November 2010 Valencia Testing – Wow!

Barely two days after the close of the 2010 season, the first round of testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo was noteworthy in several ways.

First and foremost were the visuals.  There was newly crowned champion Jorge Lorenzo leading the pack on his factory Yamaha, but sporting the #1 rather than his usual #99.  It’s good to be the king.  There was former Fiat Yamaha icon Valentino Rossi aboard a black Ducati GP11 clad in black leathers trimmed in fluorescent yellow, complete with a jaunty VR46.  There was Casey Stoner in kangaroo red, white and blue looking like he wanted nothing to do with his Repsol Honda teammates.  There was Ben Spies, looking extremely nifty on a black, blue and white factory M1.  And there was Toni Elias on the LCR Honda looking like, well, Randy de Puniet.

Valentino Rossi struggled on his GP11 at the Valencia test.

The real story, however, was in the time sheets, where Casey Stoner stood at the top of the chart, having made a seamless adjustment to his RC212V.  Not unexpectedly, he was followed in close order by Lorenzo and Spies. and thence by sophomore sensation Marco Simoncelli and Pedrosa.  The most dramatic result of two days at Ricardo Tormo, however, was the shockingly dismal performance of Rossi, who ended up in 15th place, dawdling with the likes of Loris Capirossi and, gulp, Karel Abraham, who’s not even a rookie yet.

As my friend David Emmett observes at, it’s going to be a long winter in Bologna.

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