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The Pace Steps Up on Day Two in Sepang

The first official MotoGP test of 2013 entered its second day today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were again quick to get up to speed, taking over half a second off their times from day one by the early afternoon before rain came in to disrupt the day. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo was again running in second position as he ran through various updates to the 2013 YZR-M1, wrapping up the day just 0.019 seconds from front man Dani Pedrosa. Teammate Rossi put in another strong day, sending a clear message about his capabilities as he completed the session in fourth place, less than half a second from the front. Both riders were working through set up positions along with differing chassis and engine specifications to make up for time lost due to bad weather at the end of season test in Spain last year.

Jorge Lorenzo – Laps 43, Time – 2’00.568

“Today in the morning the conditions were good and I could easily do the lap times from yesterday, I improved by more than half a second. Later we tried some little parts we couldn’t try yesterday, but not so much and the bike didn’t improve a lot. In the last hour it started to rain so I decided to exit and ride in the wet. We made more than eight laps in the rain. I think it was important to find the feeling in these conditions and also try the new tyre.”

Valentino Rossi – Laps 45, Time – 2’01.038

“The second day of testing in Sepang is finished and the balance of the day is positive for us, especially as we finished some work on the bike. We have some different parts for the bike for this season and we continue to work on the setting. The positive is we improved compared to yesterday in terms of time on one lap with the new tyre but especially on the rhythm, I was half a second faster than yesterday which is not so bad. Fourth position is quite good especially as we are less than half a second behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo the front. Unfortunately it started to rain so we had to stop earlier, because our target this afternoon was to go into 2’00 but we will try again tomorrow.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“This morning went pretty smoothly and we were directly faster than yesterday. Our competitors improved also but that’s life in this sport. The only thing I can say at this moment is that we are happy with what we are doing, concentrating and Jorge is feeling good on the bike. Let’s continue tomorrow and see what we can achieve to finish the test.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“The schedule for the day proceeded well, we got a lot of good data this morning on both sides. Jorge spent a lot of time with the 2013 configuration and he is pretty satisfied. For sure there is room to improve and we will continue to work on it. Vale is happy too, he compared some different settings and he found one he liked. Now he will work on the 2013 bike this afternoon. If our starting point is as good as we think then we are in a good shape.”

Crutchlow and Smith make big progress in Sepang

The second day of the 2013 MotoGP winter testing campaign saw the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team make impressive progress in hot and humid conditions at the Sepang International Circuit today. Eager to build on an impressive sixth position on the opening day, Crutchlow was one of the first out on track this morning and the British rider needed just seven laps to improve his pace from yesterday. The 27-year-old spent the majority of the day working on a range of different settings to improve corner entry performance for the severe braking points from high speed into the first and last corner and the tight Turn 9. A personal best lap of 2.01.311 put Crutchlow in fifth position and he was the leading non-factory rider after completing 41 laps today.

Bradley Smith’s growing confidence was evident from the early stages of today’s session and the 22-year-old demonstrated speed and consistency that bodes well for his rookie season in the MotoGP World Championship. Ideal conditions for most of the day gave Smith vital time on track to build up his experience of Yamaha’s YZR-M1 machine after a two-year spell in the ultra-competitive Moto2 category. And he demonstrated how quickly he has adapted to the heavier and more powerful MotoGP machine with one of the most eye-catching performances of the second day. Smith has been working closely with his experienced crew, led by chief engineer Guy Coulon, to understand how to change his riding style and he improved by 1.5s to jump into eighth position. He set a best time of 2.01.931 to finish just over 1.3s behind 2013 World Championship contender Dani Pedrosa before today’s session was ended prematurely when heavy rain started to fall on the Sepang International Circuit with 90 minutes remaining on the clock.

Cal Crutchlow – Laps – 41, Time – 2’01.311

“Today I mainly looked at improving the bike on corner entry and one setting was an improvement but we lost a bit of turning performance. This track has some severe braking points, particularly going into the first and last corner where you arrive in the braking zone while flat-out in sixth gear. We need to keep the rear tyre more on the floor at corner entry, so it was good to try and get more rear grip to help me enter the corner without the rear sliding too much. I’ve still got a few tenths to find but it seems on used tyres I’m around the same pace as Valentino and that’s positive but I still feel a little bit rusty after the winter lay-off. Another key target for this test is to get a good understanding with my new Japanese engineer from Yamaha. He worked with Andrea (Dovizioso) last year and we just need time to understand how he works. We are working closely together and I am looking forward to his input this season.”

Bradley Smith – Laps – 40, Time – 2’01.931

“Today’s performance and the final lap times makes me feel really happy but I am not going to get carried away. I am happy with the job I have done and to be so fast on such a long and technical track is great for my confidence. But I know reducing the gap to the leading group will be very difficult. There’s still a long way to go but it is nice to be so m uch faster than yesterday and to see some real progress. A lot of it is down to trusting the bike and having the confidence to ride it to the absolute limit to get the best out of it. I’m not at that point yet but each time I go out I get a better feeling. The great thing with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is they make me feel calm and concentrated and they give me a focus to work on my technique out on track. The lap times are coming from the work we are trying to improve in key areas. It never feels easy on these bikes and you don’t get time to rest, but when it becomes more like your friend then you start making steps forward. The team gives me a plan and an area to work on and I try to implement it on track.”

Sepang Day Two Times:

1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.549s (Lap 29/37)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.568s (6/52)
3. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.803s (20/34)
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 1.038s (20/45)
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.311s (31/41)
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.369s (5/31)
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.729s (18/46)
8. Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.931s (32/40)
9. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.110s (30/51)
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.379s (33/51)
11. Kosuke Akiyoshi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 2.526s (16/29)
12. Katsayuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.701s (10/30)
13. Ben Spies USA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 3.002s (22/27)
14. Wataru Yoshikawa JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 3.156s (6/39)
15. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 3.169s (15/29)
16. Aleix Espargaro ESP Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 3.251s (29/40)
17. Randy De Puniet FRA Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 3.791s (38/63)
18. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 4.284s (47/48)
19. Takumi Takahashi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 4.559s (41/44)
20. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.786s (23/32)
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.989s (15/28)
22. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB (ART CRT) 2m 5.028s (12/54)
23. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.417s (13/31)
24. Claudio Corti ITA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 5.721s (21/22)
25. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.837s (27/36)
26. Colin Edwards USA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 6.205s (22/23)
27. Bryan Staring AUS Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 2m 6.898s (22/33)
28. Lukas Pesek CZE IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 21.512s (12/14)
* Control ECU.