Stoner tops Sepang test, Rossi sidelined

Casey Stoner set the fastest time in MotoGP testing at Sepang today, while Valentino Rossi missed the day due to illness

Stoner tops Sepang test, Rossi sidelined

Rossi was at the circuit during the morning but did not ride and returned to his hotel in the afternoon to rest ahead of Thursday's third and final day of the test.

In his absence, and in the searing Malaysian heat with the track temperature climbing above 60ºC, the three factory Honda riders filled the first three places. Stoner was just half a tenth faster than Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso another three tenths behind.

"We tested a lot of different things including the 2011 fork and new shocks and we found quite a lot of chattering with them," said Stoner. "We spent 90% of the day on one bike trying different configurations, changing the geometry to get the new fork working with the bike but didn't find anything that felt really good, but these things are necessary to do before the start of the season.

"We're slowly starting to lean more towards the standard frame but tomorrow will give us more confirmation on this. We found the new forks to be quite amazing in the braking points, in hard breaking I didn't need to use half as much pressure and I was able to stop for the corner much quicker, but found a lot more chattering in the last part of the corner.

"We managed to reduce this but we just seemed to lack the extra feeling that the alternative forks were giving".

The works Yamahas of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo were fourth and fifth quickest and the only other two riders to post times under the 2m01s mark, though Spies ended his day with a minor crash at Turn 7.

The Gresini Hondas of Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama continued the team formation with the sixth and seventh fastest times, while Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha), Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati) and Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) completing the top 10. Though Bautista was another rider to suffer from illness during the day.

Nicky Hayden was 11th on the sole factory Ducati, just ahead of the customer Pramac bikes of Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi.

Karel Abraham fell from his Cardion Ducati at the end of the day but still finished 14th, ahead of Toni Elias (LCR Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha).

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 2m00.171s 2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m00.229s + 0.058s 3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 2m00.531s + 0.360s 4. Ben Spies Yamaha 2m00.824s + 0.653s 5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2m00.931s + 0.760s 6. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 2m01.033s + 0.862s 7. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 2m01.439s + 1.268s 8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 2m01.738s + 1.567s 9. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 2m01.909s + 1.738s 10. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 2m02.035s + 1.864s 11. Nicky Hayden Ducati 2m02.208s + 2.037s 12. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 2m02.604s + 2.433s 13. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 2m02.624s + 2.453s 14. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 2m02.676s + 2.505s 15. Toni Elias LCR Honda 2m02.941s + 2.770s 16. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 2m02.984s + 2.813s 17. Noburu Aoki Suzuki 2m04.582s + 4.411s 
shares
comments
Rossi happy despite gap to front

Previous article

Rossi happy despite gap to front

Next article

Stoner ends Sepang test on top

Stoner ends Sepang test on top
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Author Steven English
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021