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Pedrosa sets the benchmark on day one at Aragón test

Pedrosa sets the benchmark on day one at Aragón test

It was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who was the pace setter on day one of the unofficial test at Aragón ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.

In the private test held at the Aragón circuit, with only the Repsol Honda Team, Factory Yamaha Racing and LCR Honda MotoGP present, riders set to work on their busy two-day schedule, in a bid to gain the upper hand at the forthcoming rounds. Pedrosa’s main aim was to set the bike up for the race at the circuit at the end of the month, working in particular on suspension settings and the electronics. After setting the fastest time of 1.47’983, he stated: "We tried to improve the rear grip and something with the mapping. The suspension today was not the best, so the test is not clear for me today, so tomorrow we’ll re-test the same things again just to get an idea what we can use in the following races."

Jonathan Rea, substituting for the injured Casey Stoner, was lapping the Spanish circuit in a bid to familiarise himself with it on the Repsol machine, without touching the bike’s set up. He set a quickest time just under three seconds off Pedrosa with a 1.50’679, already improving from his last outing in Brno. He said: "Today I was just getting a good feeling between me and the machine because it still feels very strange. I had to work a lot on my brake style today; normally in Superbike I don't use so much rear brake but here it seems that I have to learn to use it in every corner! Just concentrating on this and getting a better setting on the brakes and trying to do longer runs on the tyres because for me it's very different at the end. I feel comfortable on the bike, the riding position is good, but I just need to understand how the traction control is working, what happens when the tyres drop down and be more comfortable with the setup.”

Yamaha’s Lorenzo continued where he left off after the Brno test by heading out on track with the 2013 chassis, setting a 1.48’471, with more new parts to follow tomorrow. He said: "We tried the new chassis. So far we haven’t found a positive or a negative thing. We have to keep trying and do more laps to see. Tomorrow we are going to try the new engine. Maybe this will give us a little bit more power on the straight. This is our weaker point – we are loosing almost 5kmh to Dani. Dani is also very light, but for sure his engine is a little bit faster. But in general we are quite happy because we improved our lap time by half a second compared to the previous one a few months ago."

His teammate Ben Spies, who clocked a 1.48’647, focussed on improving both the set-up of his machine, focussing both on tyre-life over race distance and qualifying-lap settings. The American commented: "We have a lot of different settings with the bike. Mainly with the front-end, with the forks, to get me a little bit more comfortable with the hard braking. We’ve equalled our fastest lap time over here this morning quite easily. We have some more test parts for tomorrow."

With much speculation about his next step in 2013, Spies revealed that people wouldn’t have to wait much longer for some news: "Everybody will know something this week."

LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl was given the opportunity to test a factory spec Honda RC213V for the day, as the German may be using the machine in the following season with his satellite outfit. He finished the day in fourth with a 1.49’570, just over a second and a half off Pedrosa’s time.

MotoGP, 2012

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