Casey Stoner wrapped up a three-day test at Sepang on Saturday, riding the 2014 and 2015 Honda RC213V MotoGP bikes, as well as a Honda CBR1000RR which HRC is preparing for the Suzuka 8-Hour race. HRC issued the following press release after Stoner completed the test:
Stoner returns to Sepang in HRC test
Two-time MotoGP World Champion, Casey Stoner, has completed a successful test in Sepang with Honda Racing Corporation.
Casey began his test schedule at the 5.548km Sepang Circuit – 75km to the south of Kuala Lumpur – on Thursday mid-morning. Brief rain showers interrupted testing throughout the course of the three days, but nonetheless Casey was able to fulfil the plan set by HRC.
Casey spent time on both the 2014 and 2015 RC213V machines, doing a chassis comparison and analysed new variations of the new spec brought to this test by HRC. He also tried new brakes from Brembo amongst various other testing components. The engineers also took advantage of having Casey in Sepang to run a few laps on the Suzuka 8 Hour Honda CBR1000RR in the afternoon on the final day.
Casey Stoner 27
Test Rider – MotoGP
Officially, testing for 2015 MotoGP season starts in five days time, on Wednesday, 4th February. Unofficially, it started yesterday, when Yamaha and Honda's test teams gathered at Sepang to pre-test a number of parts and prepare the way for the arrival of the factory riders, who arrive in Malaysia next week.
Normally, test teams test in secret - a local journalist and photographer was told in no uncertain terms he would not be welcome at the track - which means their work goes unnoticed. Unfortunately for Honda - or perhaps fortunately, depending on your perspective - HRC had a very high-profile test rider at Sepang. Casey Stoner spent a couple of days on the 2015 Honda RC213V, and though no press release has yet been issued, a couple of posts on his Instagram and Twitter accounts gave a few clues about the test.
After the launch of the Movistar Yamaha team in Madrid, the team issued two press releases, featuring interviews with their 2015 riders. After yesterday's interview with Valentino Rossi, today we publish the interview with Jorge Lorenzo:
Where and how did you spend your winter holidays?
“I spent five days in Santo Domingo, sunbathing and enjoying the beach. I always like to go to a country where there is good weather. I started my training on January 2nd and have been preparing for the pre-season to be fit for the first test in Sepang. I’ve also been for a few days in Lugano and Punta Cana.”
Last year began with so many difficulties, how are you this year?
“I think I’m in much better shape. Physically I’m stronger from training because we have been focusing on the best workout sessions and I have not had to undergo surgery as occurred in 2014. Until I get on the bike and see how it’s going I prefer to be cautious and see what happens.”
What has changed in preparing this year compared to 2014?
Analyzing Yamaha's MotoGP Launch - A Motivated Rossi, A Lean & Mean Lorenzo, And A Fully Seamless Gearbox
2014 did not go to plan for Yamaha. After the first four races of last year, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo trailed the Repsol Hondas by 76 points in the team championship, and Yamaha was 33 points behind Honda in the manufacturers standings. Marc Márquez was in the middle of an unbeaten run, Dani Pedrosa backing him up strongly. There were a lot of good reasons for Yamaha's troubled start. Yamaha was struggling to get a smooth throttle response from a liter less fuel, the new Bridgestone tires were less suited to the YZR-M1's need for high corner speeds, and Jorge Lorenzo arrived at the start of the season out of shape, after neglecting his training after surgery during the winter.
2015 looks like being the polar opposite. At the launch of their 2015 campaign, the Movistar Yamaha team looked forward with some optimism. Building on the progress made in the second half of 2014, the bike is much more competitive, Valentino Rossi arrives motivated by his strong season, and Jorge Lorenzo is lean and fit, having spent all off-season preparing. They are ready for big things.
With 2014 out of the way, one of the big sponsorship issues could also be addressed. When Movistar signed up alongside Monster, that caused a confusing clash on the fairing of the 2014 bike, with two large fluorescent green M logos on the bike. A redesign has given Movistar a little more prominence on the fairing, the logo now much larger, the text moved elsewhere on the bike. Key to the sponsorship is not just the visibility, however, it is also the ability to showcase technology. Movistar demonstrated an excellent 360° smartphone app at Aragon last year, which is the start of much more to come.
