Press releases at the end of the three-day test at Jerez for the Moto2 and 125 classes:
Marc Márquez concludes the preseason with good pace
The Repsol rider ends the winter tests with the second fastest time and ready to start the World Championship next March 20 in Qatar
After two days not being able to take full advantage of the tests at the Jerez Circuit, Marc Márquez could finally get track time on the third and last day of tests scheduled in the Andalusian track. The Repsol rider completed 40 laps with a fastest time of 1 minute, 42 seconds and 980 thousandths, finishing second of the classification.
Despite the menacing clouds that remained over the track the whole day, weather conditions were today warmer than in the past two days, with 20ºC ambient temperature and 25ºC of track temperature. So, the Repsol rider was able to finish the last training session on a high before travelling to Qatar in two weeks, where the World Championship 2011 will kick off. Marquez completed a productive test session, showing that yesterday's crash was no more than a mere anecdote.
The Repsol rider did 40 laps with a strong pace, which confirms the 125cc World Champion's good adaptation to the Moto2 class. Nevertheless, when at about 2pm the wind started to increase and temperatures begin to be colder, Marquez and his team concluded the tests to avoid running under less than ideal conditions.
This was the last time that Marquez got on his bike before the start of the 2011 World Championship at the Qatar circuit of Losail.
Marc Márquez 1'42.980 s, 40 laps,177 km.
"Today was the last test of the season. I think we can be satisfied with the work we have done. We achieved the objectives we set ourselves every day and that is the most important thing. The overall assessment of this preseason is clearly positive. I feel ever more comfortable on the bike and, despite we still have a lot of work to do, I want to thank all the team members for the great job they are doing.
In the morning we were finally able to enjoy better conditions. We set a good time, although that was not our main aim. About the long runs, we can also be satisfied, as we have been fairly consistent. At Qatar everything will be different, as it is a completely new circuit with the Moto2 and we will be with the rest of the riders of the class. We will see there how things really go".
Emilio Alzamora Team Manager
"The preseason has finished and the real game is approaching. The weather conditions were not really good for us in the last test sessions, and that prevented us from completing the kilometres we had scheduled. The evaluation of the preseason is very positive but we have to follow the same path. Now Marc knows all the team and how they work and he is familiarized with the Moto2.
He still has a lot to learn but his evolution is good about braking references, how to open gas when going out of the corners, the trajectories, etc. We have to face the challenge of each circuit, as all of them will be new for us, but our aim is to finish races and gather experience".
Tech 3 Racing Team complete 2011 preparations in Jerez
The Tech 3 Racing Team will head to the first round of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship in Qatar later this month in optimistic mood having completed its pre-season preparations in Jerez today.
After the first day of the Jerez test fell victim to more heavy rain that has caused major disruption to the winter testing schedule, Bradley Smith and Mike di Meglio were able to take advantage of improved conditions for the final two days to carry out vital development work on the new Mistral 610 machine.
Smith worked tirelessly to improve his confidence with the race set-up of his machine, the British rider completing in excess of 160-laps to also help build up his experience of t he heavier and more powerful 600cc four-stroke machine ahead of his debut season in the ultra-competitive Moto2 series.
Smith was particularly impressive on the second day, the 20-year-old outpacing a host of riders with significantly more Moto2 experience to clock the sixth best time with a 143.997. He was 15th quickest on the final day and while unable to improve his best lap time, he was able to produce a much more consistent pace in full race trim having worked closely on a range of settings with crew chief Tom Jojic.
Frenchman Mike di Meglio was also satisfied with his performance, the former World 125cc Champion spending most of his time concentrating on improving his pace and confidence with the harder option Dunlop rear tyre. Like Smith, di Meglio was able to assess and analyse a wide range of set-up options to get a clear understanding of the direction he will take when the season kicks off under the Lo sail International Circuit floodlights in Qatar on March 20.
