Press releases issued by Honda, Yamaha, some CRT teams and Bridgestone after the first day of testing at Sepang:
Strong start for Repsol Honda Team in Sepang
The Repsol Honda Team have begun 2013 in the best possible way, with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finishing the first day 1st and 3rd respectively.
After a long winter break, Dani and Marc were keen to get out on track on their Honda RC213V machines and begin their testing programme. The predicted rain showers held off and allowed a full day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit where yesterday HRC staff placed flowers at the commemorative plaque in memory of Marco Simoncelli. Both riders spent the day working through their test programmes and working with the Honda engine in preparation for the strict new 2013 rule of five engines for the season.
The top times were exchanged between a handful of riders throughout the day but finally Dani finished on top recording his best time of 2'01.157 on lap 48 of 49. Marc, who was top of the sheets at lunchtime, finished third just 0.044 behind his teammate with a lap time of 2'01.201 set on lap 60 of 62.
Testing will resume tomorrow at 10h00 local time.
Dani Pedrosa 1st - 2'01.157
"It's the first day back testing after the winter break. We've spent three months off the bike and the feeling from the first day testing is positive. The track was in good condition and we were able to put in a lot of laps at a good pace, thanks to it not being especially hot. I haven't ridden since the November test in Valencia, so today has been a first step to getting back on the pace. We didn't play about with the setup today, but we will move onto that in the remaining two days of testing"
Marc Marquez 3rd - 2'01.201
"I'm very happy with how the first day went, because you always have a few nerves after a couple of months out. I thought that I would take a little longer to get back 'on it', but right from the opening laps I felt very comfortable on the bike. We picked up confidence from the start, although obviously we can still improve. I don't think the result today should be used as a reference point, because we are all trying out new things. I focused on simply finding a good setup and getting comfortable on the bike. I tried to put in a good time so that the day's testing had a purpose"
Yamaha Makes a Strong Start in Sepang
The long winter wait was finally over this morning as the 2013 MotoGP field took to the track in Sepang for the first official test of 2013. Reunited Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were quick to blow off any cobwebs from the winter rest. Rossi was initially the fastest rider during the majority of the morning session, clearly taking little time to re-bond with the YZR-M1 that has brought him so much previous success. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo was not far behind, the Mallorcan’s typically methodical approach to testing seeing him steadily work through a number of different items that the two were unable to fully test in Valencia at the end of last year. By the time riding stopped for the day, Lorenzo had risen to second, just 0.008 seconds from first with Rossi in fourth, less than half a second from the front. Both riders will be back on track at 10am local time tomorrow and again on Thursday for the final of the three days of the test.
Jorge Lorenzo - Laps 58, Time - 2'01.165
“This morning I had to get the feeling again for the MotoGP bike but it didn't cost me so much time as it did last year. When I got up to a good pace we tried some things we couldn't try in Aragon, we need to work on it more. Some parts I liked, some things need more work. Tomorrow we are going to keep trying the things we tried today and also some new parts. Times are very close between Yamaha and Honda so we will try to improve our bike to be even better. We are still working on acceleration, we improved a lot last year but it’s still not our strongest point. I think now at this point consistency is one of my strongest points and I hope to continue that this year.”
Valentino Rossi - Laps 56, Time - 2'01.584
“I’m very happy about the first day of testing with the M1. After two seasons away I was able to come back on the bike and remember the good feeling I always had with it. I am also happy because I was quite fast from the morning. We worked on the settings to make some improvements and we made some good steps. In the afternoon we started to work on the new parts for the season. It’s just the first test but the potential is high and I am in a good position, I am in fourth place but not far from the other three guys. I am very positive that we can improve over the next few days but I’m happy with the start.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“So, we’ve started 2013, our target today was to get the riders into a rhythm. Two and a half months without riding a bike like this is difficult. You have to get into a rhythm and up to speed otherwise you are not able to able to confirm and recognise new materials. We also tried a new engine specification today that was quite interesting. We need to adjust some areas but our target is to improve acceleration. So far we are quite enthusiastic.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Today was the first of the three test days; the riders were able to get back into their rhythm after a long break from the season. Unfortunately in November we weren’t able to finalise a few items that were for us very important but today we started to work on fixing that. The weather forecast is quite tricky for tomorrow and the day after but hopefully it will remain dry and we will be able to get all the information we are looking for. On Vale’s side he was able to understand today that he still has the speed, I could see he was very satisfied, which for us is a great thing. I think he was really looking for this test because as he said many times he had some doubts to settle. Jorge is pretty satisfied with the first day, he was very motivated and enthusiastic about the new items we tested. We’ll keep working and see how we will finish the test in two days time.”
