Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow was quickest at the post-race Brno MotoGP test.
Lorenzo tested a new chassis (with a standard engine) at Brno, but said its performance wasn't any better than the current chassis.
Colin Edwards tested Mattia Pasini's Speedmaster Aprilia CRT bike as a possible precursor to his team's switch to the ART/Aprilia CRT bike at Misano.
Dani Pedrosa tried some chassis changes aimed at improving rear tire edge grip with mixed results.
Honda World Superbike's Jonathan Rea tested Stoner's RC213V in preparation for his substitute ride at Misano.
Even MotoGP Safety Officer and ex-MotoGP rider Loris Capirossi got some laps in on numerous bikes, including Edwards' CRT machine.
Usually a significant test in the past due to the previously restricted number of annual official MotoGP test sessions and its mid-year positioning that often resulted in major new parts or bikes making their first appearance, the one-day official test at Brno on Monday was a much more subdued affair this year, with most teams using it as a shakedown for numerous ideas on the current machinery rather than debuting significant future components. The only exception was Yamaha providing a new chassis for Jorge Lorenzo to try out, which unfortunately didn’t provide the intended improvement the engineers were looking for.
The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha pair of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovisioso went quickest on the day at Brno, with Crutchlow mostly making some chassis setup experiments. “We tried a few things with the bike. We had nothing new to test…we never had any parts or anything,” said Crutchlow of the MotoGP test. “We tested a few little things for Yamaha; it’s not an actual part, it’s just something that they included with the bike. The setup was exactly the same in the morning as yesterday; and then this afternoon we tried something different, so we were really pleased with the test because we did 44 laps with the soft rear tire from qualifying as well; we kept the tire, and then we did all the morning on the same tire, and the first run of the afternoon, and still I did the same lap time as my fastest lap in the race. We had a good weekend, now this afternoon we tried something different; I don’t know if it worked for me, in some areas it’s better, in some areas not, it’s just a different setting with the bike. Overall finally we did a not so bad lap time, but was not my preferred setup, so I think I can go faster.”
Lorenzo wasn’t enthused with the new MotoGP chassis at Brno, and hopes that some updated parts will find their way to the test at Spain’s Aragon circuit next week. “Yeah, we try the new chassis in theory for 2013 next year,” said Lorenzo. “For the moment it’s a prototype, it’s not a final chassis. For the moment we didn’t find any improvement, any positive things, so we need to still, we have some work to do. We’ve been working on the braking; that was the point we struggled with Dani on the race. We just found something a little bit better that we wanted to try in the warmup, but in the rain we couldn’t. We gained a few tenths with this change.”
American Colin Edwards was given some test sessions at Brno on the Speedmaster Aprilia CRT bike with an eye toward the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team making the switch from its Suter/BMW setup. “The bike feels good,” said Edwards about the Aprilia. “I’ve only been out twice on it and making a small change, just trying to get comfortable with the seating position, but yeah, feels good.”
What was the biggest difference between the Suter/BMW and the Aprilia? “Obviously just power. The power is so smooth; very similar to, say, what I had last year (Yamaha M1). Just the way that everything’s being designed nowadays with this kind of linear power and the way that the engine is, that’s the biggest difference.”
When asked if his team was going to make the switch by the time the MotoGP calendar moves to the Misano circuit in less than three weeks’ time, Edwards replied, “That I don’t know yet, I still need to talk with my big boss, with Giovanni (Cuzari, owner of the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team), and put our heads together and come up with a decision.” That the team will eventually make a switch to another bike is basically a foregone conclusion, and Edwards wasn’t disagreeing. “I think so, I mean, that’s why we’re here testing.”
Dani Pedrosa tried some chassis changes at the Brno test aimed at giving him more grip while leaned over, which is where Lorenzo was making time on him in yesterday’s MotoGP race. “Today I was working a lot on rear grip. We were trying to get some more edge grip in these long corners. We had some success in some points; not everything was good, but we have some ideas now. So it was quite important today to do some laps. At the beginning of the day it wasn’t really good, but during mid-day it improve a lot, so today I think we had a good test. But nothing really was, we didn’t have any new item really so, maybe at Aragon we have some new items and we can try them out.”
Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea was at the Brno test for his first ride on Casey Stoner’s RC213V in preparation for his filling in for the injured Australian at Misano and possibly more races if everything works out. Rea was completely surprised by the call-up to MotoGP. “For me first it was really difficult because I was already in Russia doing the World Superbike Championship,” recalled Rea. “When I heard the news and got the invitation, it was a little bit like, ‘what, how can I do this?’ But logistically the Repsol Honda team really helped me to find the right flights, and eventually I landed here in Czech Republic very late last night in my hotel. It’s been a long journey but I’m just so excited to get this opportunity and ride one of the best bikes in the world.”
As expected, the 1000cc RC213V MotoGP bike was a bit difficult to get accustomed to in just a one-day test at Brno. “In the beginning it was very difficult because even though it’s a motorcycle with two wheels, it feels completely different to my superbike. For me the biggest difference was the tires; it’s just so difficult to understand the limit because the construction is very strong compared to the Pirellis. But slowly but surely we got a little bit faster and a little bit faster; in the end we ran out of time. I’d like to stay here for one week and just get better and better, but I’m just so happy to finish the day and learn a lot.
Rea isn’t putting any expectations on his upcoming fill-in race at Misano, and isn’t worried about what others might think. “Definitely not, because I was so tired from doing a full weekend of superbike. I got on the plane thinking, ‘man, what am I doing? I’m going to ride the best bike in the world and I’m really tired already.’ I had no pressure on myself. For sure there’s people out there that’s going to make comparisons already, and try to compare me to other people, but for me, this is just fun. I’m acting like a sponge, trying to learn all the information; these bikes are completely different and I have a lot to learn, so just trying to attack things slowly but surely.”
“I have no expectation. Just to have fun; I don’t know how competitive we can be. It’s hard; I’ve had one day on the bike, to expect anything more than to finish the race and to enjoy myself is too much. But I believe in my ability; I know if I can get the perfect feeling with the bike then for sure I can do a good job.”
Brno MotoGP test results:
1. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:56.461
2. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Yamaha 1:56.578
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:56.699
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:56.703
5. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:57.156
6. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:57.161
7. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 1:57.474
8. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda 1:59.595
9. Yonny Hernandez (COL) FTR/Kawasaki 1:59.743
10. Ivan Silva (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 2:00.667
11. Michele Pirro (ITA) FTR/Honda 2:00.863
12. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Suter/BMW 2:02.049
13. Colin Edwards (USA) ART/Aprilia 2:03.143