Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of testing at Valencia:
Red Bull KTM Ajo put to the test in Valencia
Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika conclude first day of first Moto3 Official Test with positive feelings.
02/10/2015 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The 2015 preseason for the Moto3 riders officially started this morning at 10am, with the first of three days testing at the Comunitat Valenciana Circuit -the same venue where the 2014 season concluded last November. Although lap times are not the primary focus at this early stage, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were satisfied with their first day on track; Miguel Oliveira was fifth fastest (1:39.805), Hanika was seventh (1:39.982) and Brad Binder eleventh (1:40.221).
The trio of KTM riders concurred in their opinions on the excellent feel with the new bike, which they had already ridden in a private test in Almeria last week. Concentrating on testing different setups for the KTM, Oliveira and Hanika improved in each of the three one-hour sessions on Tuesday. Only South African Binder was unable to make constant improvement, due to a small crash that ruled him out of the final 20 minutes of the day.
The first Moto3 Official Test for the lower cylinder category of the World Championship continues tomorrow and Thursday. On the second day the Moto3 riders will start one hour later, which could enable them to enjoy higher track temperatures.
44# Miguel Oliveira
"I am very happy with how we have started the test here in Valencia. We have been amongst the most consistent riders on track, as we set very similar lap times, with little difference between them. Today we did a great job with the bike. We have not changed much, but what little we modified I noticed had a big effect. We have to analyze the data with the team, but what I like is that the bike brakes very well. We must take advantage of that. I hope the weather stays good tomorrow and that we can continue moving forward."
41# Brad Binder
"Today went very well. When I went out this morning, I immediately felt very confident with the bike. In the second session we made a big change to the front end, which went even better and gave us a good feeling. Overall I feel better about everything with the bike. When we went back out, we tested different tyres for both the front and rear, but when I went to push harder we lost traction on the rear. When the grip kicked back in, I crashed. It is the first crash of the year and you can’t do anything about it, but overall I'm happy with the bike and the step forward we took today. If tomorrow the weather stays the same, I’m sure we can do better still."
98# Karel Hanika
"I am very happy because I did not expect us to have such good weather. This morning on the opening run it was quite cold and we rode carefully, trying to get used to the track and the bike again. Step-by-step the feeling improved and we tried completely different settings than we ran in Almería last week. At some points it was not so good for me and we continued working, making small changes, but overall the feeling was much better. I am very happy and I think our base setup is pretty good, so I have to thank my mechanics and my team. We can be very fast with this setup, I just need to stay focused on every lap in order to do a good job. I hope the weather stays good tomorrow and that we can continue in this way."
BASTIANINI THIRD FASTEST AFTER DAY 1 OF VALENCIA TEST. SOLID DEBUT FOR LOCATELLI
Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli took to the track today aboard the Junior Team Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW machines to face the first of three days of testing at the Valencia Circuit, thus officially kicking off the 2015 season.
Enea Bastianini, who had already taken the first steps with the new bike last November, set an excellent 1’39”669 in the third and final Moto3 session of the day, closing the combined standings in third position, first among the Italian riders, beaten only by French Fabio Quartararo and Brit Danny Kent. The 17-year-old from Rimini in the final stages suffered a crash without consequences, and tomorrow will continue to work on his bike set-up with the team and HRC engineers.
His teammate, Andrea Locatelli, was involved in a solid debut aboard his Honda, putting in 35 laps of the Spanish track: the 18-year-old Italian improved his lap times in every session, going down to 1’40”447 in the third and final one, closing the combined classification in 16th. Tomorrow “Loka” will start making the first changes to the bike set-up with the team.
“I'm happy with the outcome of this first day: we collected important data which will be useful for the rest of the test. In the third and final session I went out on track with new tyres, immediately setting a good lap time; unfortunately, later, in an attempt to overtake Navarro, I crashed, making a high side. Luckily I’m fine, so tomorrow we will continue to work to refine the set-up of my bike, to which I adapted quickly, though”.
