2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Test Monday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of testing at Sepang:


Rossi Continues Form as Storm Disrupts First Day of Second Sepang Test

Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), 23rd February 2015

After two weeks of analyzing data, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have returned to the Sepang International Circuit for the start of the second official three-day pre-season test. Despite the difficult track and weather conditions the teammates were able to finish today’s session in first and fifth respectively.

Rossi was up for the challenge of repeating his strong ride of two weeks ago. He needed little time to get back into the swing of things and was quick to take over the top spot from his teammate at the start of the eight-hour long session. As the temperature started rising the pace of the field picked up, but the Doctor was quick to respond and cruised back to the top the leader board with an impressive 2’00.414s lap, which kept him sitting on top for the rest of the session.

Teammate Lorenzo had a more challenging start to the second Sepang test. Though he briefly topped the leaderboard with a 2’02.099s lap, he struggled to find the good setup for the slippery asphalt. The Spaniard was pleased with his YZR-M1’s gearbox update and made the most of the available testing time by putting in a total of 51 laps. During his multiple stints he worked on improving the setting and set a best time of 2’01.162s, putting him in fifth place just +0.748s behind Rossi.

Both riders took a break in the afternoon until the worst of the heat passed before returning to the track, but the dry track conditions weren’t to last. Rain flags signaling an approaching thunderstorm were raised and soon the fickle Malaysian weather struck the Sepang circuit.

Not wanting to let the last precious hour of testing time go to waste, Rossi and Lorenzo decided to brave the pouring rain to test their wet setup until, with 30 minutes remaining, the red lights came on, ending the session.

The change in weather meant Rossi and Lorenzo were unable to improve their times and they finished in first and fifth place respectively.

Valentino Rossi

1st / 2'00.414 / 54 laps

“Everybody in our team was curious about the updated gearbox and the first impression is quite positive, so I’m happy. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s a small help in a difficult point where we need to improve. The bike is a bit better in braking and corner entry and I think we need to work to understand the maximal potential, but the first test was good. I am happy to finish in the first position because I was in P1 from this morning, so it’s a good first day. It’s important for us to make some kilometers on the wet. I don’t really like the feeling with the bike on the wet and last year I struggled a bit. We already improved a bit today, but we need to do some more testing and make some more kilometers.”

Jorge Lorenzo

5th / 2'01.162 / 51 laps

“Today was a pretty tough day for me. I feel the jet lag and last night I was only able to sleep for just four hours. At the beginning of the session we tried the set-up we used at the first Sepang test but nothing worked. We changed so many things on the bike but the result was the same. I'm a bit disappointed because of the results today but at least the new gearbox works well. We need to adjust it a bit but overall it is quite good, especially on braking where we can get more stability. The track conditions were pretty bad compared to the first test. The asphalt had less grip so we struggled a lot with the conditions. Hopefully we can improve our pace tomorrow and check the new things we need to test again before going to Qatar.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“For me it has been a positive first day. As with the first Sepang test we don’t have a lot of material, but it is really important that we continue to work to find the right direction. The updated transmission gave both Jorge and Vale a good feeling, and it will continue to develop further. Today’s rain allowed us to obtain a full set of wet data to go with our dry findings so it has had its use. We made the decision to stop early after the rain, and will continue tomorrow.”


Ducati Desmosedici GP15 makes track debut today at Sepang

Exactly one week after its world premiere at the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale, the new Desmosedici GP15 took to the track today in the IRTA tests at Sepang International Circuit, for the first time in the hands of the two factory Ducati Team riders. Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone first completed a few laps on their usual GP14.3 bikes, which had been used in the Sepang 1 tests at the start of February, before stepping onto their new machines for the first time.

Dovizioso lapped on the GP14.3 in 2’01.355, which was tenth quickest time of the day, before focussing entirely on his new bike, with which he completed 17 laps, the best of which in 2’01.692. Iannone did a total of 26 laps with the GP15, recording a time of 2’02.142 and he finished the day in fifteenth place. Track activities for the Ducati Team continued until mid-afternoon, before a sudden tropical storm at around 4.20 pm put paid to any remaining action today for the two Italian riders.

Michele Pirro was also out on track with the Desmosedici GP14.3 of the Ducati Test Team, and in these tests he had the job of verifying and developing electronics and chassis solutions.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2’01.355 (10th), 22 laps.

“I am really very pleased with the first sensations on the new GP15 bike, and this for me was the most important thing. Above all I hoped that the new bike turned into and went through the corners better. Already on my out lap I could feel that the GP15 had improved a lot from that point of view and I am satisfied because this was the most important aspect for me. With the new bike we can manage to work more efficiently with all the adjustments, but today was our first day and unfortunately we didn’t have much time available, so it’s normal that there is still a lot of work to do to improve in the various fields.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 2’02.142 (15th), 30 laps.

“I was very anxious and curious to try the GP15 and I am satisfied with my first approach with the new bike. We were all waiting impatiently for it and we couldn’t wait to go out on the track, and my first impressions are very positive. Obviously we still have to work a lot to adapt the bike to our characteristics but we have a good starting point and I am more than satisfied. It’s a pity I couldn’t do many laps, but half-way through the afternoon it started to rain quite heavily and we preferred to bring things to an end for today.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 2’03.105 (23th), 35 laps.

“Today we tested various electronics solutions, including software evolutions. Unfortunately we didn’t do many laps, but in any case we managed to do some reliability testing which will be useful for the future.”


Testing resumes in Malaysia under intense weather

The second Sepang test has begun in Malaysia with the return of the customary thunderstorm at 16h00. All riders took to the track early this morning to get to work on their individual test schedules before taking a break at lunchtime as track temperatures reached 59ºC.

Dani Pedrosa spent this first day working on mapping settings and suspension and finished his day with a run in the wet. He finished the day second fastest with his time of 2’00.543 on lap 20 of 52, just 0.129s off fastest man, Rossi. Marc Marquez unfortunately suffered a problem with brake discs that affected him for the whole session. He completed a total of 43 laps with his best time of 2’01.190 on lap 24.

Dani Pedrosa

2nd 2’00.543 (52 laps)

"Today we focused on testing different setups for the bike and I think it went well. We have not tried any new parts, instead confirming our findings with what we had at the last test, even though the track was not perfect. It rained at the end, so we could also ride a little in those conditions. Tomorrow we will continue testing some changes to the setup, to see if we can come up with some improvements that allow us to ride more comfortably."

Marc Marquez

6th 2’01.190 (43 laps)

"Today was a slightly strange day and not very productive, because I had some difficulties with the front brakes from the first run-out. We focused on improving that aspect of the bike and could only do runs of one or two laps. That took up the time we had allotted for trying other things and prevented us from progressing. Now we will try to find the source of the problem and tomorrow we hope to continue with the testing plan."


Espargaro shines on first day of Sepang 2

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro began the Sepang 2 test with immediate speed to storm to third place on the opening day of action in Malaysia. The young Spaniard continued working on the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 as he gears up for the fast approaching 18 round season and made further progress in establishing a strong setup. The 23-year-old Catalan clocked a best time of 2’00.876 which he set on his 17th lap out of 45 to successfully see him finish inside the top three on the first day. Although rain fell in the afternoon, costing the riders the chance to improve their times, it did allow them to test rain setups and Espargaro ran six laps on wet tyres as he now looks to tomorrow to continue his bright start in Malaysia.

On the other hand, Bradley Smith opened his Sepang 2 account with a firm and confidence boosting ride to 8th position in the standings. The young British rider suffered a leg injury during the winter break and after easing back into riding at the first test, this week he returns to Sepang recovered and ready for action. The 23 year old set to work immediately as the session began as he sought to further refine and adjust the 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 with the season opener in Qatar only a month away. The end result was a best time of 2’01.241, less than a tenth of a second back from 5th which he set on his 22nd lap before going on to complete 51 in total including several laps in the wet. His performance today leaves him fully confident of making further improvements tomorrow.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 3rd Time : 2'00.876 Laps : 45

"I am really happy with the progress that we have made today and to finish in third is a great start to this test. We are continuing to work in the right direction and as soon as we started this morning, I knew that we could be quick. At midday it was already 54 degrees on the ground which was clearly warmer than the first test where it reached a max of 50 and so we weren’t able to ride as many laps. However, the general feeling for today was that it was productive and we focused on trying different electronic settings. The information that we collected will be very useful and furthermore, it was very good to run some laps in the rain as well. This meant that we could work on the wet setup and I am really pleased with this especially, as there is a definite improvement. The 2015 Yamaha feels great and I know that if I can ride a bit smoother and adjust my riding style slightly, we can be strong. There are a few more things which we have to study in order to improve, but we cannot rush everything and we must take it all step by step."

Bradley Smith

Position : 8th Time : 2'01.241 Laps : 51

"It’s great to be back here at Sepang again after not such a long wait so that we can carry on getting prepared for Qatar. The track conditions were different today compared to the last time when we were riding here and the circuit was a bit unpredictable with the grip levels. In some corners there was a lot less than in others but I’m happy because I didn’t really lose a lot of time compared to the other riders in these conditions. I’m closer to the front than the last test and I am also pleased because my ankle is much better than it was, although it is still not perfect. We were able to ride in the rain as well which is positive. I didn’t risk too much but I already feel much more comfortable when compared to last year in the wet and the lap time was much quicker. I think we still need to work but we are starting to see what we need to do to carry a good lap time and also to get grip in the wet with the Yamaha."


Positive opening day in Sepang for Redding

Sepang, Malaysia – 23 February 2015: Scott Redding declared himself satisfied with his progress aboard the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V, after finishing 11th on the timesheet on the opening day of the second MotoGP test of 2015 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Redding continued the process started in Sepang two weeks ago, working with his crew to find a good base set up on the Honda RC213V he’ll campaign this season, while also refining his riding style to better suit the characteristics of the factory bike.

The 22-year-old Briton evaluated a number of changes to the settings of both the suspension and electronics package, with positive results. As the onset of rain brought a premature end to the first day of testing, Redding commented that, for the first time, the Honda RC213V felt like ‘his bike’.

The Sepang test will continue tomorrow before concluding on Wednesday.

Scott Redding: 11th – 2’01.592

“The jet lag wasn’t good this morning, but I’m happy to be back on track after a couple of weeks at home thinking about where we could improve. There isn’t as much grip here as there was at the first test, but we’ve started to modify the bike a bit more today to help me better understand the electronics and the differences. I feel more comfortable and, for the first time, it feels like my bike. I tried a few things with my riding style and we’ve also tested different traction control settings for when the rear tyre starts spinning out of the turns, so it’s been a busy day. The gap to the other guys is still too far, but I’m moving in the right direction and, overall, I’m pretty satisfied because every change has brought an improvement and my lap time wasn’t so bad today.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“For the first time Scott commented today that the bike was starting to feel like his bike. To go fast any rider needs to have confidence in the bike, so this is a big step forward in the process we started here a few weeks ago. Our technical staff have worked methodically to find the best set up for our rider, while Scott has focussed on adapting his riding style to get the best from the bike. It’s been an effective approach, with improvements coming with every pit exit and Scott feeling much more comfortable on the bike than he did two weeks ago. Now we just need to continue in this way for the next two days of the test, during which I’m confident we can further close the gap to the top of the timesheet.”


Barbera the fastest Open bike on the first day in Malaysia

Avintia Racing MotoGP – Winter Test 2015 – Sepang 2

Great feelings for the Avintia Racing team in the opening day of the second MotoGP test in Sepang circuit. Just two weeks after the last test here in Malaysia, Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio went back on their Ducati Desmosedici GP14 Open and both riders could test some new parts that had improved their performance on track. It was a shame that a set up problem with the electronics forced them to stay in the garage more than one hour, so they lost the best track conditions to try to make a fast lap. In the afternoon it started to rain very heavily, so the Avintia Racing riders finished before the scheduled time. Anyway, it was a very positive first day as Barbera was the fastest Open rider. Also Mike made a big step from the first test and both are looking forward to jump on their bikes tomorrow to keep improving.

HÉCTOR BARBERÁ #8 13th 2'01.926 / @HectorBarbera

It was a good day, but I think the track was worse than two weeks ago, because then some test riders had been riding the previews days and that’s why overall the lap times were a little bit slower today. I felt quite good on the bike, we could try some new parts that we didn’t have in the first test and they seem to work better. We were focused on the race pace and that was the most positive thing of the day. There are two more days ahead, but today we were the fastest Open bike on track and we have room to improve a lot our performance.

MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 21st 2’02.941 / @Mikejpp63

In the morning was difficult because we spent two hours inside the pit setting up the electronics of my bike, so we didn’t have the chance to ride when the track was in the best conditions. Today was really hot so it was difficult to make a fast lap. But we could test some new parts we didn’t have two weeks ago and they worked really well. I only used one tyre during the day and I made my best lap time with 25 laps on it, so I think is not so bad. In the last two weeks I’ve changed my training plan and now I feel much better on the bike.


Bradl and Baz still on track at Sepang

The first day at Sepang is over for the Forward Racing team and its riders involved in the second official test of the season.

Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz completed respectively 42 and 37 laps each, before torrential downpour interrupted the session in the early afternoon.

The German recorded a best lap of 2.02.410 and ended in 18th position in the time sheet, with Baz claiming 24th position with a personal best of 2.03.316.

The development work in view of the upcoming Qatar GP will continue tomorrow at the Malaysian circuit.

Stefan Bradl

"I can’t say that I am really satisfied with the work done today. The track conditions were very different from last test and I struggled particularly at the start of the day. In the afternoon the feeling was better, I was able to push even on worn tires, but then it started to rain and I could not improve my lap time. I am optimistic for tomorrow, I would like to make the most of the day and improve my performance".

Loris Baz

"It was a complicated day. I went on track hoping I would find the same conditions as the first test, but the reality was different and I was not able to push as I wanted. I tried some new solutions and I’m fine with them. In the afternoon, the rain started to fall heavily and I was able to complete few laps on the wet track in order to get to know better this bike in these conditions. It was another day of work, we continue to move forward step by step in view of the Qatar GP. I am confident that I will improve tomorrow”.


SUZUKI MOTOGP CONTINUES IMPROVEMENT AT SEPANG

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 23.

The SUZUKI MotoGP team continued to improve with the newly-refined GSX-RR in the opening day of testing at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today with riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales setting fourth and ninth-placed positions on the timesheets.

Espargaro completed a total of 39 laps in mixed weather and track conditions, setting a time of 2:01.055 on his 17th attempt with hot weather conditions, while Viñales posted a 2:01.317 on his 22nd of 50 laps of the 5.543 km circuit.

With air temperatures of 32° and track temperatures reaching 53°, today’s conditions were more slippery compared to the opening test at the beginning of the month and got worse by the end of the afternoon with some scattered rain showers.

However, the team and riders worked through several new modifications on the GSX-RR that included a redesigned fairing, developed at Suzuki’s wind tunnel in Japan, and improved overall power output without affecting affordability.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It has been a good day for us because we made further improvements. The riders feel confident on the bike and we were able to upgrade and improve the engine power. At the previous tests we decided to cut the power in order to gain reliability, now we are reintroducing some more power but with a step-by-step approach.

“Last week in the wind tunnel in Japan we developed a new fairing that has been tested today. It didn’t give the results we were expecting so we will further-refine its shape.

“It is only the first day of testing but being so close to the top always gives a good feeling. It has also been interesting to test in wet conditions and both riders reported positive feelings. Aleix already has experience in riding a MotoGP machine in the rain so he could give us good feedback, while Maverick had the chance to have a first touch with the bike response. They both felt confident with their machines also in these conditions.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“It has been a positive day of testing because we made some improvements.

