Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the final day of testing at Sepang:
1st and 2nd for Repsol Honda Team as Sepang testing comes to an end
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa reclaimed the top spot on the final day of testing in Malaysia, with a time of 2'00.562, recorded on lap 41 of 57. Once the wet weather had cleared, the Spaniard, who has been the fastest rider on five of the six days at the Sepang International Circuit, spent his final day completing his scheduled test items, again focusing on the suspension.
Teammate Marc Marquez, who had two small crashes today, one in the wet at turn 12 during the morning and one in the dry at turn 9 in the afternoon, but escaped both unharmed, completed 54 laps and worked on electronics and set up. He finished today's test in second position with a time of 2'00.643, just 0.081 off Dani, logged on his final lap of the test.
It has been a productive testing period for the Repsol Honda riders, who will return on track in twelve days time when the team heads for the first time ever to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for a three-day test.
Dani Pedrosa 1st 2'00.562
“This morning we were able to try out the wet weather setup; it was only for a short time, but nevertheless we were able to put in some laps with it. In the afternoon, with the track dry and with slicks, we continued working on suspension settings. Overall, it's been a positive three days. Now we're off to Austin, and this is going to be an interesting test for the team and for myself. We've never ridden there and it's a new track"
Marc Marquez 2nd 2'00.643
"It's been a good day, overall. In the morning we rode in the wet and I felt very good on the bike, even though I had a small crash. I clipped the white line and lost the front, but neither myself nor the bike were affected at all. When the track dried out we went back to our work on the electronics and with the bike setup -above all with the front. On the initial laps I didn't feel completely comfortable with the front end and had another small crash at the hairpin when I was forcing it a bit too much. In the final hour we set the bike up the way we had been fastest at this test, and I think that we got a good time again with it. We can leave here feeling positive about how things went"
Yamaha Wraps Up Sepang in Challenging Weather Conditions
Yamaha Factory Racing today completed an exhaustive three days of testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the second official IRTA test at the track. Wet weather at the start of the day followed by a drying track and extreme heat temperatures delivered challenging conditions for riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Despite the heat, Lorenzo used the final day to complete a long race simulation, gathering valuable data for the engineers. The reigning MotoGP World Champion recorded the fastest wet time in the morning, signing off the final test day in third position with 2’00.992 seconds, 0.43 from first. Lorenzo recorded the fastest lap time of the test overall with yesterday’s blistering 2’00.282 seconds.
Team mate Rossi opted to spend the remaining day continuing work on bike set up, the Italian still looking for the optimum mix of traction and balance on the YZR-M1, especially as tyre wear increases. The Italian wrapped up his second Sepang test in fourth position, just 0.07 seconds behind his teammate.
Position: 3rd Time: 2.00.992 Laps: 56
“The practice was wet at the beginning of the day so we exited and tried the bike on the wet. It wasn't bad, I made the fastest wet time but when the track became dryer it was never the same as yesterday. It was much more slippery and so harder to equal yesterday’s time. We made a complete simulation, it was a little worse than I expected because we had some problems with the front tyre in braking; it didn't give me much confidence so I slowed my pace a little. The conditions were extreme this time so it was harder to equal the simulation we made in the first Sepang test.”
Position: 4th Time: 2.01.062 Laps: 61
“This test at the end is positive because we are in fourth place and not so far from the front. We are struggling a little more than the first test though; we were unlucky and suffered a little electrical problem that lost us some time and some other little problems. We tried to improve our performance and we fixed some problems but not all. The balance is positive; we have had another three days with the bike, and ridden more kilometres to take the bike back to the top and closer to the limit. Now we are looking forward to Austin.”
“Sepang test two has come to an end and we are quite happy with the result, we tested everything we had to. We completed the long run today under very hot circumstances which was one of our aims because it is very difficult to keep the pace and know what can happen after ten or eleven laps here. We have a lot of data and I think we are getting to where we want to be. Of course the season hasn't started yet so we still hope to find more improvements.”
“It has been a successful test for us. In terms of speed, data and race pace for sure we are still missing some things but the direction is good and I think if we have to judge after first two tests the package is really good. Now we are looking to Austin, it is important to go there and get some valuable data so we can prepare for the race as best as possible. The riders and team have been extremely professional over the test, working hard through very hot and humid conditions.”