Bradley Smith, 11th overall, 1:43.997:
"I am quite tired now as we did 160 laps in two days but it was hard work we needed to put in and it was definitely worth it. We tested everything we had inside the truck, so we know exactly how the bike is working and in what direction we have to go when the racing kicks off. We did not improve our lap times today, but we improved in the consistency. I was able to ride fast on old tyres, so we are good for the race distance and that has given me a lot of confidence for Qatar. We will try to work a little bit between here and Qatar to figure out how we can close the gap on the front guys. That is going to be important for the best lap time in qualifying. But I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the bike and the 600 is not feeling quite so alien now. We've still got work to do but between now and Qatar we'll analyse a lot of data and come up with a plan for the start of the season. I'm really looking forward to racing now."
Mike di Meglio, 30th overall, 1:44.884:
"Although the lap times don't reflect it, this test was still positive for us. We worked a lot on the bike and I am much happier today. We spent a lot working on the set-up, particularly to help the bike use the hard tyre better, and I feel we made some steps forward. We have still got a lot of work to do but I know I can also improve my feeling with the bike. I want to thank my guys at Tech 3 Racing again for all their hard work and I'm sure we will be competitive at the first race in Qatar."
IRTA TEST AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA: SPEED MASTER TEAM IS ALL SET TO KICK OFF 2011 SEASON
Throughout this weekend, Speed Master team took part in the last IRTA test before the beginning of 2011 season at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera. The weather conditions of these three days were definitely different from the ones of the previous week, when the team participated to some private tests at the Andalusian track. Consequently, Andrea and his mechanics couldn't use the information previously gathered and, therefore, they took advantage of the sessions at disposal by trying out various modifications to the Suter MMXI machine. The team's priority was mainly the motorbike setting, to collect some extra data in case of lower temperature and different track conditions.
Andrea Iannone, #29
"In these three days we tested many things on the bike and we tried to develop some aspects that we had just seen superficially in the previous occasions. We didn't really focus on the lap time, as we already has some interesting answers during the private tests. We managed to do a complete analysis of the machine reactions and performance, when arranging some specific changes, and the information we got is definitely going to be useful during the season. More in general, I can say that this year we had the chance to take part in many tests, and that gives us some useful basic data with which we can deal with the first phases of the Championship. Within a little more than a week, we are going to fly to Qatar and 2011 season will begin: it's going to be a very interesting year and we will fight to be competitive."
Max Neukirchner and Anthony West get up to speed at Jerez
MZ Racing's factory riders Max Neukirchner and Anthony West got up to speed during the official Moto2-tests at Jerez and achieved promising positions right within the mid-field of the hard-fought category. Former World Superbike star Neukirchner, who swapped the MZ steel tubular trellis frame for a British FTR chassis at Jerez, finished in 16th place, just 1.5 seconds behind the best time of his fellow countryman Stefan Bradl. Neukirchners Australian team-mate Anthony West, who continues the development work on MZ's steel tubular trellis frame, was in 27th place, just half a second behind Neukirchner.
The team's decision to start the season on two different chassis was "definitely the right move", according to MZ CEO Martin Wimmer. "The milled parts for steering head and swingarm mount on our new chassis turned out to be much more complicated than expected, which lead to a delay in manufacturing. Max and MZ Racing then decided to tackle these last tests and the first races of 2011 with another chassis that was very competitive last year. Anthony on the other hand rides a modified version of our own steel frame, with reinforcements in the trellis structure, with a variable swingarm pivot and with the latest generation of Öhlins suspension parts", said Wimmer.
"The purchase of a 2010 FTR frame was without any doubt the right decision. It put an end to the discussions how competitive we are and where we stand with the development of our bike, because now we have a clear reference within our own team. It is a very positive sign that Anthony is not very far behind Max, because it shows that we are going the right direction with our own development. Our main goal for new frame that will be ready to race at the Jerez Grand Prix is a significant saving in weight. If we can achieve that, we will be competitive enough to battle within the front runners of this class!"
