Well, it certainly didn't take long for Valentino Rossi to feel at home again on the Yamaha YZR-M1, as the Doctor fired back at doubters with a quick lap that was under the lap record at the Circuito Jerez de la Frontera that put the Italian atop the timesheets during the second day of the official IRTA MotoGP three-day test. After another bout of morning rains kept the majority of the MotoGP field off the track (the rain in Spain hung around all day Saturday, relegating testing to rain setups), the precipitation finally let up and the tarmac began to dry by around lunchtime, with the entire field seemingly taking to the track en masse to make up for lost time. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa initially took control by 2:00pm local time, but Rossi was only a couple of tenths back, and soon put his name at the top shortly after 3:00pm. Rossi's time apparently wasn't some one-off qualifying tire wonder, either; he managed a number of laps in the low 1:40/high 1:39 range while turning in his quick lap.
Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Jorge Lorenzo slotted in behind Rossi just 0.015 seconds behind, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow bumping Pedrosa to fourth with a lap just 0.034 behind Lorenzo. Pedrosa was the last rider in the 1:39 bracket another 0.056 seconds behind Crutchlow. Ducati's Andrea Dovisioso showed impressive speed to put his GP13 in fifth spot, followed by GO&FUN Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, who suffered a lowside crash earlier in the day. Pedrosa's teammate Marc Marquez couldn't repeat his sterling form in previous tests as he could only put up a time that had him seventh quickest.
"It's not important, but it's very important!" said an obviously happy Rossi. "To end the day with the best lap time is great, not just because of the position but also because we modified some of the settings of the bike after the first test to adapt the M1 more to my style. It's good because I am able to go faster, like Jorge, in all sectors of the lap. For tomorrow, we have a new chassis with some small differences, so both Jorge and I will try it. We hope to be able to improve our level a bit."
The rain returned at 4:30pm, cutting short any possibility of lap time improvements for the day.
MotoGP Jerez test Day Two results:
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:39.525
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:39.540
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:39.574
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:39.630
5. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 1:40.322
6. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:40.686
7. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 1:40.714
8. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:40.783
9. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:41.088
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:41.325
11. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:41.376
12. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:41.398
13. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:41.444
14. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:41.529
15. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 1:41.603
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:41.686
17. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:41.701
18. Ben Spies (USA) Ducati 1:41.702
19. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 1:41.916
20. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 1:42.050
21. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 1:42.107
22. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:42.154
23. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 1:43.959
24. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia 1:44.185
25 Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 1:44.874