2016 Sepang MotoGP Test Wednesday Press Releases

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


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Wraps Up Sepang Test on Top

Despite the changeable weather, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi completed the three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit topping the standings with a perfect 1-2.

The final day of the first Official MotoGP test of 2016 started off slowly for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi arrived at the Malaysian track this morning ready to pick up the testing schedule where they left off yesterday, but were forced to wait for the dry line to form around the Sepang International Circuit for most of the morning. Once they headed out on track in the afternoon both riders were quick to prove their key protagonist status for 2016, finishing first and second respectively in the overall test standings.

When Lorenzo left his pit box, he immediately made his presence known as he moved to the top of the time sheets with a 2'00.882s. After his teammate briefly took over the lead, he returned to the top of the rankings with a 2'00.016s lap time just before rain clouds gathered over the Malaysian circuit again, putting a halt to the track action.

With a little more than an hour left to go, he resumed his testing and headed back out to set the first lap under the 2'00 mark of the three-day test, which only the Spaniard himself could improve on when he set a best lap of 1'59.580s. He ended the test 0.976s ahead of the rest of the field.

Teammate Rossi may have been the last of the MotoGP riders to start testing today, but he left no doubt that he was just as keen to prove his speed as his teammate. The nine-time World Champion started with a time attack and slotted into fourth place at the end of his first run. Around halfway through the final day of testing he went fastest with a time of 2'00.556s, before taking a short break as it started to rain. The Doctor hit the track for a second time with 40 minutes left on the clock and finished the day testing some different parts for his YZR-M1 to end the day in second place.

Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

"Today's session has been somewhat compromised by the weather conditions. Rain has kept us in the pit box for most of the session and it's a pity because we had many things to complete. We only had the opportunity to attempt a time attack and try some new items at the end of the session and Jorge was also able to further test the front tyres. We can be satisfied with our performances in these three days and we leave Sepang with good results; we were first and second in the standings, Jorge set an impressive lap time and we secured a lot of useful information for the future. We weren't able to decide which chassis we will use, even if we are 80% sure of which direction to take. Concerning the tyres and the feeling and performances of our riders, we have improved significantly and we can say the same about the new software. We look forward to taking another step in Phillip Island in two weeks' time."

Jorge Lorenzo

1st / 1'59.580 / 105 laps

"The lap times speak for themselves, they were very good lap times set with new electronics and a hard rear tyres, because we can't use the soft rear because of what happened yesterday. I'm very happy with Michelin, because they made a very big step with the feeling with the new front tyres. They did a great job, because now the feeling is closer to what we had with last year. Anyway, I felt very comfortable and fast during these three days, I'm still recovering from this illness that I have and for sure in Phillip Island we will be stronger and able to do a race simulation."

Valentino Rossi

4th / 2'00.556 / 147 laps

"I'm happy about the test and about today because, first of all, we did a good job and tried a lot of different stuff that gave some good information on how to improve the bike. I also set a 2'00.5s, I think we can work on it and do better, but I'm in second place so that's not so bad, it was a good test. We still have to work a lot, the question mark that remains is if we go with the bike that's more like the 2015 or the 2016 model. We will try them another time in Phillip Island, because the new one was not so bad at the end. I think all the engineers did a good job with the electronics and Michelin did a good job with the front tyres. We tried other tyres that also improved more, so I feel good about the first test. I tried the winglets, they are very interesting, they change the airflow, but I don't feel a difference. I prefer the bike without the wings, it's more beautiful!"


Repsol Honda Team makes the most of test’s weather-affected last day

The third and final day of the Sepang test was marked by variable weather conditions. Following an overnight rain shower, the track surface was still damp when the lights went green at 10 a.m., prompting the teams to wait until noon before sending the bikes on the track. The Repsol Honda riders were granted a couple of hours of work before a light rainfall halted them again until 4:30. Following a pause, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa resumed action, riding regularly until 6 p.m. Temperatures were much cooler than the previous days, with air and ground maximums of 32° C and 36°, respectively.

Despite the breaks, Marc and Dani made the most of the available time, continuing to work on the new “evo” engine and their electronics setups, where there is the most margin for improvement, although the team engineers already made a step forward compared to the previous test at Jerez last November. The duo was also satisfied with the progress made with the tyres, including the hard-spec rear and a new front spec that Michelin had brought to Malaysia. Marc set the day’s third-fastest time with a best effort of 2’00.883 on lap 44 of 45, whereas Dani’s 2’01.161, set on lap 35 of 48, put him in sixth place.

