The Gresini press office today issued a press release containing quotes from Antonio Jiminez, crew chief of Alvaro Bautista, and Diego Gubellini, crew chief of Scott Redding, looking back at what they learned at the first MotoGP test of 2014 at Sepang. The work for Bautista, on the Factory Option Honda RC213V, was focused on getting the Bridgestone tires to work with the Showa suspension, while Redding was concentrating on learning to ride a MotoGP bike, and setting up the spec electronics on the Honda RCV1000R. Below is the press release:
SEPANG MOTOGP TEST DEBRIEF WITH ANTONIO JIMENEZ AND DIEGO GUBELLINI
The first 2014 MotoGP Official Test, carried out at Sepang International Circuit from 4th to 6th of February, saw the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini making the first important preparations for the first Grand Prix of the season, scheduled in Qatar on March 23rd. Alvaro Bautista’s work was focused on Showa suspension, in order to adapt the set-up of the Honda RC213V to the new 2014 tyres developed by Bridgestone, while on the other side of the garage Scott Redding was able to deepen his knowledge of the new Honda RCV1000R working mainly on setting and electronics.
Waiting for the next three-day test at Sepang, scheduled on 26th, 27th and 28th of February, let’s see in detail with our crew chiefs, Antonio Jimenez and Diego Gubellini, what kind of work they did on their machines.
ANTONIO JIMENEZ (Alvaro Bautista Crew Chief)
“On the first day of testing, after becoming acquainted with the new RC213V, we started working on Showa suspension's set-up, starting from the good base reached at the end of last season. On the second day the situation became more complicated because we started using the new Bridgestone rear tyre for the 2014 season, that is actually quite different from the tyres used throughout 2013: the new tyre has a more rigid structure, designed to withstand the severe strain of a MotoGP also under high temperatures. Unfortunately, in this first test of the year we had, as all other riders, only 3 new rear tyres available: we had to start from scratch in finding the best setting to exploit the potential of these tyres and for us this important work requires a certain time, because we can’t count on other references being the only ones to use Showa suspension. However, in the next scheduled test we will use only 2014 spec tyres, so we will focus on this aspect and I am convinced that we can do a good job. During these tests we have seen very good lap times, obtained in the morning when the track was in the best condition: in this case we have been not really fast, however we are satisfied: Alvaro has been fast with used tyres and this is important for the race distance. Obviously we need to improve for qualifying, but we have time to do it”.
DIEGO GUBELLINI (Scott Redding Crew Chief)
“In Sepang we really started from scratch, given that in Valencia we couldn’t do anything because of Scott’s physical condition. Starting from the standard setting, which was provided to us by HRC, we basically tried to adapt it to the needs of the rider; in particular, we went in search of a better feeling with the front wheel, since Scott’s riding style rely a lot on it. It was not easy because Scott has been learning something more at every ‘run’ on track, and consequently he's been adapting continuously his riding style, so sometimes we had to come back and change direction. But this is normal for a rookie at his first contact with a new category. Speaking about electronics, we are quite satisfied with the work done by Magneti Marelli for the software developed for the Open category: the system is stable and works well, especially with regard to engine brake and anti wheelie, while the traction control is perhaps still a weak point, being a bit 'limited’. This means that by the time a compromise must be accepted, with the system working well in certain parts of the track, in others less so”.