BRADL CONCLUDES SECOND PRE SEASON TESTING WITH THE 7th FASTEST TIME
Sepang, 28th Feb: the third and last day of the pre-season testing at Sepang was affected by some light rain in the morning, therefore the premier class riders had to sit out the first part of the session. LCR rider Stefan Bradl, who took the track at 2pm, put in 46 laps with a best lap time of 2’01.309 chasing a better stability of his RC213V and completing a race simulation run of 17 laps to enhance his lap time constancy.
The Team will be back on track in Austin (Texas) on the 12, 13 and 14 of March for an exclusive 3-day test together with HRC and Yamaha Factory riders. The last pre-season test will be held at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit on the 23, 24 and 25 of March.
Stefan: “It has been another productive test for us! We still have to improve few tenths of a second but we did anyway good progress with the new bike. We found some interesting front suspension setting, which allowed us to increase the front tyre feeling and some new traction control map gaining a bit more drive in the corner exits. I am looking forward to discover the new circuit in Texas and continue our bike development!"
Lorenzo quickest at second official MotoGP™ test at Sepang
Sepang International Circuit - Thursday, February 28, 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-hard. Rear: Soft, Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather: Tue: Dry/Wet, Wed: Dry, Thu: Wet/Dry. Ambient 26-34°C; Track 30-54°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo posted a fastest lap of 2’00.282 on the second day of testing to finish on top of the timesheets at the second Sepang pre-season MotoGP™ group test.
Lorenzo set his benchmark time on the combination of the hard front and medium rear slicks to finish 0.280 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, while third quickest over the three days was fellow Repsol Honda rider and 2013 rookie Marc Márquez whose personal best time was 2’00.643.
Power Electronics Aspar was the quickest CRT outfit again, but this time it was Randy de Puniet who proved to be the best of the CRT riders, with a best lap time of 2’02.863 placing him in 13th position overall. The total spread of lap times at the second Sepang test was 5.031 seconds compared to 5.870 seconds at the first Sepang test, while the gap between the top ten riders was also reduced from 2.177 to 1.741 seconds.
Weather conditions were variable over the three days of testing, with riders experiencing wet and dry conditions and track temperatures ranging from 30-54°C. The two experimental hard rubber compounds developed by Bridgestone that were assessed at the first Sepang test were not evaluated this time around, with riders instead focusing on getting the best out of the current hard compound. The CRT-specific soft rear slick was again extensively used at Sepang and received further positive feedback from riders.
The next and final MotoGP™ pre-season group test is scheduled for Spain’s Jerez Circuit from March 23-25, with the first race of the 2013 season at Qatar’s Losail Circuit taking place two weeks later on April 7.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This was another productive test at Sepang with riders having a wide variety of track conditions on which to evaluate the tyres, so lots of useful data was acquired. No experimental tyres were evaluated at the second Sepang test, instead the teams focused on testing our existing tyre specifications and how these interact with the bike developments they have made for this season.
“Testing at Sepang is quite tough physically and mentally, so I’d like to extend my thanks to all the teams and riders for their cooperation over the last few days. The Bridgestone Motorsport team will now convene at Jerez at the end of March for the final official MotoGP test before the season starts, and we will also be supporting teams in their private testing programmes over the coming weeks.”
POSITIVE SECOND OFFICIAL PRE-SEASON MOTOGP TEST CONCLUSION AT SEPANG.
Third and final day of the second official test session round off at Sepang (Malaysia).
The Team’s present goal is to get as close as possible to the top ten. Considering Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider Ben Spies’ physical conditions and Energy T.I. rider Andrea’s inexperience in this class, the obtained results can be considered satisfying.
During these three days several settings have been tried and the feeling with the bike is constantly improving thanks to continuous research lap after lap .
The team will return back on track in Jerez for the last testing session before the season starts on the 23, 24 and 25 of March.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
My apprenticeship continues, I am more constant and the feeling with the bike is improving day by day, nevertheless I have not tried the race simulation because we're still working on finding the best set-up. We have a lot to work on but I am very pleased with what has been achieved so far and what I could try. We'll certainly get to Jerez with more data to be developed. My goal right now is to get closer to Ducati’s Top Team riders.
Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
I am not yet at full condition but considering the situation of three weeks ago I am satisfied with what has been done in this second phase of the winter tests. I could not ride the last hour of the day because of a small problem with the fork, but I have some more specific ideas about what changes should be made. I rode consistently focusing on the reactions of the bike in a variety of settings.
DE PUNIET TOPS CRT CHARGE AS SEPANG TESTS END
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider makes breakthrough on final day in Malaysia to dislodge team-mate Espargaró from the top of the CRT pile
The MotoGP teams are on their way home following the completion of a second three-day preseason test at Sepang, where overnight rain had made for a greasy track surface at the start of the final day this morning. Most riders opted to wait until the afternoon before doing any meaningful work, lapping right up until the track closed at 6pm, although the majority struggled to improve their best times from yesterday. Dani Pedrosa was the fastest rider on track today although Jorge Lorenzo's time from yesterday was the quickest overall lap of the test.
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Randy De Puniet was one of the few riders to step his pace today and he did so in impressive fashion, finding seven tenths of a second from yesterday to clock the fastest lap of the test by a CRT rider. Once again the main focus of his work was on rear suspension and electronics, his best time coming on the penultimate lap of 45. His team-mate Aleix Espargaró did the same number of laps today and although he struggled with rear grip issues today his time of 2'02.628 from the final day of the previous test remains the quickest overall CRT lap during six days of preseason here.
13th Randy De Puniet 2.02.863 (45 laps): "We continued to work on the rear grip issues we have found here at Sepang during this test, working with the rear suspension and electronics to try and get more stability under braking. We have taken small steps forward on every outing and even though the track was in bad shape again today we were able to improve on our lap times from the first test, which shows that we have worked in the right way. It has been a positive test here at Sepang and now I am looking forward to going to Jerez, a track where I am usually quick and where we will be able to confirm a lot of the data we have gathered here. The 2013 chassis is quite similar to last year but it gives us more options to play around with the set-up so hopefully we can find some more rear grip at Jerez."
18th Aleix Espargaró 2.03.423 (45 laps): "The track was really slippery today and we had a lot of trouble with the rear, even though we used the same set-up as the last two days. We went back to the configuration from the last test and it felt a little better but we need to work hard in the next test at Jerez to improve it and get more stability. Anyway, I am happy with the new chassis, which is an improvement on 2012, and we have more or less found a base set-up we're happy with so it's a case of working on small details and finding more rear grip. We have had six productive days here at Sepang and set the fastest CRT lap so we're very satisfied."
IRTA test concludes in Sepang
The three-day IRTA test concluded today in Sepang, Malaysia, where the participants in the MotoGP championship made their second trip in less than a month. For the Ducati Team and riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, it was an opportunity to continue with the development work on the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 for this first part of the season, which will officially kick off at the championship’s opening race on 7 April, in Qatar.
The three days of work was carried out with an eye toward optimizing the available equipment, including new frame components and new electronics strategies for the engine. Both riders had the opportunity to try a bike with a different weight distribution and centre of gravity. These solutions, which had already been tested by the development team at Jerez two weeks ago, underwent an additional check at the Malaysian circuit, and most were approved by the two riders. There had been some positive signs on day one, and yesterday both Hayden and Dovizioso managed to lower their times by over a second while remaining in eighth and ninth place in the provisional standings.
Rain this morning made it impossible to follow the regular testing program, but fortunately the conditions were back to normal for the afternoon, allowing Dovizioso and Hayden to complete their planned work schedule. In addition, the Italian was given the chance to try the ‘laboratory’ Desmosedici GP13 in order to give additional input and feedback on the bike that was ridden these days by test rider Michele Pirro.
Dovizioso and Hayden were eighth and ninth, respectively, in today’s standings, with the Italian doing his best time of 2:01.650 in the afternoon, 1.088 seconds off the day’s top rider, Dani Pedrosa, who posted a 2:00.562. Hayden’s best time of the day was 2:02.070.