BRADL ENDS THE FIRST DAY OF TEST IN FIFTH
Sepang, 5 February: LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl started strongly at the first MotoGP test of the season in Sepang posting the 5th fastest lap time (just two tenths off Rossi) on a hot and humid day. The German, who is running a RC213V Factory spec., put in a full day's work completing 59 laps as he mainly worked on electronics and suspension.
The MotoGP contingent was fortunate with the weather as the forecast rain did not appear and riders lapped the Malaysian track till 6pm with Pedrosa on the top of the time sheets at the end of day one. Bradl declared himself "satisfied" after his first outing and will continue his testing program tomorrow morning trying to make the most of his Honda machine.
Stefan – 2’01.789: “I am very satisfied about this first day of test. The weather and the asphalt temperature were perfect and we could easily complete out test program. Thanks to my new winter training I feel better fit on these conditions and I found the guys very motivated and even more technically prepared. Actually we started our 2013 campaign on a higher level. Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off. We combined a lot if things from Öhlins suspension to swing-arm lengths and rear grip feeling. Doubtless there’s more work to do especially on used tyres: I must improve my riding style on used rubber to match my competitors pace during the races and we will focus on this point in the near future”.
Crutchlow and Smith kick off 2013 preparations in Sepang
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith enjoyed a positive and productive start to the 2013 MotoGP winter testing campaign at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today.
After a successful winter training camp in California, Crutchlow arrived in Kuala Lumpur raring to start his third season in MotoGP and the 27-year-old wasted no time in getting down to competitive lap times.
The British rider got his first opportunity to evaluate an upgraded Yamaha YZR-M1 engine today and he also worked on improving his braking technique in hot but dry conditions th at defied forecasts of heavy rain.
Crutchlow completed the first day of track action in 2013 with a best lap of 2.01.881, which secured him the sixth best time on a final leaderboard that saw Yamaha's new YZR-M1 occupy three out of the top six places.
Today's action presented rookie Smith with the perfect opportunity to build up his experience on board the YZR-M1 and the 22-year-old was able to complete 56 fast and consistent laps that were closing to placing him inside the top 10.
Rather than experiment with different settings, Smith concentrated purely on learning more about the riding technique required in MotoGP and acquitted himself superbly to clock a best time 2.03.460.
That encouraging pace put Smith ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and only a fraction behind Nicky Hayden's pace, and the 125cc Grand Prix winner is confident he can cut t he gap to the leading group and challenge for a top 10 result in the remaining two days of the test.
Cal Crutchlow 6th 2.01.881 – 64 laps:
“It was good to be back on the bike again after a couple of months away. I'm happy enough because initially it is all about getting the feeling back after a while off the bike. It is difficult for me coming to Sepang because it is not my favourite circuit but I am pleased and it has been a good start. I haven't got too many updates to try on the bike but hopefully I've got some things to try later this week. I've been working more on tweaking my style a bit more today, particularly in the braking area to get the bike stopped better, which was an area I know I have to improve on for this season. It is clear looking at the top of the timesheets that it is going to be a fantastic season in MotoGP. I think any of us that finished in the top seve n today will have a shot at winning a race and I think the fans are going to be treated to some fantastic racing.”
Bradley Smith 12th 2.03.460 – 56 laps:
“When I started getting warmed up this morning at 9am and it started raining, my heart sank and I thought it was going to be a Valencia experience all over again. Luckily it didn't last and I got out on track and I am very satisfied with how today went. The idea for this test is to keep it very simple and be consistent, so each time I go out I learn, understand and enjoy it and get some confidence. Each exit from the pits I wanted to get to the lap time I did before and then try and beat it by a little bit. I managed that and for that reason it was a positive start. This test is all about me learning how to ride the M1 rather than worrying about anything else like big set-up changes and we made good progress with every e xit. All we've been doing is trying to make the bike as easy as possible to ride so I can understand the bike, the tyres and how the chassis works. We are keeping the bike very user-friendly just to help me understand the right lines. I'm still using Moto2 lines but being able to analyse Cal, Jorge and Valentino's data is a big help because you can easily see what you are doing good and what you are doing bad. All I'm doing is learning and trying to gain some confidence before we try and make any big steps with changes, which we probably won't until the next test back in Sepang at the end of the month."
