MotoGP: 2009 Sepang test day 2 results

Top contenders set good times despite injuries

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 06, 2009
Casey Stoner returned to the top of the time sheets while Loris Capirossi continued to impress on the second day of the official MotoGP test in Sepang, Malaysia.

Stoner shaved half a second off his best time from the previous day, setting the top time of 2:01.483 at the Sepang International Circuit. Despite the positive results, Stoner is still feeling pain in his injured wrist which has restricted him to riding only a few laps at a time. As was the case on Thursday, Stoner’s 29 laps were the fewest among all MotoGP riders taking part in the test.

“The wrist is giving me a lot of problems and I can’t manage more than two or three laps at a time, so it’s difficult to work on set-up because I’m having to break off too often,” says Stoner. “We’ve still managed to do some work on improving the feeling on the GP9, with some changes to the rear set-up that have improved the bike in the area we were suffering the most. Now it is much easier to ride. I still can’t ride how I want though and we really need to string a run of consistent laps together, although I know that if I can get a little closer to 100% fitness that problem will be resolved. Hopefully the wrist will feel a bit better tomorrow so that I can try and do a longer run and confirm the positive feedback we’ve had from the bike today.”

Casey Stoner's wrist injury prevents him from riding more than five or six laps at a time.Defending MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi recorded the third fastest time of 2:01.626 while fighting some injuries of his own. The Fiat Yamaha rider received stitches to his left hand and foot from a household accident shortly before leaving for Malaysia.

“Today we tested some new electronic solutions in order to allow me to open the throttle earlier and they were not bad at all, but we still need to work to improve it even more. This afternoon the stitches hurt me a bit, but my pace was still very good so I am happy,” says Rossi. “Today I did not do the long run; I will do it tomorrow if my physical condition allows it. I may have to do it in two parts, so that it won’t put too much stress on my stitches.”

Rossi’s injuries didn’t stop him from having a bit of fun at the test. Late in the afternoon session, Rossi had a brief on-track duel with his countryman Capirossi. The two Italians decided to take a brief break from racing against the clock to race against each other, reenacting their battle from the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix. Rossi beat Capirossi by less than a second in the 2006 race but the roles were reversed in the test session.

“At the end of the day I had some fun with Loris Capirossi; we did a couple of laps together and I think that he enjoyed it a lot, because he beat me!” says Rossi. “I had fun, a lot of fun; it was like the good old times!”

Capirossi finished second on the time sheet, only 0.072 seconds behind Stoner. For the second day in a row, Capirossi demonstrated the potential of the redesigned Suzuki GSV-R.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa recorded the fourth fastest time, but lingering pain from a knee injury will force the Spaniard to skip the final day of testing.

“Tomorrow a race simulation was scheduled but at the end we decided to end the test session because today I could only do five, six laps in a row and tomorrow I won’t be able to cover the race distance,” says Pedrosa. “Last December, in fact, I underwent an intervention to the left knee for the consequences suffered when I slid off in Phillip Island during the last race in October. I only need some rest”.

Nicky Hayden struggled to find the right set-up for his Desmosedici GP9.Nicky Hayden trimmed nearly a second off his fastest lap from day one with a time of 2:03.034 on Friday morning. Progress slowed through the afternoon however as the Ducati Marlboro rider struggled to find the right set-up.

“We made a big improvement immediately this morning on used tires and I was able knock a second off my best time from yesterday. We struggled a bit in the afternoon, though, and didn’t manage to improve any further,” says Hayden. “I can’t push it on the harder compound tire because it makes the rear move around so much more and the bike becomes unstable.”

Hayden regained his form towards the end of the day by returning to his initial settings.

“At the end of the session we made a little change that improved the situation and I was able to get back onto my better lap times,” says Hayden. “The Bridgestones are really consistent and that makes our job a lot easier. Today I did 35 laps on the same front tyre without any problems! We know and I know that there is a lot of work to be done. Everything is still very new to me – the engine characteristics, the chassis and the tyres, as well as the way the team works together. Obviously it’s not easy to put all that together straight away. We’re working hard though and the improvements will come.”

Testing continues Feb. 7 at the Sepang International Circuit.

2009 MotoGP Sepang test day two results
Pos. Rider Team Time
1st Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro 2:01.483
2nd Loris Capirossi Team Suzuki 2:01.555
3rd Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 2:01.626
4th Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 2:01.860
5th Chris Vermeulen Team Suzuki 2:02.086
6th Toni Elias San Carlo Gresini Honda 2:02.232
7th Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 2:02.241
8th Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 2:02.434
9th Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro 2:03.034
10th Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 2:03.056
11th Sete Gibernau ONDE 2000 Ducati 2:03.308
12th Alex De Angelis San Carlo Gresini Honda 2:03.518
13th Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 2:03.774
14th Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 2:04.021
15th Yamaha Test Rider Yamaha Factory 2:04.312
16th Yuki Takahashi Scot Racing Honda 2:04.332
17th Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 2:04.507
18th Yamaha Test Rider Yamaha Factory 2:04.536
19th James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 2:04.597

Related Reading
MotoGP: 2009 Sepang test day 1 results