At Silverstone, the provisional testing calendar for the winter of 2015 was agreed. Preseason testing for the 2015 MotoGP season will take place at the usual locations, starting with the post-race test at Valencia, and continuing at Sepang and Qatar for MotoGP, while Moto2 and Moto3 go to Valencia and Jerez.
The 2015 season gets underway on the Monday after the final race of 2014 at Valencia, the MotoGP bikes testing from Monday through Wednesday. After the traditional winter test ban in December and January, testing will once again resume at Sepang, on 4th February. The MotoGP teams return to Sepang for the second test on the 23rd of February, before heading to Qatar. The dates of the Qatar test has not yet been fixed, as it depends on the date of the opening round of MotoGP at Qatar. That race will either be on the 15th or 22nd of March, but the date cannot be finalized until the Formula One series draws up a calendar. The Qatar test will take place a week before the race at the circuit.
Like Bridgestone, the Go&Fun Gresini Honda team have also developed the good habit of providing a post-race technical debrief with a member of their team after most races. Today, they issued a debrief with Cristian Gabarrini, formerly Casey Stoner's crew chief and now the technical lead providing support for Honda's RCV1000R production racer at each track. In the press release, Gabarrini discusses the progress the project has made so far, how HRC have handled the spec electronics, and the challenges faced by Scott Redding, especially, as one of the tallest and heaviest riders. As always, when Gabarrini speaks, there is something of interest to be learned:
SPAIN MOTOGP DEBRIEF WITH CRISTIAN GABARRINI
The Honda RCV1000R, the new machine especially developed by HRC for the brand new Open Class, is one of the major technical topics of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship.
One of the four “Production Racer” bikes on the grid is raced by Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding: an interesting project, given that the Briton is a MotoGP rookie - the only one among the four riders who ride the RCV1000R - and counts on a technical package with different parts compared to his competitors, with Showa suspension and Nissin brake system (like his team-mate Bautista, who, however, rides the “Factory spec” RC213V).
Four races into the season we can begin to draw up a first assessment of the project: let’s see in detail with HRC’s Cristian Gabarrini, who is responsible for the entire RCV1000R program, which has been the work done so far on the bike and his relationship with the teams.
Bridgestone Press Release - Masao Azuma Reaffirms Commitment To Keep Tire Development Going Through 2015
Bridgestone issued the following press release on Thursday, looking back at last weekend's Jerez MotoGP round, as they do every week after a race. With the news that Bridgestone is to withdraw from MotoGP at the end of 2015, the Japanese tire manufacturer's chief engineer Masao Azuma is keen to emphasize their commitment to continuing development of their MotoGP tires, right up to the end of the contract period. The press release appears below:
Spanish MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma
Thursday, 8 May 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez celebrated his one-hundredth Grand Prix in style by winning the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi in second place, and teammate Dani Pedrosa in third.
Loris Capirossi On New Tire Supplier: Intermediates To Return, Allocation To Increase Slightly In 2016
The tire allocation for MotoGP is set to be expanded when the new tire supplier takes over from 2016. The numbers of tires supplied to each rider will be increased by one or two tires per rider, and each rider will have the option of three different compounds front and rear. But perhaps the most welcome change will be the return of intermediate tires to MotoGP, for use in practice conditions which are too dry for rain tires, but too damp and dangerous for slick tires to be used.
MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Round, black and…
So, at the end of next season, MotoGP will switch from one brand of round black things to another brand of round black things. Big deal; tyrezzzzzzzzz.
Of course it’s not a big deal, it’s a huge deal. Swapping tyre brands can make or break a rider’s career. Likewise it can transform a winning motorcycle into an unrideable and vice-versa. In other words, saying goodbye to Bridgestone and hello to a different tyre manufacturer could upset the MotoGP status quo, which, depending on who you are will either be a good thing or a bad thing. A change of tyres could also have a major effect on the quality of the racing.
When Michelin ruled
Press releases from the teams after Monday's test at Jerez:
The first MotoGP test of the season at Jerez is a tough one for the factories, coming as it does after three flyaway races on three continents, followed by a one-week hop back to Europe. Teams and engineers are all a little bedazzled and befuddled from all the travel, and have not had time to analyze fully all the data from the first four races of the season. It is too early in the season to be drawing firm conclusions, and crew chiefs and engineers have not yet fully exhausted all of their set up ideas for fully exploiting the potential of the package they started the season with.