The Repsol Honda riders’ next commitment is the Team Launch in Jakarta, Indonesia, on February 14, before they head to Australia for another important three-day test at Phillip Island February 17-19.

Marc Márquez

2’00.883 45 laps

"The last day went quite well because we improved every day here in Sepang. We are still far from where we'd like to be, but I think we have taken a good step forward and slowly we're getting there. We are working hard and there is room for improvement, which is what we have to focus on. Today I worked a lot on the electronics and the chassis, understanding what setup for the bike is best for the new tyres. We also tested various types of front tyres with different profiles. Overall, these three days have been positive."

Dani Pedrosa

2’01.161 48

"It's been a hard test, because we had to do a lot of work and maybe this isn't reflected in the results; they don't show the potential that is there. At the end of the day we went out on track with the best combination we have found, we tried out some tyres and we were able to improve our times a little. The good point is that, step by step, we are growing and are doing our best to be ready for the first race.”


TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR CONCLUDES SEPANG TEST

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 3.

The third and final day of the Sepang test saw rain complicating the program with early morning showers and another downpour after lunch splitting the day into two intensive sessions for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

However, Aleix Espargarò and Maverick Viñales could lap to almost complete the remaining part of their program, therefore collecting useful data for the engineers and they both now have a complete scenario of the available evolutions of the GSX-RR in terms of chassis and engine, together with some improvements in the electronics.

The riders will now fly to Japan to meet the R&D team in Hamamatsu and to complete some further tests in the wind tunnel that will help designers and engineers to further finalise the aerodynamics. The program will then take the whole Team to Phillip Island, Australia, for the second session of IRTA tests where the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR crew will be joined by Test Team rider Takuya Tsuda, who will also use the new type of seamless gearbox.

Satoru Terada – MotoGP Project Leader:

“Today we completed the first test in the New Year for the upcoming season and in fact these three days were very useful to verify our progress. We have introduced many new items from the Factory, such as new engine specs, new electronics improvements; and a new chassis, with positive outcome. It seems that the new engine specs and the seamless gave positive feelings to the riders and also a good improvement to the lap performance; obtaining a more-effective acceleration. We still have to work on the electronics and chassis, since we have some trouble with rear grip. Here we also introduced a new chassis, but apparently we need some more testing and development to make it more effective. The test in Phillip Island will help us in this way.”

Maverick Viñales:

Best lap: 2m01.244s.

“After today I must say that I am really confident. The first two days didn’t leave me feeling so easy, but today, especially after the last two hours of testing, I would say I feel good. Today I could be performing both on a single lap and on the pace, although we have rolled only with hard tyres. We also had some troubles but it is normal since we are at the first test with so many new items. We did some improvements with the electronics but we still have room for improvement, if we will find a good way to interpret it we will be much closer to the top. There are some riders who really made the difference here, but also some other Factory riders who are not so far from us. I had really good impressions from the seamless but also importantly I feel happy with the new engine. We still need to better finalise the electronics to exploit its full power, but already at this point the power delivery and overall power makes me very happy. Now we go to Australia, Phillip Island is a track I like a lot and will be in summer, so there will be a lot of grip. The conditions will be very hot and we were pretty competitive there last year, it will be a good chance to test more things even though we know that the places where we have to improve on are those like in Malaysia, with less grip.”

Aleix Espargaro:

Best lap: 2m01.623s.

“Today it’s been a difficult day because of the rain but I also had some positives. This morning we used the new engine with 2015 chassis and I had very positive feelings. We were very competitive and close to the top. In the afternoon we switched to the 2016 chassis but I couldn’t find a proper feeling, we need more testing to find a more effective configuration. At the beginning I would have liked to have continued with last year’s, but we must keep in mind that we are here for testing all news things and to send feedback to Japan so that they can further improve. The new chassis is still young, it’s normal it has some troubles and we need some more time to finalise it. I feel we have made positive improvements with the seamless and the electronics, as well as with the tyres. The confidence with the front-end has improved a lot and also the corner speed is faster. This was only the first real test, it’s true that we have had some troubles, but it’s part of the game and this is exactly the purpose why we are here. Tomorrow we fly to Japan to do some testing in the wind tunnel, they will probably help me to find better protection from the air since I am a pretty tall rider; and then we go to Australia where we will still have many things to try. The Factory is working really hard to deliver us improvements and updates, we keep working on pretty much all aspects; chassis, engine, gearbox, electronics and there is much room for improvement, but I feel totally positive about this.”


