2016 Phillip Island MotoGP Test Thursday Press Releases

Press releases after the second day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island:


VIÑALES TOPS PHILLIP ISLAND TEST TIMESHEETS

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 18.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales topped the MotoGP™ test times as the sun finally came out on the second day of testing at Phillip Island in Australia today.

The young Spaniard was the first rider under the 1’30 barrier in the afternoon and with the track getting more-and-more grippy with the sun out he swapped the lead many times but finally blasted his way to the top with the excellent 1:29.131. His performance is even more impressive considering that his best time was hit in the last run of the day where he lapped four laps in a row under the 1’30 barrier. His best time today is nearly half a second faster than his best in last year’s race, confirming the positive job done during Winter both in rider training and in the GSX-RR development by R&D department in Hamamatsu, Japan.

Although the track conditions allowed the riders to ride mainly in the afternoon, Viñales completed 79 laps in the whole day, testing the consistency of performance.

Team-mate Aleix Espargaro continued to work to find a proper feeling with his GSX-RR. After yesterday’s disappointment for the poor weather conditions that prevented him testing fully, his performance today was underneath his own expectations, with a best lap in 1:30.385 that sets him in 15th place. Not so far, in 20th place with 1:32.599, is Test Team rider Takuya Tsuda, whose priority in Australia is not to go for the best lap but to intensively test the machine’s potential.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“According to the timesheet today has been a positive day for us, with Maverick very fast in the time attack but also very consistent in the pace. Apart from the timesheets, it is comfortable to see that he is improving run after run and that the machine is getting more-and-more competitive, allowing the rider to find better feelings. We are running an intense job here, also the Test Team, to get the most out of our potential. Maverick was able to go through many items that we needed to test and so we have to be happy about today overall. Although Aleix had some troubles in these opening two days, both with the feeling and because of the varying weather conditions, he is working hard to finalise the set-up and today he could make some steps forward although his performance was not as good as he expected. At the end of the day he could try a more likeable machine, so tomorrow we will exploit the last day to also improve on his side.”

Maverick Viñales:

“Today I felt very good with my GSX-RR, confirming the positive feeling I had already yesterday even though it was in mixed conditions. Today we worked well in two ways; the first is the fastest lap, which gave me the first place, and the second is the approach we had with the development, improving little-by-little but consistently in every run, applying little improvements to the machine without any major change. This consistency gave me not only the fastest lap but also a very comfortable feeling with the pace. Of course the track was a contribution, let’s say. Here in Phillip Island I feel always confident, I like the track and I can express myself as I want, in any conditions. I’m happy to see that the machine is supporting me in this enjoyment, allowing me to be so competitive, I’m improving a lot in my capability to transfer my feelings to the team and they on their side are doing a great job supporting me and giving me good solutions for what I ask for. It’s a learning process for all of us and today’s result gives us an injection of enthusiasm.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“Today was not a good day for me, we tried a lot of different things to improve the feeling, especially working to be more effective in the entrance into the corners, where I felt totally uncomfortable, but probably it was a matter of myself. The bike improved a little since the morning, but today I felt too rigid in my movements over the machine and not able to ride as smoothly as I wanted. I will have a good rest tonight and then analyse things with my team to understand what and how we can improve, although I can’t blame them for today. The engine has improved a lot and the new tyres and seamless gearbox gave me much more stability in many corners. For sure Suzuki did a good job, we saw today Maverick’s performance which certifies that the potential is higher than what I did, therefore I’m really keen to recover my performance and get back to riding.”


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Speeds Up On Day Two Down Under

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team was back on track today for the second day of the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test. Though the morning started off wet, the riders were able to ride throughout most of the day. Jorge Lorenzo was quick to get up to pace and ended the day in third place just slightly ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi in fourth.

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team successfully completed a second day of testing in Australia. Wet weather at the start of the day, followed by a drying track around noon delivered challenging conditions for riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, but they were unfazed and secured third and fourth place respectively in today's standings.

