2012 Sepang 1 MotoGP Test Day 2 Times: Stoner Back On Track, And Fastest Again

Casey Stoner was back on the bike at Sepang and immediately topped the pile. The Repsol Honda rider got his first taste of the RC213V on Wednesday, after missing the first day of testing with a recurrence of an old back problem, and was soon up to speed, ending the day on top of the timesheets and around three quarters of a second faster than Jorge Lorenzo's best time from Tuesday. The Yamahas remain strong, however: Ben Spies had the 2nd fastest time - he was briefly logged as fastest, but it emerged that his lap of 1'58.150 had been set on a flying lap after a practice start from pit lane exit, cutting a good deal of the front straight - sixteen hundredths behind Stoner, with his factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo just sixteen thousandths behind him. 

Dani Pedrosa was fourth fastest of the day, taking half a second off his time from yesterday, and ending up six tenths behind Repsol teammate Stoner, and just ahead of the third Yamaha, that of Cal Crutchlow. The Monster Tech 3 man continues to impress, ending the day two thirds of a second behind Stoner and under six hundredths behind Pedrosa. Hector Barbera was the fastest of the Ducati, just edging ahead of Valentino Rossi at the end, though his time was once again set by following Rossi around and getting a tow. 

Rossi drops to 7th on the timesheets on the new bike, but the sounds coming out of the Marlboro Ducati garage are still very positive, and Rossi himself improved his time from Tuesday by half a second. Alvaro Bautista took nine tenths off his best time from Tuesday and ends the day in 8th, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, both of whom are still struggling with injury. Hayden was even forced to stop testing halfway through the afternoon, as the pain in his shoulder became too much to ride.

After Mattia Pasini clocked up the first crash of a CRT bike at Valencia on Monday, Stefan Bradl became the first rider to crash a factory prototype, walking away unhurt from a crash early in the day. Bradl is learning fast: the German improved his time by one-and-a-quarter seconds on Wednesday, and the gap to the front runners is looking very respectable.

The CRT machines had a better day on Wednesday - or at least, the Suter BMW ridden by Colin Edwards did. After missing a large part of Tuesday as the crew worked on the 2012 bike, Edwards' times on the 2011 bike were dismal. Things perked up a lot on the 2012 bike, the Texan taking over two-and-a-half seconds off his time from Tuesday, but chatter remains a problem at the rear. The front felt much better, Edwards reported on Twitter, and if they can find a solution to chatter at the rear, the Texan should be able to take some more time off his best lap.

The other CRT garage had a fairly disastrous day: After brake problems on Tuesday, engine problems emerged on Wednesday, with both Ivan Silva and BQR test rider Robertino Pietri suffering blown Kawasaki engines. Whether the engines can be fixed in time for Thursday remains to be seen, but their times are still a long way off.

Results of day 2 appear below, and a comparison of day 2 times to day 1 underneath that.

Results, courtesy of MotoGP.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous Laps
1 Casey Stoner Honda 2:00.895     29
2 Ben Spies Yamaha 2:01.052 0.157 0.157 38
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.068 0.173 0.016 40
4 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:01.508 0.613 0.440 35
5 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:01.565 0.670 0.057 42
6 Hector Barbera Ducati 2:01.788 0.893 0.223 50
7 Valentino Rossi Ducati 2:01.886 0.991 0.098 44
8 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:01.933 1.038 0.047 46
9 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2:02.160 1.265 0.227 42
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:02.354 1.459 0.194 41
11 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:02.414 1.519 0.060 41
12 Karel Abraham Ducati 2:02.598 1.703 0.184 66
13 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Test 2:02.941 2.046 0.343 40
14 Franco Battaini Ducati Test 2:04.311 3.416 1.370 38
15 Colin Edwards Suter BMW CRT 2:05.603 4.708 1.292 37
16 Ivan Silva FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:10.297 9.402 4.694 16
17 Jordi Torres FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:11.893 10.998 1.596 2
18 Robertino Pietri FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:12.546 11.651 0.653 5


