Sepang: Yamaha rules the day
Factory Yamaha Racing rider Ben Spies topped the time sheets early in the day, before rain storms hit the Malaysian circuit on Wednesday and halted further time improvements for all the riders in the field.
An engine failure in Dani Pedrosa's RC213V machine yesterday forced HRC to prevent all four of its riders from participating on the track today. The engine was sent to Japan for analysis last night, the results of which HRC claimed were positive and stating that the Honda riders will be back on track tomorrow.
Despite the rain, several riders continued testing, including Jorge Lorenzo who earlier set the second fastest lap of the day with a 2’01.293. The Yamaha rider took advantage of the rainy conditions after which the Spaniard claimed: "We have to improve traction on corner entry. The engine development is good and we are closing the gap from Honda. Also the modifications to the chassis are working well." Tomorrow Lorenzo will test a new chassis as the 2010 World Champion and his team diligently work to reclaim the title.
Third for the day was Andrea Dovizioso, who opted not to run on the wet track in the afternoon. The Italian was nonetheless pleased with a new found bike set up on his Tech 3 Yamaha that allowed for a more efficient riding position. "Today was the first day that I could run well and in a comfortable position, and being two-tenths off the official Yamaha is not too bad. I tested the new engine specification and so far it has been positive," reported Dovizioso at the end of the day.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow wrapped up the day just over a tenth behind his Italian team-mate, also electing to stay dry in the afternoon, as did Héctor Barberá who had crashed his Pramac Racing Ducati in the wet earlier in the day.
Valentino Rossi also opted not to run his Ducati Team GP12 in the rain, the Italian worried that the rain was hurting the development of the new bike though admitted there was nothing they could do about it. Team-mate Nicky Hayden did take a few laps on a drying track later in the day after test rider Franco Battaini rode the Kentuckian’s Ducati on the wet track for much of the afternoon. Hayden reported that tomorrow he will continue with some set up changes in search of better grip.
Colin Edwards was hindered again by a throttle connection issue and thought he would be sidelined for the afternoon, though the Texan made it out for an additional seven laps in the afternoon on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing machine, while Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez continued riding throughout the wet afternoon, completing 39 and 26 laps respectively as they continue with the development of their Avintia Racing BQR-FTR machine.
Sepang Test Day 2 Final Times:
1. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 2’01.285 (giri 19/35)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’01.293 (giri 4/26)
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 2’01.522 (giri 18/18)
4. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 2’01.695 (giri 19/22)
5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2’01.748 (giri 17/39)
6. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 2’01.989 (giri 12/26)
7. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 2’02.130 (giri 14/18)
8. Franco Battaini (Ducati) 2’03.566 (giri 14/20)
9. Colin Edwards (Suter-BMW) 2’05.816 (giri 6/14)
10. Ivan Silva (BQR-Kawasaki) 2’07.532 (giri 39/39)
11. Yonny Hernandez (BQR-Kawasaki) 2’08.213 (10/26)