Ducati Team concludes IRTA tests at Sepang

Today the two Ducati Team riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, together with test-rider and two-time world champion Casey Stoner, had to wait until late morning to take to the track on the third and final day of IRTA tests at Sepang, because of the damp track conditions following overnight rain. Once the test was underway, the two Andreas continued development work and adapting the Michelin tyres to the new Desmosedici GP, while Stoner carried on with his scheduled test programme on the GP15.

Iannone had a harmless crash in the morning while carrying out a back-to-back test on last year’s bike, and then a sudden downpour stopped activity at around 1 pm and the riders had to wait until the track was dry before they could go out again.

The two Ducati Team riders then continued the test concentrating on the 2016 Desmosedici GP bike, but unfortunately late in the afternoon a few technical problems prevented both of them from improving.

The third and final day came to an end with Stoner fifth quickest (2'01.070), Iannone eighth (2'01.233) and Dovizioso thirteenth (2'01.675).

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – best combined time of 2’01.052 (8th), 38 laps today

“In the end this test was a bit unusual because instead of concentrating only on the bike, we gave priority to the work with the new tyres that Michelin had brought and I am satisfied with the progress we made in this area. It was however an important test because it helped us to get to know the new bike but also find out a few teething problems that emerged with the Desmosedici GP. Today we had a positive day even though, at the end, I was unable to do a quick lap because I was slowed by minor issues. We’ll shortly be in Australia for the next test and I am confident that the data we gathered here will help us to improve the bike even more.”

Casey Stoner (Ducati Team #27) – best combined time of 2’01.070 (9th), 30 laps today

“All in all it’s been a very good few days for us, and I’m surprised myself that I was able to do three days of testing. Physically I feel great at the moment, but I’m sure I won’t tomorrow! It’s been a really positive test, not only because we worked well with the bike, but also because I was able to get back up to speed right away. Today wasn’t too bad, even though we didn’t get to do a lot of laps. Two exits this morning comparing two different geometry settings, but then the rain came so we weren’t able to complete the tests. After the rain we finally got a bit of dry track time but struggled a bit with rear grip and spent too much time trying to find a balance again to move on. But as I said I’m really happy with the way things have gone, and working with Gigi (Dall’Igna) and the team has been really fantastic!”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – best combined time of 2’01.675 (16th), 34 laps today

“Today was more difficult than yesterday, because we had a few issues that unfortunately we could not resolve here and which slowed us the entire day. In the morning I didn’t do many laps because I had to wait for the track conditions to improve, and then it began to rain. In the afternoon we started right away, and soon set a good time. We did some tests with used tyres and the bike improved but we encountered another problem towards the end of the session. We stayed in the box until the final part, but I was unable to make any more improvements when I went out. I didn’t put in as many laps as I would have liked, which was important for me to adapt to the new Michelins. It’s a pity, but I feel sure that in Australia we will be able to carry out our programme better once we’ve solved the problems back home.”


RAIN SLOWS PLANS FOR APRILIA AT SEPANG

DESPITE THE STOP BAUTISTA AND BRADL COMPLETE THE SCHEDULED WORK ON THE THIRD DAY OF TESTING

Sepang (Malaysia), 3 February 2016 - The third and final day of testing with the Aprilia RS-GP machines at Sepang also had the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders only taking partial advantage of the eight hours available. This was due to the rain showers in the morning, not hard enough to justify using rain tyres but enough to force Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl to come into the garage.

Back on the track just after 4 in the afternoon, Alvaro and Stefan continued the scheduled tests with their usual professionalism until the red light came on, focusing specifically on developing the new controlled electronics package. At the end of the tests both riders pointed out the progress achieved both in terms of the new tyres and the electronics package, confirming the latter as the area with most room for improvement where efforts need to be concentrated between now and the first race in Qatar.

