2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Post-Test Press Releases

Press releases at the end of the second test at Sepang:


Repsol Honda conclude test with Marquez top and Pedrosa 7th

The second official test in Malaysia has concluded with World Champion Marc Marquez fastest after three days, and teammate Dani Pedrosa in 7th.

The riders wasted no time in taking to the Sepang track this morning at 10am and the customary time attack ensued whilst track conditions and ambient temperatures are more bearable. With several riders posting times under 2’00, Marc laid down the fastest lap with his time of 1’59.115 on lap 13 of 73 (the most laps by any rider today) and this time remained unbeaten for the remainder of this final day. He evaluated two chassis options and worked on engine mapping before completing a very positive race simulation this afternoon with only three laps above 2’00.

Teammate Dani Pedrosa spent this final day concentrating on electronics settings and completed 51 laps. He was one of only two riders (himself and Hernandez) to improve their time from this morning in the late afternoon. His fastest time of 1’59.912 on lap 49 placed him 7th overall.

It’s been a very productive test for the Repsol Honda riders, who have collected important data for the HRC engineers to take back to Japan. Tomorrow the Factory riders will remain in Sepang for their first outing on Michelin tyres in preparation for the 2016 season, before returning to Europe for some recovery time ahead of the final test in Qatar, scheduled from the 14-16 March.

Marc Marquez

1st 1'59.115 (73 laps)

"I'm happy because this morning we set a good lap, which is something important, but mostly I am pleased that we have completed all the work we had left pending from the first day. We're finished today with our homework done and I even had time to do a race simulation this afternoon, with a track temperature of 49°C. We have accomplished all the objectives we had set for this test, and now at the Qatar test our work will be more focused on the Grand Prix and fine tuning the setup of the bike. I do not think there are many more new things to try."

Dani Pedrosa

7th 1'59.912 (51 laps)

"Overall this second test went well. Today we were trying many different combinations for the electronics setup and we have managed to take a few positive steps forward. Obviously we still need to improve some things, but the good thing is that we are clearer about the setup we have to use and the areas in which we need to make further progress at the next test. It's been a pretty intense few days and now we have to try to adapt our findings in the best way we can, in order to continue progressing at the next test and the races."


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Completes Second Sepang Test

Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), 25th February 2015

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team has wrapped up the second official test of the 2015 season today at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have spent the three days of riding working through a number of testing elements, an update to the gearbox and some intensive work on their YZR-M1 set ups.

Today’s last day of testing was the toughest for the riders as they focused on a time attack in the morning before starting a full race distance simulation in the afternoon in the hotter temperatures.

Lorenzo scored his fastest lap of the day in the morning with a 1’59.437 to slot into second on the timing sheets, 0.322s from first, a position he held until the end of the day. The time is his fastest of both this and the previous Sepang test. Finally the heat proved too extreme for him to be comfortable and it was decided to wrap up for the day having not completed the race simulation.

Rossi’s fastest time from the cooler morning session was a 1’59.833, putting him in fifth place, 0.718s from the top, where he stayed to the end of the day’s riding. Like his teammate Lorenzo, Rossi also suffered in the afternoon session and was unable to find a set up that worked well enough to complete the race simulation.

The team will now return to Europe whilst the engineers return to Japan to process the data and take another step forward in the direction of the 2015 YZR-M1. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will regroup in Qatar for the final pre-season test and opening race of the season at the end of March.

Jorge Lorenzo

2nd / 1'59.437 / 73 laps

“Well today I got the best lap time in Sepang ever for me, two tenths faster than the first test. The track was in worse condition than before so the bike has improved quite a bit. Also we made a lot of laps in the 2’00 time. At 3:30pm we tried a race simulation in the highest temperature I’ve ever ridden here in Sepang; it was really difficult to keep a good lap time and pace, the bike felt not so good with so much temperature. I decided to stop as I wasn't feeling confident in braking. Everyone did a simulation at this time of day so I think they all had problems also. In general I think it's been a very positive test and our engineers have collected enough information and data to make further improvements for the next test in Qatar and especially for the first race of the season, at the end of March. I look forward to getting on board my M1 in two weeks while in the meantime I will keep on working and training hard, as usual, for the best possible start of the season.”

Valentino Rossi

5th / 1'59.833 / 59 laps

“At the end it has been a positive test. I’m not very happy about my position and my lap time as I wasn't able to make a good lap, I always had traffic and didn't have the right moment to push. I think I could have been faster and in the top three. We continued to work with the gearbox and settings and we worked with the used tyres, where we still have to improve with the new bike. Now it will be very interesting to understand our level in another track as the balance between manufacturers can change there. I’m very curious about Qatar and how competitive we are for the first race.”

