2018 Buriram MotoGP Test Saturday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the second day of the Buriram test:

Marquez and Pedrosa top the standings on day 2 in Buriram

Marc Marquez, who turns 25 years old today, was the fastest man during the second day of the Thai test in Buriram, and the the only rider to drop into the 1’29” bracket, with a time of 1’29.969” on lap 91 of 97.

On a day again marked by sunny, hot weather conditions, the reigning MotoGP World Champion worked on the setup and aerodynamics of his RC213V, in addition to testing the new rear-tyre specs that Michelin brought to the test.

Marc’s teammate Dani Pedrosa ended just behind him, a mere 0.158” down, keeping a very strong pace over the day and even leading the standings for some time, while working on suspension, electronics, and tyres. As was the case yesterday, the final 15 minutes of the session were dedicated to practicing starts.

Testing will end tomorrow.

Marc Marquez

1st 1'29.979 (on lap 91 of 97)

“First of all, I’d like to say thank you to all my fans as I’ve received many, many messages for my birthday! The best way to celebrate is on my bike, as I really enjoy riding it! Today was a good day. We started by playing with the setup a bit in the beginning of the session. Then we went on to try some Michelin rear tyres, which weren’t bad, and we also worked on the aerodynamics. At the end of the day, we put together our best package and we went faster. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, as it seems that the track gets better and better every day, and so do the other riders. That said, I think we’re doing a great job in our garage and we’ll try to continue on that path.”

Dani Pedrosa

2nd 1'30.127 (on lap 39 of 71)

“We’re working a lot these days because we have to understand many things, like the track, the setup, and so on. Today we were able to keep a better pace than yesterday, and we’ve already improved the riding and the setting a bit. We’re not there yet however, as we want to continue making progress. We tested some Michelin tyres, though it seems that they won’t be the ones we’ll use for the race, and we worked on suspension, electronics, and the gearbox setting among other things. Tomorrow we’ll probably also work on the aerodynamics. So far we’re working well, and tomorrow we’ll try to make the best of the final day!”

Movistar Yamaha Progress on Thailand Test Day Two

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have wrapped up the second day of testing at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. Riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales spent the available time fine-tuning their bikes' settings and finished in 4th and 14th place respectively in the combined timesheets.

Similar to yesterday, Viñales left pit lane early for his first run, determined to improve on the time he set yesterday aboard his YZR-M1, and to collect useful data in preparation for the forthcoming season.

The young Spaniard worked hard all day, riding a total of 90 laps, as he tweaked the set-up and tested two different Michelin tyre specifications. He had a bit of a breakthrough in the final half hour of the session and set a 1'30.274s on lap 84. His efforts put him in fourth place in both today's and the combined rankings, 0.305s from the top.

Rossi breached into the top-10 quickly after heading out on track this morning. He set his fastest lap of the day with a 1'30.888s on lap 22, before he returned to the order of the day: establishing a good balance for his bike.

Like his teammate, the Doctor put in a serious effort, riding 65 laps in total, to compare different tyre specifications as well as some electronics and setting amendments. Though he was unable to find a set-up that worked well enough to better the time he set earlier, he still ended in 14th place in the Day 2 rankings, 0.919s from first.

Maverick Viñales

Position: 4th - Time: 1'30.274 - Laps: 90

"It took us a bit of time to understand how to run the bike here. In the afternoon I started to feel good and was able to ride with a good pace. We changed some things at the last moment and it seemed to be an improvement, so maybe that's the direction we should continue to follow tomorrow - we want to confirm it. I followed my own feelings and created my own set-up and that's what made me feel good - when I have my bike and I can ride it with my own riding style. Tomorrow we will check the setting and we have to improve the rhythm. I think we made an incredible step in the afternoon and riding consistent 1'30s is the most important. We also tried two different tyre specs today and tomorrow we'll do the other two and we will see."

