Press releases from the MotoGP teams which stayed on for the third and final day of testing at Valencia:
Marquez finishes season on top
MotoGP in 2013 has come to an end with World Champion Marc Marquez the fastest on the final day in Valencia. Marc’s lap time of 1'30.287, taken on lap 54 of 56, is just 0.05s off his record breaking pole position lap from last weekend (1'30.237). Teammate Dani Pedrosa was 4th on this final day’s testing with a time of 1'30.992 on lap 32 of 70.
It was a productive final day for the Repsol Honda riders and the HRC technicians will now collate all the data to take back to Japan. There is now an enforced Winter test period ban, and the bikes will next be back on track in Sepang on 4th February 2014.
Marc Marquez 1st 1'30.287
“I am very happy with how the day went and thanks to all my team for their hard work! We continued our testing and today we focused on just the one bike: the prototype with which we felt best yesterday. We tried out different electronic configurations and various setups, and we are pretty satisfied with the results. The most important thing is that we have gathered a lot of data during these two days, so that Honda will be able to work over the winter and give us some updates at the next test in Malaysia”
Dani Pedrosa 4th 1'30.992
“Today we were lucky with the weather, because it seemed as if it was going to rain but eventually it stayed dry. That allowed us to put in more laps and continue analysing the new bike, making a few changes. Yesterday we got a big head start with our workload for this test, so today we didn't try so many new things. We simply carried on adapting as well as possible to the bike. In any case, we are happy with what we have done and now it’s time for us and the whole team - who I thank for all their work in 2013 - to rest!”
Smith and Espargaro end 2013 on a high
The new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 line-up of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro enjoyed a fantastic end to 2013 today, with both producing impressive performances on the final day of MotoGP testing at the Ricardo Tormo track action in Valencia.
British rider Smith delivered the standout performance of the day by clocking a best time of 1.30.598 to finish second fastest behind new World Champion Marc Marquez.
The 22-year-old was able to experiment with different settings on a new chassis, seat unit and fuel tank package he rode for the first time yesterday and his improved feeling in the braking zone and mid-corner was reflected on the timesheets.
Smith was only 0.311s behind Marquez in second position and today’s superb display sent him into the winter break full of confidence and optimism for when the 2014 pre-season preparations resume at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia next February.
Espargaro’s magnificent first test on board the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 package ended brilliantly for the Spaniard, who was able finish inside the top six with a fastest pace of 1.31.533.
The new Moto2 World Champion was less than a second behind Smith and delighted with his progress, as he quickly adapted to the YZR-M1 and his new crew over the three-day test.
Espargaro continued to build up his knowledge of Bridgestone tyres and the vast array of electronic rider aids available.
Bradley Smith 2nd 1.30.598 35 laps:
“Today was very positive and it is a great boost to go into the winter break being so far up the timesheets. I didn’t expect to be as fast as I was and to be so close to Marc is very positive. The new parts Yamaha gave me yesterday have really been a massive improvement and it has given me a lot of confidence that this package will help me be much stronger and more competitive in 2014. The bike just feels better balanced and although it was a one-off lap on a low fuel load, it gives me a great platform to take into next year. All we did today was play around with the settings on the new bike to see what happened when we made certain changes and I can’t find anything negative in the upgrades, so I am very grateful to Yamaha for supplying them to me. I have to be going this fast though because Pol is looking very strong and it is impressive to see him so fast so soon. It looks like we will be pushing each other a lot next season and that’s positive for Yamaha and Tech 3.”
Pol Espargaro 6th 1.31.533 – 28 laps:
“It has been an emotional and very positive first test for me and honestly things went better than I expected. Our main aim at the moment is to make me feel comfortable and understand the bike and that’s what we have done again today. I steadily improved my lap time compared to yesterday and this is what we are looking for. Today we started to change a few electronic settings to give me an idea about how the bike behaves with more or less traction control or engine braking. I’m still trying to adjust my riding style to MotoGP but I think it will still take me a lot of time, as I did not even complete 150 laps. The positive thing is that we already know many areas where we can improve in and this makes me very excited for the next season. My first experience of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team has been incredible and I am really excited to work closely with my crew next season to have a good start to my MotoGP career. I’m really looking forward to going to Sepang in February and experience this fantastic bike on another track.”
