2015 MotoGP Sepang 1 Post-Test Press Releases

Press releases from the teams after the final day of the first test at Sepang:

Marquez and Pedrosa finish first test on top

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have finished the first three-day test of 2015 on top of the time sheets, with both riders over half a second faster than their closest rival.

This morning during the cooler temperatures, 2014 World Champion Marc recorded the fastest ever time on two wheels around the Sepang circuit with his time of 1’58.867 on lap 8 – of 52 – (beating his own record of 1’59.533 from the 2014 Winter test), as all the riders took to the track in a time attack. In the afternoon, Marc completed a 20 lap race simulation, and gained valuable data about the current spec Honda.

Dani, who’s morning time was just 0.139 off Marc, also did a 20 lap race simulation in the afternoon – with 10 laps under 2’01 – and fine tuned his settings on his 2015 RC213V in preparation for the next test here in two weeks. He recorded his time of 1’59.006 on lap 11 of 41.

The HRC engineers will now take the data collected from this test back to Japan to analyse and prepare for the second Sepang test, due to take place on the 23-25 February.

Marc Marquez

1st 1’58.867 (52 laps)

"The truth is that when I saw the time I was surprised, just like everyone else! In any case, I must say that today the track was fast, as we all rode faster than before. I'm glad I was able to set a good lap, but more important is the fact that I felt very comfortable, right from the start. We did a race simulation later on, which also went very well and was perhaps even more important than a single lap. During the race simulation we tested different mapping and in every part we tried different things. The positive is that with the new bike we are already at the same level as in 2014, and there is still plenty of room for improvement. Now I can’t wait for the second test and to see what progress we can make.”

Dani Pedrosa

2nd 1’59.006 (41 laps)

"I'm happy with the work we have done today, because we have made progress in some aspects with the rear. There is still room for improvement, but overall we've taken some pretty positive steps in this test and I think that's a very good thing. The team have also integrated well and we have worked very smoothly together, so I'm very happy about that. We did a race simulation in which we tested the bike for the first time in such a scenario. Obviously there are some things to improve but, considering it was the first time, the findings have been pretty good!”

Yamaha Successfully Wraps Up First Pre-Season Test in Sepang

Sepang International Circuit (Sepang, Malaysia), 6th February 2015

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo ended the third and final day of MotoGP testing in Sepang on a positive note, finishing fourth and fifth in today’s session times.

Rossi clearly enjoyed today’s perfect weather conditions and was able to successfully complete his testing schedule. The progress he made in terms of the setup and pinpointing the direction of the development for his YZR-M1 showed when he shattered his own record at the Sepang International Circuit with a 1m 59.401s lap, moving him up to third on the leader board. The Doctor used the remaining time of the session to test some more parts for the bike and did a race simulation, before finishing the day in fourth place.

Teammate Lorenzo also made strides today. Continuing his good rhythm of yesterday, he was quick right from the start of today’s eight-hour session. Despite the crowdedness of having 27 riders on the track at the same time, he was able to focus on his pace and position himself as one of the key protagonists. As with his teammate, it only took him about half an hour into the session to beat his fastest ever lap at the Malaysian track when he posted a time of 1’59.624s. The Spaniard also concluded his testing schedule with a race simulation at the hottest time of the day and ended fifth in the standings.

This third day completes the first pre-season test in Sepang. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will analyse the gained data and come back to the Malaysian circuit for a second pre-season test in two weeks time.

46 Valentino Rossi

4th / 1'59.401 / 49 laps

“Today I’m more satisfied. It was a good day and we did a good job, especially because we tested everything and we decided what we have to use to continue the development. I’m very happy because 1’59.4 is my best lap in Sepang in my whole career and I’m already 0.3 faster compared to last year. It’s true that the conditions today are good, but also compared to yesterday we improved the setting of the bike a lot and also my pace is not so bad. We also tried a race simulation, but not with our performance at a hundred per cent. We tried some different parts for the bike, something good and something I didn’t like. My pace in the simulation was quite good so the test was positive. The only negative thing was the speed of Marc and Dani. They are a little bit faster than us on a lap with a fresh tyre, but also in terms of pace. That means that, if we want to beat them, we have to keep working.”

