Rossi Sits Out of Day 2 Test; Hayden Continues Work on GP11

nicky_hayden_sepangValentino Rossi has been struggling this off-season. Rossi moved to a new team this year, and is doing his best to get the feel of his new Ducati GP11. But an injured shoulder has prevented him from pushing the Ducati to its limits, and today, illness kept Rossi off of the track entirely.

Rossi showed up to the track to this morning, but after feeling ill, decided that it was best to return to his hotel room to rest.

“(Rossi) was feeling weakened by fever and cold when he arrived at the track this morning,” said Ducati in a press release. “After consulting with the team and with doctors from Clinica Mobile, he returned to his hotel, where he underwent anti-flu treatment.”

With Rossi resting in hotel room, Nicky Hayden took to the track to try and finalize settings on the GP11.

“It wasn’t the smoothest day, as we had a couple of time-consuming glitches,” Hayden said. “We had planned to put on some fresh tyres at the end to see how good the changes we’d made really were, but we had a small problem with the gearbox near the end, and there wasn’t time to go back out.”

Hayden finished the testing session more than 2 seconds behind the pace setter, Casey Stoner.

“We still did 44 laps though, and it was a pretty solid day overall. The team really worked hard today, so thanks to them as always. Our gap to the front is still quite big, but we’ve definitely managed to get the chatter a lot better. It’s not completely cured, but it’s good enough that we can focus on some other stuff. I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, so hopefully we can take a big step and leave here positive.”

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Stoner Leads After Day 1 in Sepang

Casey_Stoner_Sepang_TestCasey Stoner kept the Repsol Honda team at the top of the time sheets today, claiming the best lap time around the Sepang track. Stoner set a 2’01” lap time around the Sepang track, leading his teammate Dani Pedrosa to a Repsol Honda 1-2 on the first day of the MotoGP test.

“We had a really good day today, from the beginning I felt more comfortable with the bike again, like I understood the bike a little better,” said Stoner. “We managed to work on set-up but we are still doing a chassis comparison, finding strong points and weak points on both. It’s difficult to choose one or the other, whatever set-up we throw at them we seem to be able to run pretty similar lap times. We’re very happy with the progress we made today and everything and everybody seems to be working well.”

The two Honda riders were followed by two Yamaha bikes, as Jorge Lorenzo and Colin Edwards rode their M1s into third and fourth. Lorenzo finished .48 seconds behind Stoner’s time, and Edwards was another two-tenths of a second back.

“Today was a good day for me, we worked on the traction to improve it from the previous test which helped us a lot in the set-up, I’m now very satisfied with it,” said Lorenzo.

The third Repsol Honda rider followed Edwards to take fifth for the day. Andrea Dovizioso beat out Ben Spies by .06 for the fifth place spot. Spies was followed by a couple more Hondas, making it five RC212Vs inside the top 8. The final two Hondas were ridden by the San Carlo Honda Gresini pair Hiroshi Aoyama and Marco Simoncelli.

The highest ranking Ducati bike was driven by Valentino Rossi. Rossi is still recovering from shoulder surgery, but he looked pretty comfortable around the Sepang track. Rossi finished with a 2’01.999 lap time, 1.012 seconds behind the leader.

The top ten was finished off by Alvaro Bautista with the Rizla Suzuki team.

“Today I wanted to ride in a calm way and concentrate on the details that we had to work on,” Bautista said. “We didn’t make an exciting lap-time today but we improved the bike, especially on corner exit where it now feels much smoother. I’m looking forward to pushing a bit harder tomorrow.”

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