After a major highside at the start of the Jerez test, in which Sylvain Guintoli landed on his head and shoulder, straining his neck and bruising his shoulder, the Pata Honda rider was forced to miss the remainder of the test. Pata Honda have now issued the following press release, updating the reigning world champion's condition:
Sylvain Guintoli – injury update
Following his crash at turn one at Jerez in Spain on Monday 26 January at the start of a pre-season test, Pata Honda rider Sylvain Guintoli chose to return to the UK for complete assessment of his injuries.
Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 28 January) the reigning World Superbike champion underwent an MRI scan on his neck and back and had a further X-ray on his right ankle.
Despite severe bruising and some discomfort, it was confirmed that Guintoli sustained no fractures and the 32-year-old has begun his rehabilitation with physiotherapy and the use of a hyperbaric chamber.
“The back is still quite painful,” said Guintoli, “but I can put some pressure on the ankle and I’m happy that there are no breaks. The treatment has started and although it will take a while to settle down, I’m confident about being fit and ready to start the season at Phillip Island next month.”
After the launch of the Movistar Yamaha team in Madrid, the team issued two press releases, featuring interviews with their 2015 riders. Today, we publish the interview with Valentino Rossi. On Friday, we publish the press release interview with Jorge Lorenzo:
Valentino, where and how did you spend your winter holidays?
“It was a very busy end of year, after Valencia GP. I was able to take some rest only before Christmas, when I flew to Mexico with some friends for a short holiday. Then I moved to the mountains, to practice snowboarding, again with friends. Right after the break, I started my physical training, although actually I never stopped training. For the last month, I have been working very hard. The first official test in Sepang is getting closer and it’s crucial that I get there in the best physical shape.”
We followed your training activities at the Ranch on your social media channels throughout the winter. How important is training there for your workout?
Several World Superbike teams issued press releases after the last test in Europe at Jerez. The press release appear below:
The FIM today announced the provisional rider line up for the 2015 season. The grid will see up to 26 riders line up for the start, on motorcycles from 7 different manufacturers. The list includes one TBA, in the Pedercini Kawasaki team, which could end up going unfilled. The other question mark is over the JR Racing Team of Toni Elias and Ayrton Badovini. Though the team is on the entry list, persistent reports of financial problems suggest that they will struggle to race at all this year. They will not be present in Australia for the season opener, and suppliers report not having been paid.
The provisional rider line up is as follows:
The FIM today announced the provisional line up for the World Supersport class. The field will see 24 riders line up on the grid, with one name still to be announced in the Yakhnich team. Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel are likely to be the title favorites, while American rider PJ Jacobsen will be hoping to capitalize on a strong rookie year to mount a challenge.
The provisional line up appears below:
The Movistar Yamaha team issued the following press release at the presentation of their 2015 MotoGP effort:
MOVISTAR YAMAHA KICKS OFF 2015 MOTOGP SEASON IN MADRID
The long winter wait endured by racing fans the world over is coming to an end as the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team gather in Madrid to officially launch their 2015 campaign in the quest for title victory. A winter of development by Yamaha engineers and exhaustive training by the riders sees a formidable team gathered and ready to prove themselves against the best in the world.
The 2015 season will be the second year of partnership between the Yamaha Factory Team and Spanish company Telefónica. The five-year collaboration started in 2014 looks set to grow from strength to strength, making Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid the perfect venue to unveil the 2015 livery.
Rather perversely, a lot of the talk at the World Superbike test at Jerez has not been about World Superbikes at all. Which is a shame, as the 2015 World Superbike championship promises to be particularly fascinating, with testing times very close indeed.
Instead, there was a real kerfuffle about the slowest bike on the track, the one being ridden by Kenny Noyes and Dominique Aegerter. The cause of the fuss? The fact that it was a Kawasaki, a further development of the Open class bike raced by the Avintia Racing team in MotoGP last year, has generated a mountain of speculation that Team Green is preparing a comeback to MotoGP, bringing all four major Japanese factories back into the premier class.
