Casey Stoner showed that fatherhood has not slowed him down as he set the pace on the opening day of the second pre-season test at Sepang. Stoner's wife Adriana gave birth to daughter Alessandra on February 16th and the world champion's first taste of action since then resulted in the fastest time of the day.
Conditions were far from ideal with a slippery track greeting the riders in the morning and a heavy rain shower around lunchtime virtually wiped out the afternoon's running. Despite only completing 16 laps, Stoner was still quick enough to outpace teammate Dani Pedrosa by a quarter of a second with Jorge Lorenzo leading the Yamaha challenge in third, six tenths back.
The Spaniard ran different engine settings to the previous test here three weeks ago and stressed that it was impossible to draw any conclusions from such restricted running. Teammate Ben Spies followed him up in fourth while Alvaro Bautista was an encouraging fifth as he experimented with different set-up solutions.
Although he is still short of full fitness, Nicky Hayden took his GP12 Ducati to sixth place ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi with the Italian blaming the dirty track first thing this morning for only finishing eighth fastest. Hector Barbera was ninth on his Pramac Ducati while Stefan Bradl did well to finish tenth, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso on the Tech 3 Yamaha.
There were concerns surrounding the Claiming Rules Teams after the first Sepang test when Colin Edwards, the quickest CRT runner, was a full five seconds off the pace. Forward Racing will have been relieved to see the gap close today with Edwards getting to within 3.749s of the ultimate pace. Fellow newcomers Avintia Racing were also closer to the leaders but given their lack of speed three weeks ago, they still have plenty of work to do. Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez were over six seconds adrift on their FTR-Kawasakis.
Franco Battaini was 13th for Cardion AB Motoracing as he substituted for the injured Karel Abraham. The Czech rider hurt his back and shoulder at Jerez last week and his status for the remainder of the test is uncertain.
Official MotoGP Test – Sepang (28/02/2012)
MotoGP Testing – Malaysia (Day Two Result)
|1||Casey Stoner||AUS||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:01.761|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:02.005|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||SPA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:02.436|
|4||Ben Spies||USA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:02.819|
|5||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:02.959|
|6||Nicky Hayden||USA||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:03.132|
|7||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:03.213|
|8||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:03.245|
|9||Hector Barbera||SPA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||2:03.612|
|10||Stefan Bradl||GER||Honda||LCR Honda||2:03.820|
|11||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:03.830|
|12||Colin Edwards (CRT)||USA||Suter-BMW||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:05.510|
|13||Franco Battaini||ITA||Ducati||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:05.563|
|14||Ivan Silva (CRT)||SPA||FTR-Kawasaki||Avintia Racing||2:08.109|
|15||Yonny Hernandez (CRT)||COL||FTR-Kawasaki||Avintia Racing||2:08.767|