Despite the rain in the morning, Lorenzo used the day to its full capacity. He had nearly the entire track to himself at the start of the session when he opted to continue working on bike set up, looking for the optimum balance on the YZR-M1, especially with increased tyre wear, gathering valuable data for the engineers. As track conditions improved, a flurry of activity followed with all riders streaming out of the pits. The warmer temperatures in the afternoon allowed the Spaniard to get down to a lap time of 1'29.357s, on his 65th lap out of 80, only 0.226s from the front.

Rossi also had a productive day and set multiple fast laps. As soon as a dry line formed at the Phillip Island circuit, he didn't waste a second and seized the opportunity. He went out on track and set a 1'31.1s on his fifth lap to take over at the top in the provisional time sheets. He continued to drop quick laps even when the brief sunny spell was spoiled by more rain, and completed 71 laps in total all the way through the afternoon. His best effort was a 1'29.404s for fourth place, 0.273s from today's fastest time.

Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

"This morning, when we started the session, we thought that the weather was going to be similar to yesterday with lots of interruptions due to rain, but in the afternoon the weather improved significantly and we were able to start working. In the available dry track time we managed to tick off a lot of items from our test plan. We tested a new front fork as well as front tyres, as per Michelin's request, and we completed half a race simulation, so in the end it has been a positive day for us. Unfortunately we haven't been able to extensively test the two bikes yet for both riders, which is a must for tomorrow. Once we have made a decision on which bike we will continue to develop, we will start fine-turning the set-up and the electronics."

Jorge Lorenzo

3rd / +0.226 / 80 laps

"I was concentrating on trying many things and when I had the good tyre on the front, the rear wasn't new so I couldn't improve and do a time attack. Our rivals are fast, especially Maverick, as he likes the track and he is riding very well. Today we have experienced some issues on the front with the stability to ride confidently with open throttle. I think it was a combination of the type of track, the type of tarmac and the type of corners, which are faster than Sepang and are inducing these problems. If we can solve the problem we can be much quicker, let's see if it's possible. Looking at what happened today, it looks like the new electronics are going to change the performance of the bikes a lot on other tracks. Someone can have an advantage at one track and maybe they have more problems at another. We have to understand how to be more competitive here to get the same advantage we had in Sepang."

Valentino Rossi

4th / +0.273 / 71 laps

"We're lucky and happy, because the summer arrived today and we could work on the bikes and understand more, especially about the tyres. Sincerely, I'm very satisfied about today because from the morning until the end I was always fast and competitive and in one of the first positions. I also had a good feeling with the bike and I was able to improve, from the morning to the afternoon, the pace and the lap times. The only thing we haven't had time for was to compare the two bikes, we will do it tomorrow, hoping we have good weather like today. About all other things I'm satisfied, because I have a good pace and also my best lap is good. I got fourth position, but the first four are the four riders that were more competitive today and are close in times, so we are there at the front. For sure, keeping up the pace in the race will be harder, simply because you get less help from the electronics, you have to do more work with your body and the throttle, so that will be a bit more demanding."


Positive second day of IRTA testing for Ducati Team riders at Phillip Island

After a morning of damp weather, the MotoGP riders were finally able to get out on track shortly before midday and lap the Phillip Island circuit in dry conditions and on slick tyres.

The riders and technicians of the Ducati Team were able to carry on with the intense work programme scheduled for the new Desmosedici GP, and at the end of the day Andrea Dovizioso was the rider who had been out on track the most (88 laps), while his team-mate Andrea Iannone completed 76 laps.

Iannone ended up seventh quickest in the timesheets with a lap of 1’29.857 and Dovizioso was twelfth in 1’30.142.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’29.857 (7th)

“All in all, today was a positive day because we were able to do a lot of laps, which was essential for us to get a better idea of the way the new Desmosedici GP behaves. As a result I am satisfied with the work we did and in the end we also tested some interesting solutions: with the data we gathered we’ll decide which direction to go in on the final day of the test, hoping that tomorrow the weather will allow us to work all day.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’30.142 (12th)

“Luckily today we had good weather conditions that allowed us to work, and my feeling is positive. I am happy because in the first tests of the year in Malaysia we didn’t put in many laps and also yesterday we were disturbed by the bad weather. Today we did a lot of laps and now I feel comfortable with the Michelin tyres, which is our main objective at this moment. I am able to be constantly fast, but I didn’t go for a really quick one-lap time and that’s why I’m a bit down in the standings. It was in any case a positive day in which we achieved the right feeling and did some tests to better set up the bike and some components. Now we can start on detail work, tomorrow’s weather permitting.”