Kouji Tsuya

2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 Project Leader

“We have finished this second test at Sepang in a successfully way. Here in Malaysia we have tested especially an updated gearbox both with Valentino and Jorge and we’ve got good results and very good feedback from both riders, similar that we expected. We have worked well during these three days of testing and we have successfully completed our test plan without any issues. Obviously there are things yet to improve but I think it was a great beginning. I would like to thank both riders for the great efforts they put on track testing new components. We could get good feedback and data, enabling us to make further improvements in the near future so now we just have to keep on working very hard by full power and be ready at the next test in Qatar. We want to win the opening race also at Losail, to cheers from all Yamaha fans all over the world!”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“During the morning everything went well and lap times were good. When we started the race simulation in the afternoon the circuit conditions were much hotter and the bike behaved completely differently. As a result we were unable to find a pace we were happy with. The engineers will now take the data away from these three days and work to find a solution for the hotter temperatures for our next time on track. Overall we are satisfied with the majority of our testing, the riders have worked extremely hard as have all the team members. We are confident we will be fighting fit and ready in Qatar.”


Satisfaction all round after first tests with the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 at Sepang

After three days of intense work for the Ducati Team and its riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, the first tests for the Ducati Desmosedici GP15, the Italian manufacturer’s new challenger for the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, have concluded with a good degree of satisfaction. Presented on Monday 16 February at the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale, the GP15 turned a wheel in anger for the first time on Monday morning and immediately proved to be a fast, nimble and above all reliable machine, allowing the two riders to improve their feeling, notch up the miles, lap consistently and work methodically to follow the scheduled work load throughout the three days.

At the end of the tests, the quickest of the two Ducati riders was Andrea Iannone, one of seven men who managed to get under the two minute mark, a time that the rider from Vasto set during the morning. After fitting a soft tyre for the first time, Iannone lapped in 1’59.722 in this morning’s time-attack, which he then almost repeated in the afternoon when he lapped in a time of 1’59.921 on a hard tyre. Andrea, who looked particularly impressive during the three days of testing in Malaysia, has already established an excellent feeling with his team of mechanics and technicians and, together with his new GP15, he really made a mark in these tests.

Right behind the leaders was Andrea Dovizioso, who lapped this morning in a time of 2’00.468 on his only exit with the soft tyre. The man from Forlì was however unable to improve on the time he set yesterday (2’00.250) on a hard tyre, and finished today’s session in tenth place, but ninth overall in the combined standings over the three days. Dovizioso said he was really satisfied with the outcome of the tests with the new GP15, but also admitted that something was still missing in the braking area and the feeling with the front in order to be completely satisfied.

An important contribution to the success of the tests was made by Michele Pirro, present in Malaysia with the Desmosedici GP14.3 of the Ducati Test Team. In the morning the rider from southern Italy carried out the important job of testing electronics evolutions, while in the afternoon he focused on the chassis and provided interesting results for the work that the team will now have to do to help improve the GP15’s set-up.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’59.722 (4th), 147 laps

“For sure these were three positive days, because we arrived in Malaysia with a totally new bike, without ever having tried it before, and we succeeded in lapping pretty quickly and without any reliability problems. The GP15 took to the track for the first time on Monday, and so I’m happy with the way it’s improved in such a short period of time. Today we focused on testing various types of setting on the bike, trying to improve the feeling but above all the grip and corner turn-in. There’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m happy with this first contact with the new bike.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2’00.250 (9th), 123 laps

“I can but only be happy with these tests. We brought a completely new bike here and we were fast and competitive right from the start. I am particularly satisfied because we improved the key point from the previous bikes, and now the bike ‘turns’ in the corners. Back home the guys in Ducati Corse have done a great job and we didn’t have any particular reliability issues in these three days. Now we have to get to know the GP15 better, because we still have a few limits. The new bike is very different from the previous one, and so we have to try some extreme set-ups to understand it better, for example in the last part of braking and in the middle of the corner. But this is all normal, when you change a bike so much there are always good and bad points. I’m convinced that we have a lot of room for improvement, but we need time and in the next few days our engineers will have a lot of data to analyze before we go to Qatar for the tests in mid-March”.

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 2’00.875 (18th), 124 laps

“Today we continued the work we had scheduled for these three days. I am also happy because I managed to set a good time, the best I’ve ever done here in Malaysia, improving by about half a second the one I set at the start of February. My position in the standings is maybe not one of the best, but we are all pretty close together and I am pleased because I know I can be quick, but above all because we brought back some useful information for the development of the GP15.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

“I am also pretty satisfied with the way things have gone and it seems that everything is going well: we lapped for three days without any major reliability issues and this is surely important for a completely new bike. The GP15 “turns” better than the previous model and this was the main aim that we had set for ourselves. We did however find some critical points, especially in braking and we also have a few more issues that will have to be resolved. However, I am pleased with the feeling that Iannone has already reached, both from the comments he made and the pace he showed on this track, while Dovizioso on the other hand had a few more problems in the final part of braking, which obviously we have to tackle and resolve. Overall however I am happy, because we have begun our work on the GP15 in a positive way.”