99 Jorge Lorenzo

5th / 1'59.624 / 55 laps

“In the morning we weren’t very explosive to make a good lap time because the bike didn’t stop so well on the brakes. We modified the set-up to improve the braking, but we didn’t have any new tyres left to do a good lap time. I think we might not have been able to ride a 1’58, but maybe a low 1’59. The race simulation was interesting. We did one at the time of day when the temperature was the highest and our pace was very consistent. I think that if there was a race tomorrow, we could fight for the win, so this is positive. The bike improved a little compared to how it was at the Valencia test. I think we have a big thing to try at the second test at Sepang. Let’s see if this is clearly better.”


Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“The bike has worked well here for the test and we now know the direction to develop for both riders, that was the main goal for this test. We conducted a race simulation with both riders which was not bad, even when the tyre dropped the performance was ok, better than last year’s race. We still need to close the gap a little to our main competitors but so far the team and riders have worked well and done a good job. We have the information we were looking for and we will be back here in two weeks ready to start working with the new plan. We are confident that the next development step in two weeks will help to close the gap.”

Solid start in Sepang for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Sepang, Malaysia – 6 February 2015: Scott Redding and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS got the 2015 season off to a solid start in Malaysia, with a successful three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit.

The aim of the opening test of the new season was clear; to allow Redding to familiarise himself with the 2015 Honda RC213V he’ll campaign in Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS colours and to prepare fully for the first race of the season in Qatar.

To this end Redding spent much of the three-day test on used tyres and with the electronic rider aids dialled down to their minimum setting, using the time to get a feel for the power available from the factory specification Honda RC213V with minimum electronic interference between twist grip and engine.

The 22-year-old declared himself satisfied with the progress made over the three days. Having initially found the Honda RC213V a very different bike to ride than the open class RCV1000R he campaigned last season, Redding’s confidence and speed improved as he became increasingly familiar with the characteristics of the factory specification bike.

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will return to Sepang in just over two weeks for a further three days of testing, during which Redding is determined to continue the learning process, as he works to close the gap to the top of the timesheet.

Scott Redding: 17th - 2’01.263

“The Honda RC213V is a lot different to ride than the bike I raced last year, so I came here to Sepang to learn how to get the best from it. It means we’ve been focussed on the bike and me rather then the lap times and, as a result, we’ve made good progress. I’ve been running without a lot of electronics, just trying to adapt my riding style to suit better this bike. Like I said, I’m here to learn not chase lap times; the priority is to get comfortable on the bike, get a good feel for the brakes, for the suspension and to build my own confidence. Although the timesheet might not show it, I think we’ve achieved a lot here over the three days. The team is working well and I’m looking forward to returning to Sepang in a few weeks for the second test.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“It’s been a very positive first test, even if that is not really reflected in the lap times. The new Honda RC213V is a good bike and Scott felt much more comfortable on it than he did in Valencia at the end of last year. His confidence has returned, almost to the same level as when he was riding in Moto2 and challenging for the title. Our aim at this test wasn’t to chase lap times, but to understand better the bike and to prepare fully for the first race, especially the end of the race when the tyres start to go off. We have made significant progress over the three days, with both Scott and the team doing a good job. Now we need to work towards the next test here at Sepang, to ensure we continue to improve.”