Positive day of work in mixed conditions at Phillip Island

The second day of testing at Phillip Island again got off to a wet start, but although varied conditions affected the action until around lunchtime, the afternoon finally featured enough dry, sunny weather (with a maximum air temperature of 23° C and track temperature of 45° C) that the riders were able to carry out a decent amount of work.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa made the most of the time available, completing 79 and 55 laps, respectively, and both felt they made a positive step in the management of the new unified software compared with the Sepang test.

Marc took to the track on slick tyres at around 11 a.m. and immediately found a good pace while he and his technicians focused on the settings of his RC213V. He remained in the upper part of the timesheets throughout the day, steadily improving his rhythm and finishing a close second, with a best time of 1’29.292 that came on lap 78. Dani was one of ten riders who were able to break the 1’30 barrier today. He posted a 1’29.917 time on lap 38 and was pushing hard to further improve his pace when he crashed in turn 4 with no consequences. He re-joined the action approximately 40 minutes later.

Testing will end tomorrow.

Marc Marquez

1'29.292 79 Laps

“Today we were able to ride in the dry for the entire day, and I think we can draw good conclusions from the testing we did because it seems that here we have found a base setup that can work well. It’s true that this is a special track, in which you have to be careful about what you test because it might confuse you at other circuits, but I am happy with how the day went overall. We’ll see if we can continue improving tomorrow, because I still think we can make a lot of progress with the balance of the bike; I still don’t feel fully comfortable with it. The team, Honda and I are pushing our hardest and we are getting closer ever day”.

Dani Pedrosa

1'29.917 55 Laps

“Today I had a crash at Turn 4, but luckily I'm fine. I was setting good times and improving on that run, but when I was trying to brake a little harder, I lost the front and crashed. I changed bikes to continue tyre testing and, although it had a different setup, I think the positive thing is that we gathered data that will be useful for our engineers in terms of chassis and engine information. We still don’t have a clear setup, but we understand many aspects of the behavior of the bike that will help us find a good base for every circuit. Despite the gap on the timesheets, it's been a positive day, because we know that this is a track where I struggle a bit compared with others and we have worked hard, which has allowed us to obtain a lot of data”.


CRUTCHLOW UPS HIS PACE AS SUN FINALLY SHINES IN AUSTRALIA

As the LCR Honda Team arrived at the Philip Island circuit for the second day of pre-season testing session in Australia, more dark clouds and light drizzle meant there was a very real possibility that the day was going to be a washout like the first. Thankfully, later in the afternoon the clouds cleared and the track dried, allowing Cal Crutchlow to make some valuable laps of the high-speed clifftop track.

The fast and flowing layout has always provided a challenge for tyre manufacturers, and with new suppliers Michelin making their first test down under, Crutchlow and the rest of the MotoGP field were able to work through a variety of options today in the dry to provide valuable feedback for the season ahead.

Crutchlow spent the day mainly working on improving the chassis set-up of his RC213V, as well as honing the new electronics package further. Late in the day there was a flurry of fast laps, with the Brit setting his own best to end the day an impressive fifth fastest with a 1’29.671.

Friday sees the final day of testing at Phillip Island, before the MotoGP field move on to the last pre-season session in Qatar.

#35 Cal Crutchlow – 5th (1’29.671)

“It was a bit of a difficult day as laps were limited again, but the team did a good job in the end because we had to manage the situation and get as much done as possible. I tried a few things to ensure that we were doing ‘average’ laps, knowing that we could be fast when we needed to be. This was good because we never pushed so hard.”

“We’ll have to investigate a lot of the things we’ve found out today, and I’m sure tomorrow too, because when we leave the Phillip Island test it’s all going to be important information for Qatar - where we have the next test and the first race.”