The track was more slippery and dirty today so I had to get back the confidence, but I have very good feelings. We are working on the performance improvement but working little-by-little, so I was a little surprised by the speed and power that the bike had today.

“I also had the chance to test the bike in wet conditions and I feel very comfortable: it is small and easy to handle so I feel confident. Tomorrow morning we will try some set-up modifications and in the afternoon we will work on the pace; since it is maybe more important than the single lap.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I continue having good feelings about the bike and my objective is to ride as much as possible as I have to learn how it behaves and also the lines to be kept on track. I’m in the middle of my learning process so we haven’t been making major modifications on the machine; it’s more a matter to adapt my riding style. I also had the chance to try how it behaves in wet conditions and I had good feelings.”


TESTS AT SEPANG: BAUTISTA AND MELANDRI ON THE TRACK. APRILIA'S LABOUR OF DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES IN MOTOGP

Sepang (Malaysia), 23 February 2015 - Without a even a chance to catch their breath after the exciting Sunday on Phillip Island where Aprilia made its triumphant entry into the 2015 WSBK season, they were off to three days of testing on the fast Malaysian track, which represent the penultimate step before the start of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini resumed work developing the bike which had already been launched with the tests and Jerez and Valencia last autumn and then with the first test sessions at Sepang, bringing new solutions and materials to the track which had been developed by the racing department at Noale over the last few weeks.

Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri focused primarily on testing the intermediate versions of the bikes tested in Spain and the ones seen in the first Malaysian session.

The tests were decidedly encouraging for Bautista who, besides benefiting from the great job done by the Aprilia Racing mechanics, also had the satisfaction of a good time to finish out the test sessions - which were in fact called off early due to a couple of rainstorms - stopping the clock at 2'01,740 and climbing to 12th place.

Marco Melandri worked hard, as did his team mate (42 laps for Marco and 51 for Alvaro), putting higher times on the sheets (2:04,000) where were both the result of the rider from Ravenna becoming more at ease in the MotoGP class after years of SBK, and the many solutions tested, obviously without focusing on individual lap performance.

ALVARO BAUTISTA

"We are continuing to grow little by little and I think we can be satisfied with our progress. The positive thing is that we have already improved our times since Sepang1. So we are working well and we need to keep it up. For the first day today we focused on the electronics, trying to solve a few issues that had come up during the previous tests. We also tested a frame with a different stiffness to specifically try and improve performance going into turns. Unfortunately this afternoon the rain kept us from testing other setups."

MARCO MELANDRI

"Testing a different frame today I had some promising feelings. We are obviously still far from our goals, but I felt less awkward in the saddle and that gives us something we can work with. For me in these test sessions my feeling with this bike is the most fundamental aspect, without placing too much importance on lap times. We need time and we need to keep testing to choose which direction to go. Today we laid the first brick. Now we just have to keep working patiently."


Hernandez back on the track at Sepang. Rain stops Petrucci's ambitions

Yonny Hernandez is back on track at Sepang. This is the most important news coming from Malaysia for Pramac Racing after the first testing day which was stopped prematurely by the rain.

The colombian rider was forced to miss Sepang 1 due to a shoulder injury and his recovery seems to be in line with the schedule of the team. The physical condition is not 100% yet but this has not prevented Yonny to find a good rhythm (29 laps in total) in the light of a feeling with the Desmosedici GP 14.2 which has to be built after the two-month winter break and the injury in mid-January.

If the other riders had the possibility to continue the work begun in the first three days in Sepang, Hernandez rode for the first time his Gp 14.2 after the short time available in Valencia. The best time of 2'02''606 (19th position) is therefore not indicative.

Danilo Petrucci has worked hard during the morning, continuing the developement of his feeling with the Desmosedici GP 14.1 that had given good directions in Sepang test 1. The italian rider managed to complete 35 laps setting early (7° lap) with hard tyres his better time of 2'02'225. A few seconds before getting back on the track in the afternoon to keep on the set up and try to lower the time he was stopped by the violent rain that forced him to remain inside the pit box.

