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Mixed conditions hamper second day of Valencia test as Smith debuts

Riders and teams were greeted with sunny conditions yet a wet track for the second day of the first 2013 season MotoGP™ test in Valencia, prompting only a few riders to head out of track, among which, however, was premier-class debutant Bradley Smith.

Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was first out on track to assess the conditions on the very slow drying track. The sun lasted only an hour, as soon clouds and sporadic spots of rain appeared, making a dry track an ever less foreseeable occurrence for the day. Espargaró continued work on his upgraded chassis, putting in 40 laps by 1pm, with his best time of 1:43.517 seeing him in second place.

Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was the second rider to brave the conditions, gaining yet more valuable experience on his Ducati in damp conditions. After 23 laps he was in third spot with a 1:44.452, as the MotoGP™ prepared for the afternoon. His stand-in teammate Michele Pirro was the fastest rider at this point, setting a time of 1:43.287, having gone out for 15 laps.

All eyes were however on Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s premier-class debutant Bradley Smith, who simply couldn’t wait any longer to get on a MotoGP™ bike for the first time. By the 1pm mark he was only 3.2s off Pirro’s time, and looked to be enjoying himself – with his first comments to crew-chief Guy Coulon after getting off the bike being “It’s fast!”.

The final rider to head out was Avintia Blusens Héctor Barberá, who was continuing to dial in the settings of his new BQR-FTR machine. He only went out on track around 12:00, and within six laps was fifth on the timesheets.

Many other riders, such as Repsol Honda’s Marc Márquez, the last rookie to still be waiting for his debut, GO & FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl are all waiting for some potential dry time, as they cannot evaluate improvements on their respective new, or upgraded, machines.

 

Tags:
MotoGP, 2013

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