MotoGP: 2013 Season Kicks Off With Valencia Test

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MotoGP Press Release:

The first official MotoGP test for the 2013 season in Valencia got off to a slow start as cold ambient temperatures and rain hampered teams’ efforts, although it didn’t stop Álvaro Bautista from topping the mid-day time-sheets, and Valentino Rossi making his Yamaha debut.

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Bautista set the fastest time of 1.35’936 on a still dry but cold track in the morning. MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi took to the track on Bradley Smith’s Yamaha machine, with the Brit choosing to sit out the not-so ideal conditions for his premier-class debut. Stefan Bradl set the third fastest time, opting to ride his current bike, and not risk it on the 2013 version sat in his garage. Andrea Dovizioso timed his Ducati debut well, managing to get the last few minutes of dry track time to go fourth quickest.

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Valentino Rossi undertook a few shakedown laps on the Yamaha in the morning, but did not head out for fast laps until the rain had arrived. At the halfway point of the test we was in sixth place, behind Hiroshi Aoyama. Behind him was Aleix Espargaró continuing work on his new chassis, ahead of Michele Pirro, who made his debut as Ducati’s test rider, in place of the injured Ben Spies.

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Karel Abraham debuted his ART machine in the morning, but did not head out in the initial wet period, whilst behind him Claudio Corti was evaluating both a Suter and FTR machine for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team. Randy de Puniet did a few short stints on his ART bike, whilst behind him, Colin Edwards focussed only on the FRT chassis, exiting solely after the rain had come down heavily. Héctor Barberá made numerous excursions out on track, yet did not set a time.

No other rider took to the track with the less than favorable conditions. Other MotoGP debutants, Marc Márquez and Andrea Iannone stayed in their box.

For more information: www.motogp.com