As a result, they do not have a vast supply of new parts waiting to be tested. The bikes that rolled out of pit lane on Monday were pretty much identical to the bikes raced on Sunday. The only real differences were either hard or impossible to see. Suspension components, rising rate linkages and brake calipers were about as exotic as it got. The one area where slightly bigger changes were being applied was in electronics strategies, with Yamaha and Honda working on engine braking, and Honda trying out a new launch control strategy. That new launch control system did not meet with the approval of Marc Marquez, however, and so will probably not be seen again.
Marc Marquez was the fastest man at the Jerez post-race test, setting a quick lap early in the day which would not be beaten. The Repsol Honda man had a big gap to Jorge Lorenzo for most of the day, but the Movistar Yamaha rider closed the gap to just over a quarter of a second by the end of the day.
Valentino Rossi ended the day in 3rd, after a late lap put him ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who, like Marquez, stopped testing earlier in the afternoon. Alvaro Bautista was the fastest of the satellite Hondas, leading Stefan Bradl by a fraction, the LCR Honda man being the last rider within a seconf of Marquez. Pol Espargaro was quickest of the Tech 3 riders, while brother Aleix was sandwiched between Pol and Bradley Smith.
Times at the end of the day:
The test continues at Jerez, but the names at the top of the timesheets remain unchanged. Marc Marquez is still fastest, his lead over Jorge Lorenzo unchanged.
Times at 3:30pm:
Testing is in full swing at Jerez, a day after the opening European round of MotoGP. Marc Marquez is fastest, picking up where he left off yesterday, the Spaniard stamping his authority during the test just as he did during the race. He leads Jorge Lorenzo by over six tenths of a second, with Marquez' Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa another tenth behind the Movistar Yamaha rider. Go&Fun Gresini's Alvaro Bautista is doing well in 4th, leading Valentino Rossi by a narrow margin. The session was briefly red-flagged following a big crash for Andrea Iannone, but the Italian walked away from that unhurt.
There are a number of prominent absentees, first and foremost of which is the Factory Ducati team of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. The Ducati pairing are scheduled to hold a private test at Mugello instead, a test at which some major upgrades are rumored. Colin Edwards is also absent, still waiting upon a new chassis from the consultants which Forward have brought in to design. In his place is Simone Corsi, one of NGM Forward's riders in Moto2.
There are a couple of absentees due to illness as well. Nicky Hayden has decided to skip this test, as he is still getting some swelling in his right wrist. Yonny Hernandez had been scheduled to test, but has been taken sick, and so will not ride today.
Times at 1pm:
2014 Jerez Sunday MotoGP, Moto2 And Moto3 Round Up: Spanish Passion, Non-Spanish Winners, And The Alien's Alien
There is always something very special about Jerez. There are few circuits on earth where fans gather to worship at the altar of motorcycle racing which quite such deafening intensity and passion as at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Fans of motorcycle racing are a passionate bunch wherever you are in the world, but the fans in Jerez add a spice and temperament which lifts the atmosphere to a higher plane. Despite Andalusia's continuing and severe economic recession, crowd numbers for the event were up again from last year, from over 111,000 to 117,001 paying customers on Sunday. Motorcycle racing lives on in Spanish hearts, no matter the state of their wallets.
Unlike last year, however, the Spanish fans were not treated to what is known in the country as a 'Triplete', or a clean sweep of Spanish wins in all three classes. Both Moto3 and Moto2 saw non-Spanish winners, and even the MotoGP podium was not all Spanish for a change. The two junior classes saw their championship chases thrown open once again, unlike in MotoGP. There, Marc Marquez tightened his stranglehold on the championship, extending his reign of terror from three to four races. At every round of MotoGP so far this year, Marc Marquez – Marc the Merciless, as veteran GP journalist Michael Scott refers to him, while some of the less appreciative fans prefer the moniker Murder Marc, after the young Spaniard's occasionally reckless antics in Moto2 – has taken both pole and victory in the first four races of the season.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's race at Jerez:
Press releases from the teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:
Full Report and Results Below: