Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the Sepang test:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Concludes Sepang Test on Top
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP has wrapped up the first official IRTA test of the 2017 season today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have spent the three days working through various testing items to further develop their YZR-M1s and secured first and sixth place respectively in the overall standings.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have completed their testing programme at the Sepang International Circuit today. This third and last day was the toughest for the riders as they rode back-to-back stints in hot temperatures to make up for lost time due to yesterday's damp track conditions.
Though the focus of the team was still solely on improving the technical aspects, the Spaniard and Italian took first and fifth place respectively in today's time sheets and first and sixth in the overall 2017 Sepang MotoGP Official Test results.
This morning Viñales showed once again that his riding style matches perfectly with the YZR-M1's nimble character. He dropped various hot laps before posting his fastest time of the day, a 1'59.368s on lap 40, to slot into first place in the rankings. With a margin of 0.138s ahead of his closest rival, he comfortably held his position until the end of the session after shifting his attention to the last details of his bike's setting.
A few spots of rain in the afternoon had the young rider sit in the pit box before he could resume his testing programme. As soon as the conditions improved Viñales had his final go on the YZR-M1 and had enough minutes left to end the test with a time attack. Though unable to beat his own best lap, he is leaving the Sepang track feeling confident, having completed 72 laps today.
Rossi also didn't let any time go to waste on the last opportunity of testing in Malaysia. He filled his morning session with evaluating a new tyre for Michelin and building on his findings from the previous testing days.
Similar to teammate Viñales, the Doctor was eager to start his afternoon session as soon as track conditions allowed. His fastest lap from the morning was a 2'00.125s, putting him in eleventh place, 0.756s from the top, but the Doctor had a trick up his sleeve. Once he got back out on track he fully committed to improving his position in the rankings and set the fourth fastest time, a 1'59.589s, 0.221s from first, on lap 50 of 62. He ended the test day in fifth place as the pace quickened in the final minutes.
The team will now return to Europe whilst the engineers return to Japan to process the data and take their 2017 MotoGP preparation another step further. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will regroup in Phillip Island from Feb 15th - 17th for the second pre-season test of 2017.
Massimo Meregalli - Team director, Yamaha Motor Racing
"This morning we knew it would be important to make the most of the dry and cooler track conditions so we started testing as soon as we could. We are satisfied about the way that the development proceeded over the last three days. We have been able to evaluate many items without facing any difficulties. We have been testing the frame, fairing, electronics, mapping and the tyres and we've collected a lot of data but, even more importantly, we have already been able to make some decisions for the 2017 season. We also received good feedback on the tyre life, which is one of the topics we focused on most during this test and this allowed us to not only to be quicker but also increase our consistency. Leaving Sepang with the fastest lap time to our name, we are now looking forward to head to Phillip Island where we will continue the development of our bike. Maverick, Valentino, the team and the Japanese engineers all did an excellent job and we are feeling confident about the next test."
"Today again, like yesterday, we worked mainly on the race pace. We improved the pace a lot. I am quite surprised I could attain a 1'59 and I am really happy, because it was very fast and the bike was going well. We tried many things during this week, so I think we can have a better package for the next test in Australia. We will bring many good things to Phillip Island. At the moment it is difficult to say which aspect of the bike surprised me most. We are developing the bike, trying to better the package that we have, and I think for sure we have the best bike at the moment for one lap and on race distance. Step by step we are choosing the best things."
"I'm quite happy, it was a good test, because my lap times were OK and 1'59.589 is not so bad and we are all very close at the top. In general, the feeling with the bike is positive and today we also found something interesting to further improve the bike. At the end it was a challenging test but we found something positive."
Positive end to Sepang test for Marquez in 2nd place and Pedrosa in 4th
The sun was shining on the final day of the Sepang test, and the Repsol Honda riders wasted no time in taking to the track at 10 a.m.
Completing a productive day of testing that was mainly focused on the RC213V’s latest engine configuration, the chassis and the Michelin tyres, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa improved their setup and pace. Marc today completed 85 laps (more than any other rider), and his time of 1’59.506” on lap 18 was the second-fastest (third in the combined standings), just 0.138” off the top. Dani set today’s fourth-quickest lap with his time of 1’59.578” on lap 64 of 67 (fifth in the combined standings), just under one tenth down on his teammate.
