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Crutchlow charges into top three on day 2 at scorching hot Sepang

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow stormed to a brilliant third place on a hot and humid second day of MotoGP testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today. With track conditions a vast improvement on the slippery surface that greeted the field yesterday, lap times tumbled and Crutchlow was able to set a fastest pace of 2.00.907 on a day when air temperatures peaked at well over 30 degrees. Crutchlow shaved a massive 1.3s off his best pace on a rain-hit first day and his big improvement enabled him to rocket up the rankings from sixth to third behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. The British rider dedicated much of his time on track today to working on different front fork settings and he experimented with a similar set-up used by Lorenzo in an attempt to make his YZR-M1 machine more agile in the fast changes of direction. The 27-year-old was satisfied with the progress made in his 59-lap stint having finished less than 0.3s behind Pedrosa.

Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Rookie teammate Bradley Smith was also delighted with his performance today after he quickly restored his confidence following a tumble yesterday at Turn 7. The 22-year-old concentra ted mainly on improving his braking technique today on his way to clocking a best time of 2.02.369, which was an impressive 1.6s faster than his best pace on the opening day. Smith was able to get 63 valuable laps under his belt on a day in which he also began to evaluate a range of different settings on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine for the first time. His best time put him 10th and encouragingly for the future he was only marginally over one second away from the top six.

Cal Crutchlow – Laps – 59, Time – 2’00.907

"There didn’t seem to be a lot of grip out there again today although the lap times have improved a lot. We tried something different with the front fork setting, which was in a similar direction to what Jorge (Lorenzo) uses and there were some good and bad points like with most things you test. I’m happy with my pace because we’ve tried a couple of different settings and we need to work on fine-tuning the best one. The main goal has been trying to stop the front of the bike lifting so much when I change direction on the throttle. The bike feels quite heavy so we need to reduce how much the fork comes up without sacrificing too much in another area like the braking. I’m sure if I had put in some new tyres at the start of the day I could have gone faster. But I waited to use mine around lunch and I still went faster, even though the track temperature was much higher at that point. I’m not really too concerned about the times though. I’m just concentrating on making the package we have got better for the first race in Qatar.”

Bradley Smith – Laps – 63, Time – 2’02.023

"After the crash yesterday I am feeling much happier today, though I’m a little bit wary of some things that happen with the front and that can play on your mind a little bit. But the track has more grip and my feeling with the bike is much better. Today I worked a lot on my braking technique because I’m being too cautious at the moment and not using the carbon brakes as they need to be used. We played around with some different settings today too just to gain more of an understanding about what direction we can take in the future if we have certain problems. I think Jorge is doing exceptionally well riding around consistently in the 2.00 bracket because all of the other guys seem to be in the 2.01s. He is on another level at the moment but to be honest I feel quite good doing consistent 2.02s. We are working for Qatar and the first race rather than lap times now. It is not e asy that’s for sure but I am confident soon it will start clicking into place and we will start rolling forward.”

Yamaha Tech 3

Special thanks to:
motorsport.com

Lorenzo leads the way on day two at Sepang

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo topped the time sheets today for day two of the second official IRTA test at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Lorenzo was fast straight out of the box in the morning and remained unchallenged all day. Track conditions had improved from yesterday’s first run, allowing the champion to get down to a lap time of 2’00.282 seconds, nearly 1.5 seconds faster than yesterday’s quickest time set by Dani Pedrosa.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi’s start to the day was delayed slightly whilst the team resolved a small electrical issue with a coil. The Italian was soon out on track, putting in an impressive 63 laps whilst working on improving the YZR-M1’s traction on worn tyres. Rossi completed the day in fifth position, over a second faster than yesterday’s time.

Jorge Lorenzo – Laps 58, Time – 2’00.282
“A pretty good day, the track was much better than yesterday, I was surprised in the beginning it was so different. I could be strong from the start; a second and a half quicker and I think I beat my record time here in Malaysia. We improved the setting on the bike and I feel stronger than the first Sepang test so I’m quite satisfied. Tomorrow if the weather is good I would like to try a long run of maybe 24 laps to see what happens with the tyres.”

