2014 Valencia MotoGP Monday Test Times Final: Yamahas Flying As Rookies Debut

Jorge Lorenzo topped the first day of the test at Valencia, leading a Yamaha clean sweep of the timesheets. Lorenzo ended the day just ahead of the two Monster Tech 3 Yamahas, with his Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi bringing up the rear.

Andrea Iannone was the fastest Ducati, making his debut in the factory Ducati team, but the Ducati riders had nothing new to test, the new bike coming only at Sepang in February. Both Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso leave Valencia tonight, and will not ride tomorrow.

Cal Crutchlow led the riders who swapped bikes, ending two tenths quicker than his fastest lap of the race on Sunday, and ahead of Michele Pirro on the test Ducati, and Yonny Hernandez on the Pramac bike. Stefan Bradl tried the Forward Yamaha for the first time, also beating his race time from Sunday by three tenths of a second.

The test saw the debut of two new manufacturers, both Suzuki and Aprilia taking to the track. The Suzukis were immediately impressive, Aleix Espargaro setting the 14th fastest time, but just 1.3 seconds off the pace of Lorenzo, and over a second quicker than Randy De Puniet had been in the test. The Aprilia factory riders Marco Melandri and Alvaro Bautista only took to the track at the very end of the test, after Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann had given the bikes a shakedown. 

Jack Miller also made his debut on a MotoGP bike, after his title challenge in Moto3 had fallen just short on Sunday. The Australian put in a lot of laps and made big strides during the day, ending 3.6 seconds off the pace of Lorenzo. 

The Moto3 champion Alex Marquez also put in a few laps on the factory Honda RC213V together with his brother Marc. The times the pair recorded were irrelevant to the proceedings, the ride being a reward for Alex Marquez winning the Moto3 title.

Final times:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 1:30.975    
2 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha M1 1:31.118 0.143 0.143
3 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 1:31.204 0.229 0.086
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:31.250 0.275 0.046
5 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati GP14.2 1:31.465 0.490 0.215
6 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 1:31.602 0.627 0.137
7 5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP14.2 1:31.644 0.669 0.042
8 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:31.847 0.872 0.203
9 51 Michelle Pirro Ducati GP14.2 1:32.054 1.079 0.207
10 35 Yonny Hernandez Ducati GP14.2 1:32.146 1.171 0.092
11 8 Hector Barbera Ducati Open 1:32.190 1.215 0.044
12 6 Stefan Bradl Forward Yamaha 1:32.209 1.234 0.019
13 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP14 1:32.314 1.339 0.105
14 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki GSX-RR 1:32.315 1.340 0.001
15 45 Scott Redding Honda RC213V 1:32.998 2.023 0.683
16 15 Alex De Angelis ART 1:33.132 2.157 0.134
17 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki GSX-RR 1:33.268 2.293 0.136
18 17 Karel Abraham Honda RC213V-RS 1:33.446 2.471 0.178
19 63 Mike Di Meglio Ducati Open 1:33.594 2.619 0.148
20 76 Loris Baz Forward Yamaha 1:33.834 2.859 0.240
21 50 Eugene Laverty Honda RCV1000R 1:34.320 3.345 0.486
22 43 Jack Miller Honda RCV1000R 1:34.633 3.658 0.313
23 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1:34.919 3.944 0.286
24 66 Alex Hofmann Aprilia 1:35.646 4.671 0.727
25 33 Marco Melandri Aprilia 1:35.959 4.984 0.313


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Pretty decent for a 1st day shakedown to get the feel of the bike.

Did Pol and Bradley get the 2014 factory bikes wheeled along to Tech 3 with the seamless upshift?

Don't put too much into testing, Smith was fast at all tests last year, and look where he finished this year.


Pol Espargaro said there were just a few things to try but nothing major (front fork internals, new Bridgestone rear tyre and a few electronics tweaks tomorrow).

Does it matter what kit he has? He pulled the same high places last year during testing. The bike probably isn't much different the the current yamaha.

You are still making this about the performance of Bradley Smith which has nothing to so with the context of the question asked.

Secondly, the kit is massively important to many people including me. Stick Smith, Rossi or Marquez on a plinth in a public place I'll walk right by.

Stick a factory motogp bike on the plinth instead and I'll be gushing over it for hours soaking in every detail and wishing it was mine.

The kit counts, massively !!

Smith was fast at ONE test last year, the end of season test where he got to ride the factory bike. Are you able to point out other specific tests that I may have missed where he was fast? Because unless there is another Smith in MotoGP that I haven't heard about, your comment seems rather strange

I think they got the best riders possible for 2015 and further. Vinales 2.2 from JL on first ride? Wow! Just hope they sort out the obvious reliability issues on time to have at least meaningful tests.

