Simoncelli topped pre-season MotoGP testing

Published on February 10th, 2011

MotoGP riders were pleased with their overall test results which took place in Sepang International Circuit on Feb 1 to 3. The test was concluded with Marco Simoncelli of San Carlo Honda Gresini clocking the fastest lap-time of 2:00:757.

Simoncelli, 24, won the 250cc world title back in 2008 and last year was his first year riding for MotoGP. His MotoGP experience was not really a happy memory, with high-side accidents and a cracked helmet to prove it.

“Taking into account that this is not one of my favourite circuits we have still managed to build on our consistency from yesterday and this morning I was able to set an awesome lap. Overall I am 100% happy. The team has worked brilliantly, the changes have integrated well and everything has gone perfectly. We have all improved, starting with myself, the guys and the bike, and I’m sure this year I’ll ‘be there’ too. Obviously this is only the first test so we have to keep our feet on the ground and just continue like this,” commented Simoncelly at the end of the pre-season test session.

The second fastest rider during the pre-season testing was Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda Team, beating new teammate Casey Stoner on the second day of testing with 2:00:770. Stoner was third fastest with 2:00:811.

Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing, now teaming with Ben “The Elbow” Spies, clocked fourth fastest with 2:00:845. Andrea Dovizioso, another Repsol Honda Team rider, clocked fifth fastest with 2:00:945, and concluded the list of riders who finished below 2:01.00.

Ben Spies, Hiroshi Aoyama, Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, Alvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi, Hector Barbera, Loris Capirossi, Randy de Puniet, Karel Abraham, Cal Crutchlow and Toni Elias made up for 6th to 17th fastest.

I’m sure many were waiting for Rossi’s performance in his new Ducati Desmosedici, but it is still too early to speculate on anything.

Razlan Razali, CEO of SIC, commented on the pre-season testing:

“It was obvious that Stoner and Pedrosa looked very comfortable and fast at this test. However, we would have to see whether there will be any friction between the two similar to Lorenzo and Rossi in Yamaha last two years. Ben Spies seemed to go faster than Lorenzo so far; but I am sure Lorenzo would be as competitive and motivated to defend his title. I would not discount Simoncelli as he also looked quite consistent and fast.

“Rossi is a difficult one to predict. Can he try to emulate 2004 and win on a new bike first time out? It would be fantastic to the sport. But; due to his persistent shoulder injury, age and the emergence of new younger riders, it may be difficult.

“But Rossi is also a magician, a veteran and a legend … he may have something up his sleeves. I will not discount him yet until a few races into the world championship,” he said.

MotoGP Pre-Season Test 1

Sepang (5.543 km)

Day 3: February 3, 2011

Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini (Honda) 2:00.757s

Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)                  2:00.811s

Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing (Yamaha)      2:00.845s

Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)          2:00.945s

Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing (Yamaha)               2:01.002s

Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)                  2:01.241s

Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini (Honda)   2:01.353s

Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team (Ducati)                                2:01.534s

Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)      2:01.651s

Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team (Ducati)                              2:01.842s

Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team (Ducati)                                2:02.030s

Loris Capirossi (ITA) Pramac Racing Team (Ducati)               2:02.057s

Randy De Puniet (FRA) Pramac Racing Team (Ducati)           2:02.159s

Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing (Ducati)          2:02.645s

Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)       2:02.717s

Toni Elias (SPA) LCR Honda MotoGP (Honda)                         2:02.916s

Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) HRC Test Team (Yamaha)                 2:03.452s

Nobuatsu Aoki (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (Suzuki)                2:04.700s

Day 2: February 2, 2011

Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)                   2:00.770s

Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)                    2:01.434s

Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing (Yamaha)                2:01.508s

Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)            2:01.512s

Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini (Honda)   2:01.522s

Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini (Honda)    2:01.534s

Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing (Yamaha)        2:01.563s

Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (Suzuki)               2:01.687s

Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)      2:01.722s

Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team (Ducati)                                2:02.093s

Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team (Ducati)                                2:02.379s

Randy De Puniet (FRA) Pramac Racing Team (Ducati)          2:02.426s

Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team (Ducati)                              2:02.597s

Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) HRC Test Team (Yamaha)                2:02.619s

Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)      2:03.032s

Loris Capirossi (ITA) Pramac Racing Team (Ducati)              2:03.047s

Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing (Ducati)         2:03.466s

Toni Elias (SPA) LCR Honda MotoGP (Honda)                        2:04.026s

Day 1: February 1, 2011

Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)                    2:01.574s

Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing (Yamaha)        2:01.977s

Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)                   2:02.024s

Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini (Honda)   2:02.295s

Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing (Yamaha)                2:02.332s

Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (Suzuki)               2:02.422s

Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini (Honda)    2:02.483s

Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team (Honda)           2:02.507s

Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)      2:02.514s

Randy De Puniet (FRA) Pramac Racing Team (Ducati)           2:03.152s

Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) HRC Test Team (Yamaha)                 2:03.224s

Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team (Ducati)                              2:03.365s

Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team (Ducati)                                2:03.508s

Loris Capirossi (ITA) Pramac Racing Team (Ducati)              2:03.695s

Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team (Ducati)                               2:03.767s

Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (Yamaha)     2:04.009s

Toni Elias (SPA) LCR Honda MotoGP (Honda)                       2:04.238s

Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing (Ducati)        2:04.470s

words: Syawal Ahmad  pix: SIC

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