Over the three days Bautista put in 132 laps with a best time of 2'02,876. 128 laps with a best time of 2'02.372 for Stefan Bradl.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)

"Here at Sepang we worked on two fronts, the new electronics and the Michelin tyres. I'm rather satisfied with the progress the tyres show, especially the front which provides the riders with a good feeling and lets them push with confidence. On the electronics front, on the other hand, we still have a lot of work to do in order to reach a satisfactory base level. We need more time to figure out how to take the best advantage of the settings for all the parameters. Overall we have taken some steps forward and now we have the most difficult challenge ahead - taking the new 2016 bike onto the track."

FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)

“Three very useful days to increase our familiarity with the new aspects of this season, tyres and the new electronics. Being able to finish various assessments was extremely important, especially in terms of the electronics, in order to create a good base setup to transfer to the new prototype. Stefan and Alvaro once again proved to be great professionals. The data collected will allow us to streamline setting up development on the new bike. It will début before long and I would like to thank all the Aprilia engineers and technicians who put in an enormous effort to make a new bike. We can't wait to see it in action.”

ALVARO BAUTISTA

“We did a lot of work over these three days, especially on the electronics. We put in a lot of short sessions to give our technicians a change to analyse a large quantity of small changes, gathering information which will then be analysed at home. There is still a lot to do. For the tyres I'm beginning to learn the characteristics and the feeling has greatly improved. After riding for my entire MotoGP career on a certain type of tyre it took some time to adapt. I can't wait to get to Doha where there will be more days of hard work but with the important motivation of the new bike.”

STEFAN BRADL

“These were some intense tests, spent above all on trying to improve the electronics package. Progress was made although we know that there is still plenty of room for improvement. This was the last test with the 2015 bike, so gathering as much data as possible was fundamental to facilitate the racing department's job. My mind is already on the next tests in Qatar where we'll have a completely new bike on which to apply everything we've learned thus far. By analysing the data and crunching the numbers on what we've tested I think that we'll be able to start from the best possible base electronics settings and then improve on it race after race.”


Tech3 duo power on despite contrasting weather on final day at Sepang

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team pair concluded the opening test positively as they worked determinedly on their preparations for the 2016 season. Smith and Espargaro rode tirelessly for three days as they thoroughly examined the new Michelin tyres, the electronics package and their updated version of the Yamaha YZR-M1 for 2016. Both riders will now leave Malaysia positive and fully confident for the next test at Phillip Island.

Bradley Smith focused on completing as many laps as possible as he studied the effects of the Michelin tyres and the new electronics package over race distance. He completed 65 laps today with his total for the three day test being 179 laps, which was more than any other MotoGP rider. The 25 year old rider was also the only rider to sample the Michelin intermediate tyre after a heavy downpour of rain during the day. His time of 2'01.107 from yesterday's session left him in 10th in the combined standings after finishing only 0.048 behind his teammate today, marking a solid effort at the opening test. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro pushed nonstop as he worked through his testing programme and made leaps forward with the setup of his MotoGP bike whilst he collected valuable data for the approaching season. The Spanish star completed 44 laps today and finished with a best time of 2'01.870 that left him just under a second from 5th in the combined standings.

Bradley Smith

10th / 2’01.107 / 179 laps

"It's been a good three days and we completed 99% of what I wanted to test which is a positive conclusion. I set a lap time that I was happy with yesterday, so today I decided to focus on race simulations and the handling of the bike when on a full fuel load. This was important as this season we are going to 22 litres of fuel that, of course, makes the Yamaha behave a bit differently compared to last year. We also thoroughly worked on the electronics in order to keep as much grip as possible when the tyre drops and by doing a race simulation today, I got to sample this first hand as well as learn the tyres behaviour in more depth. The results have given the team a clear indication of what they need to improve, and obviously, Yamaha can look at the data I've gathered so I am sure we can take advantage of this before we go to Phillip Island. I also tried the intermediate tyre today, which I had done in Brno as well, but this one was a different spec and it was closer to a full slick tyre. It obviously worked better in the wet conditions, but it's no solution for real rain. It's a bit of a gamble at the moment but I gave some information to Michelin and it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. Altogether it's been a great three days and we leave Sepang with a clear direction of where to go next in order to progress. Already, I feel as comfortable as I did last year from a setting point of view and there's still six days left to test."