POSITIVE THREE-DAY TEST FOR SUZUKI AT SEPANG

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 25.

SUZUKI MotoGP concluded the third and final day of official testing at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today satisfied with progress and developments made to the GSX-RR.

Team riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales tested a variety of parts and set-up options that provided the team with important data to take forward to the next test at Losail in Qatar next month.

Today’s session, held in air temperatures of 32° and 60° track, saw Espargaro complete 50 laps with a best time of 2:00.275, giving him ninth position on the day. Viñales completed 43 laps with a fastest-lap of 2:00.604 for 14th on the timesheets.

Satoru Terada - Team Director/ Project Leader:

“We arrived at this test in Sepang only a short time after Sepang 1, so we haven’t had the chance to make very big improvements, but our engineers worked very hard and we managed to introduce several new specifications. Even if small, we did make positive steps forward, both in the engine and especially in electronics. We’ve also worked on the chassis and found good compromises on the set-up, so I’m very happy with how these days went.

“The riders had two small crashes but without major injuries and no particular damage to the bikes, so we had time to collect information. We will now go to Qatar with more improvements to be tested step-by-step.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“We are satisfied with today’s results, we ran a lot in hot conditions because yesterday we had some issues with those conditions with more than 50 laps. Today we ran a lot with 60° closing laps in 2.01. I’m very, very happy with the improvements on the pace. I’m missing the fast lap because with the two soft tyres I made a couple of mistakes.

“The bike is very improved, we worked a lot on electronic set-up and to find a better configuration of the traction control, which gave good results and let us cut one second off our time. We also worked on traction out of corners and it was important to verify the bike’s behaviour in hot conditions because they are similar to race conditions. We still have a lot of work to do but I’m confident and aware that I’m in a Factory team with a lot of people working hard to do the best job.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I leave Sepang with a very good feeling and satisfaction and we did a very good job without any major issues. I managed to improve my times a lot, both in the fast laps and the overall pace. I’m learning more and more about the bike, we made some changes in terms of set-up and electronics and I’m learning how to exploit them.

“Today I tried to get a good single lap time, but didn’t want to push too hard like I did yesterday when I crashed, so we focused more on consistency and we worked on the pace; we also got very important feedback from the bike which we can work on. I’m still a rookie, so I still need to understand so many things about the bike, but I’m performing well and my performance is improving day by day.”


THREE DAYS OF TESTS AT SEPANG, NEW MATERIALS AND NEW SETUPS TO CONTINUE IMPROVING THE APRILIA MOTOGP BIKE

Sepang (Malaysia), 25 February 2015 - Three intense days for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini on the Sepang track. At the second testing session on the Malaysian circuit the team turned up with a lot of material and new solutions to try out on the track in view of the upcoming MotoGP season. They worked almost entirely on intermediate steps between the first version of the RS-GP, tested in the autumn sessions at Valencia and Jerez, and the more advanced version that was placed on the track in the first Sepang tests in early February.

The stated goal was to choose the definitive materials and solutions for the bikes which will début at the Qatar GP on 29 March.

For the engine the refinement process of the V4 with pneumatic valve timing continued. This is a unit which made a brief appearance at the Valencia tests and then gradually became more reliable and complete in terms of electronic management. There is still much work to be done, but the information gathered at Sepang will be fundamental for the choices the mechanics and riders will make.

Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri put in a total of 257 laps (135 for Alvaro and 122 for Marco). During the three days Marco also tested a bike which was quite close to the SBK that he rode last season with the goal of finding the right feeling on the new tyres.

But on this third and final day, Marco Melandri also focused exclusively on the intermediate version of the RS-GP, while Alvaro even took on some long runs, seeking to improve his feeling with the Aprilia even more. This did not keep him from continuing to change the bike and from putting a good time on the sheets (2’01.310) as demonstration of the quality and the quantity of the work done.

Now the engineers at Noale will have time to examine the information gathered and take the final decisions.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)

“I'm quite pleased with the tests because we confirmed how well balanced our bike is, also highlighting the exact direction we need to take in development, both in terms of chassis and electronics. We didn't have any particular problems with reliability and that is comforting. Another positive note is that our race pace during simulations is encouraging, even more than our flying lap times. This morning a small problem kept Alvaro from further improving his best lap. He could have shaved a little more off but overall the result of these tests is definitely encouraging. We were able to complete all of the scheduled tests and in the coming days we'll have a look at things and decide which direction to take for Qatar.”

FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)

“These were three intense days where we were able to complete a lot of tests in various areas of the bike, from the setup to the frame and even the electronics and engine. All in all even our riders' time sheets improved compared to the previous Sepang 1 tests and that's a sign that little by little we are moving forward and improving. We also gathered some more precious information that will allow us to keep working on development at home whilst waiting to get back on the track for the last test in Qatar before the opening round. Alvaro's time is satisfactory and so is Marco's, although still far off the mark. At the end of this final day he started to get a more positive feeling. We are working to give him what he needs and to put him at ease.”

ALVARO BAUTISTA

“This last day was a positive one. After testing various solutions over the last few days today we focused on the base setting that I liked the best. This morning we improved our best lap straight away, taking another important step forward. Another fundamental test was the new 340 millimetre brake discs, a modifications that I got used to right away but that also required some further settings on the bike. This afternoon, at the hottest time of the day, we took our long run and I must say that I immediately felt good riding with a full tank. I'm starting to have fun and that is essential. I had to stop because of a small problem with a wheel and then we got back on the track and even with a used tyre we had a good pace. After the long run we also compared some new material that we didn't have before, specifically looking for better traction. These are all positive tests looking toward the Qatar test sessions, because a lot of ideas came out in terms of development. At the end of the day I'm satisfied. I want to thank all the guys at Aprilia because they did a great job these last three days. We all want to improve more in the next tests!”

MARCO MELANDRI

“In these three days we did a lot of hard work in terms of comparison tests to find that feeling that I have been missing up to now. We took laps to analyse various solutions, even with a bike similar to the one that I rode last year, precisely to gather as much information as possible. We were able to find some good things, but it wasn't enough to let me ride as I'd like to and our times show just how much work is still left to do. Now we'll analyse the results of these tests and decide the best way focus our future efforts.”


Satisfactory Sepang test for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Sepang, Malaysia – 25 February 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS depart the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia after three days of testing satisfied with the progress made, as Scott Redding improved his lap time once again in the final session to end the test 16th on the timesheet.

Having finished less than a second off the fastest time yesterday, Redding was disappointed that a fast lap from Marc Marquez late in the final session today increased the gap again, but the 22-year-old Briton leaves Malaysia happy that his confidence aboard the Honda RC213V he’ll race this season is much improved.

Redding and his crew will now analyse all the data collected during the three-day test in Sepang to formulate a comprehensive plan for their next test, which takes place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, starting on Saturday 14 March.

Unlike Sepang, Redding counts Qatar as one of his favourite circuits and the Team Estrella 0,0 Marc VDS rider is confident that he can further close the gap to the front runners during the third and final MotoGP preseason test of 2015.

Scott Redding: 16th – 2’00.695

“I’m not really satisfied that the gap to the front increased today; yesterday we were under a second away, but today we’re 1.5s off. On a more positive note, I’ve learnt a lot about the bike and my riding style, especially under braking and on corner entry, and my lap times have been consistently in the two-minute bracket. I was lacking traction out of the slower turns; I felt good in the fast corners, but exiting the last corner for example I was struggling to find grip and lost a bit of time. My target for this test was a lap time of 2’00.4 so we missed that by a few tenths, but I’m happy enough with what we’ve achieved over the three days here”

Michael Bartholemy; Team Principal

“Although our position on the timesheet doesn’t reflect it, this has been an extremely positive three-day test for both Scott and the team. Scott has made a big step forward here; he feels more comfortable on the bike and he now has a far better understanding about how to get the best from it. Together with the team he has focussed on improving both the set up and his feeling with the bike and we can see from the data that we have made significant steps forward in a number of areas. Now we will head to the next test in Qatar, a track that Scott likes, where we need to put everything together and focus a little more on lap times. I’m confident, given what we’ve learnt here in Sepang, that we can do this.”


Smith concludes Sepang 2 in top form

Bradley Smith completed the final day of testing at the Sepang International circuit with a confident and notable run to 6th in the combined standings, as he made his MotoGP rivals clear of his intentions for the 2015 season. The British rider had been meticulously testing the 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1 across the three days in Malaysia as he made the necessary changes to the setup in preparation for the all important season opener in Qatar at the end of March. After making the setup adjustments, Smith launched into a hot run today and clocked a best time of 1’59.883 on his 9th lap, expertly dipping below the exclusive 2-minute bracket. This time was a cut of almost a second and a half from his opening performance on Monday and even more impressively, he was only two tenths back from third position in what was a superb and high flying close to the test, after completing 41 laps on the final day.

