within a couple of tenths of Stoner's time on their first outing on Yamaha's 1000cc MotoGP machine. Dani Pedrosa was the slowest of the 1000cc riders, setting a time not much faster than the time he set during the race. The feedback from all of the 1000cc riders was positive, with the Spies and Lorenzo being especially impressed by the work that Yamaha had done to make the bike so competitive so early. 

Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest of the 800cc riders, the Yamaha riders sharing their time between the new 1000 and the 800cc bike with an uprated engine. Ben Spies finished just under half a second behind his teammate on the 800, but Spies did only limited testing, still suffering with the pinched nerve in his neck. The new engine was an improvement, both riders said, boosting power throughout the rev range, though Lorenzo was at pains to point out it as just a small step.

Nicky Hayden was the fastest of the Ducati riders, spending all day on the GP11.1 and verifying that now is the right time to make the switch to the new machine, while teammate Valentino Rossi was much slower, but that had been part of the plan, Ducati's MotoGP chief Filippo Preziosi explained, for Ducati's plan for Rossi was to provide a lot of input data on weight distribution and geometry for the factory to take back and work with.

The satellite riders out on track all improved their times, with Cal Crutchlow, Toni Elias, Loris Capirossi and Colin Edwards posting faster times than during the race, though Edwards' improvement was only marginal. The biggest improvement came from Toni Elias, the LCR Honda rider bettering his race time by a full second, providing hope for the rest of the season.

Mika Kallio put in a full day's testing on the Suter/BMW CRT machine, and the bike was posting vastly improved times from Mugello. At that test 6 weeks ago, the Suter machine was over 6 seconds off the pace of the Honda 800s. Here at Brno - a track with a 10 second longer lap time - the Suter had cut the deficit to just under 4 seconds from the Honda 1000. Such clear progress was necessary for the future of CRT project, and the improvement shows that the bikes at least have potential.

The Brno test was the last test of the 800cc era, with the next official test of the 1000s due to take place after the Misano round of MotoGP, where the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha 1000s will face each other for the first time.

Final times at the end of the test:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Prev Best Race Lap Race Diff
1 Casey Stoner Honda 1000 1:56.168     1:57.191 -1.023
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1000 1:56.253 0.085 0.085 1:57.636 -1.383
3 Ben Spies Yamaha 1000 1:56.306 0.138 0.053 1:57.726 -1.420
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 800 1:56.727 0.559 0.421 1:57.636 -0.909
5 Ben Spies Yamaha 800 1:57.184 1.016
1:57.726 -0.542
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1000 1:57.264 1.096 0.080 1:57.518 -0.254
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati GP11.1 1:57.533 1.365 0.269 1:58.264 -0.731
8 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 800 1:57.591 1.423 0.058 1:58.362 -0.771
9 Toni Elias Honda 800 1:57.903 1.735 0.312 1:58.971 -1.068
10 Valentino Rossi Ducati GP11.1 1:58.266 2.098 0.363 1:57.844 +0.422
11 Loris Capirossi Ducati GP11 1:58.387 2.219 0.121 1:59.139 -0.752
12 Colin Edwards Yamaha 800 1:58.492 2.324 0.105 1:58.552 -0.060
13 Mika Kallio* Suter/BMW 1000 2:00.144 3.976 1.652 2:04.227 -4.083

"Best Race Lap" is the fastest lap set by the respective rider during Sunday's race. "Race Diff" is the difference between the time set during the test and the fastest race lap, a negative number (-) means the test time was faster, a positive number (+) means the test time was slower than the race.

* Time set on the Marc VDS Suter Moto2 bike during the Moto2 race

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The difference with Stoner is that he can be competitive on almost any manufactured bike ... i.e. Ducati GP10. I really am beginning to believe that Stoner rivals Rossi in 'The Best Motorcycle Racer Ever' category.

I hope 2012 and the 1000's sees Spies in the title fight!

Read up on Fast Freddie Spencer, then you'd know he was more talented than the both of them when he was in his prime ;)

I'd like to see Spies use more corner speed, with the way he's riding now it's like he's too scared to hook-up with the apex and that's the main thing that's separating him from Alien status.

In the 5 1/2 seasons Stoner has raced against such illustrious competition he has won more races than any other rider in MotoGP. Perhaps you should rethink your criteria for when a rider is worthy of your notice.