2013 PRESEASON STARTS IN SEPANG
Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet start the year as fastest CRT riders
Although the Sepang circuit was open for activity on Sunday with select CRT teams, it was not until this Tuesday that the majority of the field congregated at the Malaysian track. 28 riders, both MotoGP and CRT full timers and test riders, were testing their 2013 machinery from 10am right through to 6pm. The weather forecast had predicted rain, but there was merely the lightest drizzle at midday. The track was thus completely dry, thanks to the humid atmosphere. Dani Pedrosa was fastest with a 2.01.157 lap, whilst the best CRT rider was Aleix Espargaró with a 2.03.782.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders picked up from where they left off at the end of 2012, and were again the top dogs of the CRT competitors in Sepang. Aleix Espargaró was quickest of the CRTs and 14th fastest overall, with a best time of 2.03.782. Teammate Randy De Puniet was just behind him with a fastest lap of 2.04.283. There are three more CRT riders than last year, adding up to twelve at the test. Espargaró and De Puniet had a new swingarm and chassis available to them for the Malaysian test and, whilst the Frenchman tried out everything on Day 1, Espargaró chose to leave chassis testing for another day. Both riders were on track early and stayed out until the end, with only a brief break at 2pm providing a respite from the short stints. Espargaró's final time was 2.5 seconds off the overall fastest and De Puniet's 3 seconds.
14th Aleix Espargaró 2.03.782 (58 laps): "We started very early this morning; I think we were the first out on track. We tried a swingarm and also had the new chassis ready, although I decided not to use it today and instead have today as a more general ride. Our starting setup was the same as for the final race of last year. I wanted to regain my feel for the bike after the winter break. The first morning stint was hard, as after so long away it felt strange to be back on a GP bike. However, from the second stint on I began to feel much more comfortable. We did a lot of short runs of no more than 5 laps. I am happy to have been the fastest CRT here, as it is our obligation to continue on top like last year. The difference between us and the rest of the riders isn't huge, so I am satisfied."
15th Randy De Puniet 2.04.283 (56 laps): "We started off with the base setting from last year. I tried out the new 2013 swingarm again, which I had been able to test out in Valencia and liked a lot. Here, however, I found it more difficult to get a good feeling with it. As a result, we went back to the standard swingarm and I felt more comfortable. We stopped afterwards in order to attach the 2013 chassis, which in theory only worked with the new swingarm but which we were able to combine with last year's. We'll see what we can do tomorrow with this combination. Just like in October, we felt a lot of chatter with the front end at certain points on the track. The aim for the remaining two days is to get rid of that. We made the most of today from start to finish, the feeling is good after the winter break and I am very pleased to be back riding."
The new season started with first offical MotoGP tests in Malayisia
Karel Abraham launched the new season on ART bike. In the first day of testing Abaja reached the time 2:05.694. The Czech team for now tests the bike with the first generation engine. For the following tests in Malaysia in the end of February it should already have more powerful engine, which is already used by Karel´s main rivals Espargaro and de Puniet.
„The first impression of the bike is great and that´s very important thing. We had some problems at the end of today´s testing, but it was because of the fact that we had been changing a lot of things in the course of the day to try as much as possible. The results are not so important at the moment. The difference in engines plays some role, but I can´t rely on it. Espargaro is one year ahead of me and it is clearly their advantage. It´s up to me now to erase it.“
Marco Grana, šéfmechanik Cardion AB Motoracing
„ The entire first tests we still use the first generation engine, which is slower than that one that currently have Espargaro and de Puniet in their bikes. Especially Espargaro is very fast, but it has been predictable. He rides this bike more than one year and we just one day. This is not the most important thing for us now, we have to focus on testing as much different bike settings as possible. Now we must calmly analyze data from today and come up with some additional setup options. We had problems with a vibrating front part of the bike and we tried to remove it, but unfortunatelly we didn´t suceeded. This is the main task for tomorrow.“
IT STARTS THE THREE DAY OF MOTGP TEST IN SEPANG
After two ECU-CRT Test days, Today start a three days of MotoGP Offical Test with all the riders and bikes that will take part at MotoGP World Championship 2013.
