Press releases from some of the MotoGP teams after the first day of testing at Valencia:
Movistar Yamaha Find Mojo on First Valencia Test Day
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team successfully completed the first day of the Valencia MotoGP Official Test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, testing various bike chassis and set-up options. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had positive feelings after the progress they made today and set the first and fourth fastest time respectively.
A little more than 1.5 hours into the seven-hour long test session, Viñales started proceedings. He tried exactly the same bike he rode during the Valencia race weekend as well as a new aero fairing. He immediately showed a good pace as he got on the way. After completing six laps he had moved up to second place with a 1'31.306s and then focused on working down the list of testing items.
The young gun tirelessly continued work throughout the afternoon, concentrating on the 2016 bike. He completed 80 laps in total, more than any other of the participating riders. The results of his efforts were eminent. As the sun was lowering, in the final hour of testing, the Spaniard set the fastest time of the day, a 1'30.189s, and held on to the top position by 0.200s as the session came to a close.
Rossi had left the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pitbox just a few minutes before his teammate and set out to draw a comparison between the 2016, 2017 and 2018 chassis. He was planning to thoroughly put the 2018 engine to the test, but a little less than two hours into the session, a crash in turn ten cut his second run short. Luckily the nine-time World Champion was left unharmed and was able to proceed with his testing schedule in the afternoon.
As he returned on track it became clear that the incident hadn't affected him. He climbed up the order, setting a 1'30.519s on lap 49. The Doctor's impression of the 2016 bike was especially positive. He ended the day with 63 laps in total under his belt and fourth place in the standings, 0.330s behind his teammate.
Position: 1st - Time: 1’30.189 - Laps: 80
"On completely the same bike that I had during the Valencia GP weekend I felt much better, like I've come back to my usual form. I was pushing on every single lap like always and already in the morning I felt great. I was riding low 1'31s all day long, even with 27-28 laps on the tyre. Today I enjoyed riding a lot. I felt strong again and this is very positive. We tried many things: some were positive, others negative. I think we did a good job working on the race set-up, especially with the fuel tank completely full, we worked quite well on that area. Finally, we did the time attack and I felt like I could lower the time still more, so I feel good on the bike again. The smiles returned, that's very important. We have many things to try tomorrow and to reconfirm. I felt like it was my Yamaha again. I was as fast on the 2017 bike as on the 2016 bike. We see positive points with both of them. I feel well on both bikes. On the 2016 bike I can brake and enter the corner better, on the 2017 I can exit better. I rode the 2016 bike all afternoon. I have to do some more laps on the 2017 bike to make a decision between the two, but I feel the 2017 bike has more potential, if the bike is working like it was today, but if it works like it did in Sunday's race I don't know."
Position: 4th - Time: 1’30.519 - Laps: 63
"The day was not so bad. We had a bit more time to work on the 2016 chassis that we already tried on Sunday, and I feel good and strong. The day was quite positive, because I have a good pace and with the new tyres I could make some good lap times. I'm in P4, not so far from the top. The feeling with the bike is also quite positive. We were able to find the right balance. The problem is that, like we know, we have rear tyre degradation. That means changing to the 2016 chassis is not enough, we have work to do, but I can confirm I'm able to go faster on the old bike. The second run was with the new engine, that is the first 2018 prototype, but unfortunately I only did two laps and then I crashed. I hope they'll be able to fix it, so we can use the engine again some other time tomorrow, so I can understand it better. I think the engine can maybe be a bit faster, but it doesn't help solve the rear tyre degradation."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Today's results are very encouraging for the team and the riders, after a difficult end to the 2017 season. We noticed a big difference in the results and pace compared to the race weekend. For sure the conditions of the track played some part in that. The track was much better than it was during the weekend when we were suffering from a lack of grip, but we still have to find out why this is the case. Today our riders put in a lot of laps, we were able to compare this year's bike with last year's and were working on the prototype for next season. Both Maverick and Valentino had a great feeling right from the start and held on to those feelings throughout the day. Maverick regained his confidence again. Valentino had a heavy crash this morning. We're very happy we saw him walk away from it unharmed and able to continue testing. During this first day we gathered a lot of data and will continue to compare the different chassis tomorrow."
2018 season gets underway for the Repsol Honda Team, with the first of two days of testing completed in
Fresh from winning the 2017 Rider, Constructor, and Team titles with Marc Marquez, and the final race of the year with Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda Team was back on track in Valencia today to begin the work for next season.