Or if you really want to make the case that championships are the only thing that matters feel free to make a case for Biaggi being 4x the rider that Stoner is, and how Max is a better contemporary for Rossi when considering the merits of the best of all time.

What I understood from Capirossi at gpone.com is that the Suter had good acceleration. So it seems the BMW is not bad, slowness is more about corner speed. Electronics, chassis and set-up then.

Kallio did 1:57.994 in the 2009 QP and Hayden did 1:57.803. And 1:58.182 in 2010 QP.

So they probably are still 2 seconds off the pace?

At 2.00 plus the best time by Kallio on the Suter was in the same time range as Capirossi late in the race on the Pramac Ducati. From lap 16 onwards the best Capirex could manage was mid 2.00's with 2.02's towards the end. I think your guess of 2 seconds off the pace is a pretty good estimate. IMO this bike has more potential for improvement than the Ducati satellite bike has shown in 2011 though. The big question for me is the target point: are Suter BMW aiming at race winning times, mid pack times or the slowest 2011 MotoGp times? If we knew that answer we would know how they see their efforts in terms of stepped achievements. Why do crystal balls give so little information?

Suter are aiming for whatever times entice IRTA to drop the satellite bikes and transition to CRT equipment. Dorna are behind the arrangement b/c, as Ezpeleta said in 2009, Dorna had increased financial support to IRTA teams by 60% during the 800cc era.

Suter will push for performance b/c they are a racing company, but they are most interested in diverting revenues from the manufacturers to the CRT-suppliers. If 2 seconds is close enough for IRTA, it is enough to get the CRT programs started. I think IRTA might be genuinely interested in ditching the satellite bikes b/c it is a relatively boring arrangement for the private teams. However, they can't swear off the satellite arrangement until they have something that isn't an embarrassment to the sport.

No offense to Suter, but the Moto1 isn't even on par with a decent SBK, yet. SBK is a pretty good benchmark.

I seem to remember that the first time MotoGP went to Silverstone and no one had data, times dropped several seconds from Friday to Sunday. Obviously, Suter et al have no data...

"Rossi was much slower, but that had been part of the plan, Ducati's MotoGP chief Filippo Preziosi explained" - finally, we have the real reason - it is their strategy! ;)

Sorry, I know this is picking nits.
How about if the Race Diff column indicated positive and negative changes?
As it is, it makes it seem like Valentino was faster during testing.

Sorry, have my columns mixed up (they got mixed up when I sorted the times in a spreadsheet). Have corrected it now, and added a - and +.

Thanks for the suggestion!

after hearing all those rumors that the Honda RC213V was "two seconds faster than the 800" I was getting pretty scared that 2012 was gonna be an all Honda event. These times look much more encouraging for Yamaha and hopefully Ducati in Misano. Not so encouraging for a CRT. Doesn't look good at all.
I know we're still in this season but roll on 2012 haha

Casey did many laps, race simulation to see how far they can push with 21liters of fuel perhaps ? These might not be the true raw speed of the 2012 machines.

So the 1000 bikes are just a few tenths faster than an 800 around Brno, a long circuit with a big uphill section? Don't believe it. There's a lot of sandbagging going on here, especially by Honda. Stoner went out and set a reasonable time early, then didn't improve all day until he just crept ahead of Lorenzo right before the close. Seems odd that he made such a small improvement after a full day's testing. Deliberate I'd say.

You must remember that these are 1000's engineered to use no more fuel than the 800's. Power comes from fuel... so you are not going to get 25% more power. And even if they did, what proportion of the lap uses all the power even of an 800? They've got traction control limiting on corner exits, anti-wheelie limiting it on the straights in the first 4 or 5 gears... especially up hills!

The difference is likely to be just a bit of better throttle response, maybe higher top speed at tracks with long straights (which Brno doesn't have).

Stoner has since stated that he had expected to be in the 55's, but they had a lot to test and by the end of the day he was too tired to push the bike hard. That suggests the 1000 would be as much as 1 second faster than the 800 at Brno even in the early stages of development.

Acceleration and top speed are significantly better than the 800, both Stoner and Rossi have said so, suggesting maybe 350 kph at some tracks like Mugello. That's 20 kph, not a small difference.

A proper testing routine surely consists of running the bike in qualifying and race trim. If Stoner ran the bike in qualifying trim at the outset, and then worked on race simulations, it would explain why he didn't improve.

This is testing, not a GP weekend. Constant improvement isn't nearly as important as gathering data.