Gordon Hatch MotoGP correspondent
Yamaha Factory Racing riders top the timing sheets ahead of rivals
Rain once again played a significant part on the second day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit where Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies ended up on top of the timing sheets ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso.
We’ve got a lot of stuff to do tomorrow so we’re hoping for a dry day!
The riders made their way onto the track shortly after 10am but the Hondas were nowhere to be seen after the Japanese manufacturer decided keep their RC213V machines in their garages for engine checks, including the satellite Honda team bikes, following an engine problem on factory rider Dani Pedrosa’s machine yesterday.
While the track temperature remained high, the threat of rain was ever-present so most riders were anxious to get out early and get some dry track time. Spies was happy with his second day of testing where he tested a number of changes that he made to his YZR-M1 and while other riders were not happy with the wet weather, the American didn’t mind and was happy to get some wet track time on the new 1000cc machine.
Speaking after setting a best lap time of 2m 1.285s Spies said, “Today went well, the rain caught us out again but we got everything we needed to do done before lunch including some different chassis set ups and some electronics which we were pretty happy with. The rain started to come down so we waited until it subsided a little bit but with still a full wet track with standing water which we needed.
We haven’t ridden the thousand in the rain and I’ve never ridden this track in the rain so it was good to get some laps in. I had quite a good feeling with the bike in the rain; straight away it felt pretty good so we rode in full wet conditions and stayed on wets when it dried out a little and was greasy. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do tomorrow so we’re hoping for a dry day!” Spies added.
Teammate Lorenzo (2m 1.293s) was also very content with his second day of testing where he made a significant step forward in his bike’s setup. “Today we improved a little the connection with the throttle and the engine, it’s much smoother and easier to ride, a big step forward from yesterday. We were able to try the 1000cc M1 on the wet for the first time and we went very fast so it’s been a positive day and we are very motivated to improve the bike more. We managed to complete everything we wanted to test so it’s been good!” Lorenzo said.
Dovizioso was very happy with his progress and enjoyed a much better second day following on from a lack lustre performance on day one. Dovizioso tweeted a short message on his official Twitter page shortly after finishing testing for the day, “hi guys I am happy about how things are going! Today I improved the set up of my M1 and tested a new engine. It's a shame it rained,” he said.
Dovizioso’s teammate Cal Crutchlow sits next to the Italian in 4th position with a best lap of 2m 1.695s with Ducati Marlboro rider Nicky Hayden in 5th with a best time of 2m 1.748s with satellite rider Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing) in 6th place ahead of the factory Ducati of Valentino Rossi on his GP12 with a best time of 2m 2.130s. Ducati’s test rider Franco Battaini ended the day in 8th recording a best time of 2m 3.566s.
The CRT teams were also out on track today and it was a familiar situation to that of the first day of testing. Colin Edwards once again topped the CRT times on his Forward Racing Suter-BMW with a best lap of 2m 5.816s with Avintia FTR-Kawasaki teammates Ivan Silva (2m 7.532s) and Yonny Hernández (2m 8.213s) in 10th and 11th respectively. The final day of the Sepang test takes place tomorrow.