MotoGP: Rain Hampers Return to Sepang

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Yamaha Racing Press Release:

Yamaha Factory Racing were back in Malaysia today for the first day of the second official test of the 2013 season at the Sepang International Circuit. The riders were able to test throughout the morning but were then forced to call off the remainder of the day’s testing due to rain. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was again quick to get up to pace, managing to complete a total of 25 laps before retiring for the day in second position, 0.235 seconds from first. The Mallorcan spent the day focusing on bike set up in the search for better acceleration from his M1.

Italian rider Valentino Rossi suffered a technical issue with the 2013 YZR-M1 early in the session however was able to continue testing with the 2012 machine to gather valuable data. Rossi completed the day’s riding in fifth position, less than half a second from first.

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Jorge Lorenzo - Laps 25, Time - 2'01.815:

“Not so much new stuff today, we just tried to improve our current settings. We made some modifications but nothing special. For the next two days, more of the same! We need to improve the acceleration a little bit but for the moment no new bits to try. The track was more slippery than the first test due to the rain which has left the tarmac in a worse condition.”

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Valentino Rossi - Laps 25, Time - 2'02.028:

“The first day is not so bad, but we were unlucky because we had a small problem with the bike which had the new chassis so we had to stop and use the old bike. We made some tests with that using just one tire and my pace and my lap times were not so bad. After we waited for the afternoon for the real work but the rain came so we decided to stop continue tomorrow. If it rains again tomorrow we will do some laps in the wet conditions.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager:

A good first test day here at Sepang, but quite short because of the rain. We reconfirmed all the parts we decided to use from the last test and also probably for the rest of the season. We will continue with them to find the best balance and settings. We are not finished yet and we need some more dry track time!”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director:

“Unfortunately we started as we finished the last test, the rain came and interrupted our work. At the beginning of the day the track conditions were not great and by the time the circuit got better the storm had arrived. We couldn't do a lot of our testing but our homework was not so much for today. Tomorrow should be fine to achieve the main objectives of the test so we can proceed on the final day with the long run to optimize the settings for the start of the season.”

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Crutchlow and Smith back in action at second Sepang test

Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith enjoyed a positive start to the second MotoGP test session at the Sepang International Circuit today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders both finished inside the top 10 on a rain-hit first day. Crutchlow was fast straight out of the box this morning and a time of 2.02.272 set on only his fifth lap put him in second position. But a slippery surface and track temperatures that soared to over 60 degrees in searing heat meant lap times were considerably slower than those posted at the first Sepang test earlier this month. Former World Supersport Champion Crutchlow couldn't better his pace of 2.02.272 in a further 23 laps on track, but that personal best was only just over 0.3s away from the top three and left him sixth on the time-sheets.

Smith quickly established himself inside the top 10 as the British rider continues to build up his experience on board the YZR-M1 machine. He was lying in 10th position and he had just set a personal best time of 2.03.632 when he crashed on his 25th lap. Smith walked away unhurt from the spill which came after he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine in the third gear Turn 7. Smith was preparing to return to the track this afternoon but torrential rain started falling with just over three hours of track time still available. Heavy cloud cover meant the Sepang International Circuit was slow to dry and further heavy rain later in the day meant both Crutchlow and Smith opted to take no further part in proceedings.

Cal Crutchlow - Laps - 26, Time - 2'02.272:

“I'm happy enough with today because all you could do was ride around to the grip that was available. This morning the track condition wasn't good at all. It was greasy and the heat was just making it worse and you can see the lap times are a fair way off what we were doing here only recently. I was 1.5s off my best time from the first test and Pedrosa was about the same. Once I got to my best lap time today I pretty much stayed at that pace for the rest of the day because the grip wasn't there. There were a few crashes and it was obvious that we'd got used to the grip that we had at the last test but it wasn't there and when people started to push they crashed."

Bradley Smith - Laps - 24, Time - 2'03.632:

“This morning was another good learning process for me because the track condition was completely different to the first test. It was dirty and slippery and it meant that I had to ride smoothly, which is how I need to be riding this bike all of the time. I've been a little too aggressive but in those conditions I had to ride the bike in a completely different way. The crash was another part of the learning process too. I'd had a couple of warnings in the previous two laps but I kind of shrugged them off because I'm not sure what the limit is. Now I know the limit although a crash is never ideal. I'd done all my laps on the same set of tires and now I know what the warning signs are I'll be better prepared in the future.”

Test Times:

1.     Dani    Pedrosa ESP    Repsol Honda (RC213V)

2.     Jorge    Lorenzo ESP    Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1)

3.     Marc    Marquez ESP    Repsol Honda (RC213V)

4.     Stefan    Bradl GER    LCR Honda (RC213V)

5.     Valentino    Rossi ITA    Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1)

** 6.     Cal    Crutchlow GBR    Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)**

7.     Alvaro    Bautista ESP    Honda Gresini (RC213V)

8.     Andrea    Dovizioso ITA    Ducati Team (GP13)

9.     Nicky    Hayden USA    Ducati Team (GP13)

10.     Bradley    Smith GBR    Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)

** 11.     Katsayuki    Nakasuga JPN    Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1)**

12.     Aleix    Espargaro ESP    Aspar (ART CRT)

13.     Ben    Spies USA    Pramac Racing (GP13)

14.     Andrea    Iannone ITA    Pramac Racing (GP13)

15.     Wataru    Yoshikawa JPN    Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1)

16.     Michele    Pirro ITA    Ducati Test Rider (GP13)

17.     Hiroshi    Aoyama JPN    Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)*

18.     Randy    De Puniet     FRA    Aspar (ART CRT)

19.     Takumi    Takahashi JPN    Honda Test Rider (RC213V)

20.     Colin    Edwards USA    Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)*

21.     Danilo    Petrucci ITA    IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)*

22.     Karel    Abraham CZE    Cardion AB (ART CRT)

23.     Yonny    Hernandez COL    Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT)

24.     Hector    Barbera ESP    Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)*

25.     Claudio    Corti ITA    Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)*

26.     Bryan    Staring AUS    Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT)

27.     Lukas    Pesek CZE    IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)*

* Control ECU.

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