Valentino Rossi

Position: 14th - Time: 1'30.888 - Laps: 65

"It was a tough day. We started quite well this morning, I did some good lap times, and after we had some work to do and some new things to try. Sincerely, I didn't like it a lot. We tried some different things for the electronics and also the setting, but unfortunately we didn't find an improvement. We also had to do a bit of work for Michelin. They wanted us to try some other rear tyres. We have to stay concentrated and follow a different way tomorrow."

Massimo Meregali

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"It was another day of hard work for us. We tried many things to improve the riders' feeling on the bike. They each worked in their own direction. Maverick found something at the end of the day that seems to allow him to ride the bike the way he prefers. Tomorrow we will test if this change is indeed the way forward. Valentino also tried several setting variations, but none of them were an improvement, so tomorrow we'll approach the issues differently. The riders also tried some of the four rear tyre specifications that Michelin brought here to test. We have still one more day of testing to complete, so we will see what the riders' verdict is tomorrow."


Team Suzuki Press Office - February 17th.

Alex Rins: 7th - 1:30.446 (+ 0.477)

Andrea Iannone: 11th - 1:30.775 (+ 0.806)

• Debut of new aerodynamic fairing.

• Hard work completed by Alex Rins on aerodynamics and chassis.

• Strong pace again for Andrea Iannone with improvements on settings.

The second day of testing at Chang International Circuit in Buriram was another pleasing one for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR as they debuted the brand new aerodynamic fairing, which both riders were able to test and provide valuable feedback for. Chang International, with its 1km long straight was an ideal place to try it out. During the day the team had the possibility to compare the extended fairing which they had used previously, and the new fairing which offers longer and shorter options.

Alex Rins was given the job of putting the newly designed aerodynamic package through its paces. The young Spaniard was happy and reported good feelings as he felt the benefits. Despite a crash he completed the day’s test in 7th place, less than half a second behind the day’s fastest rider.

Meanwhile Andrea Iannone concentrated mostly on other areas of bike set-up and finding his most comfortable settings. With 76 laps under his belt he was also able to work on tyre longevity, and once again he found a strong pace on a used tyre. He also had a minor crash, and ended the day +0.806 seconds from the top of the time sheet.

Team Manager Davide Brivio praised Suzuki’s hard work, especially around the new fairing, and was feeling positive about the overall progress as the team approach the final day of testing in Thailand.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“Another positive day today, we continued our work and both riders worked well despite both having very small crashes. Alex was happy when he tested the new aerodynamic package and it seems like it benefits him. So we will reconfirm tomorrow, and of course test again in Qatar, but it looks like Suzuki have made a very good job with this package and the riders feel the improvement. Today Andrea was testing other areas, but probably we will continue tomorrow with the new fairing for him. We are quite happy with the pace he found on a used tyre, and we didn’t try a time attack with Andrea today. Both riders are satisfied so we hope to finish well tomorrow.”

Alex Rins

“Today was a really positive test and we tried many things. As you can see, we tried the new fairing in its two versions and some new parts on the chassis and I think it was really good. With the new aerodynamic fairing, I felt better about the anti-wheelie. MotoGP bikes obviously have a lot of electronics but all the time that the front wheel is making contact with the track then we have more power, so it’s always better, this new fairing can help me to have more acceleration and more speed. The good thing also is that this new fairing allows me to have better anti-wheelie without major loss in the top speed. I had a crash during the day but luckily it was without consequences and I’m OK.”

Andrea Iannone

“Today we took some more positive steps and I’m satisfied. We had the new aerodynamic fairing available and it gave me a positive feeling initially but I couldn’t test it properly because I crashed in the early laps on the GSX-RR which was equipped with it. So after that we decided to give priority to other things, such as settings. Tomorrow we will try the new fairing again and we will be able to make some comparisons with the old one. Overall we are doing a good job, and the bike is behaving well with used tyres, but we have to find more performance with the new tyres. We will try to figure it out because over distance I feel confident and I have good pace, but to have speed in a single lap is very important for qualifying. The bike is improving run after run so it gives me confidence for tomorrow.”

