Valencia MotoGP Test Day 1 Final Times: Weather Makes For Difficult Test Circumstances

The weather blighted the first day of testing at Valencia, with half-decent conditions in the morning with a damp track giving way to harder rain as the day went on. The wet weather meant that a number of riders decided to pass up on testing today, meaning that for example both Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith did not make it out onto the track today. Marquez will be testing at Sepang at the end of the month, while Smith will ride tomorrow if the heavy rain which is expected arrives.

Two eagerly awaited debuts did take place, however: Valentino Rossi turned a number of laps on the Yamaha, the Italian quickly up to speed and looking much more comfortable on the bike, despite the conditions. Andrea Dovizioso also took to the track on the factory Ducati for the first time, taking the place of the departing Rossi. It was far from ideal, but Dovizioso said afterwards he had been positively surprised by the bike. It was too early to make comparisons with the Yamaha and Honda - dry time on the bike would be needed before it would be possible to do that - but the engine had been less aggressive than he expected and the bike had better traction in the wet than the Yamaha, something he had noted when riding with Rossi earlier this season.

Yamaha have now packed up and are on the road to Aragon, where they are hoping for a couple of hours of dry track time on Wednesday, just to get a feel for the bike. The rest will remain here, though whether for example Dani Pedrosa or Cal Crutchlow will ride in the rain tomorrow is still a question mark.

Final test times from Tuesday:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev.
1 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 1:35.936    
2 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1:36.198 0.262 0.262
3 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:39.868 3.932 3.670
4 7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 1:42.239 6.303 2.371
5 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1:42.571 6.635 0.332
6 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:43.736 7.800 1.165
7 51 Michele Pirro Ducati Test 1:44.297 8.361 0.561
8 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 1:45.814 9.878 1.517
9 14 Randy De Puniet ART 1:46.045 10.109 0.231
10 41 Aleix Espargaro ART 1:46.060 10.124 0.015
11 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 1:46.426 10.490 0.366
12 17 Karel Abraham ART 1:46.992 11.056 0.566
13 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1:47.772 11.836 0.780
14 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 1:49.457 13.521 1.685
15 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha      
16 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha      
17 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha      
18 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda      
19 93 Marc Marquez Honda      
20 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW      
21   Shane Byrne ART      


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As a layman ex racer and unsuccessfull one at that,I fail to understand why Marc and Bradly never turned a lap.
At worst you can turn the electronics completely off and adjust your bars,pegs and seat geometry to suit the new bike and conditions on the day. Feel the slick/wet tyres Bridgestone had on offer. What a waste of opportunity granted.
I can appreciate George,Cal and Dani sitting in the pits. They know the beat of Bridgestone. They know their steeds.
I guess the ever sensitive management at HRC and Tech3 knowing the weather prediction come to fruition felt a normal track day despite wind and weather was not worth the risk.
There is no guarantee that Sepang will grant the latest signees a perfect track.
Make hay while the sun shines,sew seeds while the rain falls.

Frankly I cannot understand neither myself. Some laps will give you a feeling in the wet (which may come handy later on) and a grasp of the bike, tyres, ...etc. Plus you bring around your colours. Without taking risks. At worst you post a bad time ... but that's really doesn't matter in testing and even more with those conditions.

And by the way impressive lap by Capirossi (talent doesn't age)!

about racers not getting out to at least get a good setup as far as comfortability on the bike, as well as a feel for the steed.

But for the people that did, it looked like Dovisioso is very serious about the Ducati. He got out there and started pushing that bike. Bautista and Bradl impressed me with their runs. Colin Edwards seems to feel something better than he was feeling looking at his times.

Rossi looked a bit timid at first to me, but I will wait and see at the rest of the tests. Because there is still a HUGE question to if he CAN be competitive again at the highest level. His past says yes, but he may have lost something mentally, plus he is older and everyone falls off at some point.