Pol Espargaro

16th / 2'01.870 / 118 laps

"Today our main focus was to increase our knowledge about the new electronics, especially in combination with the hard tyre as the grip level was quite low. In this situation, it's really important to understand how to set up our package in order to make the bike as ridable as possible for me. However, when you try a lot of different options, it's quite easy to get a bit confused because some are benficial and others seem to be a step backward. So we now have to analyse the data that we collected in the last three days and then design a clear plan for the upcoming test in Phillip Island. I'm already looking forward to trying the bike on another track and in different conditions, plus I'm confident that we will be much closer to the front."


Avintia Racing concludes Sepang test on a high note

03/02/16 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Official Test MotoGP Sepang

Avintia Racing finished the first MotoGP test of 2016 with a great success. On all three days, Hector Barbera was within the fastest riders on the track, showing the great potential of his Ducati Desmosedici and of himself as a rider. The Spaniard quickly adapted to the new electronic package and also liked the characteristics of the new Michelin tyres. Barbera knows his Ducati very well, and although it had no further development since the end of 2014, he was able to get the maximum out his bike and was really close to the factory bikes at all times. A rainshower interrupted the test on the last afternoon and he was not able to complete the race simulation scheduled for today, but he leaves the track with good feelings and with a best lap of 2’00.387.

The testing time was shorter for Loris Baz after his heavy crash yesterday and he spent a big part of the day inside the garage. With the afternoon rain on the last day, the French Avintia Racing rider missed out on valuable track time. Nevertheless, he improved steadily during the test.

In two weeks time, the MotoGP teams will head to Phillip Island, one of the favourites tracks for Barbera and Baz, and also one of the best for Ducati. Avintia Racing will continue their testing program to get ready for the first Grand Prix of the season that will be held at Qatar on March 30th.

HECTOR BARBERA #8 / @HectorBarbera 2'01.434 P11

I’m happy because we finished the last season really well and we have started into the new season even stronger. After three days here at Sepang, I’ll highlight that we have been always inside the top ten, which is also our target for the entire season. We have to be realistic and go step by step. Three years ago we were fighting to be inside 20th and 15th place. Last year, we were battling around 15th and 10th position, so this year it would be great to finish every race in between tenth and fifth. If we can achieve that, anything extra will be a bonus. The team did a fantastic job during the three days. We know this bike quite well, it completed two seasons and many kilometres on track, so we have a lot of information for the set up at every circuit. The new single electronics software push the lap times closer together and the gap to the factory bikes should shrink. But I don’t think the tyres will make big difference, because they also were the same for everybody in the past. Therefore, the key for me is the electronics package. I now look forward to going to Australia and continue working.

LORIS BAZ #76 / @lorisbaz 2'02.541 P17

First of all, I’m really happy to be able to ride the bike today after the big crash yesterday. When I woke up this morning I felt some pain in my neck and right arm, but once I got on my bike, it disappeared. As the track had some wet patches this morning, we were forced to start later, but even though, my lap time was good. I used one tyre that had done ten laps, whilst everybody else got a new one for the time attack. So I’m really happy. We also managed to improve the grip we missed during the first day, so overall I leave Sepang satisfied. This track is always difficult for me, but this time, my lap times were quite good. Considering what happened yesterday and that it was only the first test of the year, I think the result is positive. I really want to go to Australia, I love that track and in summertime the conditions will be perfect to ride the bike.


Further improvement for Rabat at Sepang

Sepang, Malaysia – 03 February 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat ended the first official MotoGP test of 2016 in 17th position on the timesheet, after improving his lap time significantly on the hard rear tyre today.

Rain and a damp track caused a delay to the start of the third and final day of testing at Sepang, with the riders only venturing out once the track had dried completely. With the softer option tyre unavailable once again, Rabat and his crew focussed on building his confidence in the harder option rear and improving the bike from mid-corner to exit.

Rabat was working his way through a test program to evaluate a number of changes to the Honda RC213V when he lost the front at the now infamous turn five and crashed heavily. While the bike was badly damaged in the crash, the former Moto2 World Champion was uninjured and was able to continue testing aboard his spare machine.

Rabat will return to action on the 17th February at Phillip Island, where it is hoped he’ll be joined by his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate, Jack Miller, who sat out the Sepang test after fracturing his right tibia and fibula in a training accident.

