Stoner on top midday at Sepang MotoGP test

The second Official MotoGP™ Test of 2012 commenced today in Malaysia under hot temperatures (30C), with riders hitting the track early and getting in a full morning of testing before rain halted the track action at midday.Leading the early pace at the top of the timesheet after the opening half of day one was reigning World Champion Casey Stoner with a best lap of 2'01.7611. That placed the Australian just over three tenths of a second ahead of Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and seventh tenths ahead of Yamaha Factory rider Jorge Lorenzo, who is testing modifications to the YZR-M1’s existing gearbox in search of more stability when shifting along with Yamaha teammate Ben Spies, who followed a further four tenths behind.

Alvaro Bautista was the highest satellite team rider in fifth position on his San Carlo Honda Gresini machine as the Spaniard paced three tenths ahead of Nicky Hayden, the quickest Ducati rider in the first half of the day. The American focused on testing the electronics on the new GP12 and is hoping his shoulder strength can endure the all three days after his recent surgery.

Hayden led Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who is working on the engine and base set-up of his bike, and Ducati teammate Valentino Rossi, who completed the morning in eighth position with a best lap of 2’03.245.

Héctor Barberá followed in ninth as the Spaniard spent the morning searching for more grip from his Pramac Racing Ducati and testing the new braking light that will be required to run under wet conditions this year.

Just behind Barbara was rookie Stefan Bradl on his LCR Honda and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards followed as the Texan tested a new chassis in a search to resolve chattering issues, ahead of the Avinitia Racing team pair of Ivan Silva and Yonny Hernandez.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Racing Team) entered the track in the morning but exited soon after to due to pain from the back injury sustained in a crash at the Jerez test. The Czech rider will not complete the day and will possibly return home early.