As the weather men forecasted, the rains arrived on Tuesday at Valencia, and they arrived in all their fury. The second day of the testing for the 2015 season was affected by torrential rainfall. The rain started early in the morning on Tuesday. That left the track wet throughout Tuesday, only the depth of water on the track varying. The heavy rain meant that most rider decided to sit out the day, only ten riders putting in any laps.
With such conditions, especially for testing, the order in the lap times becomes more or less relevant, only leaving the importance in terms of the track time experience gained on the wet tires. Eugene Laverty, Loris Baz, and Marco Melandri, all of whom have moved over from World Superbikes, needed to adjust their minds to the Bridgestone's. For Loris Baz, the surprise was the stiffness of the front tire, even in the wet. Used to the softer Pirellis, the support the Bridgestone front provided was remarkable. Laverty, too, praised the wet Bridgestone's, pointing in particular to corner entry as the tire's strong point.
Cal Crutchlow got caught out by the tire on his first lap out of the pits. "When I spoke to Marc he said, the first two laps on the Honda on the tires, you have to really take the shine off them, where what I've been used to in the past, you're able to push immediately, you can use the tire the first lap." He felt so bad for crashing on his out lap that he hardly dared go back to the pits. His new crew chief at LCR, Christophe, had to put in effort to calm him down, which left Crutchlow almost surprised. His former crew chief Daniele Romagnoli would have called him an idiot, albeit with a smile, Crutchlow said.
Crutchlow was not the only crasher, Loris Baz also went down at the end of the session. The problem was probably due to a sudden drop in temperature, the track quickly getting colder as the rain grew heavier and the sun disappeared. Baz had found the Bridgestone wets worked very well with a lot of water, but felt less confident when the rain let up a little and there was less water on the track.
Scott Redding crashed for much the same reason, a victim of the temperature drop. It was an important day for Redding, needing the time on the bike and the tires in the wet. The performance of the tires is exceptional, the rear tire lifting under braking into the first corner, despite the track being soaked. Redding finished on Tuesday feeling much better in the wet, and with a better understanding of the bike as well.
The biggest motivation, though, had been the fact that for the first time in his career, he had passed another rider along the straight. He had been riding behind Alvaro Bautista on the Aprilia, and got better drive to power past the Spaniard. That had been a very funny moment, he said, and left him laughing in his helmet. It also gave him hope that at last, he had the power to fight for the podium, which is the reason he goes racing in the first place.
Both Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez also posted a few laps, though Rossi did not have anything much to test. He went out at the end of the session to test the 2014 bike in the dry, but the worsening weather put an end to his day. Marc Marquez actually had something to test, trying out some new Brembo brakes. He had new discs and calipers, and wanted to get a feeling for the new brakes.
The weather is expected to improve tomorrow, though it may take some time for the track to dry out. Sunshine is predicted for the entire day, meaning that everyone at the test should spend a lot more time out on the track. There is still a lot more work to do to prepare for the 2015 Moto GP season.