Meanwhile Pol Espargaro rounded off the Sepang 2 test by finishing in 11th position in the standings after a determined effort on the final day, despite a crash in the morning which disrupted his plans. However, the young Spaniard posted a best time of 2’00.490 on his 13th lap, as he undertook a total of 37 in the searing heat of Malaysia. This result was an improvement of four tenths of second from day one and the young Spaniard powered onwards to post 126 laps across the three days. The 2013 Moto2 world champion now looks optimistically towards the next test in Qatar on the 14th-16th of March for the final test outing before the 18 race MotoGP season gets into full swing.

Bradley Smith

Position : 6th Time : 1'59.883 Laps : 41

"It was a good final day for me, especially to finish in the top 6. The team and I had more or less completed all of our test plans yesterday, but there were a few small things we needed to try today with the electronics and the clutch. So we tested three different ideas, with two of them being definitely an improvement. It’s these little changes that can make a different in the race. I am pleased to say that I did a 1’59 lap time, which was my objective for this test and it’s positive that I could achieve this. The bike now has a very good base setup, so next we will go to Qatar which is a completely different track and see if we can use the base setup we made here, at Losail. All in all, it was a good test. We’re close to being the top satellite bike but Cal is a bit faster, however our pace has been competitive and I am happy with the job the team and I have done here."

Pol Espargaro

Position : 11th Time : 2'00.490 Laps : 37

"Today was a bit of a tricky day for me. The feeling I had when I first went out on track was good and I was sure of having a positive day. I had just put on a new tyre to go for a fast lap time, but I was disrupted by a slow rider on track. I had to pass him with a quite risky move and unfortunately I ended up crashing. This was at the worst possible time because it was when the track was perfect in terms of temperature. Because bike 1 needed repairing, I went out on the second bike, but any chance of improving didn’t come easily for me and I had to stop shortly after because the track was so hot that the conditions were difficult to ride on. Once things had cooled down, we had some technical issues that slowed us again and after everything, there was only half an hour right at the end of the day where I could ride again. Having said that, after falling in the morning, I did not want to push too hard and end up worse, so we limited ourselves to ensuring that everything was working properly again without pushing. It’s a big shame that we weren’t able to finish our test schedule as we had planned. Anyway, next up is Qatar and we are equipped with lots of information and ideas for improvements after 5 days in Sepang, plus I am eager to roll on to another circuit, although there is still one more day of testing here, where we will test the 2016 Michelin tyres."


Hector Barbera leaves Sepang in command of the Open class

Avintia Racing MotoGP – Winter Test 2015 – Sepang 2

EAvintia Racing team has successfully completed the last three days of testing in Malaysia. Hector Barbera got the benefits of all the information from the first test in Sepang and felt much more comfortable riding his Ducati Desmosedici GP14 Open. During the morning time attack he was able to do some fast laps that gave him the eight fastest time on the combined time sheets for the three days of testing, but the Spanish riders worked very hard with his team to improve his race pace. With a track temperature of 58 degrees he made a race simulation in two parts with excellent results.

Mike Di Meglio was not in his best physical condition today, as he was suffering a stomach ache after taking some medicines in the last few days for the flu, but this has not prevented the brave French rider to improve his lap times and his feeling on the bike.

Avintia Racing team will return to action next month in Qatar for the last three days of the winter tests before starting the season under the floodlights of Losail International Circuit.

HÉCTOR BARBERÁ #8 8th 2'00.244 / @HectorBarbera

We have made a great job and overall we are very happy, but even more because if we compare with the last test, we have improved a lot our race pace. We new that we had some margin to make a fast lap, and made one lap is always more easy than making a race simulation with good consistency, even more in a track like this with extreme conditions. I start to feel this is my bike and also the team has high motivation, good harmony and everybody is doing a great job. If we have to mark the performance of the team at Sepang 1 then we gave ourselves a five. But at this test we have improved a lot, so we can give ourselves an eight. The target is to be the first Open and we did it, but been ahead of some Factory bikes is always a good motivation.

MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 20th 2’01.487 / @Mikejpp63

This morning we have focussed on making a fast lap and we have improved a lot compared to the last test. In the afternoon the temperature of the track made thing more difficult, but I’m happy because we have found a good base set up; we have to make further improvements, but now I feel more comfortable on the bike and I can push harder. Today I didn’t feel great, but I tried to give my best to give the team the best possible information. I’m close to Hector, not as much as I would like, but closer. You can see he has a lot of experience in MotoGP and working with him is helping me to improve. We have to improve, but everyday I feel more ready to start the season in Qatar.


MotoGP season started in furious pace, Abraham is one second faster than he was in fall

Second round of three-day testing in Sepang showed that this year's MotoGP would be extremely competitive. Karel Abraham's maximum of winter tests 2015 would be enough for the best tenth during the qualifying for MotoGP race in fall. Nevertheless the Czech rider is standing now with time 2:01,539 at the end of the second tenth.

Karel´s ambition is to get closer to sixteen bikes with factory option and top “open” riders at final pre-season test in Qatar.

Karel Abraham

"Despite the fact that air temperature was about 40 degrees, track about 60 or it was raining, we can be satisfied. Honestly, I’m looking forward to next session in Qatar, where we will be able to test in mild and stable weather. Anyway, we made a lot of work here and we found good basic setting to work on. New engine from Honda is great and we noticed a significant improvement. At this moment only the electronics seems to be a limiting factor of the bike. However, we have to deal with it. Now it is clear that this year the competition in MotoGP will be the strongest I remember. Gaps between riders are minimized, and we cut lap times a lot compared to last Sepang race."

Marco Grana, Cardion AB chief mechanic

“We have to measure our result from two points of view. We can be very satisfied with time we achieved. Even we had only started to set new bike, we were able to cut one second from our qualifying time from last year´s Sepang race. Collaboration with mechanics from Showa and Nissin is excellent and I believe that we found good basic setup for the season. On the other hand we must look on the lap time within contemporary results. Our lap time would be enough in autumn, but now we are 21st. We are not satisfied with this but we must to take whole picture. The fact is, that Karel is actually second fastest rider on Honda in open class and he is losing to Nicky Hayden only seven tenths. And we know we can be faster. Karel hasn't made a perfect lap yet, even in the fastest one he made some mistakes. We are learning to work with the new material – Showa suspension and Nissin brakes. So we can be optimists. I believe that it is realistic to get on better position in Qatar."


MILLER SATISFIED AFTER MORE SEPANG IMPROVEMENTS

Three days of official MotoGP tests came to close at the Sepang International Circuit today, as the CWM LCR Honda Team completed their penultimate pre-season session before the 18-round world championship begins in late March.

The day began in typical fashion at the scorching 3.444 mile circuit, with all riders heading quickly out onto the track at 10am to take advantage of the coolest part of the day. It was at this time that Jack Miller set his best lap of the week, putting in an impressive 2’01.593 before focusing on race set-up once more.

The Australian was taking part in his third test at the South-East Asian circuit during the winter, and admitted that he felt ready to move on to another challenge, which he will get when the final test session takes place in Qatar just over a week before the start of the campaign.

Miller stays at the track tomorrow for one final day of testing, but on the Michelin tyres that will become the championship’s supplier from the 2016 season. For contractual reasons, no rider quotes will be available from this test.

Jack Miller #43, 22nd (2’01.593, lap 9 of 40)

“I’m really happy with how the test has gone and I have worked hard on the bike but also on myself in order to get more comfortable as the laps go on. We’re not too far off. I’m the second of the rookie riders out there so that makes me happy because there are some other more experienced guys that have been used to bigger bikes behind me, so it’s good to be where we are."

“Of course, we’re still not quite as fast as we would like to be, but everybody’s putting out some really quick times – my team-mate Cal did a scorcher this morning – so it’s not easy at the moment, but it’s good to feel like we’re making progress."

“For now I’m reasonably pleased overall, but I will admit that I’m looking forward to the next test in Qatar, which is a track that’s a different style and a bit more flowing. It will be good to get there and try out another circuit on this bike.”


CRUTCHLOW SCORCHES TO THIRD FASTEST TIME IN TESTING

Three days of official MotoGP tests came to close at the Sepang International Circuit today, as the CWM LCR Honda Team completed their penultimate pre-season session before the 18-round world championship begins in late March.

The day began in typical fashion at the scorching 3.444 mile circuit, with all riders heading quickly out onto the track at 10am to take advantage of the coolest part of the day. Cal Crutchlow was one of those firing in fast lap times from the off, topping the timesheets early on, and eventually setting a stunning personal best of 1’59.658, making him the third fastest rider of this week’s test.

Satisfied with the work done on the softer rubber, the British rider then set about working on the bike’s set-up in race trim, aiming to put in a long stint on the harder option tyres. However a slight issue with the braking system meant that he was forced to abandon his full-race plan for safety reasons, but he was nonetheless happy with the consistent progress made this week.

Crutchlow stays at the track tomorrow for one final day of testing, but on the Michelin tyres that will become the championship’s supplier from the 2016 season. For contractual reasons, no rider quotes will be available from this test.

Cal Crutchlow #35, 3rd (1’59.658, lap 6 of 58)

“For a track that I dislike, that’s my fastest ever lap around here by nearly eight-tenths of a second. I felt good and comfortable on the bike, and it’s not a bad lap considering the conditions of the circuit today.

“I’m happy enough with how things are, but I still need to improve my riding style. The corner speed isn’t too bad, but although straight line braking is good, the other riders can take more risks than me in the moments just after. That’s a confidence thing though, and as the exit from the corners isn’t too bad I still think there is more to come.

“In my earlier race simulation we didn’t have any braking power with the bike - exactly the same problem as Marc Marquez had earlier this week. As I have said we have been struggling with corner entry as it was, but I was still really riding well in my long run, it felt quite good but I was losing a second maybe on some laps just from being unable to stop with the brakes.”


Bradl and Baz ended the three-day test at Sepang

After the second pre-season test at Sepang, Stefan Bradl ended up in the Top15 while Loris Baz was 24th in the standings for the Forward Racing team.

Bradl struggled at the start of the session due to lack of rear grip, nevertheless he posted an encouraging 2.00.685 despite a fall in the morning. This performance earned him the 15th position overall. It was not easy to find a good feeling for the German, but considering the strong pace showed on the long run the impression is still positive for the next event in Qatar.

Overall it was a more difficult three-days test for his teammate Loris Baz who suffered the change of the track conditions from the first event at Sepang. The Frenchman posted a best lap of 2.02.426 closing the test in 24th position.

Stefan Bradl

"I can't say I'm happy with this test at all. I struggled with the track conditions that changed a lot from the beginning of February and I did not completely managed to find the right grip. I was expecting something better on my flying lap, but I'm confident because in the long run our pace is good and the feeling also is. Despite the fall this morning, I managed to improve my lap-time and this is positive for us. We are working in the right direction and I am sure we will do better in Qatar in two weeks "

Loris Baz

"After the first test in Sepang the feeling was really positive. Unfortunately after the break the weather condition did change a lot and this made the test more difficult. Despite this I did a lot of work with the team, we tried new solutions and collected much information in order to find a good setting. I can´t wait to get back on track in Qatar."


Second testing session at Sepang Circuit ended with positive indications for Pramac Racing

The third day of the second winter test at Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, ended up with further progress made by Yonny Hernandez and Danilo Petrucci. Both Pramac Racing Team riders managed to improve their quickest times set in the first two days, finishing respectively in 12th and 13th place, less than one and two-tenths away from the Top 10.

After a few laps dedicated to getting confident with the bike, Danilo Petrucci went back on track for his time attack. The Italian lowered his fastest lap recorded yesterday by two-tenths, ending up with a time of 2'00.556 which earned him 12th position, 88 milliseconds away from 10th place. In the afternoon, the rider from Terni worked on the bike set-up increasing his feeling - that has improved a lot in the two tests in Malaysia - and finishing the session with 57 laps completed.

Yonny Hernandez also ended his third day of testing with a smile on his face. In the morning the Colombian rider found a good pace, gritting his teeth due to shoulder pain that forced him to undergo continuous therapy during the day. The fastest time set in the late afternoon on the 45th of 46 laps completed, showed that his physical condition has improved over the three days at Sepang Circuit. Yonny finished his first test session of 2015 on the Desmosedici GP14.2 with a laptime of 2'00.603 (13th place at 135 milliseconds from the Top 10) that allowed him to look forward with confidence to the next round of tests in Qatar scheduled for 13-16 March.

Danilo Petrucci - Pramac Racing Team #9 - 2'00''556 (12°)

"I am very happy with the work done today and in this second session of tests. I thank the team because we continue to improve, making almost all the right choices. At the end of the day with hard tyres I almost lowered the laptime set with the soft one. And I can say I regret not having had the soft tyre in the afternoon. But this is just a small detail: I'm glad becouse I found a good feeling with the bike lapping constantly around 2'00.8 with the hard tyres. Lap after lap I began to understand, even looking at the data of the two Ducati riders from which I'm learning a lot. My goal for Qatar is to find a costant pace because the time for testing is almost over. I thank again my team and also the Ducati technicians: they are helping me a lot”.

Yonny Hernandez - Pramac Racing Team #68 - 2'00''603 (13°)

"I am very happy because I was able to improve day by day even if the shoulder pain is still strong especially when I try to push to set the fast time. I need to work and do a lot of therapy on the shoulder to get to 100% in Qatar. But I'm pleased with the improvements here in Sepang. The fastest lap in the afternoon? Yes, I managed to do well but I'm still missing strength in my arm pushing hard to ride the bike the it must be ridden. I still ended the test without any incident and that's a good indication. This was the first real opportunity to ride the GP14.2 and my impressions are very good. With the soft tyre the bike proves to be much faster than last year's bike and with the hard tyres I really feel more confident”.


