In a matter of two weekends, the MotoGP paddock will reconvene in Losail for the opening race of 2012. Today at Jerez, the two Repsol Honda Team riders, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, concluded their preparations for that event and beyond. It could hardly have gone better for the duo, who took two of the top three places on the final timesheet only split by Jorge Lorenzo. Sun, warm temperatures and a day without on-track incidents drew the 2012 preseason to a close. The next time that the sound of the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 engines will ring out at a circuit will be when the series heads to Losail for round one: The Qatar GP on April 8th.
After three days of testing in Southern Spain, Stoner showed that he was the rider to beat and recorded the fastest time of the Jerez visit. Yamaha‘s Lorenzo placed inbetween the Australian and Repsol teammate Pedrosa, who concluded the test in third position. Only Stoner and Lorenzo were able to break the 1’39 mark, whilst Pedrosa came exceedingly close. Only three tenths of a second separated the three riders in the final standings.
Riders of Repsol Honda Team spent this morning preparing their bikes for a longer run. Pedrosa made a race simulation, with 27 laps in low 1’40’s, finishing reasonably happy with his performance and the bike behaviour. Stoner also took positive information from a long run of 12 laps, of which 8 were in the 1’39’s. The Qatar track dominated by Stoner in recent years will begin what is sure to be a thrilling season on April 8th.
Dani Pedrosa (1:39.157, 73 laps, 314 km)
“We’ve been working a lot with the chassis in the morning to prepare the race simulation. But by the time we were ready, we had to stop twice in the box for an issue with the rear brake. Finally, on my third exit, I could make it. I did the full race distance, 27 laps, and I’m quite satisfied with the result, the lap times were pretty good even though it was very windy in the afternoon, it’s also been also good physical training for me.
In general, I think we’ve done a good pre season, we only need to improve a little more on braking and corner entry, it would help us for the first race of the season”.
Casey Stoner (1:38.780, 61 laps, 270 km)
“Today we were really pleased with the lap times we’re running but I think we can still improve the bike quite a bit before the race here. Anyway we feel like we’ve made some progress on a track like this for us. Towards the end of the day we had some chattering but we have an idea what caused this and it’s not the same as in Sepang.
We did a lot of laps and a longer run to get a little more understanding of fuel consumption and things like this and in general we’re satisfied with how the whole test has gone for us. Now we can go racing which is what we really enjoy”.