The 2012 Honda and Yamaha MotoGP weapons broke cover during Monday's test at the Brno Circuit.Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner was fastest, as he'd been on Sunday in winning his sixth race of the season and stretching his points advantage over Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo to 32. But the Yamahas, which were getting their first shakedowns by the factory riders, were second and third fastest and nearly on his pace. At the far end of the field, Mika Kallio rode the Marc VDS Racing Team/Suter 1000cc CRT motorcycle to a time that was "only" four seconds slower than Stoner's, which was closer than he'd been in previous tests.Stoner had ridden the RC213V before and his familiarity showed; his ability to drag his elbow was undiminished. The championship leader put in 57 laps, the 54th of which was a 1:56.168, a time that was a second faster than his fastest race lap. It was also nearly half a second faster than teammate Dani Pedrosa's  pole time."Today was another good shakedown but we still have some work to do," Stoner said. "We found a few positive things and confirmed certain directions to take and move forward. We had a few small problems with chatter, but it's something that shouldn't be too difficult to sort out through engine braking and engine management systems, which are areas we can definitely improve in, along with the chassis."The engine for me is fantastic. To ride the 1000 with more grunt and more power it's a lot of fun. It has incredible acceleration, most of the time too much. We tested a couple of the new tires and had some issues, the traction didn't feel that great and they seemed to create a lot more chatter so we went back to the standard tires and the chatter seemingly disappeared. From the data we have from the first test and this test, we can go away and come back with the next step and take it from there."Yamaha's Ben Spies (pictured)  first went out on his 800cc YZR-M1 to test a new engine before switching to the 2012 1000cc prototype. Spies called it a day at the lunch break to give the pinched nerve in his neck a rest. Lorenzo completed 58 laps on the 800 before putting in another 28 on the 1000. Lorenzo ended up with the second fastest time, Spies the third."Today has been an exciting and busy day because it has been the first day riding the 1000cc bike, but also because we have made a small step with the engine upgrades for the 800cc bike," Lorenzo said. "We rode many laps non-stop from nine this morning to five this afternoon. I realized the 1000cc bike was incredible when I saw the power on the straight. I like this bike a lot and I wanted to have more laps, but I have to still think about this season. I have been just one hour with our future bike. I can say that the next MotoGP season will be amazing, much more power, you go out of the corners sliding; I can't wait."Spies said the "the 800cc upgrades we tested this morning were positive, hopefully there's more in that direction in the future as well."With the 1000cc bike it was a pretty successful first day. We didn't change much on it, pretty much just rolled out and did some laps to get as much data as possible. We made some small changes to see how differently it affected the bike compared to the 800. There's more improvements to be made for sure but for the first day to go faster than the 800 was a surprise."My arm is feeling better and better, I'm getting a check-up when I fly home to the U.S. on Wednesday, but should be fit and ready for Indianapolis."Repsol Honda's Pedrosa turned in the fourth fastest time in his first ride on the RC213V. Injuries prevented the Spaniard from taking part in the initial test of the RC213V."My first impression in the morning was that the feelings were quite similar to those I had when I first came into MotoGP, you can feel the difference in torque and power," he said. "Perhaps I was still riding it with a 800cc style and I need a little more understanding again and try to ride it differently, but the bike seems to work quite well. We will make many modifications, so the final version will be very different to today's bike, but this is normal and the first impression is quite good."Compared to the 990cc I rode in 2006 it's very similar on the power side, but a little lighter in weight and behavior. I tried one run with the prototype Casey (Stoner) tested in Jerez and also the other one with some modifications and it was a bit better. With a new bike, electronics, engine, chassis, everything is not the best, but from my experience in the past with new bikes, the starting point is not so bad. We have to be very careful with the chassis because perhaps the tires next year are a little different in construction which will affect the chassis."The Yamaha and Honda factory riders were the only ones testing prototype 1000s. Ducati Marlboro's Nicky Hayden rode the GP11.1 to the fifth fastest time about 1.4 secs. slower than Stoner. The GP11.1 is, essentially, next year's race bike with an 800cc engine. Teammate Valentino Rossi has been racing it since his home grand prix in Mugello, while Hayden has stuck with the GP11. Neither bike has been very impressive, leading to speculation that Ducati would scrap the carbon fiber "chassis" for a more conventional stressed beam frame. Rossi was eighth fastest on the day."Everything went pretty well today," Hayden said. "We didn't break any track records or anything, but luckily the rain held off. I did one run this morning with the GP11 just to start from zero and then went straight in on the GP11.1. Like at Laguna, I was immediately just as fast, but steadily through the day, I was quicker and quicker. Once again, the team worked like dogs, between working on my race bikes and preparing for the test. I enjoyed riding the bike, and it's always nice to see progress and have a good feeling, I plan to ride it at Indy."My sister's getting married this weekend, so we've got a pretty special two weeks coming up between that and my home GP."The Marc VDS team continued to test the BMW-powered Suter 2012 prototype CRT machine. In his fourth test on the bike, Mika Kallio lapped in 2:00.144 mins., a gap of four seconds to Stoner, which is the closest he's been to the prototypes yet.Test Times:1. Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team/Honda 1000 cc) 1'56.168 (54/57 laps)

2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Team/Yamaha1000 cc) 1'56.253 (22/28 laps)

3. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Team/Yamaha 1000 cc) 1'56.306 (15/24 laps)

4. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team/Honda 1000 cc) 1'57.264 (16/37 laps)

5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team/Ducati 800 cc) 1'57.533 (72/78 laps)

6. Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3/Yamaha 800 cc) 1'57.591 (67/74 laps)

7. Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP/Honda 800 cc) 1'57.903 (55/56 laps)

8. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team/Ducati 800 cc) 1'58.266 (9/74 laps)

9. Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing Team/Ducati 800 cc) 1'58.387 (62/66 laps)

10. Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3/Yamaha 800 cc) 1'58.492 (31/44 laps)

11. Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team/Suter MVDS 1000 cc) 2'00.144 (73/81 laps)

 

MotoGP Headlines

By Cycle News Staff

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