MotoGP Official Test Sepang 2

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February 28, 2013

MotoGP Official Test Sepang 2

The second of this season's MotoGP class official tests took place over three days from February 26 to 28 at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. After a three week interval following the initial tests which took place at the same location at the beginning of February, Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez, LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl, and GO & FUN Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista continued to focus on the setup of the 2013 model RC213V, based on the data gained from the first test.

Dani Pedrosazoom
Dani Pedrosa
Marc Márquezzoom
Marc Márquez

Recording the top time for three consecutive days in the initial test, Pedrosa made an excellent start towards his long-coveted goal of winning the title, and he continued that good form in this test as well. Because of slippery surface conditions on the first day, overall times did not improve, and Pedrosa was not able to gain as quick a time as he imagined, but he recorded the best time of the day (2m 1.58s) and thus kept the top spot for four consecutive test days starting from the initial test in February.

On that first day there was heavy rain in the afternoon, so Pedrosa was not able to get through the planned test schedule, which was carried over to the second day. On the second day we were blessed with good conditions, and Pedrosa was able to focus on testing the suspension and the electronic control system; he finished with a second-best time of 2m 0.651s. On the third and final day, he again recorded the top time at 2m 0.562s. So, including the first test, Pedrosa recorded the top time on five out of six days of tests, finishing the Sepang tests in excellent form.

Márquez, a rookie in the MotoGP class, also gained varied experience. On all three days for this test the temperature was above 30 degrees Celsius and the surface temperature was severe-over 50 degrees Celsius. In these conditions Márquez was in third place on the first day at 2m 1.942s, fourth place on the second day at 2m 0.992s, and second place on the third day at 2m 0.643s. His time on the final day was the best result for a debutant in the MotoGP class, crowning things off superbly. As with the previous test, he was starting from a position of learning the differences in the setup of the machine, and on the final day he had managed to configure the most comfortable settings of the 3 days, and got his best time-he was able to feel himself grow as a rider as a result.

Alvaro Bautistazoom
Alvaro Bautista
Stefan Bradlzoom
Stefan Bradl

GO & FUN Honda Gresini's Bautista, who in the first test of the season had done a lot of work (such as on the Showa suspension and Nissin brakes tests) focused also on the chassis settings this time around. He made good, steady progress on the second and third days. He did not just find the best settings during this test, but also produced a lot of data, allowing us to greatly reduce setup times. Because of the severity of the slippery conditions on the first day he only managed seventh, at 2m 2.362s, but on the second day he cut his time by over a second, to 2m 1.208s and sixth place. On the last day, he continued to steadily increase his position, coming in fifth at 2m 1.078s. The weather was very poor for the second official tests, and conditions were slippery, so he was not able to increase his times as he expected, but Bautista was able to make a solid showing, improving on his best time from the previous test.

Bradl of LCR Honda MotoGP dedicated a lot of time to race settings, hoping to improve his average. He was even proactive in wet conditions, making it a very telling test. Last season he was not able to bring his positive performances in the preliminaries to the finals, so he missed out on the podium, but he made a step towards addressing that weak point with this test. His expectations for this season have therefore grown. He was engrossed in an intense championship rivalry for the Moto2 class in the 2011 season with Repsol Honda team's Márquez. Since his rival has now entered the Repsol Honda Team, this is a big season for Bradl in terms of his motivation.

Bryan Staring, who will be entering the competition on a CRT machine from GO & FUN Honda Gresini, spent a lot of time riding over the track of the three days, and did not just set a best time, but also made big progress on improving his average.

Bryan Staringzoom
Bryan Staring
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team): 2nd, 2m 0.562s
“This test was positive overall. On the first day I did a lot of tests, continuing from last time. In those tests I focused on the suspension setup and the electronic control system. It seems that it was raining for a couple of days prior to the test, so the track was wet, and the situation wasn't 100 percent. But I was able to get through the entire schedule. On the second day I completed a lot of full laps, focusing on testing the front and rear suspension. It was a hard day because it was so hot, but despite the heat I was able to get through the various planned tasks. On the final day, I was able to try out the setup for wet conditions, although it was only for a short period in the morning. In the afternoon conditions became dry, so I continued looking at the suspension settings. During the combined six days of testing, I completed the planned test program and made genuine progress. The next tests in the U.S. in Austin, Texas will be my first time at that circuit, so I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be very interesting for me and for the whole team.”
Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team): 3rd, 2m 0.643s
“Looking back on the three days, it was very positive, and overall a fruitful test. On the first day the surface was really slippery, so I couldn't register a good time. But now I think that it was more important to gain experience, and I did a lot of laps in the wet conditions in the evening, just doing as many as I could. The second day was really good. I tried some different setups. That was hard work, but in the future when I have to decide on the style of my setup the data from this test will be really important. I did 64 laps on the second day. On the last day, it was wet in the morning and dry in the afternoon and I had minor crashes once in each condition, but it felt very good. I focused my attention especially on the electronic control system and the machine setup. At the end, I really went for it with the best setup of the three days, and got the best time from the period. It felt really good to ride on the second and third days, and I'm happy I was able to finish off with a positive feeling. I'm looking forward to riding for the first time on the Austin circuit.”
Alvaro Bautista (GO & FUN Honda Gresini): 6th, 2m 1.078s
“It was only my second test of the year, but I was able to finish on the last day in good shape, so I'm very happy. To be honest, things have never gone better than they did today. It was a really positive test that will really stand me in good stead for the future. I think I've discovered a powerful weapon for my preparations for the first race of the season. But more importantly than that, I was able to set up quickly. I had a good feeling about the second day of this test. I also found a really good technical solution. My best time and my race pace were both good, and on the last day I clearly showed that in the numbers. It was really fun to ride today, and I'm looking forward to the next test. After last time I was really eager to come back to this circuit as soon as possible. So these three days were really good just because of that. Conditions were wet on the afternoon of the first day and the morning of the last day, but we got some important data so I'm happy.”
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP): 7th, 2m 1.309s
“It was a fruitful test over all three days. I have to shorten my time by a few more tenths of a second, but even so I'm making progress with the setup for the new machine as planned. On the last day I found an interesting setting for the front suspension, and thanks to that the front feels much better. The new traction control is also effective, and overall it is much better exiting corners. On the first day the surface conditions were much worse compared to last time, and it was very slippery, so it was a bit of a struggle. But I did some laps to try out some new settings for the braking system and the geometry and also did good work in the wet conditions in the evening. Overall there was good weather this time, and I got through the test program on schedule. I mainly focused on the race setup, and got good lap times in general. My pace is still not satisfactory, but the main aim for this test was the machine setup, so from that point of view it was good. I'll be riding on a new circuit in Texas next time, but I'm mainly looking forward to continuing to work out the machine.”
Bryan Staring (GO & FUN Honda Gresini): 28th, 2m 5.313s
“This was another important test. I think I was able to improve my confidence in my riding, and I learned a lot about riding a MotoGP machine. Also I was able to better understand the way the team works, and improve my communication with them. I think I will make big steps forward in the near future, and get a better sense of satisfaction. The weather was really good across the three days. The second day, when conditions were dry all day, was really tiring. It was brought home to me that I still have to work on my physical stamina for competing in MotoGP. But still, I'm happy I was able to get a stable lap time in those conditions.”

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