“We need to look at things quite closely at the moment because electronically we are still really struggling to find the best balance with the bike. We were, however, using the 2015 engine today, so maybe in Qatar things will be a little bit better for us anyway when we should be using a more updated version.”


Optimism high for Tech3 pair despite returning rain at Phillip Island

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro leapt back on their Yamaha YZR-M1's and continued their pre season workout at the second day in Australia despite the weather interfering once again. Eventually, the sun broke through in the afternoon, which allowed the Tech3 pair to get back up to speed whilst setting competitive lap times.

Bradley Smith built on his result of 3rd place yesterday and lapped tirelessly as he carried on his preparation work with testing setup options and Michelin tyres. The young Briton clocked his personal best lap time on his final run, which saw him just half a second from the Yamaha Factory rider Valentino Rossi. On the other hand, Pol Espargaro consistently improved his pace once the track conditions had stabilised, whilst collecting valuable setup data, and his personal best left him only two tenths of a second behind his teammate.

Bradley Smith

10th / 1'29.992 / 75 laps

"It was a long and thorough testing programme today, but I feel we did what we had to and we achieved a lot. There were a few things that I wanted to follow up from Sepang and I'm pleased to say that the outcome is positive and they seem to work here. Therefore, heading in that direction with the bike setup will be key for us. We focused on the front end setting as well in order to make the bike more stable in high speed corners. Phillip Island has a lot of fast corners and we tried to find a bit more safety and balance so I could commit further and ride a quicker lap time. Michelin brought two different spec front tyres which the factory guys already tested in Malaysia and I finally assessed these. To be honest, I definitely felt that they allowed me to cut my lap time. Yet unfortunately there aren't many of those tyres available here, therefore I don't think there will be many to use tomorrow. Still, it was useful to sample them in order to confirm our direction and we will have more of those tyres in Qatar. It was a shame that some of the track time was cut due to the red flag and the rain in the morning because I was hoping to run a race simulation. These are vital to our testing programme because it allows us to be clear about my feeling with the bike at the end of a GP. Of course, the Yamaha handles differently as the race distance progresses so by testing this factor here, we gain experience and knowledge, which we can use when the season kicks off. However, I'm happy with what we achieved, even though I think 17:45 came around too quickly! Lets see what happens with the weather tomorrow and we'll continue to try and progress a bit more with the front end setting."

Pol Espargaro

13th / 1'30.154 / 65 laps

"Overall, I believe that today has been positive for us and even though the result is not at the top of the timesheet, our rhythm with the bike is encouraging . We are much closer to the front than we were in Sepang and in addition, my feeling with the bike has improved significantly, so we've taken a big step forward. I was able to repeat my fastest time on numerous occasions and on different runs, which is definitely promising and it shows that we are heading in the right direction. The only thing missing from today is that we weren't able to post a single lap time as it would have been nice to find ourselves a bit higher up in the standings. It was completely our fault because for different reasons we were unable to improve at the end. Still, this wasn't the main aim of today's testing schedule, so the overall feeling is really positive and I can leave the track satisfied and with a lot of confidence for tomorrow."


Encouraging sixth place for Barbera at Phillip Island

18/02/16 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Official Test MotoGP Phillip Island

The Avintia Racing team started today to test at Phillip Island circuit. Hector Barbera and Loris Baz spent the first day yesterday waiting for the track to dry out, but the intermittent rain showers did not allowed them to ride their bikes. But today the sun was shining and both riders took the maximum time on the dry.

Hector Barbera finished the day with the sixth fastest time (1’29.854) and also as the best Ducati on track. The Avintia Racing rider completed 54 laps and he was able to evaluate some new tyre compounds from Michelin and he felt quite comfortable.

Loris Baz tested his new seat for the first time today and immediately he felt better on his Desmosedici GP, comparing with the last time out at Sepang. He did 54 laps and finished the day 11th with a best lap of 1’30.134.

For tomorrow the forecast brings more rain, so the plan for both riders will be to test the new wet tyres from Michelin and get feeling with the new electronic package.

