Ben Spies chased Honda rider Casey Stoner hard on the second day of testing at Sepang. All four Yamaha riders are looking good.
For a few moments it looked like Ben Spies (Eneos Yamaha) had trounced every record set in MotoGP at Sepang – until his 1-57 lap was revealed and scrubbed as a timing glitch.
Not enough anti-wheelie? Too much anti-wheelie? Or just right?
Nevertheless, Spies ended the second day of the three-day 2012 Sepang MotoGP winter test second fastest, close to Casey Stoner on his Repsol Honda. Although everyone connected with the Yamaha MotoGP team would deny it, the fact that Spies finished ahead of his team mate and former world champion Jorge Lorenzo was a small but important bit of point scoring in the Yamaha garage.
Needless to say the supernaturally calm public pronouncements of Spies didn't reveal anything like 'excitement' or even 'pleasure'. So he never even came close to saying 'Yes, I like to think I've proved a point to a whole bunch of Spanish and Italian doubters' – but then, it is early days. Here are the officially sanctioned words from the man himself.
“We got going pretty well in the morning, then even when the track
started to slow down the pace was still really good. We started to mess
with the balance of the bike a little today and played with the
electronics to find a good foundation with the bike. At Valencia we
compared some stuff and got in the right direction. Now we’re here and
taking the next step, trying some things to see how it affects the set
up. There’s definitely some room for improvement and some areas we’re
not struggling with at all.”
For his part, Jorge Lorenzo wasn't exactly hanging around, finishing day two almost on top of Spies. They were as close as it's possible to get without being arrested by the local Muslim cops looking to enforce 'non-gay' stuff between consenting blokes. Take it away Jorge:
And, at the same time, Tech3 Yamaha pairing Cal Crutchlow and his new best mate in the whole world (maybe), Andrea Dovizioso were doing well on the satellite spec bikes too. Poor Andrea (shall we start calling him Andy to avoid gender confusion in the rest of the world?) was still hurting after spannering himself in a motocross accident - or that was his excuse for getting shown the way around by the guy with the Union Jack stitched to his arse?
“Today I was much more tired than yesterday so it was tough to
finish with a good pace but we managed it. We didn’t find any big
improvements but some small details. Tomorrow we hope to make one big
step. We improved our lap times a lot in the morning but in the
afternoon when it was even hotter we managed to go faster which is very
The final day and final times (and maybe a qualifying tyre or two being chucked in) will take place tomorrow, Thursday February 2nd. We hope it stays dry for the fireworks.
Day two test times, 1-2-2012
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team 2'00.895
2. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 2'01.052
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 2'01.068
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 2'01.508
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 2'01.565
6. Hector Barbera (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 2'01.788
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team 2'01.886
8. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda Gresini 2'01.933
9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 2'02.160
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 2'02.354
11. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda 2'02.414
12. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 2'02.598
13. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (JPN) Yamaha Factory Racing 2'02.941
14. Franco Battaini (ITA) Ducati Team 2'04.311
15. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2'05.603
16. Ivan Silva (SPA) Avintia Racing 2'10.297
17. Jordi Torres (SPA) Avintia Racing 2'11.893
18. Robertino Pietri (VEN) Avintia Racing 2'12.546
Sepang Record Lap
C.Stoner (Ducati) 2007, 2'02.108
Sepang Best Lap
V.Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 2'00.518