Press releases at the end of the first day of the tire test at Phillip Island:
Bridgestone tyre test commences in Phillip Island
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has finished the first day of the three-day tyre test in Australia, completing 88 laps (more than any other MotoGP rider) with a best lap of 1’29.961 on lap 43 placing him 4th.
Bridgestone brought eight rear slick tyres per rider to this test – two 2013 specification tyres and six new experimental tyres with changes to construction, compound and shape. Today, Dani’s programme was to start on the 2013 tyres – for comparison purposes – and then perform short runs (of at least 6 laps) on the experimental tyres to collect initial data.
Tomorrow and Wednesday longer runs of 15 laps or more will be requested, depending on weather, to gather sufficient information to take back to Bridgestone in Japan. If possible, they would like each rider to complete a full race simulation on the final day.
4th - 1'29.961
“This morning I spent time riding to regain my feel for this track, and then after lunch I began the testing programme with the new compounds. We've been evaluating the different tyres that have been brought here, and tomorrow we will continue our testing with another compound”
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS AT PHILLIP ISLAND FOR TYRE TESTS
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres answer Dunlop's call to gather crucial data 'Down Under'
The final test of the 2014 preseason for a handful of MotoGP teams got underway today at Phillip Island, with five factory riders from the premier class and four Moto2 riders (Terol, Torres, Rabat and Kallio) together on track. The test has been scheduled by Bridgestone and Dunlop, tyre suppliers to the two respective categories, after a difficult weekend on the new asphalt at the Grand Prix here last year. Summer sunshine made for perfect conditions and the nine riders were able to lap from 10am until the track closed at 5:30pm. Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest lap with a time of 1.29.213.
Dunlop were keen to ensure the presence of Moto2 frontrunners at the test so invited MAPFRE Aspar pair Nico Terol and Jordi Torres out for the three-day session. Nico racked up a marathon 82 laps today, running through a bunch of different tyres as well as taking the opportunity to experiment with some front-end set-up alterations. The Spaniard's work was fruitful, as he clocked his best time on his final lap, whilst his team-mate and compatriot also completed a solid day's work despite losing time in the middle of the day due to an engine issue. Torres complete 56 laps of the Australian circuit with a best time of 1'34.000.
Nico Terol 1.33.290 (82 laps): “So far it has been a very productive test. We have been through a variety of different compound tyres – some I liked, some not so much – but in general Dunlop have done a good job. At the end of the day we also made a change to the front of the bike that worked really well, giving us the turning we have been looking for for a while. It was thanks to this that I improved my time on the final lap and I am happy with the lap time and my feeling on the bike. We know we have a lot of improving still to do but we did 82 laps today so it has been productive. Hopefully tomorrow can be the same.”
Jordi Torres 1.34.000 (56 laps): “Dunlop have prepared this test for us and today they had two different tyres for us to test. We started out this morning with the same rubber we used for the race here last year and after some fast laps Dunlop gave us another one to try. They gave us some pretty clear directions and we focused purely on giving them specific feedback. Halfway through the day we had a little engine problem but luckily we were able to fix it. The engine was worn out so it was a good opportunity to fit the new one.”
Lorenzo quickest on busy first day at Phillip Island
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was Monday’s fastest rider at Phillip Island as the three-day tyre safety test got underway
The former MotoGP™ World Champion’s best time of 1’29.213 put him top of the pile though lap times and bike development are not the focus this week. The riders and teams are working on tyre durability and have a specific schedule to follow over the 72 hours at the Australian venue.
Monday’s workload included set-up on control tyres and short runs on a selection of six different new tyres, some with new compounds, and others with new construction. Bridgestone aim to narrow down the selection of tyres on Tuesday and Wednesday, with longer runs then being undertaken on the best performing options.
Lorenzo was struggling with the generic 2014 tyre specification at Sepang last week and though the Phillip Island times are distinct due to the nature of this test he will nonetheless be pleased to be leading the way.
In second place on the timesheet was Cal Crutchlow, notching up 67 laps for Ducati in the wake of their decision on Friday to go ‘Open’ for 2014. Crutchlow was 0.363s off Lorenzo, but was tellingly four tenths faster than his fifth placed colleague Andrea Dovizioso - who missed the first hours of the test due to an overnight illness.
Valentino Rossi ended the day third, around half a second down on Lorenzo, with Dani Pedrosa in fourth at a 0.75s gap to the top time.
With injured World Champion Marc Marquez missing this test, those five aforementioned riders clocked up a total of 369 between them – providing plenty of data for Bridgestone.
Meanwhile for the Moto2 riders there is a slightly different approach being taken at the Island, with nine new Dunlop tyre options to test and 10 laps required on each one over the course of Monday and Tuesday. The final day will then be about race distance on the narrowed down selection of rubber.
Despite also feeling under the weather title candidate Tito Rabat topped the Moto2 timesheet, just over 2.3s behind the MotoGP times and putting in 100 laps in total. Rabat’s compatriot Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) was second and almost a second down on the Marc VDS Racing man.
With Terol’s teammate Jordi Torres a further seven tenths down in fourth place on the Moto2 timesheet, Rabat’s colleague Mika Kallio was third.
Finnish rider Kallio suffered a Siberia highside and went for scans on his wrist, but was given the all clear to continue testing tomorrow.