Final day of testing in Sepang, Rossi beats pole record
Another fascinating day of testing was completed at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday, with Valentino Rossi’s best lap of 2’00.271 setting the standard as the second official test finished.
The Italian – who was quickest on Thursday and also at the first test at the track three weeks ago – was 0.247s seconds faster than the time he set to qualify on pole position for the 2009 Malaysian GP.
The Rizla Suzuki team tested their new GSV-R engine for the first time at this test and veteran Loris Capirossi made progressive improvements across the two days to post a 2’01.320 on Friday, making him the sixth quickest of the two days. He tested a range of other aspects on the bike first tried three weeks earlier and rode just over 100 laps this time out.
Repsol Honda riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa were seventh and eighth fastest respectively on their RC212V machines. Dovizioso enjoyed a productive two days and on the second went round in 2’01.439, whilst Pedrosa was 0.039s behind. The Spaniard experienced a fall on Thursday and was uninjured, returning to the track later in the day and working throughout Friday as well.
Rookie Hiroshi Aoyama made impressive strides throughout the two days, with the Interwetten Honda MotoGP rider ninth in the timings with a 2’01.692 set on Friday as he felt vast improvements on the RC212V. He was followed by fellow MotoGP debutant Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) who set a best time of 2’01.732, despite having hurt his arm the previous day in a slide.
Marco Melandri of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team continued to adapt to the RC212V, and rookies Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Ducati), and Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) – whose fall on Thursday had no ill effects – were all present as they amassed laps on their respective Desmosedici machines.
A notable absentee from this test was Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who is still recuperating from a training accident which happened two weeks ago in which he injured his right hand.
Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Team 2:00.271 –
2 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team 2:00.512 +0.241
3 Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro Team 2:00.703 +0.432
4 Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.988 +0.717
5 Ben Spies Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.014 +0.743
6 Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2:01.320 +1.049
7 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team 2:01.439 +1.168
8 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:01.478 +1.207
9 Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 2:01.692 +1.421
10 Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2:01.732 +1.461
11 Randy De Puniet LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.980 +1.709
12 Marco Melandri San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:02.078 +1.807
13 Hector Barbera Aspar Team 2:02.080 +1.809
14 Mika Kallio Pramac Racing Team 2:02.082 +1.811
15 Yamaha T Yamaha T 2:02.287 +2.016
16 Aleix Espargaro Pramac Racing Team 2:02.367 +2.096
17 Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini 2:03.689 +3.418