Marc started his test around 11 o’clock, Dani a little later, and the riders spent the morning balancing their 2017 bikes. In the afternoon they jumped on their prototype 2018 machines, equipped with a new chassis and engine, and continued their testing programme. They did not test the new rear Michelin tyres today.
Marc was quickly on the pace, finishing the day third-fastest with a best time of 1’30.501” after completing 70 laps. Dani managed to do 52 laps with a best time of 1’31.328”, 11th overall on the day.
Testing continues tomorrow, with the second and final day beginning at 10 a.m. local time.
“Today was a typical test day, when you need to work and be patient in the garage because everything is new. The most important thing was to understand the direction to take with the new bike, not to be the fastest rider. Of course in the morning I was fast and constant with my current bike, but then in the afternoon we moved on to the new machine, which obviously has many new things to work on to set it up. Tomorrow we’ll have the chance to collect much more data, as today I was only able to complete three runs on the 2018 bike. It has a different chassis, a different engine and other different details to set up, so now it’s important to try and understand the strong points and those that need to be improved, and then to make the best compromise.”
“Today we made a few runs on the 2017 bike in the morning to understand the track, which was quite dirty in the beginning, then we focused on the new bike, beginning work on the setup. We used our standard setting, and of course because the chassis and engine are new, all the data have to be adjusted. We have to work a lot on that, which takes time. We didn’t change too many things, because we must proceed step by step. That’s quite normal, and it's also normal that there are currently both positive aspects and others where we need to improve, but in general it was a productive day of testing.”
A VIRUS TAKES IANNONE AND RINS OUT OF FIRST DAY OF TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 14.
The 2018 season has started in Valencia with the first day of testing, but Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins could not participate today due to a virus that forced them to stay in bed and recuperate.
Both riders suffered from what seems to be a gastrointestinal virus, which in turn prevented them from sleeping properly last night. Hopefully tonight, they will recuperate enough to be able to take the track tomorrow. Many team members have been affected as well.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Unfortunately, we couldn't start the first test of the 2018 season in a good way. Last night our riders were suffering the effects of a virus and they couldn't sleep at all throughout the night. It seems like a gastrointestinal virus, so they were not able to ride today. It's been a pity because we have some things to test, especially the new 2018 engine configuration and an evolution of the chassis we had previously examined during last tests. Hopefully, if they are able to recover well tonight, we will test tomorrow. Thankfully we have three days of testing next week in Jerez where we will have some time to evaluate what we couldn't here. As I said, it's a shame to be unable to test this first day because we are eager to restart after a difficult season, but in any case we are quite positive for the future.”
Zarco stars again to finish 2nd on opening day of testing in Valencia
After a truly memorable performance at the Valencia GP, Johann Zarco continued the momentum today with another notable display. He explored different options for the forthcoming season before powering to a personal best that left him in 2nd after completing 53 laps. Zarco will be the only rider for Tech3 at the post-season test as Jonas Folger continues to recover.
Position: 2nd - Time: 1'30.389 - Laps: 53
“I am happy and I like the new bike. I started on the 2016 YZR-M1 that I rode this year in order to get some references and a feeling on the first run. Then I tried the 2017 version and overall, I have a good feeling when I am braking which is important. When you start the race, to have more control like this on the brakes means you can fight in a better way so I am pleased. I went for a fast lap on new tyres and I’m not far from my qualifying time on Saturday, but only one-tenth slower. However, I am using less energy on the bike so for me, testing the new bike was very positive.”
“Before I talk about today, I have to update everyone and I am pleased to say that Jonas Folger’s condition is getting better and better. However, Jonas, the doctor, myself and the team together have decided to give him some more time to rest before getting back on the bike. As a result, he will not take part in this test or the Sepang test next week. We want to give him longer to recover so that he can be as fit as possible for the Sepang test in January. With regards to Johann, Sunday was a fantastic day and an incredible way to end the championship with a brilliant race from our rider. Today it was back to work as the 2018 testing began. We didn't know what to expect because it was the time to discover what Yamaha has prepared for us for the 2018 campaign. After a few laps on the bike that he raced on Sunday to get back into the groove, he jumped on the new version and immediately had a positive feeling on it. Everything was close to the 2016 bike but slightly better in all areas so we are very happy with that. His lap time was great and even though we decided to stop at 16:00, because of the temperature and the setting sun, which can be a bit dangerous as it shines into the riders eyes, we did some good work. Apart from the last run, we used the same tyres all day and clearly we were on top of the timesheets. Maverick just beat us in the end, yet, to be second after only a few laps means a lot, plus I am happy to see that Yamaha are 1st, 2nd and 4th. It’s only the beginning of the winter season but it’s very important to start with a positive and constructive feeling which is the case. There is one more day tomorrow and we hope the weather remains clear. We are matching our target and plans and again I have to say thanks to Yamaha for their support.”
Superb debut for Jack Miller: 5th fastest on the first day of testing with Octo Pramac Racing. Petrux works on the set up.
Jack Miller's new adventure on the Ducati Desmosedici GP - 2017 version - of Octo Pramac Racing begins in the best possible way. The Australian rider has already found a great feeling and ends up fifth fastest, one tenth of a second from the hypothetical first row of the new World Champion Marc Marquez. Jack completed 57 laps and his pace was very convincing.
Danilo Petrucci also had an intense day and used the same bike with which he went on track over the last weekend, trying to work to improve the feeling that did not allow him to be particularly competitive in the 2017 MotoGP “Grand Finale”. Petrux clocked the fourteenth lap-time with 46 laps completed.
14th Danilo Petrucci – 1’31.721
“It was a demanding day especially for the team. We worked hard on the set up trying to solve the problems we had throughout the weekend. We didn't focus on the lap-time today but we'll do it tomorrow on the last day of testing”.
5th Jack Miller – 1’30.635
“It was a very good day. It's always a special emotion to start a new adventure. I have to say that the sensations are extremely positive. I found myself at ease on my bike and the Pramac Racing team welcomed me very pleasantly”.
Morbidelli makes MotoGP debut in Valencia
2017 Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli made his debut aboard the MotoGP machine he'll campaign in Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS colours in 2018 during the first of two days of testing in Valencia.
The Italian returned to the pit box after his first nine-lap run aboard the Honda RC213V with a huge smile on his face and his first comment to his new crew was "it's fun!"
With the introductions made Morbidelli continued the familiarisation process, working to adapt a riding style honed during four seasons in Moto2 to better suit the characteristics of the heavier, more powerful MotoGP machine and the Michelin tyres.
Morbidelli declared himself happy with his first day as a MotoGP rider, which he finished in 18th position with a best time of 1'32.762.
Tom Lüthi was unable to make his planned premier class debut at Valencia today, as the Swiss rider is still recovering from the leg injury sustained in his Sepang qualifying crash three weeks ago.
The severity of the injury means that Lüthi will also miss the final test of 2017 in Jerez, but he will return to action during the first official test of 2018 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Standing in for Lüthi at Valencia is HRC test rider and reigning Japanese Superbike Champion, Takumi Takahashi. The 27-year-old Japanese rider posted a best time of 1'33.569 to finish the day 19th, despite walking away uninjured from a heavy crash at turn 10 late in the afternoon.
"It was a good first day and I enjoyed it a lot on the bike. It was nice to finally test a MotoGP bike and it was good to start work with my new crew, the engineers from HRC and the technicians from Michelin. The biggest differences compared to the Moto2 bike are the power, which is amazing but with a very rider friendly delivery and the braking, which is much more physically demanding than in Moto2, mainly because you arrive at the corner so much faster. We are already starting to improve the bike for me and tomorrow we'll continue with that. Both Valentino and Marc came by me today and I think they did a slower lap in front of me, maybe to show me the lines, and that was a very emotional moment for me."
"This is my first time here in Valencia, so this morning was all about familiarising myself with the circuit before starting to work on improving the set up of the bike. We tried many things and managed to make some improvements over the course of the day but, unfortunately, I crashed at turn 10 and that meant we stopped testing a little earlier than planned. I am looking forward to returning to the track tomorrow, when I hope we can continue to improve."
Rabat and Siméon start a new adventure with Reale Avintia Racing
14/11/17 Valencia MotoGP Test – Circuit Ricardo Tormo
The 2018 MotoGP season started for the Reale Avintia Racing team at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit today, with its new riders Tito Rabat and Xavi Siméon. The debut was very different for both riders: For the 2014 Moto2 World Champion Rabat, it was only a change of bike manufacturer, while for Siméon, everything was new.
Tito Rabat completed a total of 70 laps and, despite suffering a small crash in the morning, his feelings with the Ducati Desmosedici GP17 were very positive. The Spaniard finished the first day 13th, just 1.4s behind the fastest rider, but he didn’t really push hard to set a fast lap time. Tomorrow, Rabat plans to test the different fairing configurations available and to work on the set-up of the bike to improve the turning in the slower corners.
For his teammate Xavi Siméon, everything was new today, the bike, the brakes, the tyres, the team… The Belgian rider finished the day with a big smile and, although he could not do many laps due to the discomfort in his shoulder, he was able to discover the essentials of his Ducati Desmosedici GP16. He was impressed by the carbon brakes and the top speed, but what has really left him frozen is the incredible grip of the Michelin tyres.
Tito Rabat | 1'31.673 | P13
“I had very positive feelings on my first day with the Ducati and with the team. With the team, I felt good from the beginning and we connected very well, but above all, I love the bike. I rode by myself all day and I managed to clock a good lap time, but the best part was that I was able to keep a good and constant rhythm. Today we didn’t use many tyres and I’ve just been riding around the circuit to get the feeling with the bike. I was impressed by the power of the Ducati, but also by the smooth power delivery. Tomorrow, I want to keep improving little by little and if I get down to a lap time of 1’30, it would be perfect.”
Xavier Siméon | 1'34.242 | P20
“The first day was incredible. I’m very happy and excited with my MotoGP debut. The team gave me a lot of confidence and since yesterday they explained every detail of the bike. Today, we took things calmly and step by step. I experienced the carbon brakes for the first time, which was incredible, incredible, but we also worked a lot with electronics. All in all, it has been a great day. I didn’t complete many laps because my shoulder hurts more than I thought, but I’ll rest tonight to come back stronger tomorrow. I hope to continue enjoying and progressing. My technical team is incredible and they are helping me a lot. The power of the bike is impressive, but the most incredible thing is the grip of the Michelin tyres, especially the front. I think it will be hard for me to find the limit.”
CRUTCHLOW GETS TO GRIPS WITH NEW PROTOTYPE HONDA IN VALENCIA
PRESS RELEASE: 14 November 2017 | Valencia Test Day One
LCR Honda Castrol rider Cal Crutchlow got his first taste of the new 2018 Honda prototype bike on the opening day of close-season testing at Valencia on Tuesday. Along with Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, the Briton will receive official HRC factory support during the forthcoming 2018 MotoGP season having signed a two-year deal with the manufacturer.
Crutchlow put the updated Honda through its paces on a dry and sunny at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, although he was more focused on getting accustomed to the new machine than pushing for lap times. Despite that, he still finished tenth of the timesheets – just ahead of Sunday’s race winner Pedrosa - having completed a total of 55 laps on day one.
Cal Crutchlow – 10th
(1’31.259 – lap 31 of 55)
"A busy day, but a lot of sitting around waiting. We had the new HRC prototype bike and it was good. It was good to have that available to ride, we’re very grateful to HRC to have it – myself, Marc (Marquez) and Dani (Pedrosa) have got one each. It’s nice to get it so fast, it arrived yesterday, so we’ll have to continue to work well and work with Marc & Dani because we need to find the best base for us all.
“We’re going through the motions; I was concentrating on some small initial tests on the bike and there were a lot positives. The adjustments are a little different because there’s a lot of new stuff. We did some good runs, but we were in and out of the pit a little bit with small things we needed to change, but tomorrow’s going to be a bit more of a busy day I think.
“I’m optimistic (about the new bike). It wasn’t about the position or the lap time today, we’re here to shake down the bike and do a little bit of work before going for what is probably our main test next week. So overall, it was a positive day.
NAKAGAMI MAKES MOTOGP BOW AT VALENCIA TEST
PRESS RELEASE: 14 November 2017 | Valencia Test Day One
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami made his MotoGP debut on Tuesday as he got a first taste of premier class action at the official Valencia test. The exciting Japanese rookie will form part of an expanded two-man LCR team alongside Briton Cal Crutchlow in 2018 having graduated from the Moto2 championship.
The 25-year-old acquitted himself well on the opening day at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and managed a total of 76 laps on the RC213V, improving throughout the day. Nakagami was pleased with his progress and acknowledged it had been a huge thrill to finally experience the MotoGP machine in competitive conditions.
Taka Nakagami – 17th
(1’32.723 – lap 66 of 76)
"Of course, it was absolutely amazing and a great feeling for me. This is a new challenge for me; a new team, new staff and everyone is very friendly and kind and have really helped me, because it’s the first time for me on this bike. There are many things to try and understand, but the team has already helped a lot and we were improving on each outing, so I think it was a good start for me.
“For the team and for me, the first priority is to try and understand the bike and the electronics. We don’t care about the positions or lap times because of course it was very difficult, but as I said before we made good progress and we improved a lot and the physical side was also ok. I still have some more physical work to do, but it’s an amazing feeling to ride this bike and I was very happy to go out on it each time – I enjoyed every lap.”