Press releases after the final day of testing at the MotoGP test in Valencia:
Bridgestone's 2012 tyres debuted successfully in Valencia
Official MotoGP Test
Valencia, Tuesday 8 – Wednesday 9 November 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
During the two-day official MotoGP test at the Valencia circuit, Bridgestone debuted the final specification 2012 tyres, providing them to all teams for the duration of the test.
The test was conducted mostly with the new-era 1000cc machines including five Claiming Rule Team (CRT) bikes from BQR Inmotec, BQR FTR, TeamLaglisse and the Grellini Team. Every rider's tyre allocation comprised only the 2012 tyres, marking the first full usage of the 2012 tyres that Bridgestone have been developing for one year.
The new family of tyres has been developed with the objectives of achieving easier riding characteristics by improving warm-up performance and with a wider temperature operating range, and rider feedback is positive.
This is an important test not only from a tyre perspective but because it is the first time that next year's rider changes take effect and the 1000cc bikes have been on track at the same time.
Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"This test was the first opportunity for us to give all the riders our finalised 2012 specification tyres so it was very important for us. Every rider used our 2012 spec tyres for both days of testing on the new era of 1000cc machines, including five of the new CRT bikes.
"The tyres we supplied are those that will be used for next season, but this test was the first official one for the 1000c bikes so this is the first stage in learning these new machines so we are not resting on our laurels. We will keep learning their characteristics with each test and continue our tyre development into and through next season.
"We started developing this new family of tyres from the post-Valencia test at this time last year and used every test opportunity during this season to continue with our development programme, and I am confident what we have will be a marked step forward in addressing the specific concerns from this year.
"Specifically, our objectives from these new tyres are to make their grip characteristics easier to manage, to improve warm-up performance and to increase their temperature operating range. From the data we have collected from the last two days, I am satisfied that we have met these objectives and rider feedback has been positive so I am confident for tyre performance next year. I'm also happy with the positive feedback even from CRT teams about our new tyre and its warm-up performance.
"I'd like to thank all the teams and riders for their support these last two days and for the significant role they have all played in developing these tyres this year, for the time they dedicated on track and for their feedback and comments."
BAUTISTA MAKES HONDA RC212V DEBUT
Shortly after agreeing a deal for 2012 with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, Alvaro Bautista took to the Valencia circuit on board the Honda RC212V for the first time today. It was the first session of a winter testing programme that will continue at Sepang from January 31 to February 2, when the Spaniard will switch to the 1000cc Honda RC213V – the Japanese factory's new prototype for the new season. Bautista did 55 laps today with a best time of 1'33.814 as he gained confidence with the Honda and tested two new Bridgestone 2012 tyre options. Not too much should be read into this test but the early signs are positive. The team now takes a much-needed break to recover the necessary spirit and energy to tackle its next challenge.
Repsol Honda end 2011 on top in Valencia test
The second and final day of testing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia saw Respol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner once again finish first and second on the timing sheets.
Under perfect conditions with no wind and an air temperature of 20 degrees, Dani completed 45 laps and recorded the day's fastest time with a 1'31.807 on lap 12. Team mate Casey did 33 laps on his RC213V and logged the second fastest time of the day on his 15th lap with a time of 1'31.968.
This final testing day of 2011 saw both riders fine tuning elements of their 2012, 1000cc machine. As well as testing the new 2012 Bridgestone tyres, both riders worked on general set up of the machines, Dani also worked on engine mapping and rear shock set up, and Casey focused on reducing chattering in the front. Feedback from both riders will be taken back to HRC in Japan, to further develop the RC213V in preparation for the next test, taking place at the end of January 2012.
DANI PEDROSA – 1st 1'31.807
"We had another good day of testing today. Basically we've been working on the engine mapping, to better manage the power of the bike, and with the rear shock. The changes we've done on the bike from Brno to here have been positive and we finish the year with a good feeling. It will be interesting to go to Sepang and continue working under very different conditions, with harder tyre compounds and a much higher track temperature. In general, I'm leaving Valencia in a good mood, more for the improvements we've made than for the lap times, which are not so important for me in winter testing".
CASEY STONER – 2nd 1'31.968
"Everything has gone pretty well to be honest, on the first day we just needed to compare the bike to the one we tested earlier in the year. There have been a few small improvements especially in terms of the bike working with the new 2012 tyres. The front tyre gives us quite a lot of chatter so this is something we are trying to improve and the new bike helped with that slightly but we'd still like to improve that point a little more. Something we've had since last season with the 800's is a lack of feeling and some chatter coming from the rear on the way into the corner which is something we still need to improve with the RC213V but we believe we know the direction to go in to improve this situation. Overall it's been a positive test and it's the end of a long season! I'm looking forward to going home now and having some rest, enjoying time with family and friends and preparing for th e arrival of our child in February, then we'll be back in Sepang revitalised and ready for 2012".
Yamaha Completes Official Valencia Test
Yamaha Factory Racing has now completed the second of the two days of the official Valencia MotoGP test. Rider Ben Spies spent the sessions working through two differing engine specifications and a number of frame and geometry settings on the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1. The data will now go back to Japan with the Yamaha engineers who will work on the next stage of development ahead of the first 2012 test in Malaysia at the end of January. Despite missing the valuable input of team mate Jorge Lorenzo, all the required testing was completed within the two days.
At the conclusion of the test Spies was third in the timesheets with a best lap time of 1'32.338 after completing 57 laps.
"It's been a long two days," said Ben Spies. "We had a lot of work to do with Jorge not being here but we've got through everything. I think we got the guys working in the right direction, we're still quite a way from Qatar and what we'll be racing with but we've got a good idea of what we need to work on. There's a lot of potential in what we have so they'll go back to Japan now to work on it for a couple of months and we'll see what we have as a package next year. The team and engineers have worked really hard for the last couple of days so a big thank you to them."
"It's been a really good test," commented Team Director Massimo Meregalli. "We got a lot of data, everything we were missing in the previous tests from cancellations and injuries etc. The work that we've done is good, the schedule is completed and we are quite satisfied. There is of course still some work to do but I think it's been positive. Now they'll check the data in Japan and we'll see the next step in January. Ben did a really good job; I've never seen him so focused in a test. It's the best way to start the new season."
BRADL CONCLUDES HIS EXPERIENCE ABOARD THE LCR RC212V
Valencia, 9th November: the Official MotoGP Test concluded its second and final day at the Spanish track under sunny skies with plenty of action. Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner led the way in terms of lap times both getting down into the 1'31" band.
LCR Honda gave Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl the opportunity to test the RC212V in both days of testing and the German responded by recording the tenth quickest time (1'34.142). Bradl only took a few laps to make himself comfortable aboard the Honda machinery and continued to improve on his lap-times as the days progressed completing 123 laps in total at the 4,005m Valencia circuit.
Stefan Bradl: "First of all I want to thank Honda and LCR Team for this great opportunity. I really enjoyed riding a MotoGP bike and I was impressed by Lucio's team know-how and high level: we made a very good job together exploring the potential of this bike. I learnt a lot from this experience and I want to thank everybody for their support".
Lucio Cecchinello: "We have concluded two positive days of testing with Stefan and I was impressed by his skills and the way he studies the bike: he gave us a very precise technical feedback if we consider it was his first run on a MotoGP bike. Now we will proceed our negotiations with our sponsors and Honda to fix our 2012 program in the next hours".
Cal Crutchlow completes positive 1000cc debut in Valencia test
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow concluded a successful first test on board Yamaha's new YZR-M1 1000cc MotoGP machine at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia today.
Taking advantage of gloriously sunny conditions during the two-day test, the 26-year-old completed 142 laps and was able to give Yamaha engineering staff a wealth of information and data.
The British rider set a best lap time of 1.33.652 on the opening day as he quickly got to grips with the new bike and the 2012 spec Bridgestone tyres. Crutchlow made a significant step today and as he got more comfortable with the new generation YZR-M1, he was able to lap 1.1s faster to finish fourth on the final timesheets with a best lap of 1.32.550.
This week's test also gave Andrea Dovizioso his first opportunity to acquaint himself with the Tech 3 Team and the YZR-M1 1000cc machine. Dovizioso's vast experience was a huge benefit to Yamaha technicians who were able to obtain valuable feedback from the Italian. Dovizioso completed 118 laps and set a best time of 1.33.256 to shave 0.6s off his best pace set on the opening day.
Crutchlow and Dovizioso will continue their preparations for the 2012 World Championship campaign at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on January 31.
Cal Crutchlow 1.32.550 – 142 laps:
"This was a very important test to get used to the new 1000cc YZR-M1 and thankfully the weather was in our favour and we could get in a lot of laps to understand the ea rly potential of the bike. The 1000 seems to suit my style a little better and I have to say that Yamaha has done a very good job and we are already working from a strong base. The bike feels quite similar to the 800 YZR-M1 but Yamaha has managed to keep the strong points of this year's bike. You can immediately feel the extra horsepower, which is impressive, but I'm happy because I could keep a very consistent pace. I'm looking forward to the winter break now. I learned a lot in my first season in MotoGP that will help me be much stronger in 2012. I'd like to thank all my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew for their efforts this year. They've given me their maximum support and I am grateful for that."
Andrea Dovizioso 1.33.256 – 118 laps:
"Firstly I want to thank the Tech 3 staff for making me feeling immediately welcome and at home this week. I've been really excited to start this new adventure together and it was a positive and productive test. This test was my first chance to ride the 1000cc bike and the power of the engine is very impressive. The riding style is very close to 800cc and the bike has a lot of good points for my style. There are some areas I have identified we can improve for the next test in Sepang and I gave a lot of important feedback that should help Yamaha improve the bi ke during the winter break. Now I will take a break to recharge the batteries and return in Sepang looking forward to getting back on the bike and carrying on the positive work we did here in Valencia."
DAY 2 OF VALENCIA TEST CONCLUDES 2011 MOTOGP SEASON
Just as was the case yesterday, the second and final day of Valencia's post-race MotoGP test was blessed with ideal weather conditions.
Valentino Rossi was among the first riders to get on his bike after the track was opened, and he worked tirelessly with his team and Filippo Preziosi to carry out the tests requested by the engineers, who will continue working on the 2012 project tomorrow in Bologna.
Once again, official test rider Franco Battaini substituted for Nicky Hayden, who has an injured scaphoid in his right wrist, though the American stayed at the track and followed the test from the Ducati Team garage. Hayden will likely undergo a small operation in the coming days to speed up his recovery.
MotoGP concludes its 2011 season of racing and testing, and will return to action with the first winter test, planned in Sepang, Malaysia, from January 21 to February 2.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.332 (62 laps)
"These were two important days of testing because we needed to collect a lot of data for the next few months of work, which will be crucial. The positives of this bike are certainly the engine, which I like, and the fact that it handles a bit better than the previous one. It's definitely more fun, in part because you can get sideways more. The frame isn't bad, but it needs work. We have to improve the braking, because I need to brake harder and later, and we need to improve traction under acceleration. Filippo has many ideas, and now we have a little time to apply them before next year's tests."
Filippo Preziosi (Technical Director)
"We were lucky to have sun and generally much better conditions than what we had over the race weekend, and this allowed us to take full advantage of both test days. Unfortunately, Nicky wasn't able to ride, but at least he'll have plenty of time to recover before the first test at Sepang next year. We asked Valentino, Franco (Battaini) and the other Ducati riders to carry out a series of comparisons between different solutions, as there are still chassis parameters that we have to define for the project we're working on. It has been really hard work, but we've collected a lot of information that we'll now use for the design that we'll be doing in the coming weeks."
WITH THE SECOND AND LAST DAY OF TESTING IN VALENCIA THE SEASON MOTOGP 2011 ENDS
Last day on track for MotoGP in Valencia today. The Pramac Racing Team had a chance to meet his new rider, Spaniard Hector Barbera, who will be riding its Desmosedici GP12 SAT next season. The technical changes were many, with the new bike available thanks to the work of Ducati. The day saw the Valencian rider record interesting lap times and this give good hopes for next season which will begin with the winter testing at Sepang in February. The Pramac Racing Team would like to thank all its partners and its fans for the season lived together with the wish of a successful 2012.
Hector Barbera - Pramac Racing Team
"These have been two days of work where we didn't look for the fastest lap time, but we were looking to learn about the many innovations that Ducati has brought us on track. Sincere compliments to them as they did a great job. The bike is very powerful although there is still something to fix. We encountered a few problems but otherwise the bike is really competitive. The engine is fun, very different from the 800cc used until Sunday, and this I think may be a point in my favor as my style of riding. A pity that the last two hours available today we could not get on track because of a problem with the engine that I have felt on the track. Engineers are analyzing what has happened. We also had the opportunity to compare the new tires and also here, with some positive aspects, I think there's still a little work to do. The new one make the most in the first lap. The shoulder I have injured at the end of the season gives me a little pain, but does not affect my results on the track. I think this break will do me good to recover and be at the top for the next season!"
Karel Abraham produces significant improvement and concludes the test in seventh position
The premiere season in MotoGP class came to a successful end for Karel Abraham as the Cardion AB Motoracing rider set a best time of 1:33,433 and concluded the official MotoGP test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia in seventh position.
Trying to find the right set-up of the new Ducati Desmosedici GP12, the twenty one years old Czech rider completed 72 laps and eventually finished just 1,626 seconds behind the fastest rider Dani Pedrosa, who concluded the final day of the official MotoGP test 0,161 seconds ahead of reigning world champion Casey Stoner.
"During the first few laps we have solved most of the problems we had and then we tried many things and focused on the set-up of the motorcycle," Karel Abraham, who improved his best lap time from the first day of testing by 0,960 seconds, said.
Finishing just 0,101 seconds behind the nine times world champion Valentino Rossi, Karel Abraham added: "I'm quite satisfied with the result of the test, but I think I could set even better lap time. I spent most of the time on track in the morning and then I was quite tired in the afternoon, but I'm happy with the way I ended my first season in the premier class and now I'm looking forward to winter break."