2015 MotoGP Sepang 1 Test Press Release Previews - Part 1, Suzuki, Marc VDS, Pramac

With the MotoGP test at Sepang due to start on Wednesday, the first preview press releases are starting to trickle in. Today, Suzuki and Marc VDS issued their previews, while Pramac Racing issued a press release containing an interview with team manager Francesco Guidotti. The press releases appear below:


Team Suzuki Press Office – January 31.

SUZUKI MotoGP begins 2015 pre-season tests at Sepang in Malaysia next week in preparation for its return to the premier class of motorcycle racing at Losail, Qatar on March 29th.

Despite a forced winter testing ban, new team riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, plus Suzuki’s factory technicians, have been hard at work training and continuing development of the 2015 GSX-RR MotoGP machine that the young Spaniards will race in the 18-round series.

The official four-day test at the 5,543m Sepang International Circuit, 60km south of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, will see all the 2015 MotoGP factory teams together on track for the first time between February 4-7th; and the first opportunity for Espargaro and Vinales to evaluate the new developments made to the GSX-RR at Suzuki’s development centre in Ryuyo in Japan since the previous tests in November.

SUZUKI MotoGP Team Manager Davide Brivio said: “We are going to start the first test of the season, it is just another test for us, but the feeling this time is completely different as this is the real preparation for the coming season that starts very soon.

“Going to Sepang we are in the same situation as everybody else as we start to prepare for our first season and of course we are all very excited. We have just finished assembling the new bikes in Japan and we know that our riders can't wait to get back on the bikes as we start this new project and understand where we are at regarding development.”

Espargaro said: “I'm really excited to get back to the track again on my Suzuki. The first tests in Valencia and Jerez last November were good and satisfying so we have basically kept working in the same direction and targeting the first race of the season. We will have lots of hours testing in Malaysia which means that there’s plenty of time to try the new bike and I'm sure that we can be competitive against the other teams and riders.”

Vinales said: “I'm 100% ready to get back in action again and I can't wait to get on the bike in Sepang. I've spent most of my time over the winter riding motocross, cycling and ice racing and I have done whatever I could do to be fit and ready for the first test. I'm confident in my physical condition and I believe that the Suzuki engineers and our team has kept working hard during the winter months; I’m very excited to see the progress made on the bike. I already have a very positive feeling from the tests in November and my expectations for my first MotoGP season with Suzuki are extremely high.”

You can follow the SUZUKI MotoGP Team progress on www.suzuki-racing.com or sign-up for the free email newsletter HERE. To keep up to date with the team’s news while on the move, a Team Suzuki Racing APP is available to download from Google Play HERE.

Francesco Guidotti: "A great desire to begin"

The winter break is over. The Pramac Racing Team is heading to Malaysia where Danilo Petrucci will start working intensively to set up his 14.1.

Yonny Hernandez is forced to miss the first tests instead. A few days ago practicing on Dirt Track, the colombian rider was involved in a crash and suffered of left shoulder dislocation. Exams showed microfractures without any lesion to ligaments and tendons. The rehabilitation has already begun and should be completed within two weeks to let Hernandez join Sepang 2 tests.

Michele Pirro, official Ducati test rider, will replace Hernandez next week in Malesia.

A few hours before the first test of Sepang, it's time to summarize the situation with Pramac Racing's Team Manager Francesco Guidotti.

"The desire to begin is really great after two months of inactivity. We have the curiosity to figure out the level of the other riders and how many progress have been made with their bikes. We also want to verify that everything has been made in the right way and if our rider's conditioning was the correct one. But it is early to put pressure on us: the beginning of the season is still far away.

Danilo Petrucci at Sepang 1

"Danilo will continue with the apprenticeship began in Valencia. Now it is important for him to know the bike and the work methods in deep: this is a completely new situation but the good lap times noched up at Valencia have been a great start. We must continue in that direction. He has worked hard over the winter. We'll see how this work has been effective".

Yonny Hernández's injury

"This is the first negative note of the new season. The injury won't allow him to continue gaining knowledge of his 14.2 as just started at Valencia. It would have been important for him to test and work on set up before we dedicate completely to the performances during the tests of Sepang 2. The impact on the season? It's difficoult to say at the moment. We need time. But we can't think about it. Moreover, even other riders have scored great results following a test missed in early season".

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS ready to get 2015 underway in Sepang

Gosselies, Belgium – 31 January 2014: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will get their 2015 MotoGP campaign underway next week, with the first of two pre-season tests at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

For Scott Redding, making his return to the team to spearhead their assault on the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, Sepang will provide him with only his second opportunity to familiarise himself with the factory specification Honda RC213V he’ll campaign this season.

While the team’s technical crew have been out in Japan building up the two bikes that Redding will race in the premier class this year, the 22-year-old Briton has been training hard to ensure he’s in peak physical condition for the first test of the season, after fracturing his sternum in a crash at the Barcelona Superprestigio event in December.

While Redding already has a year of experience in MotoGP, having raced a production Honda to 12th place in the championship last season, stepping up to the premier class for the first time will be a new challenge for reigning Moto2 World Champions Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, but it is one they are relishing.

The first three-day Sepang test gets underway on Wednesday 4th February, with the team returning to Malaysia later in the month for a further four days of testing. The final pre-season test of 2015 takes place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, just two weeks before the opening race of the season at the same venue.

Scott Redding

“The injury at the Superprestigio event meant I wasn’t able to start training properly until the second week in January, and it’s only in the last week or so I’ve been able to ride the Supermoto and MX bikes. It’s all good though, as I’ve been working hard with my personal trainer to make sure I’m ready for Sepang. The aim at the first test is for me and Chris Pike, my Chief Mechanic, to get a better feel for the factory Honda RC213V, not to immediately start chasing lap times. We need to understand the bike, and how changes to set up affect it, so that we know in which way we need to go if we have a problem during the limited practice time we get at races. If we can do that at the first test we can then focus on closing the gap to the frontrunners when we return to Malaysia at the end of February.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“The move up to MotoGP with factory specification machinery is a big step for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. We are under no illusions as to how big a step it is, but we’ve spent the winter break working hard to ensure we hit the ground running in Malaysia and that we make maximum use of the limited pre-season testing time available. I know Scott has also been working hard on his fitness, to ensure that he’s ready for the challenge ahead. It’s a challenge that both the team and Scott are looking forward to taking on this season.”



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I'm curious to see how the new Suzuki will perform. It seems from the bits of information we were given after the Valencia tests that they have the chassis already pretty much sorted, but that engine power was too aggressive and not enough on top-end. That seems like a less complex problem than getting the chassis balance right. And it probably is partly down to the switch to the obligatory Marelli electronics. Let's hope they can get it to work at least as well as their original (Mitsubishi) hardware.
The last incarnation of the GSV-R800 was pretty fast (I remember Stoner on the Honda having no easy time to get past Bautista on Motegi's straights), so at least at that point they were right up there on power.

And I still don't like that whole spec software/spec electronics thing one bit (pun intended). Firstly because it takes away an important factor/field of development (lots has been said and written about that) - and with that also a way of finding an advantage - and secondly, even more disturbing, it gives race control full control over engine performance. I can already see Carmelo Ezpeleta standing on top of the control tower with his RC, selectively dialing power back when some bikes are faster than others.