Day 2 vs Day 1

Pos Rider Bike Day 1 Day 2 Improvement
1 Casey Stoner Honda   2:00.895  
2 Ben Spies Yamaha 2:02.234 2:01.052 -1.182
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.657 2:01.068 -0.589
4 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:02.003 2:01.508 -0.495
5 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:02.221 2:01.565 -0.656
6 Hector Barbera Ducati 2:02.773 2:01.788 -0.985
7 Valentino Rossi Ducati 2:02.392 2:01.886 -0.506
8 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:02.869 2:01.933 -0.936
9 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2:02.751 2:02.160 -0.591
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:03.151 2:02.354 -0.797
11 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:03.668 2:02.414 -1.254
12 Karel Abraham Ducati 2:03.781 2:02.598 -1.183
13 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Test 2:02.829 2:02.941 +0.112
14 Franco Battaini Ducati Test 2:04.986 2:04.311 -0.675
15 Colin Edwards Suter BMW CRT 2:08.240 2:05.603 -2.637
16 Kousuke Akiyoshi Honda Test 2:07.163   -7.163
17 Ivan Silva FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:11.267 2:10.297 -0.970
18 Jordi Torres FTR Kawasaki CRT 2:10.671 2:11.893 +1.222
19 Robertino Pietri FTR Kawasaki CRT   2:12.546  
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Thanks for the great writeups. It looks like yamaha really worked hard this winter…and casey is plenty motivated!

barbera is on which bike these days? tow or not, he still pipped vale, which is saying something...

Rossi is very happy and optimistic that his bike answers to changes in setup and so on, he looks comfortable on it still it is a bit worrying to see that Barbera can lap faster on the GP0 than him on the GP12...we'll see after a few weeks of development if it's still the case.

The most obvious element to tell them apart is the radiator, it's in 2 parts for the satellite's GP0 and 1 part for the factory's GP12.

When you look at this http://css.motogp.com/media/pdf/test_results/MotoGP_Test_Lap_by_Lap_35_2...

You can see that Barbera rythm is clearly slower than Rossi's one. His final lap looks more like an "anomaly".

Too soon for any conclusion now but the GP12 is "less slow" than I thought ... if Rossi (and Hayden) can improve to morrow (they were unable to do that last year), it's a good sign.

I can't wait for the first race

I wouldn't read too much into Barbera's time compared to Rossi's. If you strap 14 Kg around Barbera's waist (2nd lightest rider after Pedrosa) I'm sure Rossi would be well ahead. His performances last year were also better than the bike he was riding which shows what an advantage weight gives....

Casey 'Superman' Stoner will be targeted with kryptonite bullets aimed at that No.1 plate on his bike by the likes of Ben and Jorge. Dovi should be concerned with Cal's current form so early in testing. Does anybody know if Cal's satellite Yamaha-M1 is the same spec as the factory units for the moment at least?

Maybe Stoner needs to start each race with one of those Kryptonite wheel locks on the front.

That will help improve "The Show."

I was explaining to my wife that we as race fans are in a privalidged position to see the new ducati introduced. This bike is brand new. Think about it.... Remember when it was the years following up to the new millennium we thought there would be cars that could fly etc....well here we are in 2012 and we get to see a manufacturer start from scratch with the ability to get the best in whatever is needed. Best engineer, parts, etc etc. Ducati is building a motorbike with everything technology has to offer since us as human beings have been living on this planet up until now instead of building on a formulas that works like the Japanese bikes coming into this season.

So for Vale to be 7th fastest today is positive cause he is arguably riding the most futuristic bike on the grid. Once they find a base I'm sure he will be lapping much quicker than Barbara even though his efforts have been impressive since last year. Hopefully the hondas and yamahas don't pull away from Ducatis reach while they sort out the new gp12. At the moment the Japanese bikes still seem to be within catch able distance although this is just a test.

Pretty cool stuff I think in this modern era

C'mon give us a break. Ducati went from testing new technologies with a carbon fiber airbox/front subframe to imitating 20 year old aluminum perimeter frame technology.

>>Remember when it was the years following up to the new millennium we thought there would be cars that could fly etc

Ask any engineer and you know that flying cars are only going to be seen in Jetsons reruns and the cover of Popular Science.

>>So for Vale to be 7th fastest today is positive cause he is arguably riding the most futuristic bike on the grid.

Can you point to one design feature that has not been used many times before? Not that using what is proven is a bad approach but it is the polar opposite of futuristic.

>>Once they find a base I'm sure he will be lapping much quicker than Barbara

Barbara is on a bike with about the same amount of use/setup info as the one Rossi is on. Barbara is on The November Valencia test GP12 that was only used for that test then shunted to the satellite teams for this year.


While I agree that 7th is positive, I would argue that the previous Ducati's were more futuristic than the current one. What is futuristic about putting an alloy frame that links the steering head to the swing arm, or about tilting the motor back to change the weight distribution?
The futuristic and elegant Ducati for me is the one being sold for use on the road.
I hope it works and endorses the frameless concept away from the idiosynchratic world of MotoGP on Bridgestone control tyres.

