Rossi looks ahead to Texas

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Valentino Rossi thinks the COTA test in March will give a better insight into the 2013 bike.

Valentino Rossi thinks the COTA test in March will give a better insight into the 2013 bike.

Nine times world Champion Valentino Rossi has cited the private test at the Circuit of the America’s in the middle of March as the most important test of the 2013 pre season schedule.

The Doctor is currently with the rest of the paddock testing in Malaysia, and despite a problem forcing him to test on the 2012 M1 today, he thinks that his M1 can improve a little before the first race of the season in Qatar, but is targeting COTA as a real insight as to where the bike and he stands.

“I think what will be the most significant in Texas,” said Rossi speaking to GPone.

“Yamaha has always gone well here and even in Jerez. Austin instead is a new track and those tests will be very important.”

This is also confirmation that Yamaha will be making the trip across the Atlantic, despite no official word from the team it was widely known they would be attending, but now it seems confirmed they will be in Texas.

Yamaha still running without seamless shift

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Jorge Lorenzo let it slip that they aren't currently using one.

Jorge Lorenzo let it slip that they aren’t currently using one.

The Factory Yamaha team is currently still running without a seamless shift on their gearbox despite rumours they were set to introduce one for their 2013 machine.

The team is currently in Sepang for the second of the official IRTA tests, and it has emerged that they are still running without the part which helped Honda and their RC212V so significantly for the 2011 season.

The rumours started to emerge when world Champion Jorge Lorenzo said that ”we have not released the seamless change, nor do we know when we will.” Yamaha as ever remain silent on the subject refusing to comment on whether the part is on their M1.

The part is believed to cost around 600,000 euros according to HRC, but Yamaha are understood to be looking into ways to introduce the part using their single clutch, as the double clutch is prohibited in MotoGP.

With the advancements and testing required for any new part the Yamaha duo look unlikely to be racing with the seamless shifter until at least half way through this 2013 season.

Casey Stoner to SBK wildcard?

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Could Nakamoto convince Stoner to wildcard in the World SBK series?

Could Nakamoto convince Stoner to wildcard in the World SBK series?

HRC vice President Shuhei Nakamoto has said that he would like Casey Stoner to wild card in a World SBK round to help motorcycle development.

“It would be a good idea to have Casey Stoner as a wildcard rider in the World Superbike Championship,” said Nakamoto speaking to German media.

“But Casey is not cheap. It would also be nice if he could help us in the motorcycle development. Who knows … “

It seems a far fetched idea from Nakamoto, with no Japanese round, and the Australian round come and gone already there is no outstandingly obvious round that Stoner could wildcard at either.

But with Casey Stoner you never know what he is thinking, and maybe a competitive SBK field could be the spark he needs to fall back in love with motorcycle racing.

Suzuki confirm testing return

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Aoki has confirmed that Suzuki will be testing at Montmelo at the post race test.

Aoki has confirmed that Suzuki will be testing at Montmelo at the post race test.

Suzuki have confirmed that they will be joining the MotoGP grid for the post Catalunya test which takes place on June 17th.

The news has come from test rider Nobuatsu Aoki who is currently at the Sepang test.

Aoki was speaking to, and he told them that they have already been testing the brand new bike , which is belived to be an inline four with a big-bang firing order, at the private test track and at Motegi, and that he and a European rider will be testing in Montmelo.

The former GP winner declined to comment on who the European rider was, but it is widely accepted to be Randy De Puniet, who is believed to be in talks with Suzuki about becoming a test rider.

He did however confirm that Suzuki plan on entering a two-rider factory effort, running under the full MSMA rules. The MSMA rules mean that they can only use 5 engines per season and 20 liters of fuel each race.

The benefit of competing as an MSMA team is they can use their own software on the Magneti Marelli ECU.

Names are already being thrown about as to who the two riders may be, with Crutchlow, Spies and De Puniet among the favourites to take the ride next season when the fully return.

Pedrosa fastest again in Sepang

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Dani Pedrosa makes it four from four in Sepang.

Dani Pedrosa makes it four from four in Sepang.

Dani Pedrosa was once again the fastest man during day one of the second MotoGP pre season test in Sepang, on a day where the weather had the ultimate say and brought the day to a premature end.

The Spaniard continued his sublime form the first test, although today he didn’t get the chance to improve on his times from the first test.

During the first test the 2012 runner up managed a best time of 2’00″100 over the three day test, where today the best he could manage was a 2’01″580, nearly one and a half seconds slower.

“We tested a few things on the suspension and also mapping,” explained Pedrosa.

“It was harder at the beginning because the track was a little dirty – I guess from yesterday and beforehand when we had heavy rain. But, bit by bit, the track was improving so I guess from tomorrow we should be able to continue with the same things: the suspension and the mapping for corner entry, that’s basically our plan. Hopefully we will also get a long run in.”

Second place, just like the previous three days of testing was reigning World champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Lorenzo was just a little more than two tenths of second adrift of Pedrosa, as he continued to work on race set up and persisted on working on longer consistent runs.