Yonny Hernandez – Pramac Racing Team #68 – 2'02''606 (19°)

"I't not easy for me. I feel pain. But this is normal. I have to think at the future and try to manage the training. I have to find a better feeling with the grip and the bike again. I need to complete a lot of laps and work hard. Today it has been a short training due to the rain but it was good for me. The week is still long here in Sepang"

Danilo Petrucci – Pramac Racing Team #9 – 2'02''225 (16th)

"I managed to run fast in the first few laps then i started to struggle a lot in the heat as i was not able to find grip with the front end especially under braking. We tried to find some new solutions on the set up and before the break, with the maximum temperature, I lapped close to my best time. The feeling was good, with my chief Daniele Romagnoli we had found a good setting and I was very confident. That's why i'm very disappointed: due to the rain i was not be able to get back on the track. Tomorrow we will try to be a little more aggressive with the program because i'm not happy with the time i set. To be honest i'm not so far from the guys above me but the 16° place in the timesheet does not satisfy me.


CRUTCHLOW MAKES SOLID START TO SECOND SEPANG TEST

Afternoon rain-showers hampered proceedings for the CWM LCR Honda Team on the first day of testing back at the Sepang International Circuit. The conditions at the track had been some of the hottest of the year so far as the team returned to Malaysia for the second test of 2015, but just after 4pm the dark clouds began to gather and huge claps of thunder signalled the start of some heavy downpours.

Before the rain fell, Cal Crutchlow had made more progress on board his factory spec Honda RC213V, working with his crew to improve the feeling of his bike when tipping it into the corners. Making the most of the cooler conditions in the morning, the Briton lapped the 3.444 mile track in a best time of 2'01.222, placing him seventh fastest by the end of the day.

Like everyone else in the MotoGP field however, the Isle of Man-based rider saw any further steps forward halted by the tropical storm, although he did make a few laps in the rain to get a first feeling with his new machine in the damp conditions.

Testing for CWM LCR Honda continues at the track for the next three days.

Cal Crutchlow #35, 7th (2'01.222, 13th of 43 laps)

"Today was the first day back on the bike since the last test, and I felt good straight away on it, much more comfortable. Everyone was a little way off what they were at the previous test but our speed was good and I felt happy with it. We worked hard on the settings again, and we know we need to improve things on corner entry, it's an area we are struggling in but overall I feel comfortable and confident and I'm looking forward to working hard for the next couple of days."


WET WEATHER PREVENTS MILLER FROM PROGRESSING IN SEPANG

Afternoon rain-showers hampered proceedings for the CWM LCR Honda Team on the first day of testing back at the Sepang International Circuit. The conditions at the track had been some of the hottest of the year so far as the team returned to Malaysia for the second test of 2015, but just after 4pm the dark clouds began to gather and huge claps of thunder signalled the start of some heavy downpours.

In his third test at the track since he joined the CWM LCR Honda team, Jack Miller had spent the day making steady progress on board his Open spec Honda RC213V-RS. Unfortunately, just as the Aussie returned to the track for the afternoon, once the hottest part of the day had subsided, he was caught out by the arrival of the rain.

Whilst many of the other riders stayed dry in their garages however, Miller took the opportunity to ride his new bike in the wet for the first time, and was happy with the experience.

The Queenslander and his CWM LCR Honda team will be hoping to improve on today's best lap of 2'03.006 when they return to the track tomorrow for the second of four days work.

Jack Miller #43, 22nd (2'03.006, 23rd of 35 laps)

"Today I was not so happy because we didn't get in as many dry laps as we would have liked. We decided to make some big changes on the bike, and I was happy with them, but I only got chance to go out once on track before the rain fell. It was good to get a bit of a test in the rain though, but I really hope for some good weather tomorrow and that the track can be a bit cleaner too."


2015

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