The truth was a good deal more prosaic. As Gilles Bigot, the crew chief working on the project, told Spanish website Motocuatro, this was a private project of engine tuner Akira, who has been involved in engine preparation for Kawasaki's previous MotoGP effort and their World Superbike engines. The company were also behind the development of the Open class bikes used by the Avintia MotoGP team in 2014, and the engines for the FTR bikes which preceded them in 2013. Not wanting to allow two years' work to go to waste, Akira is continuing to develop the bike, looking to learn where there is room for development.
Davide Giugliano has topped the second and final day of the Jerez World Superbike test, the Aruba Ducati rider leading a frantic charge at the end of the day as the riders slipped on qualifying tires to set a fast time. Giugliano ended the day a third of a second quicker than Kawasaki's Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, and seven tenths faster than his teammate Chaz Davies.
Giugliano was quick to head the timesheets, posting a fast lap very early on in the session, but he followed that up with a huge crash, which damaged his bike and left him stuck in the garage while it was repaired. Sykes, Rea, Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes were all fast during the day, found themselves knocked out of the top slots as the qualifiers went on, but regained those slots once they took their turn on soft rubber.
Despite the new technical rules for 2015, the new bikes are faster than they were last year. Giugliano took nearly a second off the pole record set by Loris Baz in September last year, and several riders were lapping consistently under Tom Sykes' race lap record on both days of the test. Less power may have made the bikes a little easier to ride, which can be an advantage at a tighter track like Jerez. Giugliano was faster round Jerez on qualifying tires than Marc Marquez was during the race on a Honda RC213V.
2015 Jerez World Superbike Test, Day 1 Times - Rea Fastest, Guintoli Crashes, Kawasaki MotoGP Bike Confuses
The weather gods have finally decided to smile on the World Superbike paddock. At Jerez, the teams were greeted by sunny and dry weather, and decent temperatures, allowing them to catch up on some of the work they had missed out on at Portimao and Aragon.
Fastest man on the day was Jonathan Rea, the Ulsterman quickly up to speed on his new Kawasaki, and topping the timesheets for most of the day. His Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes was less than a tenth behind, and had held on to 2nd spot for most of the day, only being deposed by Alex Lowes near the end of the session, when the Crescent Suzuki rider put in a very fast lap to take 2nd, demoting Sykes to 3rd. The two Ducatis followed, David Giugliano just ahead of teammate Chaz Davies, though the gap between the two is small. The Ducatis are close behind the Kawasakis and Lowes, just two tenths covering the top five friders.
Sylvain Barrier put the BMW into 6th slot, just ahead of Randy De Puniet on the second Suzuki and Michael van der Mark on the Pata Honda. Newcomer Jordi Torres was 9th quickest, and the last rider within a second of Rea, the Red Devils Roma Aprilia rider making the transition from Moto2 to World Superbikes, while Matteo Baiocco rounded out the top 10 on an Althea Ducati.
Pata Honda Press Release: World Superbike Team Launched, And Kyle Smith Announced As World Supersport Entry
The Pata Honda team issued the following press releases, officially presenting their 2015 World Superbike team of Michael van der Mark and Sylvain Guintoli, and announcing that Kyle Smith will be racing in the World Supersport championship for them:
Pata Honda's 2015 WSBK riders presented in Italy
The Pata Honda line-up for the 2015 World Superbike championship was officially unveiled at Verona in Italy today when Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark were presented to a large and enthusiastic crowd of Italian fans and media.
The two riders – both world champions in 2014 - have already tested their 2015-specification Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP race machines this year at Portimao, Portugal and, earlier this week, at Aragon in Spain.
In spite of less-than-favourable weather conditions, both riders declared themselves happy with the development of the CBR, on which their Netherlands-based team has worked hard to meet revised technical regulations for the 2015 WSBK season.
Reigning World Superbike champion, Guintoli, 32, and his 22-year-old Pata Honda team-mate, van der Mark, who won last season’s World Supersport crown, will return to Spain tomorrow for a two-day test at Jerez on Monday and Tuesday next week.