Getting through 25 laps the World champion said, “Not so much new stuff today, we just tried to improve our current settings. We made some modifications but nothing special. For the next two days, more of the same!

“We need to improve the acceleration a little bit but for the moment no new bits to try. The track was more slippery than the first test due to the rain which has left the tarmac in a worse condition.”

Marc Marquez continued to impress and he finished the day in third position. Despite the impressive times, Marquez did suffer a small crash with his RC213V, but it was so minor he remounted and rode it back to the pits.

“I’d done a lot of laps on that set of tyres and then got to the slowest corner on the circuit,” said a smiling Marquez.

“It was quite strange because I started to loose the front, but it made it look like the bike had actually stopped! I fell off the bike, picked it up and continued…so I only lost about ten seconds. It was quite strange!”

The surprise and star of the day was young German Stefan Bradl. The LCR Honda rider was fourth position, and only 0.017s from the fully factory supported Marquez.

“The track was a bit slippery, so conditions were not as good as they had been for the last Sepang test,” the German explained.

“It took some time to get up to speed for a proper lap time and then it still took me some time to build confidence when we fitted new tyres.

“By the end of our running we had found ourselves in a good position, so that was good. We still have some things to try in terms of geometry and lifting the bike and I also suffered a bit today with braking – it wasn’t as stable as at the last test.”

Valentino Rossi continues his re-adaption onto the Yamaha M1, and even reverted to the 2012 machine in an effort to get himself reacquainted with the Yamaha. The doctor found himself four tenths off the pace, a similar margin to the first test, and ended the day in fifth position.

“The first day is not so bad, but we were unlucky because we had a small problem with the bike which had the new chassis so we had to stop and use the old bike,” said the Doctor.

“We made some tests with that using just one tyre and my pace and my lap times were not so bad. After we waited for the afternoon for the real work but the rain came so we decided to stop continue tomorrow. If it rains again tomorrow we will do some laps in the wet conditions.”

In sixth position was Briton and Yamaha satellite rider Cal Crutchlow, and he  continues to impress on his Tech3 M1.

Crutchlow was approximately one and a half seconds off his best time from Sepang’s first test so the Brit wasn’t too disheartened.

Right behind Crutchlow was Gresini Go & Fun rider Alvaro Bautista, who is continuing development and the learning process with his Showa suspension. He was also the final rider to be within a second of Pedrosa’s best time.

Up next was the factory Ducati duo of Andrea Doviziso and Nicky Hayden who were eighth and ninth respectively, as they worked with a new fuel tank for the first time in an effort to improve weight distribution.

The pair improved on their gap to the top from the first Sepang test, with Andrea Doviziso 1.2 seconds adrift whilst his team mate was a further three tenths adrift.

Rounding out the top ten was Tech3′s MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith. Smith suffered his first crash on the Yamaha M1, although the Brit was unharmed much like his fellow rookie.

Aleix Espargaro was just behind Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga as he ended the day twelfth fastest, and was the third victim of the dirty track as he also crashed his Aspar ART machine.

Ducati Pramac duo Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone, were also paired together and separated by just 0.003s as they were twelfth and thirteenth fastest.

Hiro Aoyama impressed on his Avintia CRT machine as he was 17th fastest, and  faster than Randy De Puniet, Colin Edwards and his team mate Hector Barbera.

Michael Laverty was forced to sit out the first days test and his new PBM machine is not track ready, and the team are still dialling in the Magneti Marelli electronics.

Sepang Test 2 Day 1 test results:

01- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – 2’01.580 (43 laps)
02- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.235 (25)
03- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 0.362 (23)
04- Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC213V – + 0.379 (38)
05- Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.448 (25)
06- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.692 (28)
07- Alvaro Bautista – Go & Fun Honda Gresini – Honda RC213V – + 0.782 (32)
08- Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1.221 (22)
09- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1.563 (46)
10- Bradley Smith – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 2.052 (24)
11- Katsuyuki Nakasuga – Yamaha Test Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 2.154 (24)
12- Aleix Espargaro – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 2.361 (28)
13- Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 2.467 (25)
14- Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Team– Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 2.470 (32)
15- Wataru Yoshikawa – Yamaha Test Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 3.010 (23)
16- Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 3.046 (38)
17- Hiroshi Aoyama – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 3.163 (30)
18- Randy De Puniet – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 3.708 (22)
19- Takumi Takahashi – HRC Test Team – Honda RC213V – + 3.930 (34)
20- Colin Edwards – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 3.938 (21)
21- Danilo Petrucci – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 4.247 (35)
22- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART GP13 – + 4.258 (26)
23- Yonny Hernandez – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART GP13 – + 4.328 (29)
24- Hector Barbera – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 4.328 (30)
25- Claudio Corti – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 4.726 (26)
26- Bryan Staring – Go & Fun Honda Gresini – FTR Honda MGP12 – + 5.150 (34)
27- Lukas Pesek – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 6.411 (25)