Mixed reactions to soaking day in Spain

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Day 1 of 3 for the final MotoGP™ Pre-Season Test brought plenty of rain, coming in a sporadic nature to add an element of frustration at Jerez. While some enjoyed the change in weather, others are eager for dry conditions.

The rain meant lap times were very much spread out down the order, as the majority of the field spent much of the day in the pits before cautiously lapping the circuit.

"This was the first wet day this pre-season, so it’s been important to test ourselves in these difficult conditions," Yamaha Factory Racing pace-setter Jorge Lorenzo told motogp.com. "The problem is that it’s difficult to stay consistent, and save your rear tyre, when it starts drying out. I think everybody has the same problem."

"Well, I was coming to Spain to be on the beach and hang out with a cocktail…obviously that’s not going to happen!" Colin Edwards joked, having ended the day 20th for NGM Mobile Forward Racing. "As much as I don’t want to say today was a good day, it was a day we had to do to get a wet setting and understand the electronics mapping. Whatever problems you may have in the dry that you think you have overcome just magnify by about a million times in the wet."

Repsol Honda Team closed proceedings in second and third places, with Dani Pedrosa leading the charge as Marc Márquez adapted to Jerez on MotoGP machinery.

"Today was proper rain, so it was good to a good feeling with the bike," Pedrosa explained. "We just made some changes with the settings to get used to it before the Grands Prix. Really I’m just hoping for it to be dry again!"

For the entire field, the big issue is that Bridgestone are providing only four sets of Wet tyres. This may not be such a problem in fully wet weather but, on a drying track like that of today, the threat of tyres overheating is significant.

"We’re quite limited on rain tyres and we expect more rain tomorrow, so the plan is to use two sets tomorrow and get a more extensive time on-track - hopefully between 40 and 50 laps which will help with my adaptation," added Bradley Smith, who is poised to make his MotoGP debut with Monster Yamaha Tech 3. "It’s an unfortunate situation but this is what we have; it probably means we’ll go into the first race a little less prepared than we would like and it means I’ll have to focus harder in Qatar."

In 21st position, Australian rookie Bryan Staring admits that he is very much in need of dry running time, but that didn’t quash his enthusiasm for riding in the wet.

"Really good, actually!" the GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider described his day. "I’ve enjoyed myself and it’s been good learning the new bike in the wet. I can’t believe the grip, I just cannot believe the grip! They tell me this is a good circuit for the grip, with the new surface, but it’s my first time here and I’m happy. As much as it’s been good to get the wet time, I really need the dry time; I’m sure everyone says that, but I actually feel like I really need it, so we’ll see."

Weather forecasts continue to change, but more rain is likely before the test ends.

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