Tech3 duo successfully wrap up test at Sepang

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded the opening test of 2015 with a strong performance to complete the final day in 6th position at the Sepang International Circuit. He battled the tropical heat in Malaysia to post his best time of 1’59.851 in the morning and on his 8th lap when the temperature was cooler. The young Spaniard continued to run 50 laps in total, with his fastest time being more than a second quicker than his personal best from the opening day, as he fired a warning to his rivals for 2015. His efforts saw him finish as the top satellite bike and right behind the factory MotoGP riders as he successfully began the pre season evaluative work on his Yamaha YZR-M1. The 23 year old rider now looks towards getting back on track in a fortnight’s time fully optimistic and determined to plug the gap to the leaders further.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Bradley Smith tirelessly rode 50 laps today to finish his first pre season test in a positive and constructive manner as he set the ball rolling for the 2015 season. The young British rider completed the final day with a best time of 2’00.384, which he set on the 26th lap, leaving him in 9th place and almost a second quicker than his qualifying effort from the Sepang Grand Prix event last year. This leap in performance, despite not being fully fit, highlights Smith’s ambitions for the approaching season and now he looks towards the next Sepang test, full of confidence.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 6th Time : 1'59.851 Laps : 50

"The last day has been a really good one. I’m happy because at the end we could complete a day positively which we are truly satisfied with. The first day was a good start, then yesterday we tried some different thing and had a few difficulties, which we needed to experience in order to understand the best direction to work towards. However to finish the test, today has been very strong and a great conclusion. I was fast, I felt great on the bike, everything went according to plan, the rhythm is truly promising and we found a strong setup. So I’m really enthusiastic about the work we have completed today and cannot wait for the next outing where we will look to improve further. Now, I am going to Thailand for a few days to visit Yamaha which is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to meet all of the people there"

Bradley Smith

Position : 9th Time : 2'00.384 Laps : 50

"It’s been a really productive and positive three days here in Sepang and a great way to open the 2015 season. I improved my time around seven tenths of a second every day which shows we are definitely heading in the right direction. Today we sampled a new swinging arm but the results were inconclusive so we will retest this part next time. We also tried some different front forks which gave me a good feeling that I am very happy about. My physical condition didn’t get worse, so I remain optimistic that when we return here my ankle will be completely healed and I can really go for it. In addition, I am very pleased to have improved my personal best time around the Sepang circuit by half a second. It’s been a great three days and I’m happy to be back on my bike. Next up, I head to Thailand for Yamaha which I am very much looking forward to"


The Aprilia RS-GP project makes its début

Romano Albesiano: "In order to grow we need to get into the mix with our rivals right away in race conditions, bearing in mind the difficulties that such a demanding new project will inevitably face"

Fausto Gresini: "Bautista's performance is positive. Melandri needs to adapt to a completely new technical situation, but we are confident"

Sepang (Malaysia), 6 February 2015 – The first three days of MotoGP 2015 testing have just come to an end at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Essential information was drawn from the "three days" of testing for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. The new RS-GP showed good potential which now needs to be completely refined. Compared to the previous version, which was developed on a base that the Aprilia Racing Department knew very well, the changes are such to require further checks.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager had this to say about the first tests at Sepang: “I can confirm what I said yesterday. The initial results are definitely positive, considering the fact that the new RS-GP is taking its first steps and that Aprilia's return to MotoGP is a year ahead of schedule to fully develop the project during the course of the sport season. In order to grow we need to get into the mix with our rivals right away in race conditions, bearing in mind the difficulties that such a demanding new project will inevitably face."

The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini is already looking toward the second round of tests, also scheduled at Sepang: "The next tests will certainly give us a clearer idea of our potential. These last few days we put the Aprilia bike on the track which will be the one we use this season and we collected an important amount of data that we will use to base our 2015 development on” added Romano Albesiano. "There were a lot of technical aspects to tackle, but that is quite normal considering the fact that this was the first shakedown. I'm sure we would feel less pressure if it were just us lapping on private tracks, but that wasn't Aprilia's intention."