The Repsol Honda riders will now fly to Jakarta, Indonesia, for the official Team Launch on 3 February.
2nd (Combined Standings: 3rd) 1'59.506
“I’m much happier with my position today, even if the rhythm is really more important. We did a lot of laps, aiming to do as much work as possible, and indeed we did a good job; we completed much of our work schedule, though not everything. We need to make further improvements in some areas where I’m not yet totally comfortable, but even so, I’m happy that we got better and better over the three days, which is the most important thing. Today we again worked a lot on the electronics and also on the bike setup. In the last hour I did a mini-long run of 11 laps, sacrificing the time-attack a bit, but for us it was more important to work on the pace. I’m generally very happy with how the three days went.”
4th (Combined Standings: 5th) 1’59.578
“We were lucky with the weather today. We managed to complete a full day and were able to do many laps and work a lot. Obviously it was the final of three days in very hot conditions, and one already feels a bit tired being this is the first test of the year. Anyway, I may say it was a positive enough day because we made several steps forward. We struggled a bit at the beginning, but as the day went on we were able to fix several things and get quicker. We’re still not 100% but we were a lot faster than the first day, which gives a positive general picture to this first winter test.”
Three days of MotoGP tests conclude at Sepang with Dovizioso and Lorenzo placing 3rd and 9th today and 4th and 10th overall. Stoner again out on track, finishing the day in 7th
Three days of official MotoGP testing came to an end this afternoon at the Sepang circuit. All the riders were able to lap on a dry track until around 3 pm, when the showers that fell on some parts of the Malaysian circuit hampered track activity. The session got going again one hour later and continued until 6 pm, when the final session of these first 2017 winter tests came to a close.
Andrea Dovizioso set a time of 1’59.553, which put him third in today’s standings and fourth overall, while Jorge Lorenzo continued his positive learning curve on his new Ducati Desmosedici GP machine. The Spaniard further improved his performance to set a best time of 1’59.767 late in the morning on medium tyres, ending the day in ninth place and tenth overall.
Today also saw another day of activity for Casey Stoner, who had already taken part in the first day of testing on January 30th. The Australian rider continued with development work on the 2017 Desmosedici GP together with Ducati Test Team technicians and he finished the day in seventh place, with a time of 1’59.639 (eighth in the combined standings).
The next official MotoGP tests are scheduled for the Phillip Island circuit in Australia on 15th-17th February.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – today 56 laps – 1’59.553 (3rd)
“I’m very satisfied with the work we have done in these tests, because despite the weather conditions, we were able to do all the scheduled tests and checks and gather important information for our development. I have a good feeling with my bike, better than last year, something I really didn’t expect, but back in the factory the engineers have really done a good job. We have a good base, but we still have to improve some of our characteristics, even though I am leaving Malaysia very happy. In a few days’ time there will be an important test at Phillip Island, which is a completely different circuit to Sepang, and our aim will be to also be competitive on that track.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – today 66 laps – 1’59.767 (9th)
“I’m happy because we managed to make a lot of progress and day after day I am getting to know the bike even better. Today I was able to take seven-tenths of a second off the time I set yesterday and on every exit I’m getting closer and closer to my potential, even though I’m still missing something. The whole team is really motivated, and we are working well together. In the last three days we accumulated a lot of useful information to further improve the Desmosedici and we are becoming more and more competitive.”
Casey Stoner (Ducati Test Team #27) – today 46 laps – 1’59.639 (8th)
“Today was another fairly positive day, we got quite a few things tested before a little bit of rain disrupted us but we still got some good track time towards the end of the day as well. We got to do a lot of configurations between chassis, swing-arms, engine mappings and different things like this, so all in all it was quite positive and hopefully we got some good things to take away from this test.”
IANNONE 2nd IN SEPANG TEST AS RINS GAINS EXPERIENCE
Team Suzuki Press Office – February 1.
Andrea Iannone – 2nd
Alex Rins – 12th
After three days of testing, the first important appointment of the 2017 season completed today for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR with crucial information from Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins gathered for the future developments.
Iannone’s focus for today was to work on the race pace and the 1:59.452 he did yesterday puts him second overall in the combined classification of the test. Rins’ performance today was faster than yesterday with a 2:00.057 that puts him in 12th place in the combined classification.