Ducati Team concludes Valencia IRTA post-race test
After six days of track action at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana (three for the MotoGP season finale, three at the post-race test), the Ducati Team finally prepares to head home and begin preparing for the 2014 season.
The team that leaves Spain has a different makeup than that which arrived at Valencia last week, as Cal Crutchlow joined Andrea Dovizioso as a team rider on Monday, and Luigi Dall’Igna took over as General Manager of Ducati Corse. Each had the opportunity over this IRTA-organized test to begin settling into his new role prior to the off-season.
Dovizioso and Crutchlow both left the garage at 11:00 a.m., and while the Italian stopped at approximately 1:30, his teammate continued until the track closed at 5:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro focused on testing chassis updates with the laboratory bike.
With MotoGP’s two-month testing ban going into effect on 1 December, work will now fall to the engineers and technicians in Bologna to analyze the data that has been gathered over the course of the last three days. Dovizioso and Crutchlow will next be on track at the first pre-season test of 2014 at Sepang, 4-6 February.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 9th, 1:31.716 (36 laps)
“We had a few small things to try, like a throttle, a clutch, and a rear brake, but really nothing new, as we already tested the frame yesterday. The conditions today were really, really good, so we were able to make a good lap time, but the other riders also did really fast laps. This test served more to familiarize Gigi and to provide feedback to him to apply during his development work for next year. We can’t really know yet how the bike will be in Malaysia, so it’s too early to speak about that. For sure, I’m more confident for next year.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) 10th, 1:31.875 (54 laps)
“Today was a day about getting to know the team better and riding the Desmosedici some more. I can’t really say we found any particular setting that was a big advantage or a big disadvantage. I continue to give clear feedback and really reiterate what the other guys were saying, which is a key point that’s good; I’ve just come off another manufacturer’s motorcycle, so it’s good for Ducati that my feedback matches theirs. We didn’t need to push for a lap time. I was a little more cautious today than the other days, but overall, I think we gave Gigi and the Ducati guys something to work on over the winter. Now I look forward to the Sepang test.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“For me, these days here at Valencia were my first in Ducati, and I had the opportunity to get to know all the people, try to understand the problems with the bike and analyze all the available means that seem to be different from what I was used to before. My presence was important primarily for understanding these aspects. Now an intense period of work awaits us in view of the Sepang test in early February.”
BRADL PLEASED WITH HIS POST-GP TESTING AT VALENCIA
Valencia, 13 November: 2014 pre-season testing commenced on Monday afternoon at Ricardo Tormo race track with some riders swapping machinery, many tweaking set-ups and some joining new teams. Ideal conditions for most of the 3-day testing session gave LCR racer Stefan Bradl vital time on track to evaluate his Honda from this season completing 154 laps throughout the post-GP testing (4th overall). The premier class finale run out at the Spanish circuit today saw the 23-year-old taking the 4.005km track aboard the new Honda prototype in preparation for the 2014.
“The result of these three days of work is quite good for me. We tested a lot of parts which allowed me to go faster including the new swingarm from Honda. Then we tested new parts from Öhlins and new electronic maps but it takes time to get the references and to gather the data. The most exciting part of this testing session was the new Honda prototype which I rode today. I could feel the difference in the engine power and the chassis configuration but it’s not that big and I had fun lapping on the new machine. At the end I can say I have a positive impression about the new bike...”
MOTOGP TESTING WRAPS UP AT VALENCIA
Alvaro Bautista took the opportunity on the final day of post-season testing at Valencia to evaluate Honda's 2014 prototype, although his track time with the new machine was limited due to a crash at the start of his second run. After that setback the Spaniard went back to the 2013 version to concentrate on developing a new suspension package brought to the test by Showa, completing 58 laps as the team signed off until preseason testing gets underway at Sepang in February 2014.