Valentino Rossi – Laps 63, Time – 2’01.065
“I’m happy, the feeling is quite good. Today was a very long day; I did more than sixty laps because we had a lot of work to do. We lost some time this morning with a small electrical problem that we fixed. We continued to work to increase the rear grip and traction, especially when the tyre has a lot of laps on it. We found something but we are still not 100% happy as we lose a little balance of the bike. Tomorrow the target is to improve the traction without losing the balance and then the bike will be very good.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager –
“The second day of testing went pretty smoothly I have to say, we didn’t have any issues. We tested many different configurations of the bike again. We went a lot faster than yesterday but the track has improved as well. Having said that, whatever the conditions we have been consistently fast which is important. Overall it’s been very positive so far.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“A good day today, we managed many laps. We found some interesting data and the direction is definitely there. Unfortunately we lost some time this morning with Vale with a little issue with a coil but everything was back on track quickly. We are on target to finalise everything tomorrow and do a long run which will be the last point in our schedule for this test.”

Yamaha Factory Team

Special thanks to:
motorsport.com

Lorenzo dominates Day Two in Malaysia

Jorge Lorenzo was fastest during the second days testing in Kuala Lumpur.

Jorge Lorenzo was fastest during the second days testing in Kuala Lumpur.

Reigning world Champion Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest rider during the second day of the second MotoGP test at Sepang.

The world Champion was fastest than compatriot and rival Dani Pedrosa, and Yamaha satellite rider Cal Crutchlow, on a day every rider improved their lap times from yesterday.

Lorenzo was quick out of the blocks early, posting a  2′00.539, with just his third lap of the day, with much better track conditions than yesterday.

Despite Lorenzo’s early time being enough for him to end the day fastest, in the early afternoon at around 1pm, the two time world champion managed to further impove his lap time down to a 2:00.282.

It was the fastest time of the day, and the test so far, but it was still a tenth off Pedrosa’s time from the first test, and still hasn’t quite got to Stoner’s record from last years pre season testing when he broke the two minute mark.

As ever with Lorenzo, it wasn’t just one flying lap before sitting in the pits, it was his incredible consistancy, and ability to pump laps under the 2.01 barrier lap after lap, and it even drew comment from his team mate. “The difference today was Lorenzo, especially his pace: 2 00s, 00, 00, 00, 00… F**k!”

The world champion however thinks the improved track conditions, and better riding was the reason he was able to knock over a second off his time from yesterday.

“The track was much better than yesterday, which surprised me a lot right from the beginning,” said Lorenzo.

“That allowed me to be stronger right from the beginning so we’re very satisfied with the improvements we’re making with the settings. On top of that, I feel stronger as a rider than the first Sepang test so I’m very satisfied.”

For the first time 2012 runner up Dani Pedrosa found himself ending the day in second position, and he was almost four tenths adrift of the world champion.

Posting 55 laps Pedrosa was focusing more today on suspension settings, and extended runs, rather than falling into the trap Stoner did last season of short fast testing runs.

“We were doing a lot of testing with Öhlins, so it was quite tough but so far we’re making good steps forward,” said Pedrosa.

“Even though we had heavy rain yesterday the track is quite good now, so tonight we’ll be taking all of the data from the first two days to establish a plan for Thursday.”

Surprise of the day came in the shape of  Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow. The Briton managed to finish the day third, ahead of a factory Honda and a factory Yamaha.

In spite of his excellent times, Crutchlow still thinks he could have gone faster. ”There didn’t seem to be a lot of grip out there again today although the lap times have improved a lot,” said Crutchlow.

“We tried something different with the front fork setting, which was in a similar direction to what Jorge (Lorenzo) uses and there were some good and bad points like with most things you test. I’m happy with my pace because we’ve tried a couple of different settings and we need to work on fine-tuning the best one.

“The main goal has been trying to stop the front of the bike lifting so much when I change direction on the throttle. The bike feels quite heavy so we need to reduce how much the fork comes up without sacrificing too much in another area like the braking. I’m sure if I had put in some new tyres at the start of the day I could have gone faster. “

Back in fourth was 2012 Moto2 world Champion Marc Marquez on his factory Repsol Honda. The rookie said his plan for today was to do lots of laps, and its something he achieved, posting 64 laps today.

“It’s all going well at the moment,” stated Marquez.

“This morning we went out with the same setups as for the last test, trying many things and getting lots of information. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, but I’m happy because we’re now working more with the bike; first it was with setup and then with electronics.”

Valentino Rossi returned to his 2013 spec M1, but unfortunately for him he didn’t fare much better than yesterday as he finished the day fifth fastest. Rather alarmingly for the returning nine times world Champion he was more than seven tenths adrift of his team mate, and he still couldn’t crack the 2.01 barrier.

“I’m happy, the feeling is quite good,” said the Doctor.

