2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Saturday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the second day of the Qatar Test:


Movistar Yamaha Tops Second Qatar Test Day

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team was back on track today for the second day of the MotoGP Official Test Losail. Though the day was not without challenges, the Factory Yamaha crew persevered. Maverick Viñales was quick to get up to pace and topped the timesheets, just slightly ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi in second.

Careful progress over the winter paved the way for a positive outcome for Viñales today. He built on his strong result from previous tests in an effortless fashion to top the timesheets early on in the session and he successfully defended his lead from a late charging Rossi and Jonas Folger, resulting in a Yamaha top 3.

Clearly happy with his race set-up, the Spaniard spent most of the day fine-tuning his YZR-M1 in order to be 100% ready for the upcoming first MotoGP round in Qatar. The Spaniard concluded the second day with a total of 49 laps and a fastest time of 1'54.455s under his belt, earning him first place in the combined standings.

Teammate Rossi proceeded to better his feeling with the Michelin front tyre, especially on corner entry. He tried various setting modifications to improve braking stability and made a comparison between set-ups to get a clear sense of which direction he will work on tomorrow.

The Doctor had some bad luck when he suffered a lowside crash in the earlier stages of the session, sustaining small cuts on his left hand. However, it didn’t stop the Italian from signing off with a 1'54.732s for second place in the combined results, set on lap 37, an hour before the end of the session.

Tomorrow the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back on track from 16:00 – 23:00 local track time.

Maverick Viñales

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Rider

I feel good. We need some further improvements, but anyway, I felt good from the first day, so I tried to do my best. We’re trying to keep the lap times really consistent and on the same pace. Today we made another step and I hope tomorrow we can improve a little bit more, but I think we can be happy about our set-up and if the race was right now, we would be ready, for sure. I still want to improve on the braking points to be faster, but we still have tomorrow to continue testing.

Valentino Rossi

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Rider

We did some big modifications and on the second exit in turn 7 I lost the front. Unfortunately I have some pain, a few holes in my fingers, but I'm OK. We improved the pace and the lap times a lot. We also bettered the feeling with the bike. I suffered a lot during the winter test and I was never really strong, so today’s lap time is important. Tomorrow we’ll try to continue the pace like this to understand our level. From the first time on the new bike, I didn’t have enough feeling on the front, especially to enter the corner fast. We modified a lot of things. I have to say thank you to Yamaha, they gave me a lot of support, especially after the test in Phillip Island, which was very bad. We have arrived at the front now, so it’s OK. We just have to modify the bike, the setting and everything.

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

Today was a good and productive day for us, which shows in the results. We, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team, secured a 1-2, and it was a top three for Yamaha, showing the strength of the YZR-M1. We got a lot of work done today and this provides us with a good understanding of what final things we need to address tomorrow. Maverick is very comfortable with his bike-setting and shaping up nicely for the race weekend. He’s looking very competitive already, posting quick and consistent lap times, and we are confident that with the last tweaks on the setting tomorrow we can make another step. Vale suffered a crash at the beginning of the session, which damaged his first bike but was a blessing in disguise. Though he injured his hand slightly, the incident forced him to continue work on his second bike, which gave him the feeling with the front that he had been looking for during the winter season, enabling him to make a good step today. Our testing schedule is almost completed, tomorrow we aim to do a race simulation with both riders, which will give us important information for the upcoming racing weekend.


APRILIA IS FIFTH ON THE SECOND DAY OF MOTOGP TESTS IN QATAR

ALEIX ESPARGARÒ RIDES HIS 2017 RS-GP CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE LEADERS

SAM LOWES ALSO CONTINUES TO IMPROVE CONSISTENTLY

Aprilia was the nicest surprise on the second day of tests in Qatar, the last ones before the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing championship opening round, also scheduled to be held in Qatar on 26 March.

Confirming the good sensations he had yesterday when, slowed by a crash, he had shown the potential to move up in the standings, Aleix Espargarò rode his 2017 Aprilia RS-GP to fifth place in the rankings for the day with a time of 1’55.121, just 66 one hundredths behind the leader, Viñales.

This is the best result yet that the 2017 Aprilia RS-GP has achieved in testing, only on its third outing of the season. Beyond the excellent time achieved, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Spaniard put 34 laps on the sheets, continuing development of the new bike and obtaining positive feedback throughout the long day of tests.