Fausto Gresini: “Considering the fact that the project is in its fledgling states and that right now we are obviously still not interested in lap times, I think that Bautista's performance over these three days was positive. Keep in mind also that Sepang is also one of the most demanding and difficult tracks of the championship. After testing the new Aprilia RS-GP Alvaro decided to go back and focus on the 2014 version which is giving him a better feeling at the moment. Along with the mechanics he worked quite a lot on both fronts to gather a large amount of data which will be used by the Aprilia Racing engineers to develop the technical package. As for Melandri, we knew that it would not be easy for him to get used to a completely new technical situation. Marco needs to adapt his riding style to this type of tyre and we know that takes time. We have confidence in him. The important thing is that he stays focused and determined.”

Marco Melandri and Alvaro Bautista, the riders who have the task of developing the new Aprilia MotoGP project, worked hard over the last three days, assessing new material and conducting comparison tests with the previous version of the bike. While the only change for Alvaro is the bike, Marco on the other hand had to adapt to a brand new environment with a very different technical package compared to the one he had last year.

Bautista stopped the clock with a best time of 2’01.924 out of a total of 157 laps, whereas Melandri took a total of 156 laps with his best one finishing at 2’03.641.

Alvaro Bautista: “I'm quite pleased with these first three days of testing. The team worked well, giving me maximum support. On the first two days I conducted various comparisons between the bike used at the end of last year and the new RS-GP which, in any case, is still not giving me good sensations in terms of chassis performance. So on the last day I decided to focus on the 2014 version in order to gather as much data as possible and to allow the engineers to work in view of the next tests, scheduled at the end of the month. We worked a lot on the electronics and did various setup tests and I'm pleased with what we found. The important thing is that we know which areas need improvement. We gathered a lot of data so the result is positive. Aprilia is very committed. I'm confident for the next session.”

Marco Melandri: “I admit that I was expecting a better début, but when we decided to take on this new adventure we knew that is would be a lot of hard work for us. I have to build a feeling with the bike completely from scratch. We need time and we need to think about what we found in these tests in order to improve as quickly as possible.”


MotoGP’s first pre-season testing session came to close today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, after three days of intense work in the gruelling tropical heat.

CWM-LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow will head back to his home on the Isle of Man satisfied with the progress he and the team have made during their first outing of the 2015 season.

As is normal in Malaysia, track conditions were best in the first hour after the circuit opened at 10am, after which the effects of direct sunshine and heat means it is almost impossible to set a fast lap. As if to demonstrate that fact, factory Honda rider Marc Marquez set the fastest-ever lap of the 3.444 mile layout on just the eighth of his 52 laps (1’58.867).

Crutchlow was keen to point out that while he didn’t set a one-off fast lap like the riders ahead of him on the final timesheets, he was focused more on getting the feeling right on the bike for the crucial final laps of the races. With that in mind, the Briton racked up a total of 67 laps, more than anyone else today, with a best time of 2’00.536.

The CWM-LCR Honda Team now return to Europe to work on their findings from this test, before heading back out to Malaysia for a four-day session later this month starting February 23rd.

Cal Crutchlow #35 (2’00.536, lap 19 of 67)

“I’m relatively happy with today, although I’m not that pleased with the final lap time because we didn’t manage to get in a fast lap. We’ll need to start to work in that area soon though, because on old, used race tyres we are very fast and working in a really good way with the team.

At the moment I’m still not quite familiar enough with the bike to push extra hard and take advantage with the newer rubber; I’m just not comfortable enough to do that yet. However I do feel comfortable on used tyres, and just like yesterday we have made some solid improvements over the course of the day and we can definitely come back to the next test here at Sepang and be competitive.”


MotoGP’s first pre-season testing session came to close today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, after three days of intense work in the gruelling tropical heat.

CWM-LCR Honda’s Jack Miller was happy with the big step forward he and his crew have made during their first outing of the 2015 season, improving his lap time by well over a second from yesterday. The Australian today finally started to put some laps in using a bigger range of the electronics available to him this season, as the team gradually introduce him to the RC213V-RS.

As is normal in Malaysia, track conditions were best in the first hour after the circuit opened at 10am, after which the effects of direct sunshine and heat means it is almost impossible to set a fast lap. As if to demonstrate that fact, factory Honda rider Marc Marquez set the fastest-ever lap of the 3.444 mile layout on just the eighth of his 52 laps (1’58.867).