Tito Rabat: 17th – 2’02.328

“Yesterday we struggled to find a good feeling with the hard rear tyre, so that was the focus for today. We made quite big changes to the bike and the feeling was better, which was reflected in the lap time. The crash at turn five was strange, because I was on an out lap, not pushing, but the front just went away and down I went. We returned to the track with the spare bike to test a few more things, but the track conditions had deteriorated and I went down again in the final turn. After that we decided to stop, because the conditions weren’t going to improve. I am physically tired after three days on the MotoGP bike, but already I’m looking forward to getting back on the Honda RC213V at Phillip Island, where I hope we can continue to improve.”

Chris Pike: Chief Engineer - Tito Rabat

“Today we continued working to get Tito comfortable and confident with the hard rear tyre. Getting this tyre to work isn’t easy, especially when you’re new to the class like Tito, and he was struggling a little to get the bike to turn and then drive out of the corner. We made some big changes today, which brought an improvement and allowed Tito to better his time on the same tyre compared to yesterday. It was a productive three-days here at Sepang, because we now have a good base to work from when we arrive in Phillip Island for the second of the three official MotoGP tests.”


IMPRESSIVE END TO FIRST TEST FOR CRUTCHLOW AND LCR HONDA

The first official tests for the 2016 MotoGP season came to a close on Wednesday, after three days of intense work for Cal Crutchlow and the LCR Honda Team at Sepang in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t completely on-side for the LCR squad and the rest of the field, with a damp track in the morning preventing any action early on, whilst an afternoon rain shower limited late track-time.

The track did dry up sufficiently for Crutchlow to set his fastest time of the day, however, with an impressive 2’00.992 making him the fourth fastest rider on the timesheets. Due to track conditions, this was slightly down on the Briton’s benchmark from Tuesday, however that 2’00.899 was also set on the race-spec tyres, unlike some of the lap-times from his rivals. With sixth overall in the combined standings, and one of the quickest on hard rubber, the 30 year-old can be happy with his and the team’s efforts.

The LCR Honda Team were given an extra boost during the final day, when HRC allowed Crutchlow a chance to give his feedback on a 2016 version of their RC213V engine. With his input, development on that and the rest of the factory package will continue at the next official testing session at Phillip Island in Australia between February 17th and 19th.

Cal Crutchlow #35 – 4th – 2’00.992 (6th overall, 2’00.899, day 2)

“It’s not been a bad day today and I’m pleased with the progress over the Sepang test. It was another different day trying various electronics settings on the bike, and Honda were very generous to give us a newer version of the engine. It wasn’t the latest spec, but the one in the middle and we worked really well with it.”

“We gave Honda the information they needed for some testing materials, keeping the same chassis, but overall we were quite pleased. We never pushed too much because we didn’t want to make any mistakes at this test, and I think we come out of it in quite good shape.”

“Now we go to Phillip Island and I look forward to testing out there; the LCR Honda Team have done another great job and I can’t wait to see all the guys out there in another two weeks’ time.”


First official test of 2016 MotoGp season ends up with an other Top 10: Petrux 7th, Scott 9th

First official test of 2016 MotoGP season ends up with satisfaction as Octo Pramac Yakhnich returns to Italy with a well-established work and great confidence for the next round of pre-season test in Australia. In the third day of activity at the International Circuit of Sepang, Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding have confirmed to feel already comfortable on their new Ducati Desmosedici GP .

Petrux's day, however, began with many difficulties as the rider from Terni had to stop after two laps due to a technical problem with the engine. Back on track in mid-afternoon, Petrux had to stop again but his team was extraordinary to allow him back on track and center in the last run an excellent 2:01,217 which places him in 7th place, only 50 cents away from the hypothetical second row. The rider of Fiamme Oro returns to Italy with the great satisfaction of the second fastest time in the combined standing (2:00,095) set yesterday morning and beaten this afternoon only by the impressive 1:59.580 of Jorge Lorenzo.

Good progress also for Scott Redding who set the chrono 2:01.229 lapping very close to his best time registerd yesterday morning with the soft tire (2:01.049). The british rider ended up the third day of testing in ninth place, 6 milliseconds behind Iannone and 12 away from his teammate. During the first official test of the season Scott has made great progress thanks to the work done by his team in the 130 laps completed at Sepang.

