Stoner Fast, Then Lorenzo and Spies

Henny Ray Abrams | November 10, 2010

It didn’t take long for Casey Stoner to come to grips with the Honda.On the second day of the final test of the season, the Australian rode both the 2010 and the 2011 RC212V and ended up with the fastest time of the day on a sunny afternoon at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain.Stoner lapped the 2.49-mile circuit in 1:32.066 mins., nearly a second faster than he’d gone in Sunday’s race and .85 sec. faster than Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa’s fastest race lap.In addition to being fastest on the day, the 25-year-old was the fastest Honda rider by a fair amount: San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli was fourth fastest 1:32.450, while the other two Repsol Honda riders, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, the latter of whom was riding with a fever, were fifth and ninth, respectively.Factory Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were second and third fastest on the day and only separated by .143 secs., an impressive first outing for Spies who was second most of the day until the final hour. Lorenzo tried some new Bridgestone tires, “but there wasn’t a big difference in general performance. We also reconfirmed the settings we tried yesterday so we’ve given Yamaha some good data to work with over the winter.” Spies had “another good day and another day of learning. We messed with the bike a bit, changed some settings and went in a positive direction. So another good session working with the new crew again; I’m very happy with it. I read some comments from Jorge (Lorenzo) about the new engine for next year; he seemed to be happy with the way that was going so I look forward to seeing that in Malaysia. I’m looking forward to now having a couple of months of then getting back to it.”Said Spies’ crew chief Tom Houseworth, “We tested the prototype again this morning, we collected the data from yesterday and following a meeting last night made some setting changes for today which we tested with very positive results. Once we had achieved these we went ahead and tested the Bridgestone tyres, testing three options, one of which Ben (Spies) really liked a lot. The test has been very productive and very promising for the future on the new bike. Ben is really optimistic and looking forward to continuing at Sepang.”Lorenzo’s lap of 1:32.012 mins. stood up as the fastest of the test.Simoncelli was fourth, Pedrosa fifth, with Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden sixth. Teammate Valentino Rossi finished the day 15th as the pair continued to evaluate the big bang and screamer engines, with the big bang the likely choice for 2011.”I am leaning towards sticking with the big bang, but we will make the decision together,” Hayden said. Added Ducati Director General Filippo Preziosi, “After these two days of tests we will go back to Ducati for a meeting, where we will decide which path to take between the two engines, the big bang and the screamer, although the information we have is pointing towards the former. It will be a decision we will make by analyzing the data in depth as well as planning the way forward around all the other things we learnt at the test.”The objective is clearly to allow Valentino (Rossi) to ride like Valentino. We know we have to improve the bike in order to achieve this, especially the front end. He has given us some very precise information and now it is down to us to use it. We would obviously have liked to give him the opportunity to go faster today but even though that wasn’t the case he has impressed everybody over the last two days with the way he works, his calm approach and his positive attitude towards everything. Nicky also worked very hard, as usual, and set a good lap time on the new Bridgestones as well as the ones we were already using, which is another big positive. Now we have to work to give them both a more competitive bike for the next test.”MotoGP Day Two Test Results

1 Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team) 1:32.066, 63 laps

2 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) 1:32.179, 30 laps

3 Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) 1:32.322 49 laps

4 Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) 1:32.450, 63 laps

5 Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) 1:32.497, 48 laps

6 Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 1:32.583, 91 laps

7 Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) 1:32.738, 86 laps

8 Randy De Puniet (Pramac Racing Team) 1:32.836, 73 laps

9 Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda Team) 1:32.942, 68 laps

10 Hiroshi Aoyama San Carlo Honda Gresini 1:33.105, 83 laps

11 Hector Barbera Paginas Amarillas Aspar 1:33.168, 100 laps

12 Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1:33.325, 34 laps

13 Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1:33.483, 74 laps

14 Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing Team) 1:33.740, 88 laps

15 Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 1:33.761, 70 laps

16 Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) 1:33.793, 68 laps

17 Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP) 1:34.800, 86 laps

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.