Like Marquez, Miller was also able to make the most of the cooler climate in the morning, as he set his best lap of 2’01.895 on the third of his 50 laps of the track. This compared to a 2’03.083 on day two, and 2’02.807 from the first day.

The CWM-LCR Honda team now return to Europe to work on their findings from this test, before heading back out to Malaysia for a four-day session later this month starting February 23rd.

Jack Miller #43 (2’01.895, lap 3 of 50)

“Today we improved our pace in the morning, managing to put in a different tyre at the right time and we improved our lap time by a second. Everyone else improved too, but we are making steps forward.

We made some real progress, particularly in the last three runs out on the track, when we started to work with the electronics including the traction control and anti-wheelie settings. It was good, so I’m really looking forward to the next test and working some more on the electronics and aids to make the lap times come that little bit easier.

For now though, I’m happy. It’s been a positive test for me and the crew. I’ve picked up lots more experience with the Bridgestone tyres and I think that it will get even better for the next test here.”

First test completed with good feelings

Avintia Racing MotoGP – Winter Test 2015 – Sepang 1

Avintia Racing successfully completed the first three days of testing for the 2015 preseason today. In this new adventure with Ducati machinery the riders, Hector Barbera and Mike, worked really hard to set up their new bikes. The testing program was intense, but both were able to complete it with race simulations today under the usual extremely hoy conditions of Sepang International Circuit. Still a lot of room for improvement before the first Grand Prix and in three weeks time, Avintia Racing will come back to Malasia for further four days of testing; first three with the current Bridgestone tyres, and the last one working for Michelin as part of the French manufacture program for their comeback to MotoGP in 2016.

HECTOR BARBERA #8 15th 2’01.183 / @HectorBarbera

The three days have been very positive and today we could test many things. We are doing better job every day and maybe we missed a faster lap today, but I think we got valuable conclusions. We did a race simulation but didn’t work as we expected because we choose the wrong tyre. But I’m confident we are in the good way, we start to work as a team and found the way to go fast and consistent. I’m looking forward for the next test to make a new step and arrive prepared to the first race in Qatar.

MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 22º 2’02.128 / @Mikejpp63

The first to days were quite difficult. Yesterday we tested many things in the suspension, because to work in the geometry we have to wait for some part in the next test, and then we’ll decide which base we’ll work on. Today we focussed in the electronics and now I feel much better. The feeling the first days was really strange, but today I started to enjoy and feel the bike. We also made a very interesting race simulation. We need to improve more, but we are in the right way. In the next test we’ll get more stuff to test and keep moving forward.

MotoGP season has begun. Abraham tried new more powerful bike in Sepang

Noticeably stronger capacity of the bike, which reflected final result. It is the most important change that Karel Abraham noticed after first test of MotoGP in season 2015. The Czech rider rode 140 laps under tropical weather during three days of testing and reached the 23th place in combined lap times. The time 2:02,297 indicated potential which Honda RC213V-RS has. Karel Abraham overcame his up to now personal record on Sepang during the second day.

The other riders on Hondas of specification „open“ can be measure of first testing session for Karel Abraham. All remaining four bikes are ordered between seventeenth and twenty-fourth position. The fastest Nicky Hayden closed test with lead of 791 thousands to Karel Abraham, behind Czech rider remains 2013 WSBK vice champion Eugene Laverty.

Karel Abraham

"We can be satisfied with progress during the tests. Time is good and it is clear that competition will be hard this year and results will be very close. There is lot of work in front of us, especially suspension setup. Recently, we use Showa parts and its system works differently, than we were used to before. It means to start from the beginning. In fact we cannot use the setup from last Sepang MotoGP race. We finally switched brake parts supplier to Nissin. I rode with them at the end of the 2014 season so i get used to them quickly. I'm looking forward to next test that we will be able to finish the work we have begun now."