The three-day session saw the introduction of new improvements developed during winter and verified their efficiency; and the outcome is very positive, with both riders comfortable and confident with the new specs of the engine and chassis.
The Factory GSX-RR has not been completely renewed for 2017, the Suzuki Factory engineers have focused on small improvements to capitalise on the already-proven points of strength and have more options in configurations that can fix any small weaknesses. The next tests in Australia and Qatar will see the introduction of further upgrades and the development work will continue, although the engine has been approved by both riders, appreciating the behaviour of the new specifications.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“First test is always strange because you are always eager to try so many new things, but on the other hand you are a bit worried for the results in testing new parts. The weather conditions sometimes affected our program as we couldn’t ride because of the wet asphalt, but all-in-all we are very happy. Andrea did a great lap-time already on the second day and today he could do a long run, but unfortunately, he crashed. Despite this issue, we found many areas where we can improve before the first race and this is a good thing. Regarding Alex, it was a big surprise for us because of his improvement and honestly, we didn’t expect his lap-time because Sepang was only his first real MotoGP test after the crash in Valencia. He did a good job. Both riders gave us the same direction for the development of the bike and this is really important for us to improve. We don’t have so much time before Phillip Island to prepare things, but we will do our best to get some improvements there. Our aim now is continuing to improve the bike on the basis of the new 2017 engine.”
“The day was positive and my feeling is good. Today we tried to focus on the race pace, finding a good balance of the bike and consistency in performance, and we improved session by session, which is positive. Also, the settings got some improvements, especially on the front; yesterday we experienced some vibrations in braking and slow corners and today we managed to find a good solution. Overall I am very satisfied with these three-days, we worked very well with my team and the feeling with the GSX-RR is very positive. Of course, we have many areas we can improve upon, but now our engineers have much data to work on and for sure we will be able to make further steps forward.”
“My feelings are very positive, I felt very confident on the bike and also the back is ok. In these three days we worked hard mainly to find the feeling with the bike, to adapt my riding style properly and also be more effective onboard. Today we could also work on the geometry of the bike and the outcomes were positive. I will need more and more kilometres, I need to better-understand the machine and grow myself. It’s mainly a matter of experience, because already today I saw that as the more experience I get, the better the times become.”
MOTOGP - THE FIRST TESTS OF 2017 END IN SEPANG
ALEIX ESPARGARÒ RIDES THE 2017 APRILIA RS-GP IN ITS DÉBUT
ROOKIE SAM LOWES CONTINUES TO IMPROVE CONSISTENTLY
ALBESIANO: "EXCELLENT RESPONSES FROM THE BIKE, THE RIDERS AND THE TEAM"
The first tests of the 2017 MotoGP season just ended on the Malaysian track of Sepang. In the able hands of Aleix Espargarò, Aprilia introduced the 2017 version of the RS-GP. Sam Lowes, a rookie in the category, continued work familiarising himself with the Italian MotoGP bike.
Despite the fluctuating weather conditions, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini accomplished a lot of work in the garage and the 125 and 140 laps done respectively by Aleix and Sam are a testament to this.
Espargarò had good sensations, immediately liking the new version of the RS-GP. In spite of the fact that the priority was to complete a packed schedule of testing to be done, from tyre tests to starting strategies, the Spanish rider did his best lap at 2'00.108, which places him in thirteenth place at the end of the day, just over 7 tenths of a second behind the leader. With two more test sessions scheduled, in Australia and Qatar, Aleix is optimistic about the race début, given the good responses achieved both in terms of times and his technical feeling with the new bike.
His consistency and the final result are an encouraging sign of Sam Lowes' progress. Astride the 2016 RS-GP, the English rookie continued his apprenticeship. Not too many changes for him, but a lot of laps done in an effort to increase his confidence with a technical package that is decidedly different than the one he used last year. At the end of the three days, Sam expressed satisfaction with the progress made on the various fronts, from riding position to braking. This is progress that the times confirm: an improvement of almost two seconds between the first and third day and the session concluded with a nice 2'01.341.
“I am satisfied with these tests. I liked the 2017 bike and it has some improvements compared with the one I tested in Valencia and Jerez. The new engine specification is an important step, although from that standpoint we still need to gain something with respect to the fastest bikes, and the frame has maintained its strong points. The guys at Aprilia have worked very well and we need to continue on this path for the next tests. In the afternoon of the third day I crashed during race simulation, but until that point my pace was good - very close to the best. We obviously need to improve in many areas, especially in terms of power distribution and stability in acceleration, but overall our situation is positive.”