Max Neukirchner (16th in 1.44,211) "We have to be happy with what we achieved in these three days. My goal is of course to fight within the front group of riders, but we couldn't expect more in the short time we had on this bike. We tried many, many things and went the wrong way at some stage, but in the end, we found the right direction and managed to improve. But it's not only the set-up we have to learn – the whole category is still new for me. Here at Jerez, I was at the limit for the first time on a Moto2 bike, and now I have to learn to manage this limit and to find the necessary corner speed quickly and whenever I go out on a track. My team also needs to get more experience because we still don't know all the ways of the motorcycle to react to set-up changes. Luckily I know the Qatar track, and since I rode two 24-hour-races, riding in the dark is not a challenge for me. It would be great to to be able to score some points in Qatar!"
Anthony West (27th in 1.44,758) "We went a little bit faster today, but we are still too far away from the front guys. We went as far as we could with the set-up of the bike at the moment and we sort of knew that half-way through the day we found the limit. What we need next is some new parts like a different rear link because this one is not letting the shock work all the way through the stroke, which is causing some traction problems. We also need to adjust some other parts to keep the front down because when I am getting on full gas in the fast turns the bike turns a little bit into a chopper. It's little things like that. But overall I am pretty happy with the handling and I am also happy with the way the guys are working. Every time we made a change, the bike improved and every change was going in the right direction. Now we just need to update the bike. In Qatar we will put this new link for the rear suspension in before we even go out on the track!"
MARC VDS READY TO RACE AFTER SUCCESSFUL FINAL TEST
Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are all set for the first race of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship season in Qatar, after successfully completing the final preseason test at a wet and very cold Jerez circuit.
After managing very few laps on the opening day of testing due to hailstones and rain at the Jerez circuit, both Marc VDS riders were keen to complete as many laps as possible in the dry but cold conditions on day two.
Redding took advantage of the dry conditions to further refine the set up of his Suter MMXI, managing to complete most of his planned test schedule before losing the front at the ultra-fast turn seven late in the afternoon session.
For Kallio it was a particularly frustrating day. On his first exit from pit lane he crashed on water dropped by Alex De Angelis, resulting in a four-hour wait as his crew worked to repair his extensively damaged bike. Despite the problems the Finn proved his transition to Moto2 has been a successful one, by going on to finish the afternoon session fourth fastest overall. Kallio completed only a handful of laps on the final day before opting to sit out the remainder of the test due to pain from his right thumb, which he injured in the crash yesterday and had swelled to twice its normal size overnight.
Redding used the final day of testing to improve his feeling with the front end of the bike, making significant improvements to his lap time as his confidence returned. The British rider looked set to break back into the top five on the timesheet, but was thwarted by the return of the rain that has caused so many disruptions to the winter testing schedule this year.
Scott Redding #45: 1'43.5
"The story so far this season has been all about the weather, with every test we've done disrupted to some extent by rain and high winds. We had hailstones and rain here on the first day, which meant we only did ten laps in less than ideal conditions. The second and third days were better, but I've been struggling to get a good feeling from the front of the bike and I got caught out yesterday afternoon when the front let go with no warning at turn seven. Today was probably the best of the three days in terms of weather and we managed to make quite a few improvements to the front of the bike. Once the confidence was back then the lap times came quite easily but, if I'm completely honest, I've had enough of testing now. The first race in Qatar can't come soon enough for me, I just want to be back out there banging fairings again, instead of turning laps in conditions that make worthwhile testing almost impossible. It's not long now and I can't wait."
