2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 2 Times: Spies Fastest, Hondas Missing On Rain-Hit Day

Yamaha's Ben Spies topped the second day of testing at Sepang, but the session was once again badly affected by rain. While vastly improved track conditions in the morning saw most riders take over a second off their times from yesterday, heavy rain started after just a couple of hours, calling a premature halt to the proceedings for everyone. Once the downpour eased off a little, track action resumed as the teams started work on the wet setup of their bikes.

In the dry conditions of the morning, Spies led a Yamaha whitewash. The Texan was faster - by the slimmest of margins, a few thousandths of a second - than his factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, while Andrea Dovizioso ended the day as 3rd fastest, beating his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Cal Crutchlow for the first time since joining the team. Behind the Yamahas, Nicky Hayden led the Ducatis, fractionally behind Crutchlow and a quarter of a second faster than the Pramac satellite bike of Hector Barbera. Valentino Rossi continued to work on the revised electronics package of the Ducati, ending the day in 7th, behind Barbera but within a second of Spies.

While Yamaha, Ducati and the CRT bikes continued work on their 2012 MotoGP bikes, no Hondas were out on the track today. After Dani Pedrosa's Honda RC213V developed a mysterious fault yesterday - Pedrosa reportedly saw a red light on his dashboard, and pulled in - HRC decided to suspend testing while the engine in Pedrosa's bike was being examined. After a preliminary check at the circuit, the engine was then flown back for further tests to Japan. The outcome of those tests is not yet known, but as HRC test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi put in a few test laps in the afternoon, the problem appears not to have been as serious as was feared. The Hondas are expected to continue testing again on Thursday, the final day of the tests, but so far, no confirmation of that has been forthcoming.

Results of day 2, courtesy of MotoGP.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Previous Laps
1 Ben Spies Yamaha 2:01.285     35
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.293 0.008 0.008 26
3 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2:01.522 0.237 0.229 18
4 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:01.695 0.410 0.173 22
5 Nicky Hayden Ducati GP12 2:01.748 0.463 0.053 39
6 Hector Barbera Ducati GP0 2:01.989 0.704 0.241 26
7 Valentino Rossi Ducati GP12 2:02.130 0.845 0.141 18
8 Franco Battaini Ducati Test 2:03.566 2.281 1.436 20
9 Colin Edwards Suter BMW 2:05.816 4.531 2.250 14
10 Ivan Silva FTR Kawasaki 2:07.532 6.247 1.716 39
11 Yonny Hernandez FTR Kawasaki 2:08.213 6.928 0.681 26


Tweet Button: 

Back to top


Great showing from Nicky, new bike recovering from surgery and only 4 10ths behind the top factory yam, bet that raised a few eyebrows. Be interesting to hear whether it was, I was lucky to stay on, (old bike) or yep I felt comfortable and didn't push to hard because of the surgery... I'm inclined to the later.. Big up to Dovi and Cal also good work. The rain is a pain, hope we get a clear day tomorrow..

Lorenzo may get a taste of what Rossi went through when they were team-mates. Spies wants to prove a major point to everyone at Yamaha and be a real threat to the Hondas as well as Jorge! Qatar is taking its time to get here...

oh i see....

there must be more than one track they could reliably test on with european summer like conditions???

or am i going after a moot point here?


Yamaha are certainly going about things the right way,all the way from George through to Cal.
I don't quite understand HRC withdrawing all 4 bikes unless it was serious,as in very serious. An 'idiot light' pops up and the entire entry is withdrawn.
Safety first,I guess.
Dovi is obviously hellishly determined. I was about to wright him off as a podium threat yesterday. My,how the wheels turn overnight.
I look forward to seeing the Yamaha official livery.
Ducati/Rossi remain an enigma since Stoner's departure. A bag of hot air or not ?
Look forward to more from Nick aswell as the HRC outfit's resumption of activity in a few hours time.
Trending...Ben Spies. With 3 remaining, the game needs another alien to maintain the long established gang of four.

I think David quoted Casey yesterday as saying had the track not been so dirty early on he had another 1.0 to 1.5 in him "easily." scary stuff knowing he's put his money where his mouth is lately and that rather large heavy chip on his shoulder from the off-season smack talking doesn't seem to have slowed him down.
wondering if Ben taped Lin Jarvis' statements about needing to find pace and consistency to his mirror a la Rocky Balboa.

I would never bet against Rossi, but his testing times have to be somewhat worrisome. I can't believe he'd be sandbagging that much, and while he's only been able to get a few laps in, being about .5 sec slower than your injured teammate has to raise a few eyebrows.