“Over the three days we reduced the gap behind the leaders significantly and that is important. We are working in the right direction. Everything is new for me, so I learn something new every lap! Among other things, I also did a race simulation, discovering how mentally and physically demanding it is to ride a MotoGP bike here at Sepang, but I am pleased with how it went. These tests were fundamental for me. We did not focus on our final position because that is certainly not our goal. We still have six days of testing before the race in Qatar and I think that if we maintain these levels of growth and concentration we will be ready.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“From a technical point of view, I could not have asked for better in these tests, although we still have a lot of work to do before Qatar. The 2017 RS-GP confirmed the progress made compared with last year, both in terms of the chassis architecture and the engine, and we know how difficult it is to improve in a demanding category like MotoGP. The work done by our two riders obviously followed very different paths, with equally positive results. Aleix, with his experience and speed, began development on the new bike and he has already demonstrated an excellent level in terms of performance, whereas Sam focused on improving his feeling and the riding style that these bikes demand. Even the team, which is comprised of a few new members, demonstrated great harmony straight away with all the mechanisms that will be fundamental throughout the season.”
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
“In this first round of tests with the new 2017 RS-GP, Aleix moved forward with a good programme, testing various changes in terms of chassis architecture and the engine, making good progress. We know that there is still work to be done, but we can feel satisfied so far. It was definitely important to be able to tackle a fast and demanding track like Sepang straight away. Espargarò gave us some good feedback and he appreciated the work Aprilia did over the winter. He is very enthusiastic and that will certainly lead to improvement. For his part, Sam managed to consistently lower his times. He is starting to settle into this new category and he is acquiring the necessary habits. It was a positive first test. We are not far from the leaders and we are happy with the work done so far.”
Espargaro & Smith start 2017 MotoGP season with intensive test on the KTM RC16 at Sepang
MotoGP IRTA Test 2017 – Sepang (MAL)
The Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team on Wednesday wrapped up official IRTA tests on the Malaysian circuit of Sepang with factory riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith after having more important development steps with the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike.
Immediately before the IRTA tests with KTM’s factory riders Pol Espargaro (ESP), and Bradley Smith (GBR), the test team with test rider Mika Kallio (FIN) were already busy with private testing of the KTM RC16 at the same circuit.
All three riders lost some track time due to heavy seasonal rain at the Malaysian circuit, but both teams and riders left satisfied that they had achieved their goals. Apart from a small low side crash by Espargaro in turn two on the last day, which did not result in any damage to the bike or rider, the test went smoothly and without incident.
Mike Leitner, MotoGP Team Manager said he was happy with the progress that was made during the private and the IRTA test. “Everyone was here and everyone was pushing. The other manufacturers have a lot of experience on this track and it’s one of the most difficult on the calendar. It was super important to bring all the ideas we have had since Valencia. This didn’t help so much regarding the times but for sure we had very good input. The riders did a super job, also Mika in the days before. We should be really happy because we know where we are and we’ll keep pushing.”
Rain held off until the late afternoon on the opening day but Espargaro took the opportunity to put in some laps on wet tires. Both riders improved lap times as the day progressed with Espargaro +1.658 seconds off the lead in 16th place in his 45th lap.
Tests started late on Tuesday after heavy overnight rain saturated the track, but conditions improved on the final day with Smith exactley as fast as his teammate, both 1.970 seconds off the pace right at the end of the third session.
Smith was very positive about his return to riding after injury and said his rehabilitation and fitness program had paid off. Regarding the test he commented: “I think during these three days we did what we had to do. When I felt comfortable we went faster and we didn’t rush anything. We worked through our program step-by-step and we tried not to make any mistakes. That’s important at this point in time because development is crucial. Let’s say we tried 12 new things and 11 were positive and that’s nice for it to happen here in Sepang. I think we certainly have a clear indication. The team has worked fantastically. Everybody has made really good progress during these three days, on tires, suspension, electronics and chassis. I think everyone can be proud. For us to be just 1.9 seconds from the front at Sepang, one of the longest racetracks on the calendar, and for our first test for 2017, I think it’s a great place to start.”