HECTOR BARBERA #8 / @HectorBarbera 1'29.854 P6

I’m happy because today we were able to get on track. I was immediately inside the top 5 at the beginning of the day. I’ve been there during the whole day and although I was eventually sixth, I had really good feeling with the bike at this track. More than my fastest lap time I’m happy with the pace of my final run because I was lapping consistently in low 1’30s. I also tested some tyres like the hard front, but for my riding style the softer works better. And about the rear, I also choose the soft one. We only could do 15 laps with each tyre and, although this test wont be a good reference for the race in October because of the different temperature, I’m satisfied because we did it well at Jerez, again at Sepang and here we are close to the top one more time. So I think we are doing a good job.

LORIS BAZ #76 / @lorisbaz 1'30.134 P11

The day didn’t start very well, and it was raining as yesterday. But finally the sun came out and we could spend some time on the bike when the track was dry. Today our main focus was to work in my riding position with the new seat and foot pegs. We lost too much track time working on this, but we made a big step forward. The team has done a great job and I feel more comfortable than ever on a race bike. During the whole day I didn’t push to make a lap time, and when I made my first try, I had a problem with the exhaust, so I thought that today I would not be able to do a fast lap. But finally I could get out with a new tyre and thanks to Rossi’s reference I did a good lap. I have to work to do it by my self, but I have to improve my confidence to get more corner speed. Anyway I improved my lap time from last season and this is always positive.


ASPAR Team riders optimistic after making steps forward

ASPAR TEAM·THURSDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2016

Yonny Hernández, happy with his progress despite a late crash, whilst Eugene Laverty improves confidence in front end

After an unproductive first day at Phillip Island, the MotoGP field was today able to lap in much better track conditions, although the morning was lost again to several early showers. The quickest laps of the day swapped between the likes of Márquez, Lorenzo and Viñales, with the young Suzuki rider ending day two fastest down under. Parity was in evidence however, with just three-tenths separating the top four, and just 1.5 seconds between the whole regular MotoGP field.

Once the two Aspar Team riders had waited for the track to dry, they both still completed well over 50 laps, with both Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty improving their feeling today on board their Ducatis. The Colombian showed himself to be very competitive in the early stages, but then a mechanical issue and a crash towards the end of the day meant he was unable to complete all his scheduled work. On the contrary, Eugene was more cautious at first, but as the hours went by the Irishman made significant progress, improving his confidence in the front end of his bike as well as his overall pace. By close of play, he was under one and a half seconds behind the day’s fastest lap (1.29.131).

16th Yonny Hernández 1.30.509 (56 laps): “At the start of the day we weren’t able to get to work because of the rain. Then after midday and into the afternoon we were quite competitive, finding a good pace which meant we could make improvements. Then we had an issue with an exhaust valve, which meant that we couldn’t control the engine braking. Thankfully, we solved the problem relatively quickly. Towards the end of the day when we were about to put on new tyres to try and lower our lap time, I had a small crash. Luckily there was no lasting damage and I can focus on the positive thing which is that we had a really good feeling with the bike. For much of today we were competitive and that’s what I’ll take out of the day, Tomorrow, we’ll be aiming to improve the bike’s response, and I hope that it all goes well and we can end the test in form.”

18th Eugene Laverty 1.30.617 (52 laps): “Today was good. The beginning of the day was wet so we had to wait a little bit but once it dried out I was able to make fifty laps, so we were able to adjust the bike and make it a little bit more comfortable for me. First of all the most important thing for me was to get some confidence with the front because that is what caused my crash in November. At the start it didn't feel so good and I felt I was going to crash again but we made some progress and as my feeling with the front improved so did the pace. The lap time is coming but we have a lot more potential than this so we have a lot of work to do.”


Positive second day for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS at the Island

Phillip Island, Australia – 18 February 2016: An improvement in the weather at Phillip Island for the second day of testing meant a far more productive day for the two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Jack Miller and Tito Rabat.

The day started similar to yesterday, with intermittent showers disrupting proceedings, but the sun eventually made an appearance and the MotoGP teams enjoyed near perfect testing conditions in the afternoon.

