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Jerez Test Proves Stoner Still the Man to Beat

The final test before the opening of the 2012 MotoGP series in Qatar on April 8 took place this last weekend at Jerez. Honda’s Casey Stoner was again the quickest of all the riders, followed closely by Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Ducati continues to make progress, and Valentino Rossi finished with the 6th quickest time. Ahead of Rossi were two Honda’s and three Yamaha’s.

Most troubling for his rivals, Stoner put together a mini “race simulation” of 10 straight laps averaging well under 1 min. 40 seconds per lap. Rossi, for instance, did a similar race simulation but averaged nearly 1 1/2 second slower per lap. It looks like Ducati is still playing catch-up, and that this process may continue for some time.

7 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Is it going to be Honda Repsol parade in front again? Stoner, Pedrosa, and whoever replace Devizioso. Very excited to see Moto GP again in Indy.

  2. brinskee says:

    A few interesting things to note:

    1) Ben Spies was 4th fastest at the test. This is good news for American fans and is off the lead by only .0715 seconds.

    2) Stoner’s “race simulation” had him only put in half the laps of a normal race. Meaning that when you take tire wear and fuel limits into consideration, these guys simply cannot ride at the limit for the entire race. I’m certainly not saying Stoner isn’t going to do well, but tire and fuel strategy will now become a huge factor. This will benefit smaller and lighter racers.

    3) It’s interesting to note that the fastest CRT time posted (by R.D. Puniet/Aprilia) was only .022 seconds slower than the slowest prototype bike (K. Abraham/Ducati). Again, because of tire/fuel strategy and the fact thay the CRT bikes get additional fuel, we might see some CRT bikes ahead of the prototypes this season. Oh, and Karel is not looking so great on that Ducati…

    4) Cal Crutchlow is looking good with the fifth fastest time on a satellite bike and within a second of Stoner. Reminds me of Spies two years ago. I bet he’ll have a podium this year.

    Looking forward to this season! RIP SIC

    • Pete says:

      You’re kidding yourself. Stoner ripped of ten laps in a row all faster than Lorenzo could manage during his long run, and @ ten laps the tyres are done anyway. Stoner has no need to wear the engines out when he already knows how the thing will behave for the duration of the race, and the engineers can calculate fuel usage to the millilitre.

      Also…where are all the experts that predicted Stoner wouldn’t be so good on the Thous?

      Hello…he’s a multi times Australian dirt track champion. Sideways he does better than anyone else currently out there. Maybe ever.

  3. mickey says:

    Going to be a long year for Val and Nicky. 1 1/2 seconds per lap for 20 laps puts you a long way from the podium. Wonder if Rossi sits up at night sipping wine and pondering if he made the right move?

    • Dale says:

      I’m not going to write them off before the season starts.

      True, a podium looks a long way off from here and their competition is Strong… However, stranger things have happened.

      I’m pulling for All the Teams and Riders, I mainly hope for a safe and competitive season.

      Stoner will be the Man to beat going in and a few will be trying their best to do so.

      PS World Superbike at Imola this weekend, YUMMY!!!

      • mickey says:

        Dale I too root for them all. Clean,close competitive racing is such a joy to watch. Poetry in motion.

        Thanks for the reminder on WSBK. I promised to watch more of it.

  4. Gutterslob says:

    Yes, Stoner is still the title favourite, but Lorenzo did a “full” 26-lap race sim with a used/scrubbed front tyre and nearly every lap was said to be in the 1:40.3 – 1:40.5 range.

    The GP circus isn’t just about Stoner and Rossi. You might want to be a bit more balanced with your “reporting” in future. Here’s an example: http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2012/Mar/120326a.htm