Espargaro also left satisfied that the team was making good progress. “I think we have done a good test, and this is the most important thing. We’ve improved quite a lot from the beginning. The team is working well and we are going in the right direction, so I am pretty happy.” Speaking about the next official test at Australia’s Phillip Island, he added: “Phillip Island is a new track for us, because this is the first time that KTM will be there. Mika has already done a very good job on the tracks where the team has already been. Phillip Island is a demanding and beautiful track so it will be interesting to see what we can do.”
Sebastian Risse, Technical Director MotoGP also confirmed that the team had achieved its goals for the tests. “Our first target for these six days was to check the material and our package, because we have everything new for this year. Our second target was to find some direction for the problems that the riders told us about at the end of last year. We developed different ideas during the winter and we proved that they were right. First, there were the tests with Mika and he was quite happy, then we tested more things with the GP riders and they are also quite happy about our direction, especially regarding the chassis, and also the electronics. Lastly we had to get the riders back on track after the winter break because the real season starts now, so we need laps. We all have to learn, and the team needs to work together. Now we’ll see what happens in the next steps."
The next round of pre-season tests are at Phillip Island Australia starting February 15, just short of a month before the first GP in Qatar on March 26.
Bautista ends Sepang test as top Independent rider
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 10:37
Pull&Bear Aspar Team riders Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham leave Malaysia in high spirits after positive three days
The first test of the MotoGP World Championship preseason concluded today at the Sepang Circuit, with good weather allowing the teams to make the most of the eight hours available. With only four riders able to break the two-minute mark on the previous two days, today no fewer than ten riders managed it, the first of them being Pull&Bear Aspar rider Álvaro Bautista, who posted a 1'59.628 on his tenth lap, with barely an hour elapsed of the session. The rest of the field gradually improved also, with Maverick Viñales eventually setting the bar at 1'59.368 to finish the test ahead of Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso. The next appointment for the MotoGP teams is another preseason test at Phillip Island (Australia), on 15, 16 and 17 February.
Both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham made a strong start to the day, putting their Pull&Bear Aspar Team machines in first and third position during the early stages. Bautista was the first to break the two-minute mark, clocking three virtually identical consecutive laps as he continued with the strong and consistent pace he has shown throughout this test, finishing up as the best Independent Team rider over the three days in sixth position overall. Karel Abraham posted a 2'00.445 on his eleventh lap on track, improving his previous best from yesterday by half a second. The Czech rider continues to adapt to his new machine and heads home happy after finishing this test as the third fastest Independent Ducati.
6th Álvaro Bautista 1:59.628 (64 laps): “It is like the winter never existed for me, it feels like I just got off the bike after the last test. We'll see in Australia if the base we have now allows us to be almost at the limit from the very beginning. It is not easy to get under the two-minute mark here, especially on such a new bike for me, with so many improvements still to be made. We have worked hard over the last three days on my rhythm, on trying to be consistent and learning the bike This morning I wanted to push a little harder and I did a bunch of laps under two minutes so I am very happy. I felt good and felt comfortable from the first lap on the first day. Even though the lap times are good I think I still need to work on some details to ride this bike the way it needs to be ridden.”
17th Karel Abraham 2.00.445 (38 laps): “The overall summary of the three days is very positive. I have improved my lap time every day and today we managed a 2'00.445, which I think is faster than we could have expected before we arrived here in Malaysia. It has been three very productive days. We have tested a lot of things and it seems like they have worked, which is a very good feeling. I can head home from Malaysia feeling very happy and looking forwards to continuing my physical training programme now in readiness for the next test.”
CRUTCHLOW ENDS MALAYSIA TEST IN POSITIVE FASHION
The first of three official pre-season testing sessions came to a close at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today, as the whole MotoGP field and a variety of test riders began to draw their conclusions from three days of hard work.
For the LCR Honda Team and their British rider Cal Crutchlow it was a chance to help Honda evaluate the 2017 version of the RC213V, with still seven weeks to go before the start of the world championship in Qatar.
The final day of testing was a busy one for the squad, with Crutchlow completing a mammoth 71 laps of the sweltering 5.543km circuit. He clocked a best lap time of 1’59.728, the eighth fastest lap of the day, and the ninth fastest time of the three-day test.
