Press releases from the teams after the final day of the Valencia MotoGP test:
Repsol Honda duo top the time sheets on final day of Valencia test
The Repsol Honda Team’s long Valencia stint, comprising a very successful final race weekend of the 2017 Championship and two productive days of testing, has finally come to an end.
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa took advantage of another sunny day to continue their work in preparation for 2018. As was the case yesterday, they started on the current machine before switching over to the new one also.
Both riders carried out setup testing of the engine, chassis and electronics, and were able to accumulate useful information for the development of the bike. They also tried a rear Michelin tyre with a slightly different compound.
Marc completed a total of 61 laps and finished up with the day’s best time at 1’30.033” with Dani turning 51 laps and finishing in second place at 1’30.436”.
This was the final test of the year for the Repsol Honda Team. The next time Marc and Dani will be on track will be in Malaysia at the end of January.
“Today we collected a lot of information, and now it will be very important to prepare well for the next time we’ll be on track, which will be the Malaysia test at the end of January. Anyway, today was a good day, very positive. We tried many things and had a good pace, so I’m happy with how it went. We had a few issues to sort out with the new bike, and of course it has some positives and negatives, but that’s completely normal for a test when you put a completely new engine and machine on the track. We also tried a lot of things on our current bike, which worked very well, and we were able to gather a lot of useful data. That said, we’ll need to try everything again at the next test. Valencia is a particular track, a small circuit, and today’s conditions were very good, so we’ll need to re-confirm everything at another circuit.”
“Today we started the test by checking the track with my race bike, and then we immediately moved on to the new bike to analyse the setup changes we made yesterday afternoon. We basically tested a different setup with electronics, suspension and geometry, looking to better understand how the new bike behaves. We’re not just considering performance but also trying to understand what the bike does on the tyres and on this track, and discovering what the positive and weak points are. We also tried a new swingarm and a new Michelin rear tyre that has a different compound on one side. So it was a lot of work, with many different things to understand and set up. We made a lot of progress, but of course we’re not there yet with all the settings. All in all it was a very important session, and we collected a lot of info to work with during the break.”
Movistar Yamaha Complete the Valencia Test Collecting Valuable Data
After a slow start to the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team worked relentlessly through all the items on their Valencia MotoGP Official Testing list.
Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had to wait at the start of the seven-hour session for both the track and ambient temperatures to increase a bit, before hopping back aboard their YZR-M1s. The Spaniard was the first of the two to venture out. After a strong first day of testing, he entered the track fully motivated to continue comparing the different fairings and engines.
Later in the afternoon Viñales focused on bettering his bike's set-up. Though he had already completed 80 laps yesterday, he wasn't holding back. He rode another 66 laps today and finished in fifth place with a 1'30.640s, 0.607s from the front, set on his 61st lap.
Rossi also had a busy second day in the Valencia test. He arrived in the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pit box shortly after his teammate and followed the same testing programme, energetically tackling every item on today's schedule. He completed more than two full race distances.
The Italian spent the majority of his time on track testing the various chassis, rather than doing a time attack. Though he was unable to improve his time of yesterday, he climbed up to seventh place with a 1'30.724s on his 51st lap out of 62 laps in total, to end the second day 0.691s from first.
The team will enjoy a short break before they will continue their 2018 pre-season testing with a private outing at the Sepang International Circuit in a little less than two weeks' time.
Position: 5th, Time: 1'30.640, Laps: 66
"Today we were working on the engines and trying to understand this side very well, so we would know which direction to take and I'm quite happy. We worked well over these two days. Sure, yesterday I felt more comfortable on the bike. The track conditions changed a little bit, but I'm satisfied anyway. The team was working well and the good feeling came back, so it's nice to end the test like that. In Sepang I will start the private test as I ended the GP there, because I felt quite good in qualifying, so this is a good point of reference. I hope for at least one day of rain in Malaysia, that would be perfect for us, to try the bike and the electronics and it would also be good to try the new engines in the wet."