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo wrap up second day of testing at Thailand’s Buriram circuit in ninth and tenth place respectively

The second day of official MotoGP testing at the Buriram circuit in Thailand finished at 5.30 pm local time. Respecting the programme for the first two days,the last fifteen minutes of the session were dedicated exclusively to practice starts for the MotoGP riders.

Today the two factory Ducati riders again carried on with development work on their Desmosedici GP18 machines and preparation for the race scheduled for 7th October at this track.

Andrea Dovizioso finished the second session in ninth place with a time of 1’30.494, followed in tenth by Jorge Lorenzo, whose best lap was 1’30.729.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04): 1’30.494 (9th) - 78 laps

“Today we did a lot of work, making comparisons both with the new fairings and with a new version of the frame, and so I’m satisfied to have had an entire day to test these new components. As always there are pros and cons, but luckily we went strongly with all the new stuff and this is really positive. We were fast without using the soft tyre, but here probably the lap times are more difficult to interpret than in Malaysia, especially because Michelin still doesn’t have much experience on this track and so it seems that the right tyres for the race will be the harder ones, quite similar to those used in the Austrian GP. It’s not so easy to interpret the level of the other riders, but also today our bike proved to be very competitive.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99): 1’30.729 (10th) - 57 laps

“Once again today wasn’t such a positive day for me. We weren’t competitive enough, I don’t have a good feeling with my bike and we still have to understand the reasons why. Even though it might seem that I’m riding better in several points of the track, other riders are going even better and for this reason we are some way behind in our lap times. However we’ve got a few ideas for tomorrow which should help us resolve these problems and get me to improve my pace above all.”


The second day of tests on the Thai Buriram track was a session of hard work in the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini garage. Between one outing and the next, much work was done, both installing new components and making setup changes.

On both sides of the garage, the direction to go seems to be quite clear. Where Aleix needs to improve in the first two sectors, Scott has identified braking as his biggest limitation at the moment. The data collected so far will be analysed in the usual technical briefing at the end of the day and based on this, the moves for the final test session tomorrow will be decided.

Aleix Espargaró turned 61 laps today, the best of which was done in 1'31.130, whereas teammate Scott Redding did his best performance with a time of 1'31.637 on the twentieth of the 63 total laps he turned.


"It was a complicated day. We are especially struggling in the first two sectors, where I am unable to make much of a difference even with my best efforts. In the other two sectors, we are closer to the leaders and the top ten is not far off, but I cannot be satisfied with the seventeenth place time. I don't know if we will be able to take a step forward with the material available to us in these tests, but we will certainly try."


"We worked a lot on the 2018 bike today, testing new components like a swingarm and the front forks. We managed to improve, but there are some aspects where we can grow. I am losing in braking. I am unable to slow the bike down the way I'd like to and that is evident when we compare the data with Aleix. We are doing a lot of tests and that explains the long stops in the garage between one outing and the next. The goal is to put together a package with the solutions that prove to work the best for me."

#ThaiTest Day-2. Impressive 3rd for Jack. Petrux conquers a promising P6

The second day of official Irta testing at the Chang International Circuit of Buriram (Thailand) gives great satisfaction to Alma Pramac Racing, which ends up with an extraordinary double Top 6. Jack Miller impresses everyone with the 3rd fastest lap-time and Danilo Petrucci finishes his day with a convincing 6th place.

Jack's feeling with the Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017 is improving noticeably day after day. Following yesterday's excellent debut (7th place), the Australian rider confirms that he is perfectly at ease on the Thai circuit. The race pace is extremely incisive and in the afternoon Jack also notch up a great time attack that allows him to finish in P3, 2 tenths of a second from the quickest chrono of the day registered by Marc Marquez.

Danilo Petrucci works a lot on tires comparison, even challenging the torrid heat in the hottest hours of late morning. The rider from Terni is laps very fast and at the midday break he has the second quickest lap-time behind Marquez. His work continues in the afternoon and Petrux prefers to postpone the time attack for the fastest lap tomorrow.