Will lack of dry testing time lead Ducati to privately rent out a track for tons of testing time w/ Valentino and Hayden? If I were them I'd be on the phone this very moment booking some time.

Gotta echo the sentiments regarding Nicky, great showing. Listening to the minute interview from VR on motogp.com it's apparent that Ducati have a lorry full of stuff to test, and they simply aren't getting the track time to do it all. They only have tomorrow, then it's off the Jerez for the official one. So I reckon it's a fairly safe bet that Ducati are on the phone to any track that'll have them to be honest.

Great work from Ben and Jorge as well. Jorge's complaining about traction, but think's it'll get resolved and then they'll be closer, all be it for a little while, until HRC turn the screw...

Also a shout for Cal. Brilliant so far. I still think Dovi's gotta get to grips with the M1 though

I wouldn't let the lap times concern you too much, as the riders are meerly tesiting components / finding a setup. Especially factory riders, they are trying new settings / parts everytime they exit pit lane, once they find an ideal setting they will go out and push into the dangerzone, getting the fastest lap time possible. For Nicky, he needed time in the saddle to get used to the new bike, this means a base setup and tuning over laps, I think he is doing excellent. Vale on the other hand has a list 100 pages long from the factory of ideas to test so they can make the changes related on this feedback, not chasing a lap time. Everyone would be quicker, fast laps generally come after lunch once conditions have settled, and once the mechanics, engineers & riders understand the conditions and manipulate the bike to suit them.

I disagree somewhat. Often issues like chatter don't make themselves known when the bike isn't being push hard. What's the point of testing at a relaxed pace only to discover issues at the first race during qualifying? Not to mention all the head games that go on. I have no doubt the Rossi would like to be at the top of the sheets to prove he's still got it.

Ben Spies has tested well before, it doesn't mean much when the racing starts. His problem is that Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa are instantly at 100% as soon as the lights go out, and Ben has been losing too much time in the early laps. He has got to get the first laps right to consistently stand a chance of winning in race conditions.

As for the lap times, they are of limited value without the works Hondas running. From the evidence we've seen it appears that the Hondas are well clear of everyone else, or at least Stoner is, despite Lorenzo's public optimism. The Ducatis might seem to be improving, as indeed would be expected, but if Stoner was a further half a second or more ahead the Ducatis would still look a long way behind.

That Spies has admitted that the beggining of the race is always his week point, he also didn't wait around for anyone at Assen either...

That Spies has admitted that the beggining of the race is always his week point, he also didn't wait around for anyone at Assen either...

Spies rode well at Assen 2011, and probably would have won anyway, but circumstances did favor him, with MS taking out Lorenzo and Stoner being delayed by the same incident. Stoner was also riding injured. Assen well illustrates the point that Spies has got to get away well at the start and mix it with the front runners, not be playing catchup all race. Indianapolis 2011 was the direct opposite, with a competitive Spies getting it all wrong at the start and never getting a chance to engage with Stoner.

Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and maybe Rossi if they can get the Ducati working: it's a tough ask to beat all those guys unless Spies masters every phase of a race.

Nicky completed the most laps and is also recovering from surgery and Vale did less than half. Nicky did the testing yesterday, why? Vale commented he'd used too much tire the day before. You can expect him to run very hard today. Today will be the day when we find out what the Duke really has. I for one hope its a lot!

HRC benched all riders due to an engine light coming on, indicating an electronics problem. So the electronics are too sophisticated for track side analysis, when will the powers that be issue a standard ECU...

Big Ben?! I cant wait, agree completely with @motogpmd about the early laps, he also needs to improve his starts, he was one of the riders that was routinely stuck behind Vale off the line last year, costing him distance to the front runners. He has the pace though, as Jeremy burgess once said "you can teach a fast rider to stay on, but you cant make a slow rider fast" or something like that.

Ducati's test rider Franco Battaini has been taking Hayden's bike out when he is not riding it, and the automated timing system used by MotoGP.com counts the laps against Hayden, as it was his transponder that was being used. In actual fact, Hayden did 18 laps, so 20 of the other laps were put on by Battaini.

Could have been low oil pressure, high temp, anything. The fact they sent the engine back to Japan seems to suggest a mechanical (something race teams rarely admit to nowadays, unless parts of the piston are found in the middle of the track as happened at Sachsenring a few years ago - très embarrassant).

Hi David,

Thanks for clearing it up for me, sometimes I miss the detail, some would say most of the time... I enjoy my myopic views of the world.


that it was an electronic/programing problem, cant remember where? I seem to remember reading that the data was sent back to Japan for analysis rather than the whole engine, and that the engine was cleared... But I can't justify that now, as I can't find the link anymore, just an old fella's dementia...