Miller may have undergone surgery on a fractured tibia and fibula just one month ago, but the injury hasn’t been an issue for the 21-year-old Australian, who ended today 17th with a time of 1’30.514.

Rabat ended the second day of testing two places further back in 19th, but managed to close to within a tenth of his more experienced Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate. The former Moto2 World Champion is still getting to grips with the Honda RC213V, but was happy to see a significant improvement in his lap time today.

Jack Miller: 17th – 48 Laps – 1’30.514

“I can be happy today. The weather improved and we got a lot of laps in on the bike, which is good, and the leg was no problem. The bike is working well, we’re missing a little bit in turn 10, which we need to work on, but we have some ideas as to how we can improve tomorrow. I’m really happy with the direction that Michelin have taken with the tyres as they’re working really well here at Phillip Island. I’m looking forward to riding the bike again tomorrow and, hopefully, the weather will stay good for us.”

Tito Rabat: 19th – 66 Laps – 1’30.650

“Today we’re closer to the front guys. This morning the gap was too big but we’ve managed to close it a little and we will look to close it some more tomorrow. Today has been another day of learning; learning the bike, learning the tyres and learning the track on a bike that has far more power than I’m used to. Tomorrow I want to continue to work on my riding style as I adapt to the Honda RC213V, so hopefully we’ll have similar weather to today.”

Chris Pike: Chief Engineer – Tito Rabat

“The day ended well, but this morning was tough, with Tito trying really hard to improve his lap time. I think he was maybe trying too hard and needed to relax a bit and let it come to him. He figured this out on the last run and we saw an improvement, which is good for his confidence and means we start tomorrow on a positive note. We still need to go faster, but his fastest lap came on a tyre with 15 laps on it – the maximum number of timed laps we’re allowed to do on the rear tyre here – so it was a positive day.”


Spectacular day of testing at Phillip Island: 14 riders within 1 second. Scott ended up 9th, Petrux 14th

Second day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit in Victoria, Australia, will be long remembered for a crazy final ranking: 14 riders all within one second and 25 milliseconds, and only 3 tenths between the second row and the fourteenth position.

Scott Redding ended up well his activity (9th place, only 87 milliseconds from the second row) as he made other significant progress. Even Danilo Petrucci (14°) can look forward confidently to the last day of activities in light of the final comeback after a difficult day.

The feeling of the Brit with his Ducati Desmosedici GP is growing significantly. Scott appeared at ease since mid-morning as the circuit has dried after a light rain that forced riders to come out early with rain tires. In the afternoon, his growth is continued until the time attack that saw him break the wall of 1:30'' and finish with the chrono of 1:29.941.

Followin a rather difficult day, Danilo Petrucci and his team have had the merit of continuing to work with patience and concentration by trying different set up. And finally teamwork has paid off by allowing the rider from Terni to lap at a very interesting pace especially in the last half hour of the session. On lap 61 (63 completed), Petrux set his quickest time passing under the checkered flag in 1:30.156, only 164 milliseconds from the Top 10.

9th Scott Redding

1:29.941 - 60 laps

I'm satisfied with today's work. I found confidence with the bike and tires and every time I went out with the new tire I was able to improve my time. I preferred to focus on my riding style, trying to improve lap after lap without working too much on set up. I'm also happy with my final crono despite a couple of mistakes. At the end of the session I lapped first in 1:30.0, then 1:29.9. I did increase the tire pressure: this led me to improve in some parts of the circuit but in the last two corners I lost a bit the front and I left a few cents on the track. This, however, means that there is room for improvement.

14th Danilo Petrucci

1:30.156 - 63 laps

It was a difficult day but we have to look at the positive side because the gap is not large. We used a few tires because we were not ok and there was no reason to try to set a time. I think I gave wrong indications to my technician and only at the end I realized where I could improve. The important thing is that we got there and tomorrow I think I can. I think I can recover well because this is not the position where I want to be. I had little time to turn at a good pace, but I am sure that is the right way and I can stay more comfortably in the top 10. I realized the mistakes I made, and tomorrow I will not repeat them.


2016

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