Alvaro Bautista (5th 1’31.229 - 58 laps) “We were supposed to spend the whole day working on the 2014 bike but unfortunately on my second run I lost the front without warning and crashed. From that point we decided to get back out on the old bike and do some more work with the new front forks and rear shock that we already started yesterday. We found some positive things in corner entry but the feeling was worse on the exit so we need to keep working. We will have a lot of work to do at Sepang if we want to be competitive for the start of the new season.”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro was hoping for a longer test on the 2014 machine but the crash meant that he had to revert his focus to suspension tests. There has been some positive progress but the work will continue when we get our 2014 test programme started at Sepang. ”
HAYDEN AND AOYAMA SIGN OFF FROM POST-SEASON TESTING IN POSITIVE FASHION
Aspar Team riders both get laps and improve times on day three at Valencia test
The final day of post-season MotoGP tests at Valencia took place today and after the threat of showers this morning the clouds held off to allow for a productive outing from the time the track opened at 10am until its closure at 5pm. Marc Márquez was again the fastest rider on track, closing in on his pole time from Saturday with a lap of 1'30.287 compared to his record of 1'30.237. The teams and riders now take a well earned break before the 2014 preseason gets underway on the 4th February at Sepang, Malaysia.
After Hiroshi Aoyama spent the first day on track with the Aspar Team's Honda Production Racer, yesterday was the turn of his new team-mate Nicky Hayden and today both the Japanese and the American completed laps on the Honda RCV-1000R. Hayden rode until around 2:15pm whilst Aoyama stayed out until the track closed, both riders improving their lap times and their feel for the bike as they continued to build relationships with their respective crews.
Nicky Hayden 1.32.123 (40 laps): “We only spent half a day on track today, which was the plan, but we made the most of the time available and took some positive steps from yesterday. We improved the lap time and I felt more comfortable on the bike but like I said yesterday this is still a very new project and we have a lot of work to do, in particular with the electronics. If we can learn how to get the best out of this area we will improve a lot further. We have gathered a lot of data over the past couple of days and we have some ideas where to go from here. It was important for me to have this opportunity to get to know the team and I leave here in positive mood.”
Hiroshi Aoyama 1.32.530 (60 laps): “It has been a positive second day because we have made improvements, although we spent a lot of time this afternoon in the pit box working on the electronics. Our feeling after two days with this bike is positive but we clearly have a lot of work ahead. We need more time to get to know the bike and to set it up, especially in terms of the electronics but we have a two month break now until the next test and this will give the engineers an important opportunity to continue developing the bike.”
Valencia: last testing day complete
For the third day of post-season testing, the MotoGP riders and teams were greeted by a sky that was variable but mostly bleak.
As had been the case for the previous two days, the ‘Ricardo Tormo’ circuit opened at 10:00 a.m., and Andrea Iannone left the pits at approximately 11:00, eventually finishing his day with a total of 69 laps and a best time of 1’31.594, without being particular influenced by different weather conditions. Today’s test served to try a new chassis—the one that had been used by Andrea Dovizioso during the season—as well as a different exhaust, and both gave the Italian positive feelings. Andrea and the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team will now take advantage of a well-deserved break until the next official test, scheduled for 4-6 February 2014, at Sepang.
Yonny Hernandez on the other hand, as agreed yesterday with the team, didn’t leave the pits, preferring to rest his injured hand and return to the track for the next test at Jerez. On that occasion, the Colombian will be able to test the bike used by teammate Andrea Iannone, which will undergo the necessary adjustments required by the technical regulations for the new 'Open' category.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“All in all, these three days went well. I’ve been much more consistent with used tyres compared to a normal race weekend; in fact, I was able to do my best time with a 12-lap-old one, and that’s good. As I said yesterday, today I tried the frame used by Dovi during the season, and it's a bit better. It allowed me to have more feeling entering the corner, I could push harder when on the brakes, and as a result I was able to corner a bit faster. Now let's see what we’ll be able to test at Sepang, but at the moment I'm happy about Gigi’s arrival; even if he’s only just arrived, he seems to be a very positive person. Now I'll have some rest ahead of next season and wait for Sepang.”