“I’m very happy! Everything was new for me today and I felt immediately at ease! Apart from today’s lap time, I’m really satisfied with the feelings I got from both the team from the bike, which I like a lot in terms of chassis. Today we just focused on better understanding the behaviour of the bike, without making any change: anyway, in the third and final session I was able to put in a few more laps, already making a big step forward. This evening we will analyze the telemetry data, to understand where to make the first changes to the bike, tomorrow”.
POSITIVE FIRST DAY OF 2015 TESTING FOR SIMEON, FIFTH FASTEST AT VALENCIA
The first day of official IRTA test at Valencia ended positively for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: aboard his Kalex Mot2 machine the 15-year-old Belgian completed 48 laps, stopping the clock at an excellent 1’35”264, thanks to which he closed the combined standings in fifth position, just 0.5 seconds off the pace.
Siméon’s performance is even more valuable considering that the team has not made changes to the bike set-up, thereby keeping the same base reached during the tests carried out last November. In addition, Xavier didn’t exploit the third and final practice session scheduled in the afternoon, preferring to stay in the garage because of the low temperatures.
XAVIER SIMEON (5th - 1'35"264)
“Today we started from the configuration we used during the last test of 2014, last November, without making any change on the bike: honestly I’m surprised about my lap times that and the feeling that I got on the bike, considering that these were only the first few laps after a two months break. This means that our base is very good: at the moment we have no particular problems, so tomorrow we will continue to ride and when we realize that we reached our limit, then we will try new set-up solutions to try to improve further. I didn’t ride in the third and final session today; it was already cold and we decided to start this first day with calm”.
Love at first sight on first day of testing
With great satisfaction RW Racing GP has concluded its first day of testing for the 2015 Moto3 season. In chilly Valencia Livio Loi ran 60 laps on his brand new Honda NSF250RW. After being in the top 10 for most of the time the Belgian rider ended the last of three sessions in twelfth.
A little after 10 o’clock Livio Loi mounted his new bike for the first time. After five introductory laps Loi came back to the RW Racing pits with a smile from ear to ear: “I love it! Me and the bike, we simply fit together. Already after these first few laps it feels as if we are one.”
Loi was a happy chap all day long, running 60 laps with 1.40,317 as his best lap time in the third session of the day, good enough for 13th overall. “All of his laps where good,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen analysed. “With a new bike and a new rider, who hasn’t been racing for a while, we had no clue where we were in terms of competitiveness. Everybody was going fast from the beginning. Looking at this first day, with chilly temperatures of just 12 degrees Celsius, we are absolutely satisfied with both Livio and the Honda.”
Doing ten laps of 1.40 in a row in his final stint Loi also proved to be consistent on his own. Jarno Janssen: “Livio has done those ten laps all by himself, without even looking over his shoulder if there might be a tow. And on medium hard tyres. Sure, he could have been faster on a soft tyre, with a slipstream, but he choose to do it himself, to see where he stands and to get acquainted with the Honda as much as possible.”
Next to satisfaction there also was relieve, with both the team and the rider. It was only the first day all pieces of a brand new puzzle came together and no one knew if they would fit. “We have had a difficult year and so has Livio,” Janssen explained. “After such a hard time some kind of uncertainty creeps in: can we do it? Will this work? Everybody was a bit nervous this morning. But that suspense was taken away by these first results, which are very promising. We are still far away from the limits of both Livio and the bike.”
Moto3 to Moto2: Making the transition
The natural progression for any successful Moto3 rider is to step up to Moto2, but success in the junior class aboard a lightweight, single-cylinder machine that produces only around 50BHP doesn’t guarantee immediate success when a rider climbs aboard a Moto2 bike, a bike with more then twice the power and with a lot more weight.
One rider making this transition in 2015 is reigning Moto3 World Champion, Alex Marquez, who tested the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex Moto2 machine he’ll campaign in 2015 just days after wrapping up the World title in Valencia.