After three days, the overall standings have Jorge Lorenzo in first at 2:00.282. Dovizioso (2:01.650) and Hayden (2:01.778) are eight and ninth, with Michele Pirro twelfth.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 8th, 2:01.650 (today)
“I’m quite happy with the work we’ve done here. Yesterday we tried some rather radical changes to the setup and were able to understand something about the way for the future, while also improving my feeling. I’m now able to brake harder and enter corners faster, although we’re still not quick enough in the middle of the corner. My lap time is isn’t bad for the conditions we had today. Pirro’s ‘laboratory’ bike had some positive points, but I couldn’t improve my lap time with it because the positioning and the power delivery were different than on my bike. Anyway, we needed to understand better whether that bike is good or not, and it was positive, as it helps me with the final part of braking and the first part of corner entry. I’m very happy with how we worked at this test, with how much we were able to improve from the last test, and with how much feedback we were able to give the engineers. It will be interesting to go to Jerez for the last test and to Qatar for the first race because they’re all three completely different tracks, so we’ll be able understand more.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th, 2:01.778 (Wednesday)
“I was faster yesterday, but that was partly because my feeling today wasn’t quite as good due to some things we were trying on the bike. Overall though, I leave here more positive than after the first test. We’ve seen some progress in terms of both the time and the consistency, and I had a better feeling with the bike and was able to improve a little more as the days went on. We closed the gap a bit, and I had a much better feeling in the rain. The turning is still the main area where we need to improve, but although we knew the beginning of the season was going to be tough, we have to stay focused and keep the course.”
Bernhard Gobmeier, Ducati Corse General Manager
“We’ve made some progress over the course of these days. Today we even tried some extra things to help with direction in the future, and everyone is working in a very productive way. The new frame is a laboratory for the future development, and although it needs more time, for now we’re pretty satisfied. It was my first time at the track with the factory Ducati riders, and it’s always very interesting to be in the field. I tried to get all of their opinions in order to gain a full picture of the situation. At Jerez we’ll have some more new things regarding the frame, electronics and engine. We want to check if the direction we’re taking with the new solutions is correct, while also confirming the progress that we made at Sepang. So far, the riders’ feedback on the new fuel tank is very good. We tried some solutions with the centre of gravity and weight distribution, and this helped improve their feeling. We’re very satisfied with Nicky and Andrea. They both have a lot of experience, and the information they’re giving us is quite useful for speeding up development.”
PERFECT FINISH TO SEPANG TEST FOR BAUTISTA
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista fulfilled his early promise at the Sepang test with a resounding performance on the final day. Along with the technicians from Showa the team have done an excellent job here in Malaysia and can now look forward with eager anticipation to the next test in Jerez at the end of March, not to mention the start of the new season on the 7th April at the Losail circuit in Qatar. Another 43 laps of hard work today produced a best time of 2’01.078 and an impressive race pace that put Bautista firmly amongst the frontrunners at the test. It has also been a positive second outing of the preseason for Bryan Staring, the Australian rookie continuing his adaptation to MotoGP and to the team.
Alvaro Bautista "I am delighted. Things couldn't have gone much better than they did today. This has been an extremely useful and positive test for us. Now we know we have the tools to fight at the front but more importantly we have gained an understanding of the changes we need to make in order to make swift improvements to the set-up. My feeling with the bike was really good today. There were already some positive signs yesterday and we were able to confirm them today. I can't wait to get back on track because I am having a lot of fun with this bike at the moment."
Bryan Staring “ It has been another important test for me. I feel more confident on the bike and I have learnt a lot about how to ride it and understand it, as well as getting a feeling for how the team works. They have been a great help to me and I am sure that in future we will be able to take bigger steps. I am going home feeling satisfied and looking forward to my future in MotoGP.”
Fausto Gresini "I can go home feeling happy and satisfied to have seen Alvaro lapping with the top guys and making important progress with the suspension and brakes. Showa have done a great job and together with the team they have a lot more data to work from now to make further improvements in the future. Bautista has a better feeling with the bike compared to the test at the start of the month and he is determined to show how good he can be. Bryan has also made good progress and he adapted even more to MotoGP. He is still struggling a little bit but I am sure he can take another step at the next test and continue to improve. Overall it has been a very positive test for us."
Crutchlow and Smith leave Sepang positive after successful test
Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith ended a successful three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit on a high note after the British pairing both finished inside the top 10 on the final timesheets.
Heavy rain that fell this morning gave the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo the chance to complete a handful of laps on Bridgestone's rain tyres, with Crutchlow completing nine and Smith seven laps before the track started to dry out in extreme heat.