Sam Lowes, who tested the 2017 bike for the first time yesterday, also continued progressing, shaving more than 8 tenths off of his time from Friday and stopping the clock at 1’56.276, a performance that earned him twentieth place at the end of the day.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

“I had good sensations today, despite the crash on a fast turn that cost us the time. We were unable to test everything that we had planned to, but we definitely took a big step forward in terms of setup. Especially going into turns, which was one of the biggest limitations yesterday. Tomorrow we'll continue working on the geometry in preparation for the race and, above all, we'll be doing a long run.”

SAM LOWES

“Today was another good day for us. We did not run into any trouble and we were able to further reduce the gap behind the central group of riders, which was our goal for the first race. I feel like I'm beginning to understand the RS-GP better. We did some tests and had some positive responses and others not so positive, but everything helps me to have a clearer idea of which direction to go and to convey my needs to the mechanics. I am particularly pleased with the work we did, especially because I was quite consistent on used tyres and that, more than the flying lap, leads to good results in the race.”


Testing continues in Qatar for Marquez and Pedrosa

Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both spent the second day of the Qatar pre-season test working on the general race setup of their RC213V.

Marc took to the track at 5:30 p.m. and managed to complete a five-lap run before a brief drizzle halted the action for nearly half an hour. Back on track, the Repsol Honda rider posted the sixth-fastest time of 1’55.196” on lap 10 of 50, improving on his personal best from yesterday by 0.703”. Dani headed out at 6:30 p.m. and finished in 16th place with his time of 1’55.875” (lap 23 of 48).

The test will conclude tomorrow, signalling the end of the 2017 pre-season.

Marc Marquez

6th 1‘55.196

“The impression is much better that yesterday. Today I’m quite happy, as we worked really well and made the correct steps. We were missing something during the day but in the last run we found something interesting for tomorrow. We’ll try to keep working in this way, which I believe is the right one. At the moment our rhythm isn’t bad, but we need to do better. This track isn’t one of the best for us, but we still have another day and we’ll try to make the best of it, working especially on the electronics side. The base isn’t bad; today we tried something that didn’t give the results we were hoping for, but we’ve planned something for tomorrow that we hope will allow us to improve.”

Dani Pedrosa

16th 1’55.875

“Today it was difficult to manage as the track was quite different from yesterday; it didn’t have much grip. That’s why we didn’t go for the fast time but instead worked to improve the feeling. Step by step, we improved a bit but not enough. We tried a long run as well, almost race distance, to understand the bike’s behaviour and in the end it wasn’t bad. We hope that tomorrow we can have a better feeling. We’re at a better point compared to last year at this stage of the season, but there are some areas that we need to understand more. We’re still trying to get as much information as we can before the first race.”


Jorge Lorenzo finishes eighth on second day of MotoGP testing at Losail with Andrea Dovizioso in thirteenth

Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso were classified in eighth and thirteenth place respectively at the end of the second day of MotoGP testing taking place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

The Ducati Team’s Spanish rider completed a total of 53 laps and set his quickest time of the day in 1’55.344 on lap 10, while his Italian team-mate recorded a time of 1’55.583 on the 35th of the 42 laps he did today.

In the second part of the session, Dovizioso also did a few laps with a new front fairing, which has an innovative aerodynamic shape.

Tomorrow’s final day of testing starts at 16.00 local time and finishes at 23.00 in the evening (CET +2).

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 53 laps – 1’55.344 (8th)

“It’s not very easy to draw conclusions from today, also because I was one of the few riders who did not use the soft tyre, with which I could have probably made a significant improvement on my time. At any rate one of the positive things from this session is that we have improved on yesterday’s time by three-tenths of a second. Regarding the settings, today we didn’t try anything significant, but we still have some things planned which we will test tomorrow. In general I’m quite satisfied with the small progress we are making every day and tomorrow we will try and get the best out of the soft tyres to improve our times.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 42 laps – 1’55.583 (13th)

“Today was an unusual day because we encountered conditions that were very different from yesterday, both with the humidity and the track grip, but in my opinion it was in any case very important to also lap in this situation. For sure today was more difficult than yesterday, and we used all the session to do a lot of tests and even though the times were not so good in the final classification, it was a very productive day. In the evening I also did a couple of exits with the new fairing: in my opinion, our engineers have done a great job because it wasn’t easy to create a certain aerodynamic downforce without using the winglets. Now we are weighing up the pros and cons before we take a decision and also work out the tracks where this solution can give the biggest advantages.”


