Gordon Hatch MotoGP correspondent
Wind and rain affect progress on second day of testing at Spanish circuit
Nicky Hayden ended up on top of the timing sheets the second day of MotoGP testing at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain on a day that saw rain, wind and cool track temperatures play havoc with all the teams and with a number of the normal frontrunners opting not to go back on track after the it had dried up near the end of the day, some of the satellite teams and also the CRT machines finished in the top ten.
Hayden set his best lap time of 1m 40.755s in the dying minutes of the session with Karel Abraham in second for his Cardion AB Motorsport team with a best time of 1m 41.661s putting the Czech rider ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who finished in third on a best lap of 1m 41.726s - all three riders made the most of the drying conditions and were the only ones in the 1m 41s time bracket.
Considering that the conditions weren’t perfect, it’s positive that we quickly come close to my best time from yesterday.
Hayden came away from his second day of testing happy with his progress saying, “It’s a shame about the weather because I’d like to take advantage of as much time as possible to work on the bike, since I lost so much time in the past few months. That’s how it was today though, and it does no good to complain, especially since I had the chance to try the GP12 in the rain for the first time, improving my feeling little by little. We took a long break when the track started to dry out, and we put on the slicks at the end, even though there were still some wet patches out there. I was able to do a couple exits to try the two little changes that we’d planned yesterday. Considering that the conditions weren’t perfect, it’s positive that we quickly come close to my best time from yesterday. Now we hope the weather will let us work well tomorrow, because we’d like to improve some details before Qatar, especially with traction in the fast corners,” Hayden added.
Speaking about his second place Abraham said, “From the morning the weather was bad, not to say that it was raining and the track was not completely wet, so there wasn’t much sense in riding because with wet tires and the drying track they overheat and we lots of glide. I hope we are on track and that tomorrow the weather is better.”
Spies was also pleased with his progress and had already put in a lot of work yesterday. “It’s been a tough day but it’s been like that for everybody. Luckily we got a lot of stuff done yesterday, a simulation and most of the test settings. Today we just tested some wet set up stuff. I was quite happy with that, we didn’t get on the track when it was in prime condition for wet but good enough. As the track dried out we needed to wait a little to try one thing in the dry. We know what we need to do for tomorrow so we’re hoping for good weather,” he said.
Alvaro Bautista was the next rider on the timing sheets on board his San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V and was nearly a second off third place setting a best lap of 1m 42.711s ahead of Hector Barbera for his Pramac Racing Team leaving the Spaniard in 5th position with a best time of 1m 43.288s. Ducati test rider Franco Battaini was next along with a lap time of 1m 44.264s and was one place in front of the CRT machine of Michele Pirro for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team (1m 44.761s).
James Ellison (Paul Bird Motorsport Team) set a best time of 1m 44.969s ahead of Came IodaRacing Project rider Danilo Petrucci on his best lap of 1m 45.336s with American Colin Edwards over two seconds behind the Italian with his best lap of 1m 47.968s for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and his RC213V hadn’t gone back on track when the conditions got as good they were going to get and ended the day with a best time of 1m 49.822s with his compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) behind him with a time of 1m 50.088s.
Andrea Dovizioso and his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine ended the day with the lap time of 1m 51.702s while Mattia Pasini was close behind for the Speed Master team (1m 51.772s). Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) sits in an uncharacteristic position on the second day way down in 18th place with a time of 1m 51.856s as did Valentino Rossi for the Ducati Team (1m 51.910s) with both riders having been 10th and 11th earlier in the day. Randy De Puniet came away with a best time of 1m 52.397s for the Power Electronics Aspar team and ahead of his teammate Aleix Espargaro (1m 57.718s) while Yonny Hernandez didn’t record a time for the Avintia Racing MotoGP team.
Tomorrow will see the final day of testing before the season opening race in Doha, Qatar on 8th April and no rain has been forecast.