Dani Pedrosa, Honda, has got the best time with 2’01.157, followed by Lorenzo at just 0.004 and by his teammate Marquez at 0.044.
The Came Iodaracing Team work plan today was focused on Lukas Pesek that with his IODA-SUTER BMW has done 46 laps getting the 26th position with 2’07.015 at 5.858 from Pedrosa.
In the last two hours of practice also Danilo Petrucci was on track finishing, after 29 laps, at the 22nd place with 2’05.753 at 4.596 from the best lap.
Danilo Petrucci, Pilota MotoGP # 9: "Today I practiced just the last two hours according our plan. We have worked on the suspension and on the chassis because the new ECU has a problem to the firmware of the traction control, but the Magneti Marelli staff is working hard to solve this probelm as soon as possible. Tomorrow will be my day and if the traction contol will be ok, we will start to develope the new ECU”.
Lukas Pesek, Pilota MotoGP # 52: "It was a good day, I did many laps and I’m getting the first feeling with my new bike. There is still a lot of work to do but for being the first real day of test it was not so bad”.
PEDROSA AND MARQUEZ OFF TO HOT STARTS IN MALAYSIA
Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez began the 2013 MotoGP test season with impressive performances on the first of three days of testing at the Sepang Circuit outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Almost as impressive were second year Honda riders Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda MotoGP), a close fifth fastest, and Alvaro Bautista, the Spaniard now on the Go & Fun Honda Gresini RC213V.
Pedrosa led all comers by blazing to the fastest time on a day of moderate but still warm and humid weather, though the expected afternoon deluge never materialized. That allowed the 2012 MotoGP World Championship runner-up a full day’s testing and he made the most of it. On the same track where he won the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Pedrosa clocked the fastest lap of the day, a time 2m, 1.157s, on the 48th of his 49 laps.
MotoGP rookie and Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez was impressive in his third ride on the Repsol Honda RC213V, not only for his speed but also his durability. The young Spaniard completed 62 laps of the 5.548k circuit; his best time of 2m, 1.201s came on lap 60. Marquez admitted to being nervous having not ridden since a test here last November, but it didn’t show. He spent considerable time at the top of the charts and it took the best of two veterans, Pedrosa and world champion Jorge Lorenzo, to take him down to third, and then not by much; his time was only .044s off the benchmark set by Pedrosa. Such was the strength of his debut that it drew accolades from all of his senior rivals.
Bradl also put in a full day’s work thanks to what he considered optimal conditions. The 2011 Moto2 World Champion altered his training routine over the winter to improve his fitness. Today he was fast both early and late and on the pace to the very end. His fastest lap put him only .632s behind Pedrosa, which he put to both his fitness and the preparation of the team, which now had a year’s experience with the LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V. Bradl spent much of the day getting reacquainted with the speed of the Honda, while working with a variety of rear suspension settings. His goal for the 2013 season is to be better on used tyres near the end of the races and he began that process today.
Bautista was less than .2s behind Bradl in seventh place after his 59-lap day on the Go & Fun Gresini Honda RC213V. He attributed his early speed to the conditions and the work put in by the team on the setup of the suspension. With two more days of good weather, Bautista believes he can improve his racing package and continue to ascend the timing ladder.
Bryan Staring, 25, had a less successful day in his 2013 debut on the Go & Fun Honda Gresini CRT machine. The Australian MotoGP rookie fell at one point, denying himself and his team valuable setup time as he transitions from the FIM Superstock 1000 Championship. Staring has a steep learning curve-the FTR chassis, the Bridgestone tyres, the carbon brakes, the electronics-but he’s been a quick study in the past. Staring won three FIM Superstock 1000 races last year and also has three titles in his native Australia.
The test continues Wednesday and Thursday.
HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 1.157s
It's the first day back testing after the winter break. We've spent three months off the bike and the feeling from the first day testing is positive. The track was in good condition and we were able to put in a lot of laps at a good pace, thanks to it not being especially hot. I haven't ridden since the November test in Valencia, so today has been a first step to getting back on the pace. We didn't play about with the setup today, but we will move onto that in the remaining two days of testing.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC212V): 3rd, 2m, 1.201s
I'm very happy with how the first day went, because you always have a few nerves after a couple of months out. I thought that I would take a little longer to get back 'on it', but right from the opening laps I felt very comfortable on the bike. We picked up confidence from the start, although obviously we can still improve. I don't think the result today should be used as a reference point, because we are all trying out new things. I focused on simply finding a good setup and getting comfortable on the bike. I tried to put in a good time so that the day's testing had a purpose.
Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V): 5th, 2m, 1.789s
I am very satisfied about this first day of test. The weather and the asphalt temperature were perfect and we could easily complete out test program. Thanks to my new winter training I feel more fit un these conditions and I found the guys very motivated and even more technically prepared. Actually, we started our 2013 campaign on a higher level. Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off. We combined a lot if things from Öhlins suspension to swing-arm lengths and rear grip feeling. Doubtless there’s more work to do especially on used tyres: I must improve my riding style on used rubber to match my competitors pace during the races and we will focus on this point in the near future.
Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 7th, 2m, 1.981s
Being back on track after the long winter break is always nice, but it's challenging because you have to take the right rhythm. Fortunately, the weather conditions here were helpful and it was a lot easier. We worked hard during the day on the setup of the suspension and at the end I was satisfied. Of course, there’s still so much work to do and we have planned for the remaining two days of testing. I'm glad to be back with my team and to have started a new season with them.
Bryan Staring (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 27th, 2m, 07.044s
I'm happy to have made my debut in MotoGP, but at the same time I feel sorry for the trivial fall that I had. Unfortunately, I touched the kerb in a corner, lost control and crashed to the ground. Of course, the difference with the bike that I rode previously is significant, but mostly I'll try to adapt my driving style to the power of the Go & Fun Team Honda Gresini CRT. Today we did a good job during the 41 laps and I got on very well with members of the team. I realized that that might be very helpful for my growth in this challenging category.
Pace set by Pedrosa on opening day of first official MotoGP™ test
Sepang International Circuit - Tuesday, February 4, 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-hard. Rear: Soft, Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 27-30°C; Track 31-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa posted the quickest time on the opening day of the first group test of the 2013 MotoGP season at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.
Pedrosa set his benchmark time of 2’01.157 on his penultimate lap today to finish just eight-thousandths of a second ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, while on the other Repsol Honda RC213V, Marc Márquez was third on the timesheets with a best lap time of 2’01.201.
All twenty-four riders contesting this year’s MotoGP™ championship, along with four test riders – two each from Honda and Yamaha - took to the track today for a total of twenty-eight participants. Torrential rain over the previous two days and a lack of recent activity at the Sepang circuit meant that track conditions for the opening day were challenging, with some riders remarking that the grip level of the circuit were below average. Although the rain didn’t affect today’s proceedings, the overcast condition did limit track temperatures, with a peak of 37°C recorded in the afternoon, which is unusually cool for this circuit, especially in dry conditions.
The mild track temperatures resulted in tyre selection trending towards the softer slick options, with twelve of the twenty-eight riders trying the harder front option and all riders choosing the softer rear options available to them. The cool temperatures also limited evaluation of the experimental slick tyres Bridgestone brought to Sepang to just the CRT teams. All the CRT riders assessed the soft compound rear slick - though only for short stints at this stage – and feedback was generally positive, with a good improvement in rear grip.
After a productive opening day at Sepang, evaluation of the new hard option rear slick for the ‘works’ bikes is planned to take place tomorrow, while CRT times will continue to assess the soft rear slick in what are forecast to be similar weather conditions to today.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Following two days of rain which severely affected the CRT ECU test, thankfully today we had fine weather which allowed all the riders to do many laps in dry track conditions. All of the CRT riders tested the softer rear slick which we’ve brought to Sepang for the first time, and their feedback on this specification of tyre was that it offered a good improvement in rear grip. Further testing of this CRT-specific option is scheduled for tomorrow and now that the works teams have had a day to find a base setup, we hope that the weather conditions are warm enough so that we can test the experimental rear slicks featuring our revised hard rubber compounds as well.”