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6th Danilo Petrucci 1:30.367 (75 laps)

“We are working hard for the championship. This morning we have dedicated ourselves to the tyres and doing a lot of comparison is very demanding. But we had positive results and even when we tried a time attack in the morning the chrono was good. There's still a lot to do but the feeling is remarkable despite the fact that we haven't worked on the set up yet ".

3th Jack Miller 1:30.185 (69 laps)

"I am very satisfied. We are working well and the feeling is really positive. Lap after lap, run after run, we are faster and faster and this gives us great confidence. I feel very confident even with used tyres. We still have some room for improvement, so we must continue to work without looking at the timesheet. The sensations are really very positive".

Enormous progress for Tech3 pair on day 2 in Buriram

Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin both turned up the pace on the second day of testing at the newly introduced Chang International Circuit. Johann Zarco did an amazing job in Thailand’s blistering heat to power to a time that was 0.945 seconds quicker than his pace on day one and finished close to the top in 5th position.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage Hafizh Syahrin adapted well to Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike on just his second day in the premier class. The Malaysian newcomer cut 1.167 seconds from his quickest lap yesterday, which made him leave a first fellow MotoGP rookie behind.

Johann Zarco

Position: 5th - Time: 1’30.360 - Laps: 60

“This was a great second day, I’m happy! Compared to yesterday, my position in the classification is a lot better, although I didn’t focus on this too much. On every lap I did today, I was quite fast. I didn’t do a long run yet, but I was using the used tyre well. However, I have to admit, that I expected a bigger improvement when I put in the new tyre, but at the same time this helps us to better understand the changing track conditions. We got good information and for me the balance of the bike is very nice now. I was able to push a lot and I’m just a few tenths behind the top guys, which means, that there are only small areas, where we need to increase. Tomorrow we have another day and as it’s the third day of testing here in Thailand, everybody will be even faster, because we know the track and learned how to ride the bike here. I hope that I can be very competitive to leave the Buriram Circuit with a smile.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 23th - Time: 1’31.998 - Laps: 49

“I felt very good today, we raised our performance step by step, like we intended to do. This morning I felt really great and I was able to lower my lap time by more than one second compared to my very first day on Friday. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake in turn 7 this afternoon, which interrupted my progress a bit. Yet, I try to learn from this experience. For tomorrow I want to try to improve on the bike again, plus I aim to quickly find the same feeling I had this morning.”


PRESS RELEASE: 17 February 2018 | Buriram Test Day Two

LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow finished the second day of pre-season testing in Thailand in eighth place on the timesheets.

With the premier class riders still adapting to the Thai layout, which will host its inaugural MotoGP race in October, Crutchlow completed a total of 85 laps aboard his 2018 RC213V on Saturday. His quickest effort came late in the day (on his 75th lap), but the 32-year-old insisted there was still plenty of room for further improvement.

The third and final day of testing takes place at Buriram on Sunday.

Cal Crutchlow – 8th

(1’30.490 – lap 75 of 85)

“We didn’t have a great day to be honest, we had some issues that meant we weren’t able to ride at our full potential this morning. I was not able to set a good lap time as we had too many items to test. But overall we’re pleased, with the old tyres and over the course of the day we’re satisfied with our pace. If it was a race day tomorrow I think we could fight for the podium, but we just didn’t have the out-and-out lap time like yesterday.

“I’m confident if we needed to, or if I was allowed to, I could have got into the 29s. But I’m not too worried at the moment, we just have to continue to work tomorrow”.


Ángel Nieto Team riders carry on work with their Ducati bikes at Buriram

The second day of testing in Buriram saw Marc Márquez celebrate his 25th birthday with the fastest time, becoming the first rider to break the 1:30 barrier. The Spaniard stopped the clock at 1:29.969, eight tenths faster than the best time from the previous day. The MotoGP riders continue their search for a setup for this new circuit that MotoGP will visit in October, and the situation among the Top 10 remains very similar on day two, with four different manufacturers at the sharp end and four Ducati bikes among the fastest. Behind Márquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jack Miller close the top three on the second day of testing in Thailand.

Ángel Nieto Team rider Álvaro Bautista put in close to ninety laps on a day in which, together with his crew, he worked on different setups -comparing them on the two Ducati GP17 bikes with which he will ride this season. He improved his time from yesterday by nearly 7 tenths. Teammate Karel Abraham also worked in short runs of six or seven laps. Like yesterday, he encountered complications once he reached a good pace, but worked with his team on different solutions to lower his times by several tenths in the final part of the day.

12+1 Álvaro Bautista 1:30.883 (89 laps): "We are having a positive test. Yesterday, as it was the first day here, we focused on getting a good setup. On the first day it was hard for us to find rear grip, both under braking and acceleration, and today we continued to try some modifications. The good thing about having both bikes already available in the box is that we can do very different tests in succession, with the same track conditions. In Sepang, with just one bike, we could not do that. Right now, we need to improve a little on our braking, because under the acceleration we are doing much better. In Malaysia we were able to take a small step forward, and here we have taken another one. Little by little, I'm feeling better on the bike."

21st Karel Abraham 1:31.661 (72 laps): "I like that we can come here, to Thailand, to compete. I rode here when I was in World Superbikes and I like the track: It reminds me a lot of Argentina, as it is quite similar. Above all, I like the fast sectors more than the narrow parts. The only problem is the weather; there is not high humidity like at Sepang, but it's very hot and the track temperature is sometimes 60 degrees. Yesterday we started well, until we reached a level where we started to discover some small problems with the setup. We have several plans and we hope to improve when the temperatures drop."

Morbidelli and Lüthi both improve in Thailand

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi both made significant improvements to their lap times during the second day of testing at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.

Morbidelli was almost one second faster than yesterday, as he continued to build confidence with his Honda RC213V. The reigning Moto2 World Champion focussed today on adapting his riding style further to better suit the characteristics of the MotoGP bike, with his crew making only small changes to the suspension settings on the bike as the Italian's pace increased.

Morbidelli set his fastest time of the day on a set of used tyres but was unable to improve after switching to new slicks. This is an issue that he will work with his crew to address overnight, before trying the softer option Michelin tyres again tomorrow.

For Lüthi, who is playing catch up after missing the end of season tests through injury, the learning curve remains steep. Previously one of the most experienced riders in the intermediate class, the former 125cc World Champion is effectively having to learn a new way of riding as he adapts to the very different demands of racing a MotoGP machine.

As part of this learning process Lüthi spent the second day of the Thailand test evaluating a range of different settings on the Honda RC213V. The aim was not to find improvements but to give the MotoGP rookie a better understanding of how changes to the set up, whether physical or electronic, affect how the bike works on track.

Franco Morbidelli: 1'31.185

"Today we made a step, I had really good pace on the used tyres and I was having fun. In fact my best time came on the used tyres and, unfortunately, when I went to make the time attack my feeling wasn't great and I wasn't improving. We need to investigate why I can be fast on used tyres but I cannot be faster on new rubber. I also need to learn how to make this time attack because we can see the other guys can improve one second on a new tyre and, at the moment, I cannot and I need to understand why this is."

Tom Lüthi: 1'31.994

"The goal today was to start with the same feeling that we had at the end of yesterday and to build on that. It was quite a positive day; I managed to follow some other riders and that was a good opportunity while I'm still working on my riding style to see how they get the bike to change direction and which lines they use through the turns. We also tried a few changes to the set up, as well as some of the different tyre options we have here, just to see how this affects the feeling with the bike. This meant we weren't making big steps forward which, as a rider, is a little bit frustrating, but looking back on the day now it was definitely positive."

Gilles Bigot: Chief Engineer, Tom Lüthi

"The step up from Moto2 to MotoGP is a bigger one than many people realise and I think it can be even more difficult for riders like Tom, who spent so many seasons in the intermediate class. Racing a MotoGP bike is far more complex than racing a Moto2 bike, where there are far fewer variables to consider. There are no electronics; you have only two tyres to choose from and the bikes are not so powerful. MotoGP is another level; different tyres with more options, complex electronics and twice as much power, which means that whatever you do with the throttle has a much bigger impact on the bike as a whole. It's a steep learning curve and one that takes time to conquer and that's something riders moving up to the premier class need to keep in mind. Patience really is a virtue when you're a MotoGP rookie."

Rabat and Simeon improve in the heat of Buriram

MotoGP Thai Test – Chang International Circuit

The second day of testing at the Chang International Circuit was very intense for the MotoGP riders, with temperatures that almost reached 50 degrees of the asphalt and 37 of the air. The sweltering heat didn’t stop Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat from completing 69 laps on his Ducati Desmosedici GP17 to finish twelfth in the standings, with a gap of just half a second to the ‘top 5’. Better still, Rabat’s ongoing lack of confidence for the front, a problem that haunted him since the last test in Malaysia, seems to be solved and now he can push even with the harder tyre compound of Michelin.

His teammate Xavi Simeon started the day very well, as he immediately improved his pace from yesterday. Afterwards he didn’t manage to make progress with the set-up of his bike and ended up a bit disappointed. But the Belgian is far from panicking, since the tests are there to try different things and, after many seasons in Moto2, also to learn everything about MotoGP, a much more demanding category in every aspect.

Despite being only a test, Thai fans have flocked to Buriram crowding the stands of the main straigh and more than 30,000 spectators are expected for tomorrow.

Tito Rabat | 1'30.855 | P12

“I’m very happy because today we were able to work a lot on the bike. I’m even more happy because I’ve built a lot of confidence with the front. Until today, this was the negative point with my bike, because whenever I pushed a little more I crashed and this wasn’t good. But today I didn’t crash, and we were able to try the hardest Michelin front for the first time with positive results. In the final minutes I grabbed a new set of tyres and I did a good lap time, but the most important thing for me is that we have been fast and consistent with old tyres. Tonight I have to rest well to start full throttle tomorrow”.

Xavier Simeon | 1'32.267 | P24

“It was a strange day. We started well in the morning and on the first exit I was faster than yesterday straight away and since the lap time came easily, the expectations were quite high. A little later I had a small crash entering the last corner, which didn’t make me lose confidence because I was going really slow. But then as the day went on, we were not able to improve and I think we lost a bit the way with the set-up. I was hitting a wall with my pace and I couldn’t lap in 1’31. But this is testing. Sometimes you take the wrong the direction with the bike, which I’m sure will help me to learn more about MotoGP. I said yesterday that the track seemed easy, but it’s not that easy after all, which we confirmed today”.


PRESS RELEASE: 17 February 2018 | Buriram Test Day Two

Takaaki Nakagami impressed once again as he finished as top rookie for the second day running at the pre-season MotoGP tests in Thailand on Saturday. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU new boy’s adaptation to the RC213V continued apace as he finished in 15th position at the Buriram International Circuit in the north-east of the country.

Nakagami posted a quickest time of 1’30.901 as he completed a total of 83 laps and ended the day one position, and just over a tenth of a second, behind seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi. Indeed, the 26-year-old was less than half a second behind LCR Honda team-mate Cal Crutchlow and will be looking to maintain his excellent progress ahead of the new season tomorrow.

The third and final day of testing takes place in Buriram on Sunday

Takaaki Nakagami– 15th

(1’39.901 – lap 73 of 83)

“At the end of the day, in the last few minutes, I followed Marc (Marquez) as he was trying to make a fast lap. I followed him for a complete lap and I’m grateful to him as he looked behind and said to come with him. It was difficult as he did a 1’29.9 and I did a 1’30.9, but it was impressive to watch his riding style and learn from him. His strongest point is his braking and acceleration.

“I’m really happy to be top rookie again. We must improve our exiting from corners, but it was a good second day and I’m really looking forward to the last day tomorrow.”

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