Nicky Hayden clocks best lap of Sepang since joining DRIVE M7 Aspar Team

American rider finds eight tenths on third and final day at Sepang to end Malaysian test on a high

The second test of the MotoGP preseason concluded today at Sepang, ending six days of hard work in Malaysia during the month of February. The premier class riders will now take a break until the middle of March, when they will be back on track in Qatar for the final preseason test. Once again the hot conditions made life difficult with up to 60°C on track but that didn't prevent the riders from improving their lap times. For the second successive day and for the second successive test Marc Marquez was once again the fastest rider in MotoGP although he didn't manage to break the 1'59 barrier like he did at the previous test. Marquez left his closest rival Jorge Lorenzo behind by some three tenths of a second although the rest of the times were particularly close considering the length of this circuit, suggesting that the upcoming season could be a tight and entertaining affair.

After two days working on the set-up of their machines today was an opportunity for the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team riders to complete race simulations. In total Nicky Hayden completed 49 laps today, clocking his best lap of the Malaysian circuit since signing for the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team. On his fifteenth lap the American shaved eight tenths off his time from yesterday, breaking the 2'01 barrier. Even though he knows there is much work still to be done, Nicky heads home from Sepang in optimistic and excited mood. Eugene Laverty continued his progression over the three days of the test, improving his lap time again today to clock a 2'01.815. A late change to his front suspension improved the Irish rider's feeling with the bike significantly and he is also now looking forward to the next test in Qatar.

Nicky Hayden 2.00.813 (49 laps): “To be honest we took a big step forward today. Our position is not spectacular but I have dropped my lap time considerably. We managed to get into the two minutes' and I tried to go a little bit faster but we just fell short. We have to be realistic - we are competing at a very high level and you have to work hard for every fraction of a second. But we are on the right track, we have improved a lot compared to the first test and this is positive. Also today we were able to do a long run, which helped us to improve. I made a small mistake but in general my pace has been consistent. I am happy with the team because they are working very hard and we have improved in a lot of areas, although we still have a lot of work to do, especially in terms of the electronics. We leave Sepang satisfied although we can't afford to relax. We have to keep trying to evolve in several areas, principally with the engine braking."

Eugene Laverty 2.01.815 (61 laps): “We didn't manage to improve the lap time as much today as we had hoped but we have made progress with the setup of the bike. Today we completed a long run on used tyres which was very useful to measure our performance. We also learned quite a lot about the performance of the bike over long distance and our pace and lap times were consistent. At the end of the day when the conditions were a little better we made a change to the front suspension which helped us to take another step forward. It was good to finish the test on a positive. The results of this second test here at Sepang give us cause for optimism. We have made quite a lot of progress, we still have a lot of work ahead but every time I ride the bike I feel that we are more prepared and I'm looking forward now to travelling to Qatar and continuing to work."


Marquez tops second Sepang MotoGP™ test to continue pre-season dominance

Wednesday, February 25 2015

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

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

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard

Weather: Dry/Wet. Ambient 27-35°C; Track 34-60°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez signed off the second Sepang test with the quickest overall time as the reigning MotoGP™ champion clocked a 1’59.115 on the final day of action to once again set the pace in pre-season testing.

In what has become a familiar scene during testing, the morning of the third day was used by the riders to push for a quick lap time before the oppressive tropical heat reduces grip levels later in the day. On his thirteenth lap of the morning, Marquez set a benchmark time that was 0.322 seconds clear of his closest rival, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo. Third quickest overall was CWM LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, whose best effort was a 1’59.658.

A total of twenty-seven riders took part in the second MotoGP group test of 2015; the twenty-five full time riders plus two test riders, Ducati’s Michele Pirro and Yamaha’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga. The riders completed a total of 3811 laps (21,224 kilometres) on Bridgestone tyres over the three days, 618 less than completed in the first test. The gap in lap time from the quickest to slowest rider at the second Sepang test was 4.454 seconds.

Conditions over the three days at Sepang were generally fine and very hot, with rain interrupting the afternoon of the first day. The heat intensified on the final day, with a peak track temperature of 60°C recorded at 1400 local time, the highest figure recorded at the Malaysian circuit in years.

With the well-worn Sepang circuit offering little grip, the riders preferred to use softer rubber compounds over the three days. The most popular tyre were the symmetric soft and asymmetric medium compound rear slicks, and the medium compound front slick. Over the course of the two MotoGP group tests at Sepang, the general consensus of the riders is that Bridgestone’s latest race tyres offer improved, consistent performance with high levels of feel and usability.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

“Over the last three days we’ve had quite extreme conditions but our tyre allocation enabled the riders to lap at a quick and consistent pace. The rain on day one of the test gave the riders the chance to work on their wet set up and it also provided the rookie riders a valuable opportunity to sample our wet tyres. Following on the good feedback we received at the first Sepang test, the riders were again happy with the performance of our 2015 specification tyres and we were able to collect some good information that we can use adjust our tyre allocation for this season. We have just concluded two successful tests at Sepang and I am now looking forward to a productive test at Qatar next month.”


2015

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