The guy is just back from his MotoGP-free holidays and on his 3rd lap (he has not been on a MotoGP bike since November, he didn't lap yesterday) he lapped in 2.01.8 which would have been enough to grab the 7th time of the day, right before Rossi.

Then on his 6th lap he's in 2.01.2 which would be the 3rd best time of the test so far, well in front of his team mate Pedrosa and only 2 tenths slower than Spies' best lap that got him second place today.

When he's warmed up, he's warmed up!


The ONLY reason why Barbera got a faster lap than Vale is because he did what he ALWAYS does and that is getting a tow from someone. Actually a tow from Rossi himself. It's in the article. His last lap was an "anomaly" compared to all of his other laps. So actually 46 was the fastest Duc.

>So actually 46 was the fastest Duc.

Getting a tow is a part of racing. Barbara got the tow and turned a faster lap time than Rossi so Barbara was the fastest Ducati. If it was a QP Barbara would be gridded ahead of Rossi. That's just how it goes. Be happy that Vale seems to like this bike better but please don't twist the facts to suit your fan preferences.

I'm still amazed that an inferior rider such as Barbara is doing about the same lap times as Rossi on a supposedly inferior bike that has almost as little setup info for it.


Rossi should have taken a page from Stoner's book of "Don't Tow Me Or Else" and whacked Barbera on the arm. Just kidding but something should be said against it during testing and qualifying when riders are trying to set times. Save the towing for the races where keeping up lap after lap is a lot harder...

Stoner complains about people towing him and he is a moaner. Someone tows Rossi in a TEST EVENT and all of a sudden something needs to be said about a rider following another one. In a test. Where there was no crash or contact. Or anyone stuffing another rider or even pushing him wide. Is having Barbara listed above Rossi that hard for you to accept?

>>testing and qualifying when riders are trying to set times.

I thought they were all testing parts and tires, not trying to set a fast time. That's for tomorrow. And even then its only for bragging rights, not a grid position. Even so, I've seen many riders tow in QP. It annoys some riders, but so what? As long as I'm not stuffing another rider who's to say I can't follow you?


All I'm saying is Barbera's time would be lower minus the "tow" If they had wsbk's original superpole format(one bike at a time) he wouldn't have been anywhere near the factory guys on the starting grid for the race. The guy is known for this. It's the only way he can produce a fast time. Keep in mind he's only aspar's 2nd choice, because the 1st choice (Bautista) went to Suzuki when they moved up to the premiere class. Yes there are slow guys in this class, but they don't try to "mask" they're true skill by towing aliens around the track. If that's how he wants to stay relevant in this class more power to him, but he's not fooling anybody.

Yes, if they were using the superpole format Barbera would not be able to pull a tow and would be slower. However GP does not use superpole. And this is only a pre-season practice session.

It's only getting mention because it is Rossi that was dropped a place and lost out on being the fastest Ducati.


I'm pretty the tow complaints from stoner and the tow debacle was the subject to many comments some time ago. However in this instance it seems that since these tests were so highly centered (journalistically) around Rossi, and Barbera riding same manufacture machinery of course this is going to be the latest rants and raves.

Gas for the fire: Do we know of Rossi got to attempt his all out lap time he said he would try on the previous day? Did the weather alter the day 3 schedule?

Bragging rights you cite....exactly..If I'm Hector Barbera, riding a satellite machine on arguably the slowest sattelite, of course I'm going to go out there at 100% and try and raise some heads, because I want a ride next year, or I want a GP12 first, or I want a shot at a factory ride..or better yet...I don't want to ride a CRT next year...

You have to think about all these things within the context of each rider and place in time.

Whilst I can see the optimism from some over the Ducati's times, Rossi is still 1 second from P1. They seem to have found 0.5 seconds in building this new bike (compared to the GP11.1 etc), but I dare say we will start to see that gap widen as Honda & Yamaha refine their machinery over the coming months.

Ducati has done a good job, unfortunately they are about 18 months behind the other manufacturers in their development and this will become all the more evident as testing continues.

AS for the CRT's, hats off to CE II. To be where he is on the Suter/BMW after a lot less track time and no where near the levels of support the factories have, is extremely encouraging. Check out his twitter pics and you will see a bare garage with sparse tooling and even fewer engineers. I think the BQR guys should sit out this year and try again next year.

When you consider Rossi was recovering from shoulder surgery for the 2011 tests his 1.2 sec from the front in the 2012 tests while healthy does not bode well. He is closer to the podium so far but as much as I dislike Rossi's off track persona his racecraft is top notch and anything less than a win or dicing for the win should be considered a failure.