MotoGP™ Official Test at Catalunya - Suzuki returns strong
Fresh from his third win of the season on Sunday, Jorge Lorenzo has posted the quickest lap time in Monday˘s Official MotoGP™ Test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
All eyes were on Suzuki as the Japanese company made a European debut with its 1,000cc, in-line four prototype ahead of a return to the World Championship in 2015.
On a more overcast day at the Montmelo-based track, the big news was from Suzuki Motor Corporation which announced that – having pulled out of MotoGP™ at the end of 2011 – it would be returning in less than two years˘ time. Nobuatsu Aoki was first to ride before Randy de Puniet took over for the rest of the day.
On the timesheets, current title holder Lorenzo led the way with 1˘41.908 – only 11 thousandths of a second slower than Dani Pedrosa˘s new pole position record of Saturday. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider sampled a new fuel tank he had requested, whereas teammate Valentino Rossi worked on gaining a better front end feeling with the M1. In second place was LCR Honda MotoGP˘s Stefan Bradl, looking into setup issues in a bid to dial out his lack of front-end grip.
Ducati Team and satellite outfit Pramac Racing ran back-to-back comparisons of their GP13 and GP13 ˇLab˘ bikes, with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso ending proceedings in third and fourth places while Andrea Iannone and Michele Pirro were ninth and 11th, respectively. At Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Cal Crutchlow sampled the Yamaha chassis evolution as tested by Lorenzo and Rossi in the post-race test at Jerez, while teammate Bradley Smith departed the circuit early in order to undergo a skin graft operation in Barcelona city centre.
The day was broken up by several red flags, one of which was for Rossi who crashed his Yamaha shortly before 4pm. There were no such issues for the Suzuki, posting the best lap time with De Puniet, 1:42.676, which is 0.772 secs off Lorenzo˘s best lap!
01- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – 1˘41.904 (54 laps)
02- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 0.051 (73)
03- Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC213V – + 0.323 (31)
04- Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 0.513 (56)
05- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.558 (57)
06- Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.609 (57)
07- Aleix Espargaro – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 0.633 (63)
08- Randy De Puniet – Suzuki Test Team – Suzuki MotoGP – + 0.772 (73)
09- Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 0.793 (65)
10- Bradley Smith – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.276 (25)