So, as the teams come away from the 2nd test in Malaysia, it would seem as though there are some interesting developments within the field. The main one is the under performance of the Ducati GP11. Granted, the Sepang circuit has never really suited the Italians, but results will certainly worry Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden. Overall, when all the fastest laps throughout the test are put together, the riders placed 11th and 12th respectively.
The rapid rise of Honda will continue to play out, with mutterings that the team is using double clutch technology, something which is illegal in MotoGP. This years RC212V has dominated this years testing so far, with Casey Stoner at the top of the timesheets everyday during this test. The final day saw the Austrailian smash the circuit record with a 1:59.665 lap. Dani Pedrosa also poked his head under the two minute barrier.
With Stoner topping the overall timesheet followed by Pedrosa, it was looking like the factory Honda squad would claim a 1-2-3 but satellite rider Marco Simonchelli, on his San Carlo Gresini Honda popped into the top 3, just in front of Andrea Dovizioso.
With the factory Yamaha launching their new livery at the start of this test, all eyes were on new champion Jorge Lorenzo taking over the role of lead rider, with last years top rookie Ben Spies in tow. And the new M1 looks as though it could do the business. The riders placed 5th and 6th on the overall timesheet, hoping to place better, and split the Honda’s.
As for the rest of the field, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad seem to be developing nicely, with experienced Colin Edwards placing 7th overall, and series newbie Brit Cal Crutchlow, getting used to his new machine after developing food poisioning before arriving in Sepang, placed in a repectable 14th, with improvements being made throughout each session.
After skimming down to one rider after last season, Rizla Suzuki with Ãlvaro Bautista are making marked improvements on last year, after seeing them place 8th on the timesheet overall. Hiroshi Aoyama grabbed a top 10 spot on the 2nd San Carlo Gresini Honda, with the top 10 being rounded out by Hector Barbera on the Mapfre Aspar machine.
Loris Capirossi and Randy De Puniet saw Pramac Ducati improve on to come in 13th and 15th respectivly. The team will be hoping the wealth of experience will help them this season, after last years miserable season. Tony Elias placed 16th on the LCR Honda after struggling with the heat, and newbie Karel Abraham on the Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati (from Moto2) completed the results.
The teams will now spend a final, short 2 week stint at the factory for any final developments, before heading out to the desert of Qatar for the final pre-season test on the 13th and 14th of March, before the season opener, under the floodlights of Losail on the 20th of March.