Mika Kallio #36: 1'44.0
"We knew that doing an extra test at Jerez last week was important, but we didn't realise just how critical it would prove to be until we came here for the final test. The first day was washout with the weather and then, on the second, I crashed on my first exit after another rider dumped water on the track. We lost time repairing the bike, which was quite badly damaged, but bounced back to break into the top five on the timesheet by the end of the day. I banged my right thumb quite hard in the crash and it had swollen to twice its normal size this morning. It's not serious, but it was quite painful on the bike and it made it difficult to control the throttle. More kilometres on the bike would have been useful, but we know from the test in Jerez last week that we have the pace we need, and I'm looking forward to the first race in Qatar with some confidence now."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"Hailstones, rain and a big crash meant that Mika didn't cover as many kilometres as he was hoping for during this final test. Fortunately he found a good set up during last week's outing at Jerez and, as he showed yesterday by breaking into the top five on the timesheet, he has adapted well to our Moto2 bike. Scott has struggled so far to find a front-end set up he's happy with and yesterday's crash knocked his confidence a little. His feeling, and his confidence, improved with some changes to the set up today, and I'm sure he would have finished closer to the top of the timesheet had the weather not closed in again in the afternoon. We are ready for Qatar, with both of our riders confident that they have the pace to challenge for race wins from the start."
Kenny Noyes Ready To Race After Jerez Test
After the three days of the official IRTA test at Jerez, Kenny Noyes leaves the Spanish track with testing miles under his belt and ready to get the real job of racing underway at Qatar. The weather was far from ideal at Jerez, Kenny losing all of the first day of testing to rain, and even the last two days saw cool temperatures and strong winds make posting fast times a difficult prospect.
Despite the conditions, Kenny and his Avintia-STX team got a lot of work done on finding a base setting with his new FTR machine. Still recovering from shoulder surgery he had in December, Kenny lacked the strength to push at 100%, but he was still able to start exploring the potential of the bike and to post consistent lap times. The American improved his time by the best part of a second from Saturday to Sunday, and ended the test with a faster time than he set during the race last May.
Kenny now heads back to his Spanish home in Barcelona, to prepare for the start of the 2011 season in two weeks' time at Qatar. He'll spend the intervening time studying the data from the test with his team, trying to learn as much as possible about the bike before the flag drops at Qatar. Thanks to the support of his sponsors FOGI Racing and GP Tech, Kenny and his Avintia-STX team believe that the potential they have unlocked is just the tip of the iceberg of what is possible. Once the season gets underway, the extra miles under the tires each weekend brings will help unleash the full potential of the FTR M211, and Kenny is confident of fighting with the front-runners.
Kenny said, "The test actually went pretty good! We didn't end up where we wanted to be on the timesheets, but we got a lot of work done. I was faster every time I went out, and I could hit those times reliably. Once I got into the 1'45s, I could do them lap after lap. Same once I got into the 1'44s. We've made a ton of progress here."
"We really need more time on the bike. We've got a good base setting, but we're not anywhere near its full potential yet. We're still working to understand how to get the best out of the FTR, but the team have been awesome and we're working really well. I've been sharing data with all of my teammates, and this is really paying off."
"This year has been almost the opposite of last year. Last year I was healthy and had a lot of testing, this year I'm still only about 80% with my shoulder, and we've had so little testing I still have lots to learn about the bike. But I'm real excited about the potential: once I get the strength back in my shoulder and can use the FTR to the maximum, we're gonna be much closer to the front!"
MOTO2 : Encouraging test before first Grand Prix
This weekend, Jerez hosted the latest IRTA Test for the Moto2. With the arrival of the new Honda race engine for all the teams, a lot of settings were planned.
This track is well known for its technicality and its high level of difficulty. Kenan discovered it on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon the rain started and prevented all the teams from testing.
The tests ran on Saturday and Sunday were a great opportunity for the Technomag-CIP team to progress on the development's program and to set up the new Suter's frame.
These tests were an occasion for Kenan to feel good on his Moto2. After only two days on dry conditions, his best lap was 1:44.189, it's only eight-tenth of a second off Shoya Tomizawa's 2010 pole position time (1:43.372).
After a complicated start, Dominique AEGERTER reasserted him and did several laps under the 1:44 barrier, his fastest lap was 1:44.3. Good sensations seam to be back and our Swiss rider can't wait to be on the first Grand Prix that will take place in two weeks.
The 20th of March will be the season's grand opening at Losail Racetrack in Qatar where the team was particularly brilliant last year with Shoya's historical victory…