Positive first 2015 outing for Ducati Team in IRTA tests at Sepang.

Three days of pre-season IRTA testing came to an end today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, and the Ducati Team now returns home satisfied with the results and after a positive conclusion to the scheduled work programme. Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone focussed mainly on fine-tuning work on the chassis and the electronics set-ups of their Desmosedici GP14.3, and both riders said they were pleased with the results obtained.

The quickest Ducati Team rider, and also the fastest Italian on the track, was Andrea Iannone, who was particularly incisive and at ease today, the third and final day of the tests. In the morning the rider from Vasto lapped in 1’59.388, a time that pushed him up into third place in the standings behind the factory Honda pairing of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. With the heat and stuffy weather in the afternoon, there were very few significant variations in the timesheets and the positions remained unchanged until the end of the session.

In the morning Andrea Dovizioso had been unable to get the best out of the soft tyre, and he did not complete a perfect lap on his only run, but the rider from Forlì was in any case pleased that he had reached the target he had set for himself at the end of yesterday, which was to lap under the two-minute mark. Andrea set a best time of 1’59.874 and concluded his work schedule at lunchtime, finishing these first tests of 2015 in seventh place overall.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’59”388 (3rd)

“I am very happy because I return home after a really positive test. We constantly improved from the first day until this evening. This afternoon we also worked with the second bike and we tried some different settings to try and understand if the modifications were going in the right direction. We also did several tests with the electronics, seeing as we had an evolution version of the software for the GP14.3. There has been a lot of work over the last three days, and I’m also happy with my new team: the guys have done a great job. Now I’m really anxious to try the new GP15 at Sepang 2 but in any case I’m happy with the way we have improved in the last few months.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’59”874 (7th)

“I am very satisfied with these three days’ testing because our aim was to improve the chassis and the electronics even more, as well as doing some comparative tests that will be useful for the new bike. We were quick throughout the three days, and this is always very important, and I also managed to get under the two-minute mark, which was one of my aims on this beautiful track. The only negative aspect is that this morning I didn’t manage to do a perfect lap with the only soft tyre I had available, but the rest of the work we did was very good: yesterday we even did a 15-lap long run, setting some interesting and constant times. I go back to Italy very satisfied and very curious to see and test the new GP15.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

“From my point of view these first tests of 2015 have gone well, and I am pleased both regarding the lap times we set but above all for the development work we managed to do in these three days. We have certainly made some steps forward regarding the software and also the chassis. We tested some things that we never had time to test throughout last season and as a result we also obtained some very useful information for the development of the GP15, which will take to the track in the next tests at Sepang.”

Petrucci is happy, Pirro worked hard: a positive testing session ends at Sepang

The first winter test at Sepang gets to the end with a positive balance for Pramac Racing. Danilo Petrucci recorded a constant groth through the three days of activity.

Michele Pirro has carried out an intensive work on the software of the GP16 14.2 collecting important data that may be useful for the development of the bike.

Forced to miss the test due to a shoulder injury, Yonny Hernandez is recovering on schedule and he will be on track in the second testing session at Sepang in late February.

Danilo Petrucci went out on track this morning trying to set his quickest lap time with the soft tires and he managed to further improve by one second the time set yesterday, closing with a 2:00''970 that earned him the 13th position, unless half a second from the Top 10. After the break he kept on working to improve his riding style and, at the same time, to carry forward the development of the software of the bike.

Following a quicker lap time of 2:01'232 Michele Pirro got back working on the electronics of the GP16 14.2. A busy day for Ducati's test rider who managed to complete 56 laps.

Danilo Petrucci - Pramac Racing Team #9

I'm happy: i wanted to lap at least in 2'00" and I managed to do it. I'm a little less glad for the 13th position but the guys in front have gone really fast. My main aim was to stay in the top 10 of the timesheet. I'm 3 position far from there but i'm satisfied all the same because this is just my first test.