“Moto3 to Moto2 is a big change,” declared Marquez. “The Moto2 bike has more power, more than double that of the Moto3, but it also has a lot more weight. It’s not possible to ride the Moto2 like the Moto3; you need to change your riding style a little to get the best from it.
“For example, the braking points are completely different. In Moto3 you need to be really smooth on the brakes because the front tyre, and the contact patch, is small, but in Moto2 the transfer of weight means you can brake later and harder when the bike is upright. But the biggest difference comes when you turn in, as the additional weight starts to work against you and the bike wants to run wide. At the moment, the bike isn’t taking the line I want, it’s taking the line it wants, but we’re working to correct this so that I decide the line into the turn rather than the bike.”
It’s an observation Marquez’s Chief Mechanic, Naoya Kaneko, agrees with. “While the additional weight of the Moto2 bike generates more front grip under braking, this is only true when the bike is upright. As soon as you turn in then the tyre has to deal with the lateral force, which is much greater than in Moto3 due to the inertia of a Moto2 machine. To the rider it feels like the bike doesn’t want to turn in and, if they turn in harder, then the front will tuck. Finding the balance, so the bike follows the line dictated by the rider, is probably the single most important step in the transition from Moto3 to Moto2.”
“The exit is another story though,” continues Marquez. “The Moto2 bike wants to slide on the power whereas the Moto3 bike doesn’t really have enough power to unstick the rear tyre. I enjoy the sliding a lot, much more than the wheels in line style of Moto3.
“In the Valencia and Jerez tests I need to focus on corner entry. On exit we can see from the data that I’m already opening as early as Tito, but I still need to improve on the brakes. I need to find my braking points on the Moto2 bike and also build confidence with the bike, to allow me to brake later and harder. For me, this is what I need to focus on during the pre-season tests, because this is where we can find the biggest improvement ahead of the first race.
Where Marquez has a small advantage over many of the Moto3 riders who are stepping up to Moto2 alongside him is that his teammate, and fellow Team Rufea racer, is Tito Rabat, the reigning Moto2 World Champion. It also helps that his brother, double MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez, made a similar transition from the 125cc class to Moto2 back in 2011.
“Marc had some advice after my first two tests on the Moto2 bike at the end of 2014. He suggested that I make a little bit more use of my elbow, to have another point of support in the turns, so I will try to take his advice and, step-by-step, work to close the gap on the more experienced Moto2 riders.”
Johann Zarco starts out in front
French rider sets the pace on first day of opening Moto2 Official Test in Valencia.
02/10/2015 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The 2014 season came to a close at the Comunitat Valenciana Circuit in November. This Tuesday the 2015 preseason kicked off at the same venue for the Moto2 and Moto3 riders. In the intermediate category, Johann Zarco made an excellent start, dominating the second and third sessions of the day and setting the fastest lap: 1:34.754.
Zarco showed his rapid adaptation to the Kalex in every runout, lowering his lap times in each of the three hour-long sessions provided exclusively for the intermediate category riders. A great pace and a great feeling on the bike allowed the Frenchman to start the day with the second fastest time and lead the remaining two outings. His best lap of 1:34.754 was below the circuit record, but Zarco is more focused on the development of his bike than the stopwatch at present.
Tomorrow the Moto2 riders will be the first out on track, from 10am in the morning. This will be the second of three scheduled testing days at the Spanish circuit this week.
#5 Johann Zarco
"Today I went faster than in the November test, so we've done a great job. The conditions were not the best so we were very careful whenever we went out on track. Still, we focused on our work and the times we set were very good. We have to keep working hard. Now we will analyse the data to see what we can improve on the bike, but I'm very happy with how we did today. I think it was the best day of the three that we will have here, because on the other days it might rain. Currently it is cold but there is no wind, which would complicate the conditions. Today the main thing was to maintain a good pace and a good feeling on the bike, and I think we achieved that goal."