MotoGP: Brno Test Results

Spies in negotiations with Yamaha

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 17, 2010
MotoGP returned to the track after the Czech Republic Grand Prix for a day of testing at the Brno circuit.

Rainy conditions in the afternoon cut the session short but teams and riders managed to gather some important data.

As he has been for most of this season, Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest rider in the test, with his best lap time of1:56.269 over half a second faster than all other participants. Lorenzo used a new engine upgrade and tried a new suspension setting for his current race bike but also managed to complete a few laps on the 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1.

“This was an important and interesting test for us, both for the rest of the season and looking towards next year. We had a lot to do but unfortunately the rain forced us to stop early,” says Lorenzo who currently leads the MotoGP standings by 77 points. “As well as the ‘new’ prototype machine for next year we also tried an engine upgrade and a new Ohlins suspension, but it’s too early to know if they will be better for our M1, which is already very competitive. We got quite a lot of information though so hopefully it will help the engineers to improve things even more.”

Lorenzo’s Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi had a different goal for the test. Rossi’s crew tried to figure out why his M1 was not as competitive as it could have been at the Czech Republic Grand Prix.

Since Rossi is leaving the team at the end of the season for Ducati, he did not get a chance to ride the 2011 prototype though he did get to test the 2010 M1’s new engine upgrades.

Tech 3 Yamaha’s Ben Spies did get a chance to ride the 2011 M1, a sign he is being groomed to take Rossi’s place with the factory team. Spies completed 36 of his 42 laps on the 2011 machine.

“It was a good day. I can’t say too much about the new bike and honestly I’m not sure exactly what I rode. I just got on and rode what was given to me and I didn’t set any blistering lap times today but that was not the objective,” says Spies. “Today was all about giving feedback and getting some data on the new bike. The good thing is that I was pretty much on the pace of the bike I’ve been riding since February and that is a big positive because we’ve got plenty of time to work on that bike. We got lots of information so it was a productive day.”

Yamaha is in talks with Ben Spies to race for the factory MotoGP team in 2011.

Yamaha Motor Racing Director Lin Jarvis confirmed negotiations are underway with both Spies and Lorenzo to race together in 2011.

“Our plan is also to bring Ben Spies over from the Tech 3 team,” Jarvis told MotoGP.com. “Again that has not been concluded yet. As soon as all the contractual agreements are fixed then we will make our announcement. At this moment that’s the plan for the factory team.”

In the Ducati Marlboro garage, Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden tested a new front fork. The Ducati team started the season with a new front fork but later reverted to an older version as its riders had some trouble with the front end. Stoner set the second fastest lap on the day but the rain prevented the team from making significant progress.

“We tried a new fork today and as far as we could tell the feeling is positive. Unfortunately we were only able to get a couple of hours in this morning because immediately after lunch it started to rain and we couldn’t complete the test,” says Stoner. “I hung about in the garage in case we got chance to go back out but the track stayed wet and there was no point. Our impressions of the fork are good but really the day was a bit of a waste.”

Hayden took part despite an injured wrist. He says he hopes to be 100% by the Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Dani Pedrosa was third on the time sheet with his fastest lap set on a Honda test bike. Pedrosa also tested his current Repsol Honda RC212V with a focus on braking performance.

Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista were joined by World Superbike racer Sylvain Guintoli. The Alstaire Suzuki racer was there to back up Bautista who was injured in a crash in a practice session before the Brno round. Bautista started things off, testing new chassis, Ohlins suspension and engine management programs, before handing things over to Guintoli.

Next up on the 2010 MotoGP calendar is the Indianapolis Grand Prix, Aug. 27-29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.