Throughout the rest of the day we have been working to find a costant pace. I am very confortable with the team. The feeling is really good, everybody wants to work hard.

I need to understand better the bike, even studying the data: i'm strong under breaking, then i loose a bit of speed into the corner when the bike starts to slide. This happens becouse i'm not used to the power of Ducati yet. That's why i open the throttle too early in corner exit getting often in trouble. I need a lot of mileage to be noched up before i'll be able to ride smooth calming down my instincts.

Anyway i go back to Italy very satisfied as i'am very happy to be here in Pramac Racing

Michele Pirro - Pramac Racing Team #51

“I'm satisfied with the work done in these days on the electronics of the bike. We brought home a lot of information and that was our main goal. I'm not that happy with the time over one lap because I set soon a quick laptime with a tire already used yesterday and i could improve as much as i wanted the new one. But it has been definitely more important testing the software. That's why i thank the team that has worked hard.


Team Suzuki Press Office – February 6.

SUZUKI MotoGP has concluded its three-day season-opening MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia today with positive results and valuable new data acquired in readiness for its full MotoGP comeback in 2015.

Team riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales continued to improve their lap-times around the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, enthusiastic about progress made this week; and the improvements and refinements made to their GSX-RRs.

Espargaro completed a total of 137 laps to finish 10th in the overall rankings after setting a best-lap of 2:00.486 today; an improvement of 1.73-seconds since testing began on Wednesday.

MotoGP class rookie Vinales, who recorded a total of 176 laps, moved up to 12th overall today after lapping at 2:00.964; a significant improvement of 2.2-seconds from his initial first-session time.

Satoru Terada - Team Director/ Project Leader:

“The most important thing is that we had no major troubles and no crashes, plus we completed a full three-days of testing. Both of our riders have made great improvements, which has given us the confidence in the work we have done over the winter; and we are even-more motivated now.

“We are quite happy with their lap-times as they have improved a great amount during the three-days, and we are clearer now on the areas we have to work on. The factory needs to find the optimal-solution now for our upcoming tests so that we can get ready for the first race in Qatar.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager:

“I’m very happy with this test because we were able to achieve some good improvements and also get some good answers and feedback. First of all, our reliability has greatly improved, we have run for three-days now, plus two-days previously with our test riders; which means five-days without any problems. This shows that the engineers at the factory in Japan have worked well during the winter, and they have made a great effort.

“We were also able to work a lot with both our riders and put-in many laps and this helped them both to understand the bike more and we could therefore improve the settings of their machines. We also made good improvements on the electronics-side as well, and overall, the package seems to be at a good level already, because we learned that we have a very good chassis and a very good bike which Aleix and Maverick are happy to ride.

“The other thing that we have to mention is that our riders are obviously a very-strong factor of this whole package and development: They work very hard and they get along with the team crews very well, which I believe is very important; so there are many positive elements here. But we also know our weak-points, but I think our engineers have acquired sufficient information here to find a solution to them all. We still have a lot of work to do and there’s a long way ahead to achieve them yet, but I would say that we are having a promising start. It’s been a hard winter for everybody and I want to thank all the guys in Japan; everyone needs to continue going forward and we have to continue to give our best.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“Overall I’m very happy with the first test and we have to be proud of improving a lot of the reliability of the engine. We had no problems in three days which is great and the atmosphere of the team is really fantastic. I already feel better than last year as I am very comfortable with the team. It’s very important for me that I feel the people working together are my family; so I’m very happy about this!

“I‘m also happy that the bike is improving and developing really quickly: From the first test I think that our bike is not so-far-off the factory Yamaha and Ducati, so we have to be proud of that - although we still have to continue really hard. We finished the test 1.6-seconds away from the factory Honda, so we need to be closer at the next test.

“I know that the Suzuki engineers and technicians will work really hard at the factory and I will also train harder in my house to be fully-fit. It won’t be easy during the first part of the season, as everything is still new, but I’m really optimistic.”

