It’s been about a month since Casey Stoner last tested the Honda RC213V racebike at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit but the defending World Champion remains the man to beat, setting the fastest lap at the first day of MotoGP’s February Sepang test.
Heavy rain limited teams’ testing and Stoner only completed 16 laps but still managed to set a time of 2:01.761. Stoner was the only rider to lap under 2:02, though his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa came close with a time of 2:02.005 while completing 36 laps.
Honda released onboard video of Stoner lapping the 3.44 mile circuit (look for it after the jump).
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Stoner’s team focused on trying different set-ups including new brakes and adjusting the wheelbase while still trying to eliminate the front wheel chatter.
We have a some work to do, this morning we managed to compare a few things back to back, we’ve tried a new set of brake disks to try and reduce the brake fade that I’ve been having at the last test so that’s been an improvement. We’re trying a few other things with set up, to shorten the wheelbase and get a little more traction. We have a couple of things we can try to change the stiffness and also move the weight around a little bit to try and upset the chatter and reduce the frequency. – Stoner
On the other side of the Repsol garage, Pedrosa’s crew worked on riding the chassis geometry, position and power delivery. A warning light came on during his final session however, and the team is analyzing the data to find out what the problem was.
It was much warmer than in the last test; after the first run I was sweating more than in the three days we came here last time! Today we did some tests on the engine, to see how can we manage the power delivery, and also worked on the chassis. Also, on the rider position to work on the balance and it was positive. In the afternoon I did some laps in the rain, but on my second run it started to dry up quickly, so we finished earlier. – Pedrosa
San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Alvaro Bautista was the fastest satellite rider at the test with his best lap time of 2:02.959 fifth best on the day. Bautista was also faster than factory Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi.
Stefan Bradl of LCR Honda was tenth on the time sheets with a best lap of 2:03.820.