“Today was a very long day; I did more than sixty laps because we had a lot of work to do. We lost some time this morning with a small electrical problem that we fixed. We continued to work to increase the rear grip and traction, especially when the tyre has a lot of laps on it.

“We found something but we are still not 100% happy as we lose a little balance of the bike. Tomorrow the target is to improve the traction without losing the balance and then the bike will be very good.”

Alvaro Bautista was sixth and the last rider to be within a second of Lorenzo’s fastest time, he was also the leading satellite Honda, although he was only 0.3s quicker than yesterdays fourth place man Stefan Bradl who ended the day seventh.

Once again the Factory Ducati riders found themselves behind the Yamaha’s and Honda’s. Even with Nicky Hayden’s improvement of 1.3 seconds from yesterday time, it only moved him up one place above his team mate to eighth position, and it still left him 1.496s from the fastest time of the day. Team mate Andrea Dovizioso also shaved almost a second from his time from yesterday although he still ended the day ninth.

Once again rounding out the top ten was Yamaha Tech3 rookie Bradley Smith. The young Brit is still continuing to learn his M1, although he did admit yesterdays crash knocked his confidence a little.

Pramac Ducati’s rookie Andrea Iannone was in eleventh position, and he also managed to knock over 1.4 seconds off his time from Tuesday to finish above the CRT riders.

Aleix Espargaro was the best CRT rider today, although he couldn’t quite claim the scalp of Iannone it was still another highly impressive day from the Spaniard. Just behind him was a trio of test rider in the shape of Michele Pirro, Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Wataru Yoshikawa.

Hector Barbera managed to finish above his team mate today and claim 16th spot, although alarmingly Ben Spies on the other Pramac Ducati was 17th. Spies is still recovering his the shoulder injury which he sustained during the 2012 Malaysian race, and he had to shrug off a low speed crash at turn one, but its ominous looking signs for the Texan.

Colin Edwards was 39 today, and he celebrated his birthday, by taking the 23rd spot, although I’m sure Colin won’t need an excuse to party tonight.

Michael Laverty did his first laps of the second test today, although it wasn’t until the afternoon that his PBM team managed to sort the electrical problems out on the PBM machine. The PBM rider was able to complete only three laps this morning and another 16 in the afternoon.

MotoGP Sepang2 test Day 2 results:

01- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – 2’00.282 (58 laps)
02- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 0.369 (55)
03- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.625 (59)
04- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 0.710 (64)
05- Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.783 (63)
06- Alvaro Bautista – Go & Fun Honda Gresini – Honda RC213V – + 0.926 (58)
07- Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC213V – + 1.203 (54)
08- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1.496 (69)
09- Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1.521 (49)
10- Bradley Smith – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.741 (63)
11- Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 2.326 (47)
12- Aleix Espargaro – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 2.623 (45)
13- Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 2.638 (60)
14- Katsuyuki Nakasuga – Yamaha Test Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 2.664 (43)
15- Wataru Yoshikawa – Yamaha Test Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 3.072 (40)
16- Hector Barbera – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 3.146 (55)
17- Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 3.178 (36)
18- Randy De Puniet – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 3.236 (57)
19- Hiroshi Aoyama – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 3.708 (57)
20- Danilo Petrucci – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 3.997 (50)
21- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART GP13 – + 4.068 (68)
22- Takumi Takahashi – HRC Test Team – Honda RC213V – + 4.230 (77)
23- Colin Edwards – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 4.374 (44)
24- Yonny Hernandez – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART GP13 – + 4.389 (58)
25- Claudio Corti – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 4.427 (29 )
26- Bryan Staring – Go & Fun Honda Gresini – FTR Honda MGP12 – + 5.157 (44)
27- Lukas Pesek – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 5.924 (45)
28- Michael Laverty – Paul Bird Motorsport – PBM 01 – + 7.439 (19)

Lorenzo bites back on day two in Sepang

Jorge Lorenzo jumped to the top of the timing sheets on day two of the second official MotoGP test at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia with the Yamaha Factory Racing rider moving ahead of main rival Dani Pedrosa who had another highly productive day on his Repsol Honda RCV213V machine while moving into third place today was the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine of Cal Crutchlow who had a very good day on board the satellite bike.

I could be strong from the start; a second and a half quicker.

Jorge Lorenzo

The second day saw the track conditions improve for the riders after a first day of slippery tarmac due to heavy rainfall on the run up to the test. High track temperatures made for somewhat difficult riding in the afternoon but this didn’t stop the majority of the riders from improving their overall times. The main factory teams had a large testing and set up schedule for day two that saw most of the riders completing around 60 laps while the satellite and CRT riders completed an average of 45 laps.

