Following his commanding victory Sunday in the Grand Prix of Italy, Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo completed a successful day of testing on the Mugello circuit on Monday. The Championship leader worked through a number of settings including a different engine specification tested to decide the path of development and an updated electronics package.
Teammate Ben Spies did not test yesterday as he continues to recover from the illness which hampered his race on Sunday.
According to Lorenzo, “Yesterday we did 40 laps. We worked on improving the settings of the bike compared to the race and also tried some different engine specification to help us choose the direction to work in for the future. The track was very bad this morning after all the fans were on it Sunday afternoon but it became a lot better.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso completed a positive test session at the Mugello circuit in Italy a well.
Hot and humid conditions enabled Crutchlow and Dovizioso to focus on a range of set-up options with their YZR-M1 machinery and both were able to post competitive times inside the top six.
Crutchlow concentrated on improving his feeling with a full fuel tank to help him be faster in the early stages of races in the second half of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship. The British rider also experimented with different geometry settings and he was satisfied with progress made having set the fifth quickest time.
The 26-year-old’s best lap of 1.47.750 was only 0.315 behind Jorge Lorenzo’s best pace and Crutchlow managed to improve on his best lap set in sunday’s Mugello race by an impressive 0.7 seconds.
According to Cruchlow, “I am feeling pretty tired now because it has been a hectic period in the Championship and yesterday it was very hot. But it was a good test and it gave me the chance to work on the bike for the beginning of the race. Each time I went out I had a full fuel tank and we definitely made some progress. I can still improve but I will be going to Laguna Seca confident that I will be faster in the first part of the race. This season I have been really strong as the race has gone on, so we need to work on improving my speed right from the off. We worked on a few different settings and it was interesting to understand how they affected the bike and that will give us some options in the second part of the season.”
Andrea Dovizioso spent his time on track experimenting with different geometry settings and also working on adapting his riding style to improve his mid-corner speed on the YZR-M1 machine.
The Italian, who claimed a fantastic fourth podium finish in the last five races in Sunday’s 23-lap Gran Premio d’Italia TIM encounter, set a best time of 1.47.775 to finish in sixth position. His best time was 0.5s faster than his quickest pace in sunday’s race and he was happy with improvements to the front-end feeling of his YZR-M1.
The Italian commented, “Yesterday we just concentrated on trying modifications to the set-up that we don’t normally have time to experiment with on a race weekend. We changed the geometry of the bike to help me understand some different options for the future and we definitely improved the bike from sunday’s race. We made the bike better on the front-end to help enter the corner better and the good thing is the changes we made should help at the next race in Laguna Seca. I also worked a little on my riding style with the YZR-M1 and now I am even more confident for Laguna Seca where I’m sure I can be battling for another podium.”
The Repsol Honda Team had taken the big step to bring its 2013 prototype racer to the test, one for each rider, in order to solve the chattering issues both Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa have been having so far this season. They were also evaluating an updated engine with a new specification. Pedrosa, despite suffering a crash in the afternoon session, set a time only fractionally slower than Lorenzo in second, while Stoner was only a hair’s breadth away in third. Both riders felt the engine was an improvement, yet the chassis was not met with joint optimism. Whilst Pedrosa felt the new chassis had some more positives, despite not eliminating chatter, Stoner felt it was not a step forward. The Australian commented he would like the current chassis fitted with the new engine for Laguna Seca.
For the Ducati Team, Monday was day one of a four-day test schedule at the track, during which it will be evaluating numerous different parts and settings to take its bike a step closer to competing with the factory Yamahas and Hondas. Test rider Franco Battaini spent spending the day working alongside official riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, both only present for Monday, to help evaluate the much anticipated upgrades the team had announced for the Laguna Seca round in just under two weeks, where the team will use a new engine. One item that was tested Monday was a new ECU for the Desmosedici engine, which Rossi claimed was not a big step forward, yet should bring improvements. He only managed a run in the morning however, as he crashed after one lap in the afternoon, and was unable to continue due to a problem with the ECU. Hayden and Battaini did however continue lapping, and Hayden set the fourth quickest time of the day. Rossi’s morning time left him in tenth.
The MotoGP Championship heads to North America next with stops at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis.