MotoGP: 2009 Catalunya test results

Dovizioso tops the timesheet on new chassis

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 16, 2009
Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest lap time in the post-race MotoGP test, June 15 at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona, Spain.

The Repsol Honda rider recorded a time of 1:42.230, a hair faster than the official lap record set by his teammate Dani Pedrosa in the 2008 Catalan Grand Prix. Pedrosa sat out the test to recover from his injuries, leaving Dovizioso to test a new chassis for the Honda RC212V.

“The modified chassis we tested gave very positive feedback straight away so I used it for most of the day. One of the main improvements in feeling was in the entry to the corner which is a very important plus point because that’s one of the main areas where we’ve been looking to make progress,” says Dovizioso. “We also performed some tests on other aspects of the setup and all-in-all the results were promising. In the race yesterday we were very close to the podium, and also quite close to the leaders after a dry race run in very demanding conditions, so we’re heading in the right direction.”

Jorge Lorenzo (99) and Valentino Rossi had a close race on Sunday and were close again in Monday's test.The next two slots on the time sheet belonged to the Fiat Yamaha team of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi, the reigning MotoGP Champion, beat Lorenzo to win the race Sunday by 0.095 seconds, and their margin of difference on Monday was an even slimmer 0.012 seconds.

Lorenzo focused on testing his Yamaha M1’s electronics while Rossi worked on a new engine spec designed to have a longer life span. A longer lasting engine would help once new rules limiting the number of engines for each team comes into effect in the second half of the season.

“It was hard to test after yesterday but it was a good day and we found out some important things,” says Rossi. “We worked on electronics to try to find a better power delivery and we also checked a different version of the engine for the second half of the season. Finally we also tried a new tire with Bridgestone.”

Pramac Ducati’s Mika Kallio set the fourth fastest time, beating out factory Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner. The Pramac team received updates from Ducati to the Desmosedici’s traction control, as well as a new carbon fiber swingarm and tail-piece.

“It has been a really positive session also because we have solved the problems encountered yesterday and the technical updates, most of all the new carbon fiber swingarm, gives me more confidence with the rear part of the bike even if there are still some aspects that we have to improve,” says Kallio.

Nicky Hayden had a disappointing test session in Barcelona.Meanwhile, Stoner rode only 38 laps as he continues to recover from illness. His time of 1:42.763 was still faster than his best race lap. His teammate Nicky Hayden struggled however, taking a step backward from the progress he made in a season-best tenth-place finish on Sunday. Hayden was two seconds off Dovizioso’s pace and finished the test ahead of only Scot Honda’s Gabor Talmacsi who has only been with his team for a few days.

“It wasn’t the day I had hoped for, seeing the progress we had made over the weekend,” says Hayden. “In Saturday morning’s practice, when it was a little cooler and the conditions were similar to those of today, I lapped in 1m43.6 while here today I haven’t gone under 1m44 and right from the start I didn’t have the same feeling as I had over the weekend. I don’t know why, also because we worked so hard, but I hope that the data collected is of use to the engineers so we can prepare well for Assen.”

The Catalunya test was the first of only two testing days in the 2009 season. The next test is set for Aug. 17 at Brno, Czech Republic. The MotoGP season continues June 27 at the Assen TT in the Netherlands.

2009 MotoGP Catalunya Test Results
Pos. Rider Team Time
1st Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 1:42.230
2nd Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha +0.204
3rd Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha +0.216
4th Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati +0.407
5th Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro +0.533
6th Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki +0.958
7th Randy De Puniet LCR Honda +1.017
8th Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki +1.069
9th Alex De Angelis Gresini Honda +1.130
10th Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati +1.161
11th Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki +1.276
12th Toni Elias Gresini Honda +1.478
13th Sete Gibernau Francisco Hernado Ducati +1.589
14th Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro +1.927
15th Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda +2.826

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MotoGP: 2009 Catalunya Results