The second winter test in Sepang, Malaysia, began today, but the riders’ and technicians’ work schedule was affected first by a dirty track surface and later by rain.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden nonetheless discovered a number of positive aspects in the shortened day. The Italian decided to take advantage of the wet track in order to try out some changes to the rain setup, while the American received confirmation that the recent operation on his left shoulder was successful, and despite his fitness still not being at 100 percent, he was able to start working with the GP12.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th, 2:03.132 (32 laps)
“I’m obviously still not at 100 percent, but considering I had shoulder surgery three weeks ago, it went better than I expected. I felt much better than at the last test and was able to give some good feedback, so I owe a big thanks to Dr Ting and his staff. This is the first time I could really ride this bike well, and I enjoyed it. The chassis gives you a lot of feedback, and it’s easier to understand the limit. We made some changes throughout the day and I pretty much got quicker every exit. It would have been nice to ride in the rain, but I didn’t want to do something silly and crash on the shoulder. Hopefully it’s not too sore when I wake up so I can do another half-day or so tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 8th, 2:03.245 (39 laps)
“Paradoxically, we actually started too early this morning! It would’ve been better to start at 11 like the others, because before that the asphalt was quite dirty, and by the time the conditions started to improve, the tyre already had about fifteen laps on it. We decided to save the second tyre for the afternoon, but it started raining after lunch. As a result, we didn’t get much done today. We didn’t even start working with the new software that we have available for this test. On the plus side, we were able to confirm that the feeling in the wet is still pretty good with the GP12. Weather permitting, and with a couple more tyres at our disposal, I think that tomorrow we’ll be able to work a little more comprehensively and understand things a bit more.”