Despite a bad back that kept him on the sidelines on the first of three days of testing at Sepang, and a bad chatter problem echoed by teammate Dani Pedrosa, defending champion Casey Stoner (Honda) thoroughly dominated the competition at Sepang by setting a new (unofficial) lap record under the fastest ever race lap, fastest ever pole lap and fastest ever recorded two-wheel lap at the circuit.
Roughly six-tenths of a second back from Stoner was Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, followed by Pedrosa and then American Ben Spies (Yamaha). None of these riders could reach the same “time zone” as Stoner, relatively speaking, but the test indicates that Yamaha and Honda may again slug it out each weekend in 2012. That is unless they are joined by Ducati.
Ducati’s Valentino Rossi ended up 5th quickest, and relatively close to all of the front runners (save Stoner). More importantly, Ducati’s lap times fell quickly enough over the course of the three-day test that the development potential of the new bike seems confirmed.
Oh yes, and the CRT bikes were slow . . . very slow in comparison to the factory machines. So far back, in fact, that it is difficult to see them becoming competitive any time soon.