Position: 7th, Time: 1'30.724, Laps: 62
"Today we had some work to do, because we had to test and decide on some different engines. It was a long day, but it was positive. We concentrated on that and also tried some other things, nothing great, but in the end it was not so bad. Like I said, we mainly tested on the engines, so I don't know about anything else yet. We'll see in Malaysia."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Today we worked on further analysing the difference between the chassis and especially the engines. We focused on the development of the bike rather than the time attack and we made decent progress. Though the riders weren't able to improve on their time from yesterday and had a different feeling on the bike due to the change in track conditions, we were able to gather some important data. Maverick and Valentino's feedback has been very similar, which is positive, as it gives us a clear direction to work in. Over the next week we will combine the data with the riders' feedback, so we can prepare further options to try at a private test in Sepang. We hope for at least one day of rain there, so we can make a step in the wet conditions, which was one of the main points for improvement throughout the 2017 season."
Two days of testing to start the 2018 season come to an close at Valencia with interesting results for Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso e Jorge Lorenzo
A two-day post-race MotoGP test session concluded this afternoon at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit, marking the start of the 2018 season.
After two days, Jorge Lorenzo had completed 87 laps, recording a best time of 1’30.534 today, while Andrea Dovizioso, who did a total of 72 laps, set his fastest lap of 1’30.850 yesterday.
Both Ducati Team riders used the test to carry out comparisons aimed at defining the details of the Desmosedici GP18, the debut of which is scheduled for the first test of 2018 at Sepang from 28 to 30 January.
Both Lorenzo and Dovizioso will be back on track next week at Jerez de la Frontera for a further two days of testing on 22-23 November before the winter break.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’30.534
“In these tests we didn’t really try out anything new, but we picked up some very useful information for the development of next year’s bike. Today I felt really good, improving my performance on the bike by changing some things in my riding style, and I set some good times. However we must continue to work to find the tenths that we are still missing at some tracks. We also tried the new Öhlins forks, but we know that the most important new things will only arrive at Sepang for the first test of 2018.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’30.850
“We took advantage of these two days to try out various details and solutions useful for the preparation of the 2018 bike. We were able to finish the work programme that had been decided on together with our engineers and also to test the new 2018 Öhlins forks. Now we are waiting for the final test of the year at Jerez next week, where we’ll be working to define the last details of the new bike before the winter break.”
2018 HAS FINALLY BEGUN FOR IANNONE AND RINS IN VALENCIA
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 15.
After overcoming yesterday´s illness, finally today Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were feeling better and were able to kick off the 2018 season with the first laps of testing.
Because many of the improvements developed by Suzuki are important steps forward which need to be tested as soon as possible to determine the development path, both riders were eager to get back on the GSX-RRs.
They both had an evolution chassis and an evolution engine, plus some other minor items. As is customary for Suzuki, the 2018 GSX-RR will not be a groundbreaking new machine, but rather the result of many small improvements applied to the current base.
The work undertaken today is just a small part of the scheduled program. The team and riders will be called to more intense work next week in the three-day test session planned for Jerez (from Wednesday to Friday).
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“To be honest, this test was completely different from what we expected, since we completely missed yesterday due to the riders’ illness. Even today we worked less than what was possible because both Andrea and Alex were still not at 100% and also felt weak. We only tried some of the main items, making choices by priority. We have a new chassis that is supposed to help the riders with the grip, and a new engine that is supposed to improve corner entry. For the amount they were able to test today, the feedback is positive. Although, we have to thoroughly double check and we still need to be prudent. Luckily we have already scheduled a three-day test for next week in Jerez, so we will be able to make up for some of this week´s missed program. The engine is the most urgent thing to analyse because its development and production requires time, but we are taking things step by step, trying different modifications, and then we will put everything together for the test in Sepang at the end of January.”
“Yesterday I was not in any condition to lap as I felt very sick, which prevented us from working. Today I felt better and we could do some runs. Despite not doing many laps, we have already figured out some things and this is a good starting point for the next test in Jerez. Suzuki has worked hard to deliver the new engine specs and new chassis. We are working step by step with the introduction of one thing after another, and for Sepang we will have a more complete package. In the last month of the Championship we took many steps forward. I’m happy about how the team works and also Suzuki. In the garage we have a good environment and this helps me a lot with the work on the GSX-RR.”
“Today I felt a little better than yesterday and wanted to take to the track for at least some part of the scheduled work. I still don’t feel 100%, so we only did the most important things. We had a new spec for the engine and a new chassis, and we tested them both, trying to get a feel for them. The objective is to evaluate the single improvements and then put them all together for Sepang. Since the feeling about the new item was positive today, I´m really looking forward to going to Jerez, feeling better, and start working at 100%.”
APRILIA'S NEW SEASON HAS ALREADY BEGUN
AT THE VALENCIA TESTS ALEIX ESPARGARÓ WORKED IN VIEW OF 2018
FIRST LAPS ON THE RS-GP FOR SCOTT REDDING
The post-race tests in Valencia after the end of the season always take on particular importance. In fact, they are the first step in the new championship season, both for any team changes and for technical upgrades.
The Aprilia camp has both variables. On one side of the garage, Aleix Espargaró worked primarily on the characteristics that will be introduced on the new RS-GP: different weight distribution and a new geometry with consequent ergonomic changes that will be analysed again in the next tests at Jerez before being implemented on the 2018 bike.
Alongside the Spanish rider, his new teammate Scott Redding took his first steps. The English rider used the two days to settle in with the RS-GP and the technical staff that will be following him, alternating track runs with long exchanges of opinions. Much time was also dedicated to adjusting the ergonomics of the bike to Scott's build and anything that could not be adapted here in Valencia will obviously be implemented on the new version of the Aprilia MotoGP bike.
"In these tests we did not try many new components, but we primarily tested the changes to the bike's geometry and weight distribution. These are ideas that we would like to introduce on the 2018 bike and we need to confirm them to figure out which direction to go. I can consider myself satisfied. After a difficult weekend, we showed that we can be fast. Now the Jerez tests will be important. It is a different track where we will continue our work in view of 2018. The bike that arrives in 2018 will not be revolutionised, but the riding and ergonomic characteristics will change, so moving in the right direction is fundamental."
"These were two interesting days. There is a lot of work to do to adapt the RS-GP to my characteristics, starting with the dimensions. All the information we are gathering will obviously have an impact on the 2018 bike. For now, my goal is to gain familiarity with the bike's character which is definitely different than what I was used to. Aleix is doing a great job and demonstrating Aprilia's potential. I am confident because I feel like part of the project. The team gave me a fantastic welcome. I like their work methods and I have tried to give them the best possible feedback. Valencia is not my favourite track and hopping on a new bike after a race weekend is no simple task, so that's why we worked without trying to do a time attack."
Zarco confirms 2018 potential with 3rd place finish at Valencia Test.
Johann Zarco made further steps forward today as he concluded the post-GP Valencia test with an impressive charge to 3rd. The French stars time left him only 0.003 from 2nd as he finished as the leading Yamaha rider. Now, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider confidently eyes up the forthcoming campaign where he hopes to challenge for podiums at every round.
Position: 3rd - Time: 1'30.439 - Laps: 65
“It has been a great day of testing for me and I am happy to see how much I have progressed since last year. I had a very good feeling on the bike, and we were competitive with the lap time. In addition, we also worked on the pace, which is the main target in order to prepare for a race. I tested different chassis and gave my feedback to the team. Now we need to analyse everything in detail so that we know which option is the best. We will keep working but altogether, I can say that we have finished this year in a positive way.”
ANOTHER PRODUCTIVE DAY FOR NAKAGAMI IN VALENCIA
PRESS RELEASE: 15 November 2017 | Valencia Test Final Day
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rookie Takaaki Nakagami continued his adaptation process to the MotoGP class on the second and final day of the official Valencia test. The Japanese rider joins Cal Crutchlow to form a new two-man team for the 2018 season and put in more valuable lap time at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on Wednesday aboard the 2017 RC213V.
The 25-year-old once again focused on getting to grips with the basics of his new machinery and paid particular attention to his riding position. He completed a total 70 laps at the tight, tricky venue and subsequently confirmed that he would also be taking part at next week’s test session in Jerez as he settles into life with his new team.
Taka Nakagami – 17th
(1’31.867 – lap 62 of 62)
"We made a small improvement for sure, but we’re still not completely decided on the riding position. We tried a bit further forward on the front side to make some more space because it was a little bit too tight for me before.
“We also tried some different mapping, but keeping the chassis the same. But the first priority is to do more laps and help me to understand the bike. We’re improving and getting to know each other and the new crew chief Ramon (Aurin) is very experienced and has been giving me a lot of information that helps. The team has been great.
“We are now planning the next Test in Jerez where we will have two days. For me it’s great, more laps and I can learn more about the bike there, rather than just going straight to Sepang.”
CRUTCHLOW IMPRESSES ON NEW PROTOTYPE HONDA IN VALENCIA
PRESS RELEASE: 15 November 2017 | Valencia Test Final Day
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow enjoyed a productive second day aboard the new 2018 Honda prototype, as the official Valencia test came to an end on Wednesday. Along with Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Crutchlow was given the chance to put the latest version of the Japanese manufacturer’s RC213V through its paces at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Having spent Tuesday getting accustomed to the new machine, the Briton completed 70 laps on Wednesday – the vast majority on board the 2018 prototype - and produced some impressive results. Crutchlow finished the day in sixth position on the timesheets, just over two tenths behind Pedrosa in second and around six tenths down on world champion Marquez who produced the quickest time of the two-day session.
Cal Crutchlow – 6th
(1’30.654 – lap 45 of 72)
“We’re happy with what we’ve worked on today. Yesterday was a bit more of an initial test with the bike and I struggled a little in a few areas with it, but that was just because it was different to what I used to. I was quite fast on my normal bike yesterday and today I was quicker on the newer one so we’re pleased with that and pleased with the way we worked.
“We did a lot of laps today and a lot of runs, I did two runs on my old bike and the rest on the new prototype bike, so we’ve worked hard and I believe we’ve done a good job for HRC. We’re happy as a team, I think we had a good last race of the year and now we have to look at the positives of working on the new bike and going into next year comfortable and happy.”
Tito Rabat and Xavier Siméon complete Valencia test with good feelings
15/11/17 Valencia MotoGP Test – Ricardo Tormo Circuit
The new Reale Avintia Racing team riders, Tito Rabat and Xavier Siméon completed the second and last day of the MotoGP test today in Valencia with very positive feelings.
Tito Rabat reapeted in 13th position in the standings, but very happy as he felt more comfortable with the Ducati Desmosedici GP17 and his new technical crew. The former Moto2 World Champion has improved everytime he got on bike and managed ride around the 4km track with in really constant pace. Rabat set a lap in 1’31.386, more than a second his fastest lap in the race last Sunday and only two tenths slower than his qualifying laptime during the las GP.
His team mate Xavier Siméon has also repeated the final position of the first day, but cutted his best laptime more than 1.5s. The Belgian rider continued working to learn more about the use of electronics and the Michelin tyres, as well as getting used to the high speed and hard braking of his Desmosedici GP16. But the area where he focused more was his riding style and his position on the bike.
Reale Avintia Racing riders will be back to action next week at Jerez, where they will complete the last two days of testing of the 2017 season.
Tito Rabat | 1'31.386 | P13
“It was another very positive day because we have improved the lap times a little bit, but the most important thing is that we have made a constant pace in mid 1’31. I felt very good on the bike, and I’m very happy with my new team and with the bike. Now it’s time to organize everything a bit and review all the data of this test to continue working next week in Jerez, I can’t wait to get back on my Desmosecidi and keep improving. ”
Xavier Siméon | 1'32.698 | P20
“I’m very happy because today has been a very good day of testing and I’ve been able to progress much more than I expected. We have worked hard to improve my position on the bike and I’m very happy with the way we have planed the job today. These first two days of testing in MotoGP have been incredible and now I just want to keep improving. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I’m already looking forward to go to Jerez and continue learning more about the bike, the tyres and the premier class. “
Morbidelli increases pace and confidence on second day in Valencia
Reigning Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli improved his lap time by a second during the second and final day of testing at Valencia, to finish as the fastest of the MotoGP rookies.
It was a satisfying end to a day that started with a first premier class crash for the Italian when he fell victim to a cold tyre at turn 10 on his first run.
But Morbidelli was quick to bounce back, jumping straight onto his spare bike to continue working with his crew on improving his speed through the corners.
While Morbidelli worked to adapt his riding style to better suit the strengths of both the Honda RC213V and the Michelin tyres mid-corner, his crew made changes to both the balance of the bike and the rear suspension settings to reduce rear spinning and improve rear tyre endurance and consistency.
Unfortunately a limited allocation of soft front tyres, one of which was lost in the early morning crash, meant that Morbidelli had to complete the remainder of the test on a used front tyre.
Even so, the Italian set his fastest time right at the end of the day, with a 1'31.786 placing him 16th on the timesheet and just 1.753s off the time set by Marc Márquez.
With Tom Lüthi unfit to ride after his Sepang qualifying crash, his place was taken again today by HRC test rider, and reigning All Japan Superbike Champion, Takumi Takahashi.
Takahashi's crew, headed by Chief Engineer Gilles Bigot, tested a number of changes to both chassis geometry and suspension, as they worked to make the 27-year-old Japanese rider more comfortable with the bike ahead of the season ending test on 23rd and 24th November in Jerez, where he has raced previously aboard a Superbike.
Franco Morbidelli: 16th – 1'31.786
"It was a good two days here and today we improved a lot. I was one second faster compared to yesterday, which is a step I wasn't really expecting, so everything is going pretty good at the moment. Of course I still need to work on my riding style, because this bike is very different to a Moto2. This is the main thing, but then I also need to understand better the electronics, how the balance of the bike changes the feeling and many other things. There is still a lot to learn, so I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike next week in Jerez."
Takumi Takahashi: 21st – 1'33.870
"I was trying to improve today, but the crash yesterday lost me some confidence, so it wasn't so easy to do the lap time today. We worked on the set-up to make me more comfortable on the bike and I was starting to regain my confidence towards the end of today. Now we go to Jerez for the second test next week. This is my first time in Valencia, but Jerez is a track I raced at earlier this year with the Superbike, so I know it a little better. Of course it will be different on the MotoGP bike, but at least I won't start from zero like here in Valencia and that will make it easier to focus on making improvements."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It's been an extremely positive first MotoGP test for Franco. It's very easy for MotoGP rookies to be overawed by both the bike and the competition when they make the step up to the premier class, but he is completely unfazed. Instead he has worked closely with his crew, the HRC engineers and the Michelin technicians to understand better both the bike and the tyres and his focus has been on adapting to the demands of MotoGP rather than the lap time. This is the correct way to work as a rookie and he should be satisfied with his premier class debut. Having Takumi Takahashi here standing in for Tom has been a big help for us, as it's allowed us to bring our new crew members up to speed while working with an experienced rider. I would like to thank HRC for making this possible and Takumi himself for a good job over these two days."