Frenchman Randy de Puniet set the quickest time during the CRT test at Jerez aboard his Power Electronics Aspar bike.
With the 2012 MotoGP Championship drawing near a three-day private test was held for CRT riders at the Jerez circuit earlier this week. Under favorable weather conditions Frenchman Randy de Puniet set the quickest pace of the CRT field aboard his Power Electronics Aspar bike, with Spaniard Aleix Espargaro posting the second-best lap just behind his teammate. De Puniet’s lap of 1’40.3 was three-tenths off the pace of Pramac Racing’s Hector Barbera – who was also present on the final day with Ducati’s new GP12 machine.
Spending the majority of the final day working on electronics and suspension adjustments, De Puniet came away happy and excited for the upcoming season. To get a better idea how De Puniet’s recent performance stacks up with the rest of the MotoGP field, consider that the Frenchman’s pace was less than a second off the track record set by Dani Pedrosa in 2010. De Puniet also stated there was still room to improve with the ART bike. Meanwhile Espargaro was eight-tenths behind De Puniet and came away from the test surprised by the amount of progress. Cutting nearly a second and a half off his lap time, the Spaniard also confirmed there to be more potential in his CRT machine.
Barbera joined CRT riders on the final day aboard his satellite GP12 machine, giving Ducati engineers a chance to sort out some electrical issues.
“I think we found out some interesting things that we’ll soon confirm with [Valentino Rossi] and [Nicky Hayden] in Malaysia, where we’ll also continue working with the bike’s setup,” said Ducati GM, Filippo Preziosi.
Britain’s James Ellison was also present to get his first taste of the Aprilia Paul Bird Motorsport ART entry. Though Ellison finished last in the timesheets, his time on the final day was more than two seconds quicker than the previous day’s.
“It handles really well, I expected to get on it and say ‘we need to change this, we need to adjust that’, but it just feels like a race bike,” said Ellison. “I’m really impressed with it so far. The potential is phenomenal. I think it will be a strong package. Out of all the CRTs, (the ART) seems to be one of the best, if not the best package.”
Aleix Espargaro: ““I’m very pleased,” said Espargaro. “The bike is now working better than in Valencia, and it is important to see that we are evolving gradually.”
Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini was also able to shave seven-tenths off his lap to finish the overall test in third. Ioda Racing Project’s Danilo Petrucci experienced his first outing with his CRT machine while working on several electrical developments.
Teams will have some time to review data gathered before heading to the next private test at Aragon on March 8th and 9th.
2012 MotoGP (CRT) Jerez Unofficial Test Results:
1. Randy De Puniet, ART 1’40.3 (66 laps)
2. Aleix Espargaro, ART 1’41.1 (60 laps)
3. Mattia Pasini, ART 1’41.29 (47 laps)
4. Danilo Petrucci, IODA 1’41.6 (62 laps)
5. James Ellison, ART 1’42.526 (53 laps)
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