The fastest riders of the day were once again the Spanish rivals Pedrosa and Lorenzo who swapped the top times before Lorenzo recorded a time of 2m 0.282s that enabled him to stay ahead of Pedrosa who set a best lap of 2m 0.651s with Crutchlow close behind setting a 2m 0.907s lap time. Marc Marquez wasn’t too far away from the top three men once again with the Repsol Honda rookie setting a best lap of 2m 0.992s while Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi finished today in 5th place (2m 1.065s) and Alvaro Bautista was close behind for the Honda Gresini team with a 2m 1.208s.

Finishing day two in 7th on the timing screens was Germany’s Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) who set a best time of 2m 1.485s while the Ducati Team pairing of Nicky Hayden (2m 1.778s) and Andrea Dovizioso (2m 1.803s) finished in 8th and 9th respectively. The final spot in the top ten today was filled by the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith who continues to impress and set a best time of 2m 2.023s. The top CRT rider was once again Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro with a best time of 2m 2.905s.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Lorenzo was pleased with his performance and surprised at how much grip there was on the Sepang circuit. He said, “A pretty good day, the track was much better than yesterday, I was surprised in the beginning it was so different. I could be strong from the start; a second and a half quicker and I think I beat my record time here in Malaysia. We improved the setting on the bike and I feel stronger than the first Sepang test so I’m quite satisfied. Tomorrow if the weather is good I would like to try a long run of maybe 24 laps to see what happens with the tyres.”

Pedrosa completed his testing schedule for day two and was happy with his performance saying, “I’m satisfied. Today we were able to put in a lot of laps and we focused on testing things out with the front and rear suspension. It was a hard day, due to the high temperatures, but despite the heat we completed various tasks that we had scheduled in. Now we have to recuperate ahead of the final day tomorrow, in which we will continue to improve the bike.”

Crutchlow remained focused on the testing at hand when speaking about his third fastest time and said there is more work to do. He said, “There didn’t seem to be a lot of grip out there again today although the lap times have improved a lot. We tried something different with the front fork setting, which was in a similar direction to what Jorge (Lorenzo) uses and there were some good and bad points like with most things you test. I’m happy with my pace because we’ve tried a couple of different settings and we need to work on fine-tuning the best one. The main goal has been trying to stop the front of the bike lifting so much when I change direction on the throttle.

Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

The bike feels quite heavy so we need to reduce how much the fork comes up without sacrificing too much in another area like the braking. I’m sure if I had put in some new tyres at the start of the day I could have gone faster. But I waited to use mine around lunch and I still went faster, even though the track temperature was much higher at that point. I’m not really too concerned about the times though. I’m just concentrating on making the package we have got better for the first race in Qatar,” Crutchlow added.

Special thanks to:
motorsport.com

Stoner reveals V8 contender

Stoner will debut his Holden this weekend in Adelaide.

Stoner will debut his Holden this weekend in Adelaide.

Casey Stoner today revealed his 2013 V8 Holden ahead of this weekends first race as the formed MotoGP world Champion prepares to embark on his new career.

The two time MotoGP world champion who retired at the end of the 2012 season revealed his #27 Red Bull Racing Holden Commodore VE (the 2010 version that Craig Lowndes drove).

Race fans won’t have to wait long with the car and Stoner in action this weekend on the streets of Adelaide in the Clipsal 500 race, after recently taking part in private tests at both Bathhurst and Willowbank.

Practice begins tomorrow, and Stoner’s first race is on Friday, and the Aussie is slightly nervous about it all.

“Slightly nervous, with the walls. I’ve never been on a track with walls so close,” said Stoner.

“I think it should be a lot more fun than (nervous) really I have been looking forward to trying out a lot of different tracks in this car – I’ve only really driven two.

“It’s going to be a big learning curve in a short amount of time but I’m looking forward to being able to rip around the streets and it being legal.

“At this point we have no benchmark, we have no expectations of where we can be or thoughts on what we can achieve for the weekend.

“I haven’t got any expectations on results or anything like that, I just want to have fun and rub panels with a few guys.I really just want to try and enjoy this year and have a bit of fun racing – get back to what racing is all about. Then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Stoner has only signed a one year deal in the V8 supercars to race at all seven rounds, and has very much said this is a learning year, and a bit of fun.

“There’s no long term plans. I’ve had that for too many years so I don’t want to look too far ahead.”

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