The morning rain had a clear impact on grip levels for the remainder of the final day, with both Crutchlow and Smith unable to better thei r pace from the second day's action in Malaysia.
Crutchlow completed a total of 59 laps today to set a best time of 2.01.094, which put him in sixth position and less than 0.1s away from the top three as he worked on improving corner entry performance on his YZR-M1 machine.
A best time of 2.00.907 set yesterday meant Crutchlow finished fourth fastest on the overall leaderboard.
Smith completed an exhaustive testing schedule today, the 22-year-old building up his knowledge by using a range of different settings on his YZR-M1 machine to set a personal best time of 2.02.070. That time placed him 10th on today's timesheets and he managed to reduce the gap to the leading group to just over 1.7s.
Smith was 10th overall at the conclusion of the second Sepang test courtesy of a best lap of 2.02.023 set on the only full dry day of the test yesterd ay.
Cal Crutchlow 6th 2.01.094 – 59 laps:
“I am leaving this test in a positive frame of mind because I am fourth overall and although I was only sixth quickest today I actually think I could have been fastest. When everybody was pushing hard for a fast lap time at the end of the day I got held up on every lap but I am not worried about that. We have worked very hard this week to improve our package and today we gained more valuable information. I still lose a bit in the braking area and rolling into the corner. We tried to improve that but made the braking worse. But when we make the braking better we have no grip. So it is finding a compromise. We tried two different settings on the different bikes and one was better for braking and the other one was better for grip, so we need to find the best of both and put them together. I am not that far off the top three and they are all on factory machinery, so that is encouraging. To be fourth overall is very positive and I definitely think we are in the mix. My target was to be close to the factory guys and we are not too far away.”
Bradley Smith 10th 2.02.314 – 64 laps:
“I leave this second test in Sepang positive because I know a lot more about the bike when I first got here. I sat in the garage when everybody was in time attack mode at the end and pushing for a fast lap on a new tyre. It is not that I didn't want to go for the lap time but we are just trying to go step-by-step at the moment and look at the bigger picture. I still don't believe that we have a base setting for me to ride but at least we have a direction of which way I prefer. Luckily for us it is towards the way Andrea Dovizioso went last year and that's positive because we have got a whole load of data and experience from working wit h him. This is only day two of really modifying the set-up of the bike, so in terms of development we still have a lot to do. I would say we are in a lot better position now than I was at the last test although we haven't gone faster. Now I am looking forward to working on the YZR-M1 at a different track when we go to Jerez for the final test.”
Abraham accelerated at the end of the test session.
He placed fourth between CRT bikes.
Karel Abraham speeded up last day during the three-day MotoGP testing in Malaysian´s circuit Sepang. Overall he took nineteenth place today. Meanwhile the first day when Cardion AB Motoracing rider finished with time 2:05,838, Thursday´s testing were ended up with time 2:04,066, with three and half seconds gap to the fastest Dani Pedrosa. In CRT bikes evaluation Karel Abraham reached fourth fastest time, just after De Puniet, Barbera and Espargaro. Last MotoGP pre-season test will run from 23 March in Jerez, Spain.
„I´m happy that we finally managed to accelerate, but not so to fulfill the target we determined – to get under two minutes and four seconds. I am really upset with that, because otherwise it was good today. We´ve got a little problem with tyres, which were out quickly, so we changed them every fifteen laps and unfortunately in the moment when we were at the top time on the track, we had no more new tyres. Than we rode for few more laps on soft, but I didn´t upgrade the time. Of course is not good that I am loosing on De Puniet and Espargaro, but on other site, there´s only Colin Edwards close to me, other riders have greater distance. Next week the Motosalon fair in Prague – Leťnany awaits me, after that we will prepare for the last pre-season test in Jerez.“
Marco Grana, chief-mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„The good news is that we´ve improved at the end of the test. Karel was a bit better on brakes today, which was our main problem, but we are still half second slower than we wanted to be. Espargaro and De Puniet are not so far, we are faster day to day. Today we used all tyres we have. Finally we chose – like the best combination - the hard front and soft rear. Mainly the new Bridgestone soft is good and we´re also satisfied with the bike settings. We compared data with the Aspar team and we know we´re losing on brakes. I hope Karel will try to push and we will be ready for the last test in Jerez.“