Maverick Vinales:

“I’m very happy as we worked so hard from the opening day of the test and we made some big steps forward. We improved more than two seconds from the first day, so we are very happy. We worked so much with the chassis all the time during the past three days and I believe that we can go two-to-three steps better now.

“I would like to concentrate a little bit more on the engine-side for me at the next test, but the chassis is perfect; I can go 100% on the bike and I can push so much more with the front tyre, so that this is what I really like a lot with the bike. I can go so fast into the corners and this is the big advantage. If we are able to have slightly more engine power, and keep this advantage of the chassis, I believe that we can make even bigger improvements.

“Although I’m struggling a little bit on how to manage the tyres - as it’s so very different to Moto2 - finding the best lines is a slightly difficult-point for me right now. My team helped me a lot finding the best lines and I managed this and improved a lot during the test. I’m so happy that all the crews and engineers worked so hard for me during these three days of testing and I’m really looking forward to our next test.”

SUZUKI MotoGP returns to Sepang at the end of the month to continue development of the GSX-RR and test new settings and development acquired this week, in readiness for the opening MotoGP Championship round at Losail, Qatar on March 29th.

Sepang Results – Day 1-3 combined times: 1 Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:58.867, 2 Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:59.006, 3 Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1:59.388, 4 Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:59.401 , 5 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:59.624, 6 Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 1:59.851, 7 Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:59.874, 8 Stefan Bradl (Yamaha) 2:00.294, 9 Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2:00.384, 10 Aleix Espargaro (SUZUKI MotoGP) 2:00.486, 11 Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 2:00.536, 12 Maverick Vinales (SUZUKI MotoGP) 2:00.964.

Marquez sets quickest ever lap at Sepang to top first official MotoGP™ test

Friday, February 6 2015

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft(Symmetric), Medium (Asymmetric) and Hard (Symmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard

Weather: Dry. Ambient 29-32°C; Track 34-53°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Current World Champion Marc Marquez emphatically underlined his title credentials for the upcoming season by setting a scorching time of 1'58.867 at the first MotoGP™ group test of 2015 at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.

In cool conditions on the morning of the final day, Repsol Honda’s Marquez was the first ever rider to lap the Sepang circuit in the 1’58 bracket to ultimately set a time 0.139 seconds quicker than his teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was second quickest in Malaysia. Third quickest overall was Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, with the Italian rider relishing his graduation to the factory Ducati team with lap time of 1’59.388, over 1.3 seconds quicker than his best time in last year’s opening group test.

Thirty riders – including a total of five test riders from Aprilia, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha – took part in the first group test of 2015, completing a total of 4429 laps (24,550 kilometres) on Bridgestone tyres. The gap in lap time from the quickest to slowest rider at the first Sepang test was 7.323 seconds.

Fine and dry conditions presented themselves during the three days of the test, with a peak track temperature of 53°C recorded on the afternoon of the second day. Track conditions were usual for Sepang, with only moderate grip levels and certain sections of the circuit being quite bumpy, but the combination of fine weather, the latest MotoGP machinery and Bridgestone’s 2015 specification tyres resulted in the test being run at record pace. The slightly cooler conditions on the morning of the final day allowed the riders to extract maximum performance from their tyres, with the top seven riders on the timesheets able to set times in the 1’59 bracket.

All front and rear slick compound choices were utilised by riders over the three days and Bridgestone will now analyse the data acquired to incorporate into their tyre development programme for the 2015 season. Bridgestone will be back in Sepang for the second MotoGP™ official test which will take place from February 23-25.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“This was a successful first group test and I am happy with the feedback we received from the riders on our 2015 specification tyres. Our technical objectives for this test were to give the riders some newly developed tyres based on our learnings from last year, while also ensuring that we provided a softer rear tyre allocation to cope with the increased performance of the current Open-class machines. I am happy to say that we achieved all our objectives, and despite track conditions not being ideal, the pace set over the three days was very impressive. We now look forward to continuing our good work at Sepang in a few weeks’ time.”



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