The LCR Honda Team now pack up their equipment in Malaysia to prepare for the next three-day official test at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia in two weeks’ time.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 9th (1’59.728 lap 67 of 71)
“We had a positive day today with the bike, and we are still evaluating the different engine configurations for Honda. We worked hard and worked well as a team again. I do believe we could have picked up a little bit more in terms of lap time in some areas, but this was just a slight problem we had and we are happy enough with what has been a positive outcome during the test.”
“There is still a lot of work to be done, but we know that Honda will be going back to the factory with everything that has been fed back to them at this test. They work very hard for us all and when we get back onto the track hopefully that means will have another good test in Australia.”
Positive indications for Octo Pramac Racing at the end of the official
Irta test in Malaysia
The third and final day of the first official test of the 2017 MotoGP season, went on stage today at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding have worked hard to improve the feeling with their bikes and were able to bring home important data to work with in sight of the Australian test.
Danilo Petrucci gave the feeling of having made a step forward with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017. Having had to deal with some technical issues which have slowed him down in the morning, Petrux went back on track in the afternoon finding a good race pace.
Scott has lapped throughout the day carrying out the intensive set-up work but he found a bit more difficult in the lap-time. On the last day of activity in Malaysia, the British rider completed 55 laps with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2016
14th - Danilo Petrucci - 2:00.310
There were some small issues with the bike but this is a normal thing. We knew to come to Malaysia to do as much development work. I thank the team for the great job done by solving every problem. I wish I had the chance to try a time-attack this morning but it is not so important. I'm happy because I lapped consistently at mid day in difficult conditions and I had positive sensations. I can not wait to be at Philip Island hour.
19th - Scott Redding – 2:00.645
We worked hard and we managed to improve the feeling with the front after the problems experienced the first two days. I still have problems of chattering, especially with the new tire and this prevented me to be incisive in the lap-time. With used tires instead, we have made great progress. It was a positive test because it gave us much data to work with in Australia.
Barbera and Baz complete Sepang test looking for better feeling
The first test of the 2017 preseason has ended today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia with Héctor Barberá and Loris Baz in 16th and 20th place in the combined time sheets after three days. Even though there is still a lot of work left to find the perfect feeling with their bikes before the first race, the test at Sepang has all in all been very positive .
Héctor Barberá had a crash with one hour to go and was left without a chance for a final time attack to improve his lap time. The Valencian rider lost the front on turn 5 at more than 170 km/h, but fortunately he walked away without injuries. The front end was a critical point on his Ducati Desmosedici GP16 over the three days of testing and he needs to continue to work before the first in race in Qatar on March 26th. There are three more testing days scheduled at Phillip Island this month and another three at Losail in early March.
His teammate Loris Baz improved on the last day and finished just 1.5s behind Maverick Viñales, the fastest rider in Sepang. Baz also has work left to do in Australia, but his first impressions of the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 were good.
All MotoGP riders will return to action at Phillip Island in two weeks, with three more days of testing to further adapt to their new bikes.
Hector Barbera - 2'00.537 - P18
“I don’t have enough feedback from the front of the bike and at the moment I don’t have the feeling that I would like. That’s the biggest limit I have right now. We’ve been trying many things and I’ve tried to push at the maximum, but at the end I crashed. I normally don’t crash often, but things are different with this bike. I also crashed when I raced it with the Ducati Team last season, I lost the front in both races and today it was the same again. We have to work to improve the feeling with the front. We are trying to work like last year, but this is a completely different bike and we have to reset for the next test in Australia. As far as lap times go, we are just a second behind the fastest rider, which is not so bad. Now we have to find the right direction at Phillip Island and keep improving to be ready for the first race.”
Loris Baz - 2'00.873 - P20
“Overall the test was good. Yesterday we tried several things that were not going as we expected, but today everything went much better and I am happy. I improved my lap times with a tyre that had more than ten laps. It also was at midday when it was very hot, so I think our result is positive. We are not far away and except from the second day, the feeling with the bike was very good. Now we’ll see how things develop in Australia. Phillip Island is my favourite circuit and we still have a lot of things to try, but I’m leaving Sepang, a track that is one of the most difficult for me, quite happy. We still have to continue working on my riding style to be smoother, and we also have to work with the bike to be faster with a full tank, which at the moment it still a little bit difficult.”
Confident Tech3 pair ready for more after positive close to Sepang Test
Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger continued to fulfil their potential by producing two strong performances on the final day at Sepang. Johann Zarco leaves Malaysia as the top MotoGP rookie after concluding the test with a lap that was impressively only 0.404 back from first place, and which was also almost a second and a half quicker than his fastest time on Monday. Whereas Jonas Folger determinedly carried on his learning process as he gathered valuable experience by running a full race simulation, and his personal best left him 0.944 from the head of the pack as he closed the test solidly. The next MotoGP outing will take place at the Phillip Island circuit in a fortnight.
Position: 10th Time: 1'59.772 Laps: 45
"We closed the test in a positive way and I am happy about what we managed to accomplish in Malaysia, even if it was necessary to rest my body a bit today because of the energy that I had spent in the past two days. In the morning we just tried to ride some good times in the low temperature and then afterwards, the plan was to run a series of constant laps in a race simulation, but even if I didn’t fully achieve this, I came close. During that time, I relaxed more on the bike but then I waited until the afternoon because of the tyre limit and I didn’t want to push too much on the used rubber and risk anything. When we put the last new tyre in at almost the end of the day, I was able to get under the two-minute lap mark which I am happy about because it was a target for me. We can see that many riders did this also but I am one of them so I am certainly pleased and now I am eager to see what we can do at Phillip Island."
Position: 15th Time : 2'00.312 Laps: 54
"I feel positive about today and once again I learnt a lot of very important information. The Tech3 team and I focused on running a race simulation and we ran used tyres on the Yamaha with a heavy full load. We were more than satisfied with the outcome because I was really consistent and able to set similar times even when the tyre dropped. I gained a lot of knowledge from this long run, especially with regards to the engine mapping and how each different option works. Now we have a lot of significant data that we can use at the next MotoGP test in Australia, which I am really looking forward to. Also, I have to say thanks to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team for their great work over these three days."
Positive three day Sepang test for Miller
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller declared himself satisfied after significantly improving his lap time on the third and final day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Alongside tyre testing for Michelin, Miller and his crew used the track time available over the three days to focus on improving the 22-year-old Australian's confidence in the front of his Honda RC213V.
Limited confidence in the front-end, especially mid-corner during the transition from releasing the brakes to opening the gas, is an issue that has dogged Miller since he stepped up to the premier class in 2015, but the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider made a big step forward in Sepang.
Changes to the set up of his Honda RC213V combined with a revised front fork from Öhlins brought a significant improvement, allowing Miller to improve his lap time by over one second today.
Despite a brief rain shower shortly after the lunch break, which left damp patches on the circuit from Turn 7 through to Turn 13, Miller managed to complete a total of 70 laps today.
Miller now heads home to Australia with his confidence restored and looking forward to making further improvements during the next MotoGP test at Phillip Island, which gets underway on 15th February.
Tito Rabat played no part in the final day of testing in Sepang after sustaining injuries in a heavy crash at Turn 11 yesterday afternoon. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider flew back to Europe overnight for treatment and a decision about his participation at Phillip Island will be made only once he has undergone a full medical assessment at the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona.
Jack Miller: P16 – 2'00.439 – 70 Laps
"It's been a good three days here at Sepang for me. We've made more positive steps in terms of front-end feeling than we managed in the previous two years and, step-by-step, I was getting faster. We had a small problem with the bike during the long run, which was a real shame as I'm confident I could have improved my time by a significant amount with the soft tyres we'd kept back for the end of the day. But, overall, I'm happy with the new chassis and how the bike is working. Yes, we could have gone faster but the feeling is good and I'm looking forward to picking up where we left off here when we get to Phillip Island."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Today was a positive one for Jack. His biggest issue last year was a lack of front-end feeling at the point where he releases the brakes and gets back on the throttle mid-corner. It was this problem that caused most of his crashes in the past and it is where he and his crew have focussed their efforts during this test. Today we saw a big improvement in this area and that has boosted Jack's confidence in the bike. We still have a lot of work to do because we're not where we should be yet, but we have six more days of testing before Qatar and I'm confident we can close the gap to the frontrunners in that time. Tito is now back in Europe and will undergo a full medical assessment today. Only then will we be able to make a decision about his participation at Phillip Island."