Also so nice to see 5 legendary names of factories finally/again! It looks like interesting times ahead...

"Aleix Espargaro setting the 14th fastest time, but just 1.3 seconds off the pace of Lorenzo, and over a second quicker than Randy De Puniet had been in the test."

What test?

If you're referring to this week-end, De Puniet's fastest time was a 1:32:509, set during Q1. Aleix's time is less than 2 tenth faster.

I'm most impressed by Aleix being on the right side of a pretty noticeable mid-field gap. The difference between riders is pretty incremental until you get to Aleix, who managed to lead Redding by over six tenths. Very promising start, in my opinion.

... a bit sceptical of Randy`s driving capabilities and I guess I was right. And it`s only a first test. It would be an interesting testing period until the first 2015 race!!!

...completely irrellevant, but incredably fascinating. Isn't it? :)

Most riders are in fact quicker than their laptimes in the race. But we are really comparing apples and oranges here. Different weather, different temperatures, different tyres, different fuel loads, etc. makes the comparison complex and pretty irrellevant.

On top of that, no one really knows what the teams are testing, why, and how.

But we just can't help ourselves can we... :D

But some things stand out...

No surprise that Espargaro is just destroying DePuniet's times on the Suzuki. But I kinda hoped he would be just a tad bit quicker.

Iannone's pace on the Duc isn't a huge surprise either.

Both Tech3-, and Yamaha guys are on familiar bikes and up to speed. No surprise.

Throw both Repsol Hondas in there, and the top 7-9 riders are basically the usual suspects.... with some on different bikes.

Makes you wonder though, why Aprilia is letting both their factory riders sit out a huge part of the day, in favour of a "reporter". Sure, they needed a shake down, but why not use the shakedown to let the riders get a bit familiar with their new steeds? Strange decision if you ask me...

Oh, and the Marquez family ride on the Hondas was off course a nice gesture, and reward for the younger Marquez brother from Honda. But also... Utterly brilliant marketing job! Well done!!!!

Will be an exciting day tomorrow!!!!

1:32.315 vs 1:32.611 (RdP @ FP3)

Given RdP's lack of racing, and how fast Aleix is at the moment, he can probably be excused for being a few 10ths slower.

Regardless of how much Suzuki can improve from now till 2015, I'm extremely worried by what I've seen thus far. Engine failures preventing RdP from finishing, Espagaro behind Stefan Bradl on the NGM Forward...

I sincerely hope Suzuki turns it around, because otherwise they will severely hamper the prospects of young Vinales and an incredibly talented Espagaro. They've taken a gamble, much like Crutchlow did on the Ducati, but gambles don't always pay off as we've seen.

It seems like riders prefer to be Factory riders, even if there are satellite (and open!) bikes that are significantly faster. Why is this? Is it salary, or wishful thinking for future technical advancement?

I think Miller has made the best decision out of all the newcomers. A 3-year deal with Honda, with a chance to move up to Factory spec equipment at any point. Aleix and Vinales are all-in on the Suzuki, and if it doesn't come good they will have poor results which will limit their ability to obtain a competitive ride in the future.

Rooting for Suzuki, but this doesn't bode well for a truly competitive 2015 championship.

As noted above, one day of testing is not the most solid foundation on which to build one's predictions. That said, I won't be surprised if the relationship with Aleix poses more of a threat to Suzuki. His time with Suzuki may very well mirror Stoner's time at Ducati: his talent may be sufficient to overcome the bike's inherent weaknesses and deliver satisfactory results, obscuring the need to further develop the machinery and leaving Suzuki uncompetitive the moment he departs. Rea's last few seasons with Pata Honda in WSBK also come to mind.

Just a wild guess at this point, obviously, but I'll be sure to track this comment down to gloat if I'm proven right in a few years.

Can we get a rules update during the off season, David?

Are they all running 24L now? Spec-software or is the software delayed until 2016? Rev limit?

I heard a rumor that the rev limit will supposedly be averted via a mechanical fuel flow restrictor, which was recently developed for SuperGT and Super Formula in Japan. Honda compete in both SuperGT and Super Formula so they know the system, and they've been against rpm limits from the jump. Cecchinelli is dubious about the effectiveness of the fuel restrictor system, allegedly. He believes it works in Japan because the Japanese make it work, not because it's fool-proof. DTM is also looking for a fuel restriction mechanism, and they are suspicious of the SuperGT system, as well.

Sounds believable, but I dunno.