Like the end-of-season Valencia race itself, the test planned for the first three days of the following week was cold and rainy. On Tuesday, Yamaha decided to move to another Spanish circuit, Motorland Aragon,
in hope of better conditions but to no avail. Yamaha’s press release said, “Jorge Lorenzo completed just a handful of dry laps before the rain came down again, eventually opting to venture out in the wet after lunch.”
Lorenzo deplored the missed practice, which could have supplied valuable information about the engine and
chassis of the 2013 prototype, providing a basis for continued engineering work. “Now, we will have to wait until the next opportunity,” he said. That will be at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, February 5-7.
Repsol Honda elected to remain in Valencia, but rain on Tuesday kept everyone in the garages. Monday’s
test was only for Moto2 and Moto3.
Masao Azuma, chief engineer of Bridgestone’s motorsport tire development department, said, “The weather
for the Valencia test was for the main part even harsher than experienced over the race weekend.”
This is why no rider came close to the 1-minute, 30-second lap-record times.
Valencia race-winner Dani Pedrosa said, “Let’s hope it will brighten up tomorrow and at least stay dry so
that we can test the new 2013 prototype machine.”
And it did. Being close to the sea, Valencia dries slowly, but continuing sun made the track usable by mid-afternoon. Bridgestone’s press release said a dry line began to show toward the end of Wednesday, “resulting in a flurry of activity in which 13 riders took to the circuit.”
Pedrosa did a total of 20 laps, setting the fast time of 1:32.322.
Great fanfare attended the first appearance on a MotoGP bike of 2012 Moto2 World Champion (and 2013 “Casey Stoner replacement”) Marc Marquez on the second Repsol Honda. He completed 28 laps, and his best time was 1:33.403—seventh-fastest.
Bridgestone had brought two new tires for testing: a somewhat-softer hard-option rear for prototypes
and a softer rear for the lower-powered CRT bikes, which are less able to get MotoGP tires to operating temperature. Only the softest tires were working on the 61-degree track, so the soft CRT option was the only one of the two tested.
VALENCIA TEST TOP FIVE
1. Dani Pedrosa – 1:32.322
2. Cal Crutchlow – 1:32.671
3. Stefan Bradl – 1:32.813
4. Nicky Hayden – 1:32.956
5. Alvaro Bautista – 1:33.109
Valentino Rossi, newly back on a Yamaha, took his time evaluating the bike, making 28 laps of which the
quickest was a 1:43.736.
Pedrosa said, “In the end, we were lucky, because after almost two days doing nothing due to the bad
weather, we were able to go out on track for two hours and do the basic work we needed to do to have
the first feelings on the new bike. It’s been a useful test for me: I started with the bike I raced on Sunday and then switched to next year’s bike. It’s basically the same but with more weight to adapt it to the new regulation for 2013. We had pretty good feedback, and now, the engineers will check the data and analyze if we need to move something on the bike to better adapt to the extra weight; I could feel it on braking and also on the straight.”
Bridgestone’s Azuma summed up the test by saying, “Our focus now shifts to our winter development
program, and we plan to have a new batch of test tires on hand for riders to test at the first pre-season test at Sepang in February.”