BUSY 2ND DAY OF TESTING FOR SUZUKI ECSTAR IN QATAR

Team Suzuki Press Office - March 11.

Andrea Iannone - P13 - 1:55.545

Alex RINS - P18 - 1:56.110

The second day of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar didn’t bring big improvements in the single lap time, but gave the riders and engineers the chance to try many solutions and get important information. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins worked intensively today to explore different configurations that could allow them to find a positive performance towards the race.

Iannone’s focus stayed fixed on developing the set-up and electronic configuration, the sort of low-profile job that hopefully will pay back as preparation for the race. He is still encountering a lack of sensitivity with the front end, which has been investigated by the team and is still under evaluation in order to find some solutions.

Positive progress was also made by Rins. He was able to finalise some better set-ups that allowed him to feel more confident on the bike and he also tried the new fairing again that had already been introduced in Australia. The result of all this work done by the riders is the collection of an important amount of data that will be useful to the engineers.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Today has been a busy day, let’s say. We had to test many things. At the end, we couldn’t put everything together and we still have some things to be fixed. Andrea is still struggling with the feeling of the front of the bike, but we have already worked on some ideas and we still have some others; as well as in the electronics, we have room to improve. We already made some steps forward, but we couldn’t find the ‘full package.’ His ideal time is better than the actual position, but we couldn’t get a good one for the classification. Alex, as well, is struggling with the front end. He wasn’t able to perform as he wanted; although we made some improvements with him as well. We have some ideas. Some of them we applied today and some others are still in the works. We still need some time to put everything together and finalise a solid performance.”

Andrea Iannone - P13 - 1:55.545:

“Despite the position in the classification, we can be positive, especially if thinking forward to the race. We have made some important improvements compared to yesterday, but these are mainly on the pace. Indeed, I was able to do all my best laps with worn tyres, which is a good sign for the consistency, but I’m still struggling with the single lap efficiency. When I put on a new tyre for some reason, I cannot be as effective as I’d like, and this prevents me from doing a very fast time attack. For example, in the last attempts I’d been as fast as some top riders until T3, but then in the last sector I lost nearly 0.5s from my own best time. This is because I feel a lack of confidence with the front of the bike and so I cannot be effective in the last corners of the fourth sector. We have a lot of grip at the rear, which consequently pushes a lot to the front. We are working on this, but it’s a job that requires much patience and many attempts to find the effective compromise. I’m confident we will be able to make some improvements tomorrow.”

Alex Rins - P18 - 1:56.110:

“The truth is that this day has been positive. We were able to try many things and got some important information. I also tried to push harder to find the limit, and I didn’t incur any crashes, and this is really positive. For sure we still need to improve and get a better performance on the lap time. Tomorrow we will have to be very focused and finalise all the modifications we have tried in order to put together a competitive package. Also, the pace is good as I stayed in the 1.56 bracket.”


Folger surges to third on day 2 in Qatar - Another positive and confident display from Zarco

The 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair continued their relentless work under the floodlights as they hammered home two notable results on the second day of action at the Losail International Circuit. Jonas Folger produced another deeply impressive performance to finish in third position, which completed an all-Yamaha top three with the rapid rookie joining the two Factory Yamaha riders under the 1’54 mark today. Whilst double Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco concluded another highly constructive day where he built up his speed before finishing in 10th and just 0.158 behind Marc Marquez. Both riders will aim to end the test by producing two positive performances tomorrow with the 2017 MotoGP season just 11 days away.

Jonas Folger

Position: 3rd Time : 1'54.917 Laps: 41

"It was another good day and I am very happy because we made constant steps forward and even if they are small, we always seem to be making progress. When we started, the team and I confirmed some settings, which we needed to look at, and this improved things with the bike. I then ran a half race simulation for 12 laps at the end of the session in order to raise my confidence a bit when the bike has a full tank of fuel and this was important to do after the fall that I had at the Phillip Island test. All in all, the simulation itself went well and I was able to run quick and consistent times at the end of it. Therefore, we can be very pleased with what we accomplished and I want to thank the team for their efforts today, they are all doing a really good job and I am enjoying riding the Yamaha."

Johann Zarco

Position: 10th Time: 1'55.354 Laps: 45

"The second day here was interesting but positive overall. Once again, I worked on the Yamaha as well as myself but things went better than yesterday because I felt more comfortable which allowed me to ride faster and more consistent lap times, and that is encouraging. Step by step I can improve and I understand how I can achieve this. This is important and I know now that in order to ride a fast lap, I need to be able to make the most of the tyre on the opening laps. Sometimes, I don’t always do this and although I feel good after the tyre has completed a bit of distance, I know that I need to push as soon as I get out on the track. Therefore, if we work well tomorrow and if I can make a quick lap at the beginning when the tyres are fresh, then I am certain that I can finish the third and final day in a very positive way."


SUCCESSFUL SECOND DAY OF TEST FOR CRUTCHLOW IN QATAR

PRESS RELEASE: 11 March 2017 - Qatar Test Day Two

Just one more day of testing remains before the start of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, after Cal Crutchlow and his LCR Honda Team completed day two of three at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

The Briton got in more running on Saturday after losing some track time to mechanical gremlins yesterday, ending the session in P4 despite a small tumble in the final part of the session and managing 46 laps on the second day of action. Crutchlow was also top Honda once again, this time with a 1’55.032.

Cal Crutchlow – 4th

(1’55.032 – lap 43 of 46)

"Today was not a bad day, we’re happy enough with what we’ve achieved. We again lost some time with a small technical problem. But we’re very happy with how the Team and Honda work to try to fix it again so I could go out and do some laps with one of the bikes. We tried some small settings and we’ve found some positives and some negatives. I’ve tried to use the soft tyre at the end of the session but unfortunately I crashed in the last corner, pushing too hard and it was completely my mistake. But we’re happy with the lap time on the medium tyre.”


Solid progress for Scott in Qatar 2nd test day. Petrux crashes following a good start

The second day of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar, ended with a precious ninth place for Scott Redding as Danilo Petrucci - following a good start - crashed at turn 12 loosing some confidence and finishing in 14th.

A light rain and a strong wind characterized the first part of the session during which many crashes have occurred. Then the circuit conditions are significantly improved allowing riders to work at their best.

After the good sensations of the first day, Scott has made further progress with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2016. In the last run of his daily program the British rider went out on track for a time attack gaining a valuable 9th place with a time of 1:55.353.

After devoting the first testing day to the development of the Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017, Petrux began working on the set up of his bike. Following a good start, the rider of Fiamme Oro occurred in a crash without consequences, as a result loosing a bit of confidence.

14th - Danilo Petrucci - 1'55.680

I am not happy with how things went today. At first the circuit conditions were not optimal and I struggled to find the right feeling. We started to try something new but the crash has forced me to stay too long at the box taking off even a little confidence. Tomorrow we will try a long run to get ready for the race. I am sure that we can do better. I just have to find some confidence back.

9th - Scott Redding - 1'55.353

It has been a very good day. Things went well also yestarday and it was an important base because we worked a lot on the feeling with the front end. Today I found confidence from the first lap, soon having the feeling that the direction was the right one. We have also managed to improve the corner speed and this was an important thing. For the first time in these winter testing I feel this is my bike again.


Bautista and Abraham confirm good progress on second day

Saturday, 11 March 2017 20:52

Pull&Bear Aspar Team riders inside a second of the best time in Qatar

The second day of testing in Qatar saw Maverick Viñales return to the top of the preseason timesheets, beating Andrea Dovizioso's best from yesterday by almost four tenths to hold off his team-mate Valentino Rossi. Rookie rider Jonas Folger continued to impress with the third fastest time, as the only other man to beat the 1'55 barrier. Cal Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaró and Marc Márquez rounded out the top six, followed by three Ducatis in the shape of Pull&Bear Aspar rider Álvaro Bautista, Jorge Lorenzo and Scott Redding. Tomorrow represents the final opportunity for the MotoGP teams and riders to test before the season starts here in Qatar on 26th March.

Pull&Bear Aspar riders Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham confirmed their good impressions from yesterday with another positive performance, the Spaniard finding half a second off his best lap almost immediately, although his plans were set back slightly by a small crash. Once he returned to the track Bautista continued to work on improving stability and turning, with the aim to complete a race simulation tomorrow. Karel Abraham banked a race simulation today, racking up almost twenty laps in fast and consistent times. The Czech rider also clocked his fastest lap of the evening when riding along at the end of the session, which secured eleventh place overall.

7th Álvaro Bautista 1:55.245 (48 laps): “Today we made some more detailed changes after finding a decent base to start from yesterday. These small modifications allowed me to focus more on my riding and getting references because the bikes wasn't changing much between runs. We focused on our race pace on used rubber and tried a few alterations to find more stability. In Australia we found something that we might have confirmed here but we have to keep working on stability and on turning. The place I am struggling most is on the gas in corner exit. Anyway, we have taken a step forward in confidence and feeling. Let's see if we can improve the set-up tomorrow and complete a race run of twenty laps on used rubber.”

11th Karel Abraham 1:55.420 (46 laps): “We are happy because we have done a satisfactory race simulation, I was able to set some fast and consistent laps. At the start of the day we tried some small modifications to the electronics and the chassis. On my last exit we put some new tyres in but, like yesterday, I wasn't able to follow anybody so I rode alone and even so I was able to improve my best time from yesterday by two tenths. I had a little crash at the end of the day but the bike and me were fine.”


Loris Baz continues with a steady progress under Losail floodlights

Reale Avintia Racing team rider Loris Baz, completed the second day of testing at Qatar with really positive feeling. 21 of the 42 laps he did today at the 3,34 miles circuit, were a race simulation and Baz finished very happy both with his pace and the performance of the Michelin tyres over the race distance. And although he thinks that it was possible to go slightly faster, he was overall happy with his performance in the second day at Losail International Circuit.

Following the race simulation the Reale Avintia Racing French rider went out again with a set of fresh tyres and pushed for a fast lap, ending the day 15th on the timesheet with a time of 1’55.808.

Loris Baz - 1'55.808 - P15

“It was another good day at the office and I’m happy. At the beginning the feeling was not so good as yesterday, but we refined the set up of the bike and we were able to improve. Today we worked with the tyres for the race, I think that for us will be the rear hard and the front soft, and we did a race simulation with positive results. Of course I would go faster, but to be my first race simulation I was quite happy with the result. After the simulation I did went out again pushing for a lap time, and I think it was not so bad, because I did it on my own and I was not pushing and tacking risks. I’m very happy because is the first time I enjoy riding the bike for a long time, and for me this is the most positive fact of this test.”


Positive second day for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in Qatar

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tito Rabat and Jack Miller both declared themselves satisfied with progress, after completing a comprehensive test program during the second of three days of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Rabat, who is still recovering from the injuries sustained in his Sepang testing crash, completed 48 laps of the 5.38km Losail circuit, as he worked to improve acceleration out of the turns. The former Moto2 World Champion posted a time of 1'56.214, an improvement of two tenths over his fastest lap from yesterday, to finish 1.759s from the top spot in P18.

Miller completed a total of 59 laps today, more than any other rider, as he continued to refine the set up of his Honda RC213V to better suit the characteristics of the latest specification engine. The 22-year-old Australian had a minor tumble early on in the session when he ran wide at turn one and lost the front, but remounted to return to the pit box.

Tito Rabat: 18th – 1'56.214

"It's been a very positive second day for me here in Qatar. Most importantly we are working in a good direction with the bike and each change we make brings some improvement. While I'm happy with today and I think we've done a good job, we need to continue in the same way tomorrow. Our biggest issue at the moment is getting the bike to turn and drive from mid-corner to exit. We focussed on this area today and we will continue to work on this tomorrow, as this is where we can win the biggest gain. My physical condition is still a limiting factor right now; the knee is a little painful after five or six laps but the biggest problem is that I lack upper body strength. This is a result of not being able to train properly since the Sepang crash, but the good news is that this is easily remedied between now and the first race."

Jack Miller: 19th – 1'56.251

"Today has been a busy day, which you can see from the number of laps we completed, because we had so much to test on the bike. Basically the team are working to get the bike to work the way I want it with the latest engine while at the same time I'm adapting my riding style to get the best from both. The change in the bike now compared to the bike I was testing before isn't huge, but there are differences, such as how you've got to open the gas, so it's just a case of adapting. Overall it's been a positive day, even with a fall at turn one early on when I ran onto the dirty part of the track and dropped the front. I didn't get to set a lap time today, but I was happy with my pace, especially on the last 14-lap run when I was consistently in the 1'56 bracket. Tomorrow we've got a couple of soft tyres to throw into the bike, so we'll see what we can do in terms of the lap time then."


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