7° - Danilo Petrucci - Octo Pramac Yakhnich #9 - 2:01.217

First of all I would like to thank my team. Yesterday afternoon, half an hour from the end of the session, we decided to try a different set-up and the boys have rebuilt the bike in 10 minutes: something really impressive. Also today in a few minutes they managed to send me out to do this nice crono. This makes us happy even though the day was difficult. If luck has helped us yesterday to find the right time to place the fastest lap, today we suffered a lot. In only 8 laps I experienced two problems that forced me to stay many hours in the garage. I was disappointed because today was the day when we would have to make progress especially on race pace. All things consudered I'm happy because the test result is very positive. I can't wait to go to Phillip Island, a circuit I really like.

9° - Scott Redding - Octo Pramac Yakhnich #45 - 2:01.229

I am very pleased to have been faster today. We tried many solutions on the bike and we were able to get a good result. I think today is the most productive day of the tests. The goal was to find speed and continuity with the used tires and if yesterday I often lapped in 2'03'', today I was able to stay constantly in 2'02 '' and this makes me very happy. I had confidence coming here in Malaysia even though this is a circuit where usually I struggle. After three days of work I feel really good and I'm looking forward to going to Asutralia.


Yonny Hernández concludes Sepang test in positive fashion

ASPAR TEAM·WEDNESDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 2016

Colombian rider has improved his feeling with the bike on each day of the test, with Eugene Laverty at least able check the recovery of his injured hand

The first three days of MotoGP preseason testing in 2016 concluded today, with the riders now not set to return to the Sepang International Circuit until the Grand Prix here in October. Unlike previous seasons when the Malaysian track has hosted two preseason sessions, the next appointment for the teams and riders is another three-day outing at Phillip Island, on the 17th, 18th and 19th of this month. Even though today was effectively cut short by a tropical downpour at around 3pm, the Sepang test has given the first indications of how the 2016 season might shape up. So far it looks like the factory Yamaha remains the package to beat, with Jorge Lorenzo demonstrating exactly why he is World Champion with a consistency and pace that has been unmatched. The Spaniard was almost a second clear of his closest rival today as the only rider to break the two-minute barrier, although his team-mate Valentino Rossi has also shown a consistently high level of performance in second place. Ducati demonstrated that they have nothing to fear this season, their hard work showing with strong representation in the top half of the timesheets, including star test rider Casey Stoner, who has proved that he remains one of the fastest men in the world on two wheels despite having retired from competitive action back in 2012.

It has been a test of contrasting fortunes for the Aspar Team pairing of Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty. The Colombian has squeezed every second out of the three days as he works on the new standard electronics and tyres, steadily building a fast and consistent pace whilst refining the traction control and engine brake settings of his Ducati. Yonny is happy with his progress, having finished in 14th position with a gap of just over a second to Rossi, but still he hopes to work more with the chassis to find extra rear grip, which will be a priority in Australia. Eugene Laverty has endured an unfortunate visit to Sepang, a crash on the first day ruling him out of action yesterday, only for his return today to be limited by a clutch problem with his Ducati, the inclement weather and the pain in his hand.

14th Yonny Hernández 2'01.774 (40 laps): “I am happy with the changes we have made to the bike and with the steps forward we have taken with the electronics. Over the past three days we have done a lot of work with thew traction control, I have worked hard to adapt my riding style to the new tyres and the new electronics. The relationship with the team is building every day and that allows us to quickly deal with any problems that do spring up. Everything we have tried over the past three days has been positive so hopefully we can continue to move forward like this in Australia. We are planning to work on some different traction control mappings and also the power delivery. The Ducati has a lot of horsepower and sometimes it is difficult to control the hard rear tyre. So in Australia we will also be trying to find more grip.”

22nd Eugene Laverty 2'03.519 (25 laps): “Unfortunately it hasn't been the best test for us, with a crash on day one that ruled me out of day two. I was ready to ride on day three but there was rain in the morning so we waited for the track to dry and then had a problem with the clutch, which meant that I couldn't complete a full lap. Then the rain came back so it's been really unfortunate for us! On the positive side I was able to complete some laps and at least check my hand. At first there was some pain but the more I used the hand and kept the glove on it the better it felt. At the end of the day the pain increased again so I decided to stop because I wasn't able to ride comfortably. Now I need to rest it and hopefully it will be 100% for the next test in Australia.”


2016

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