Press releases from the MotoGP teams who stayed at Valencia and actually got some track time, and from Yamaha, who went to Aragon, and sat about watching the rain:
BRADLEY BUZZING AFTER FIRST MotoGP RIDE
After the disappointment of yesterday’s rain Bradley Smith finally got the chance to make his MotoGP™ debut at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia this morning.
The 21 year old Oxfordshire rider completed 16 laps riding the Monster Tech 3 YZR M1 Yamaha on the damp track and was buzzing when he returned to the pits after the opening eight laps of his MotoGP career.
He went back out on the track to complete eight more laps of his MotoGP shakedown on the 200 mph MotoGP Yamaha. In the afternoon the track started to dry and Smith, along with team-mate Cal Crutchlow and Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez, completed more laps using slick tyres for the first time.
“I’m still buzzing and what a feeling to ride such an unbelievable motorcycle. After all the disappointment of yesterday and the rain at last I got the chance I’ve been waiting for over a year and it was better than I’d ever dreamed off. The Monster Tech 3 YZR M1 Yamaha is amazing and although I only managed 16 laps on the wet track I got some indication of just what to expect in the future.
I was nervous and cautious as I left pit line on wet weather tyres and felt all eyes were focused on me but the bike was an absolute delight to ride. It was a complete eye opener to ride a bike which incorporates so much technology and research. I found it fun to ride and of course there is so much to learn but this was just two eight lap sessions in the wet to get a feel of the bike.
The traction control and tyres were so different to anything I’ve experienced before. The power did not rip my arms off but it was very easy to lift that front wheel. Going down the front straight towards turn one I had a quick look at the speed indicator which showed 300 kph which is over 185 mph and fast.”
Yamaha Signs Off 2012 in Aragon
Aragon (Spain), 14th November 2012
Yamaha Factory Racing moved to the Motorland circuit in Aragon today hoping to enjoy good weather for a final test opportunity before the winter break.
Unfortunately the inland Spanish track is suffering from the same changeable weather conditions as the Valencia circuit, making a full day’s dry test impossible.
2012 MotoGP world Champion Jorge Lorenzo completed just a handful of dry laps before the rain came down again, eventually opting to venture out in the wet after lunch. Unfortunately as a result of car testing yesterday there was an excess of rubber on parts of the track, causing him to lose grip and have a low-side crash on turn 16. Lorenzo was uninjured in the crash.
Laps - 9, Time - 1'57.725
“For sure these last two days we’ve been unlucky with the weather and couldn’t practice for many laps. It was important to get practice here because we have things to try for the chassis and engine for the new season so we can give as much information as possible to the engineers so they can keep working over the winter in Japan. Now we will have to wait until the next opportunity.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Unfortunately in these two days we haven’t been able to test the majority of things we needed to. We don’t want to dwell on it and most importantly both riders feel confident in the base set up of the bike. We will now have to wait until Sepang to continue. The critical testing is for the engine development so our test rider will continue with that in Japan.”
Edwards and Corti finsh their two day test with the FTR
The two first days of testing for the 2013 season have come to an end at Valencia for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team, who for the first time has had in the same pit box the American rider Colin Edwards and Italian Claudio Corti.
The first day of testing for Edwards was focused on getting a good feeling riding the FTR bike on a wet track, while Corti had the chance to test both the FTR and the Suter – BMW. Both riders had very positive experience with the FTR. The bad track conditions on this second day of testing provided the NGM Mobile riders with the chance of going over data and working alongside the mechanics and engineers.
Colin Edwards - 5
“Yesterday we had terrible conditions and did 20 laps in the raining. The feeling is really good; I think I went a second and a half faster than this past weekend in the same conditions. It just feels more relaxed with a bigger bike, just the imputes on the bike make a difference. I am really happy and excited to collaborate with Marc Taylor from FTR, it’s going to be a good venture; I’m excited about it. The FTR guys are really keen. As far as the engine power, it feels good, good off the turns, it’s a different character but I think that as far as the race bike it’s the right character engine wise. I look forward to it.”
Claudio Corti – 71
“It’s a real shame that is rained but considering that last weekend we had the same conditions, I was able to see the differences between the bikes that I have tested on Tuesday and the one I raced with this past weekend. Alsowork on getting a better feeling with the Bridgestone tires. This is only the first step; we have yet to get more laps in order to get more data to use for the next test. Generally speaking I am very happy because I have started to understand the differences between the three bikes I have tested these last few days.”
Pedrosa and Marquez take to the track in Valencia
On the second day of the 2013 pre-season test in Valencia, Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez were finally able to complete some laps of the Ricardo Tormo track. The main use of this test was for Dani to have his first taste of the 2013 bike and for Marc to begin his learning curve on the bigger 1000cc prototype machine.
It has been a frustrating few days in Valencia, especially for Moto2 champion Marc Marquez, who has been waiting patiently for his first experience on the Honda MotoGP bike. Bad weather prevented any track action yesterday but today at around 15h00, Dani went out on track on slick tyres to see if it was drying up at all. After recording a 1'34.911 on his first run, Dani proved the track had a reasonable grip level and Marc followed him out on track at 15h30. Dani tested the new 2013 machine and completed 30 laps recording the fastest time of the day, 1'32.322, two tenths quicker than the circuit lap record (1'32.582).
Marc tested the 2012 bike and did an initial run of 5 laps with his first flying lap timed at 1'44.934. By the final lap of his first run he had brought this down to 1'35.846 and he continued to shave time off this for the rest of the session. In the end, his fastest lap was 1'33.403 placing him 7th fastest of the day after a total of 28 laps and just 1.081 off his teammate.
The next opportunity for Marc to test will be in Sepang on the 26, 27 and 28 of November, where he will get a chance to test the new 2013 prototype and Dani will be back on track on the 5, 6, 7 February 2013.
DANI PEDROSA 1st 1'32.322
"In the end we were lucky because after almost two days doing nothing due to the bad weather we were able to go out on track for two hours and do the basic work we needed to do to have the first feelings on the new bike. It's been a useful test for me; I started with the bike I raced on Sunday and then switched to next year's bike. It's basically the same but with more weight to adapt it to the new regulation for 2013. We had pretty good feedback and now the engineers will check the data and analyse if we need to move something on the bike to better adapt to the extra weight - I could feel it on braking and also on the straight. Now it's time to relax a little after a strong season and be fresh and ready to start working again in Fe bruary at Sepang, which will be the first test in 2013. It's always good to finish the year and the test in front, but even more to know that everything works well and what we need to do to improve a bike that has finished at a very good level in order to start the next season strongly".
MARC MÁRQUEZ 7th 1'33.403
"I feel so happy! We waited the whole day for the track to dry so that we could finally try the bike, but it took such a long time. In the end I began to get impatient and the track was drying up so we decided to go out. In the beginning it was quite difficult but very nice to feel the power of the bike! I had a lot of wheelie on the straights but I gradually gained confidence on each exit and got faster and faster on every run. I tried to adapt my riding style from Moto2 because there was quite a big difference. There are many things to improve and try, the front tyre was also very different to what I'm used to but the main thing is that we have had good start and I have a very good feeling with the team".
Crutchlow second, Smith makes MotoGP debut in Valencia test
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team ended a successful 2012 on a high note today after Cal Crutchlow and squad newcomer Bradley Smith were able to complete a brief but positive test session in cool and cloudy conditions at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia.
Cold temperatures and intermittent rain meant Crutchlow and Smith didn't even complete a single lap yesterday when preparations for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship got underway.
The weather played a pivotal role again today after to rrential rain overnight soaked the Ricardo Tormo track, which was slow to dry despite glorious sunshine and a strong breeze this morning. It looked like there would be no opportunity to test on Bridgestone's slick tyres as heavy cloud cover descended over the track in the early afternoon.
Forecast rain though never materialised and the asphalt dried sufficiently for testing to begin in the final two hours, with Crutchlow completing a 28-lap stint to finish second fastest on the timesheets. The British rider was able to check the strength in his left hand, which suffered a small fracture after he fell out of second position in Sunday's season finale in Valencia. He ended with a best time of 1.32.671 to finish behind Sunday's race winner Dani Pedrosa.
Smith was able to get his first taste of the YZR-M1 machine when he was one of only five riders to lap on Bridgestone 's wet weather tyres earlier in the day. He completed 16 laps in tricky conditions before returning later to get his first chance to ride on Bridgestone's slick tyres with carbon brakes.
The 21-year-old completed an additional 27-laps and declared himself satisfied with 11th place on the leaderboard, as he impressively got to grips with the heavier and more powerful MotoGP machine to set a best time of 1.34.538.
Cal Crutchlow 2nd 1.32.671 – 28 laps:
“It was good to finally get out on track after a frustrating first day. I thought today was going to be the same but the track finally dried and I could go out. I only did 28-laps but I was able to gather some information for Yamaha on a couple of set-up options and it was nice just to get back out and do some good laps. I didn't want m y last memory of 2012 to be crashing out of second in the race on Sunday, so now I can go into the winter in a positive frame of mind. I'm happy too because I could check my left hand that I injured in the race. I have a small fracture on an old injury but it didn't feel too bad. Now I am looking forward to a good winter break, training hard and being ready to see what Yamaha brings out for 2013 in Sepang next February."
Bradley Smith 11th 1.34.538 – 43 laps:
“Today was a fantastic moment in my career and it is great to finally get chance to test the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 bike. Today more than made up for yesterday's disappointment when I couldn't ride because of the weather and it actually worked out great for me because I rode in the wet and dry, and this is brilliant to help me build up m y experience. Obviously the bike is completely different to anything I have ridden before, but it is an unbelievable machine. The power is incredible and in the dry when I came on the straight for the first time, I just had a huge smile. The level of technology is really impressive but I was able to consistently improve my time with every run and I am leaving very satisfied with my performance and confident in my potential for the future. Cal followed me for a couple of laps and gave me some tips and I really appreciate that. Cal had a fantastic season and I know I can learn a lot from him. I can go into the winter break now knowing what I need to work on in the future and I am glad we have plenty of testing ahead of us because there is so much to learn.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“It is a shame that the weather played such a big part here because everybody had a lot of anticipation and excitement ahead of the first test for 2013. We certainly did because we have been keen to let Bradley begin learning about the YZR-M1. He did a few laps in the wet in the early part of the day and that would have given him some confidence because he has so much to learn about the tyres, power and electronics. It couldn't have been easy making his MotoGP debut on a wet track but he looked immediately at home on the bike. I'm pleased that he could get some time on slick tyres and carbon brakes, so at least he knows what to expect when we resume testing in Sepang next February. He has a big challenge ahead of him but today was a very promising start. We were doubtful the track would be dry enough for Cal to go out on slicks but the rain stayed away and it was good for him to do a few laps and get his confidence back after the crash on Sunday. It has been a long but incredibly successful season for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and now we are looking forward to a thoroughly deserved winter break before we return refreshed and raring to go at the next test in Sepang in February.”
BRADL ENDS VALENCIA TEST SESSION IN THIRD PLACE
Valencia, 14th November: ultimate day of testing on Valencia surface for MotoGP grid saw the majority of the riders taking to the track late in the afternoon when the asphalt dried out and LCR racer Stefan Bradl was capable to complete 25 laps producing the 3rd quickest lap time of the day (1’32.813) evaluating new parts of the 2013 prototype.
Stefan: “This morning we were waiting for some potential dry track time to evaluate some 2013 bike parts but it took a long time for the surface to dry out and at the end I could ride only in the last two hours. The conditions were still pretty bad with some patches along the track but the first impact with the overall package was good and this makes me very confident ahead the next winter tests in Sepang”.
Ducati Team completes weather-affected test at Valencia
As was the case yesterday, today’s second and final day of the post-race MotoGP test at the Valencia circuit saw track time limited by weather conditions. Overnight rains dampened the circuit, and sprinkles throughout the morning had the Desmosedicis of Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso confined to the garage. Finally, just before 3:30 p.m., the slow-drying asphalt was in good enough condition for both riders to head out on slick tyres, and they rode off-and-on until the track closed at 5:00 p.m.
The American tested a new frame with a different stiffness than the standard version. Meanwhile, his new teammate had his first experience with the bike in dry conditions, and in the brief time at his disposition, he worked on an initial electronic setup.
The Ducati Team and its riders will return to the track for a test at the Jerez circuit November 28-30.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 4th, 1:32.956 (33 laps)
“It looked like we might not be able to go out today, so I’m happy that we got to do some riding. That’s why you don’t give up and go home early! We didn’t make any huge gains or anything, but I got to test some things, and it was time well spent. I think the new frame helped improve the turning, and I also tried some things with the electronics, as well as a different suspension link that I had already tried earlier in the year. The track actually wasn’t bad, apart from a couple of wet patches. Anyway, it’s too early to draw any conclusions, but we look forward to the next test.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:33.238, (31 laps)
“We only had about an hour and a half and it was pretty overcast, with wet patches, so the conditions were difficult for my first impression in the dry. It wasn’t the occasion to try lots of changes, so we weren’t able to set the bike up perfectly. Still, the lap time is quite good, and so is the feeling. Of course it’s always a big change to switch bikes, and it takes time to understand. Hopefully we’ll have good weather for the test in Jerez.”
Filippo Preziosi, Technical Director
“I’m very happy with the test. Unfortunately, the weather was bad, so today we only had four or five exits in dry conditions. Still, Nicky had a reasonable gap to the front, and Dovi did his best lap times with a tyre that had some laps on it. Nicky liked the new frame, which seemed to improve turning, but we have to try it again at Jerez. Considering the circumstances, we got some good information, and the mood is very positive. I’m pleased with the way the team is working, and I’m optimistic for the future.”