2018 Buriram MotoGP Test Sunday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the final day of the test at Buriram in Thailand:

Pedrosa sets the fastest time in Buriram, Marquez shows the best pace

Today in Thailand, the Repsol Honda Team concluded another very productive session of testing that saw Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa continue working on the general development of their RC213V, carrying out tests on the latest engine configuration, chassis, aerodynamics, and Michelin tyres. Over the three days, Marc completed a total of 271 laps, Dani 224.

Dani set the fastest time of the day and the best overall in 1’29.781” on lap 77 of 78, also completing a 15-lap long run in the morning.

Marc completed a very impressive race simulation in the afternoon, featuring a long string of high-1’30” laps. His quickest time today was a 1’30.143” on lap 27 of 96, the fourth-fastest among all riders (yesterday’s best of 1’29.969” places him third in the combined classification).

The Repsol Honda riders will now fly to Jakarta, Indonesia, for the official Team Launch on 20 February.

Dani Pedrosa

1st 1'29.781 on lap 77 of 78

“We leave Thailand with positive feelings. The test was quite tough as the temperatures were high, and we worked really hard over the three days. In the end we didn’t have many tyres left, so we had to carefully manage the planning of our work. We worked on many aspects of the bike’s setup, and step-by-step we improved our speed and pace. Among other things, today we tested a carbon swing arm that’s a new area for us to work on, so we’re still in the process of learning and of finding the feeling. I’m very happy with the job my team is doing at the track, and with what the engineers are doing back in Japan. They’re really helping us to improve, and this is good and gives us confidence. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue this trend at the final test in Qatar, which will be very interesting as conditions will be different.”

Marc Marquez

4th (3rd in the Combined Standings) 1'30.143 on lap 27 of 96 (1’29.969 in the Combined Standings)

“I’m very, very happy with what we did today, as we completed many laps and were able to improve the bike’s setup in several areas. Our lap times today were slower than yesterday, but we worked differently and I didn’t push for a time attack. We completed a 20-lap long run with a strong pace, and I also felt good from a physical-conditioning point of view, which was very satisfying. Today we worked on some new things, including a carbon swing arm that we had actually already tried, so we were able to do some back-to-back tests. Of course we’re just starting our work on that, so we’re still in the phase where there are both positives and negatives and we need to understand it better. The new aerodynamics was quite positive, I liked it today. It requires a little bit different riding style, but I managed to be very consistent on used tyres with it so I’m happy about that as well.”


Team Suzuki Press Office - January 18th.

Alex Rins: 5th - 1:30.178 (+ 0.397)

Andrea Iannone: 15th - 1:30.718 (+ 0.937)

• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR round off a successful test.

• Alex Rins effective on time attack lap and consistent in pace.

• Andrea Iannone with positive pace and consistency .

The final day of track action at Chang International Circuit rounded off a successful test for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. There has been positive progress made throughout the three days on the brand new track, and the team and riders were able to gain useful data, try new parts, and work towards their ‘final’ set-up.

Alex Rins, who has kept up a very strong pace from the beginning to the end at Chang International, used the final day to reconfirm his ideal settings and the efficacy of Suzuki’s new aerodynamic fairing. He reported the same favourable feelings which he had felt when debuting the new package on Day 2.

Andrea Iannone, who had so far used the test for fine-tuning settings and making long runs to compare the feel of the bike combined with tyre longevity, in the last day could also try the new fairing, which he found helpful.

Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager

“It was a good test, we could test many items, also thanks to the weather - which has been consistently hot but not raining - it allowed us to do many laps over the three days. Alex, as everybody can see, had very good lap times thanks to having a lot of confidence with the bike. Unfortunately Andrea could not be completely effective on a single lap, but his average lap time is not bad. We have some more ideas on how to improve so I’m not worried. Because we were able to complete our test program here, in the next test we will focus more on race preparation rather than many test items. We will try to be prepared for the opening round.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“These three days have been positive for us because we could work intensively and complete the plan that we had. We’ve been carrying out some different options on the chassis and the engines for several months, with small but significant improvements occurring in every test. Now we have a clearer picture and we can leave Thailand with more awareness of what the best base package is. Alex worked on many comparisons and back-to-back analysis, his performance is positive both on multi and single lap pace. We’re very happy about this. Andrea is struggling a little with time attack on new tyres, and we will look for more improvements in that area. But his pace is solid and fast, which is the main positive for him to bring back from Buriram.”

Alex Rins

“Well, if I had to rate these 3 days in Thailand I would say 8 or 8.5, because we worked a lot and we tried many things. It was positive because now I’m sure we have a really good base for 2018. In Malaysia I was 80% sure that this package was good and the right fit for me, but now I’m going home 100% sure that this package has a strong potential. We will likely keep this new aerodynamic fairing because it helps me a lot in terms of anti-wheelie, which then helps to deliver more power. We will probably adjust it a little bit yet, but we are working in a good way. During these winter tests my target was to try to be competitive, and to create a good bike, to hopefully fight for the top positions this season.”

Andrea Iannone

“Although I’m not 100% satisfied, these tests have still been very positive for us. We could test everything again to make a final comparison between the improvements we’ve been carrying out during the last months, and now we have a clearer idea of the direct we have to follow. The only disappointing thing for me is not having been able to find positive efficacy on the single lap top performance. On consecutive laps I can be consistently fast, which is important for the races. The new fairing gave me good sensations. In Qatar we’ll finalise some more things in order to be ready, but I feel positive about starting the championship.”

Final day of MotoGP testing at the Buriram Circuit in Thailand. Andrea Dovizioso 7th and Jorge Lorenzo 16th in the combined three-day standings

The three-day MotoGP testing session at the Buriram International Circuit, where the first Thailand Grand Prix will be held on October 7th, concluded at 5 pm this afternoon.

The two Ducati Team riders made the most of the three days to familiarize themselves with the new circuit and to try out the new components and material made available by their team.

The combined standings saw Andrea Dovizioso, who today did 58 laps and concluded his testing programme early in the afternoon, finish seventh overall with a time of 1’30.192 while his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who also went out at the end of the day, was unable to improve his time from yesterday and he finished the test in sixteenth place (1’30.729).

The MotoGP riders will be back on the track from 1st to 3rd March at Losail in Qatar, in preparation for the opening round of the season at the same circuit on 18th March.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04): 1’30.192 (7th) - 58 laps today

“These were three very useful days, in which we were able to do a lot of work and test the fairings, the frame and the other new material that Ducati brought here to Thailand. It wasn’t an easy job because it was really hot out there and this track is a bit unusual, but we gathered lots of useful information and confirmed that the GP18 is a very competitive bike. To get a better idea of the form of our rivals, we also have to see what tyre they set their times with, but in my opinion here at Buriram we are in good shape, just like in Malaysia. I’m going back home very happy and ready to leave again in a couple of weeks’ time for Qatar, where we want to prepare well for the first round of the 2018 championship.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99): 1’30.729 (16th) - 68 laps today

“Unfortunately for me these have been three very complicated days, because I was never able to be really competitive. I didn’t feel at ease on the GP18 and yesterday we also had a few doubts so we decided to do a back-to-back test with last year’s bike. As always happens, there are good and bad points with both versions, but at the moment it seems that the GP18 has a greater potential so we will focus on this bike in the next test in Qatar.”

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Conclude Thailand Testing

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales ended the third and final day of MotoGP testing in Buriram, Thailand, securing 10th and 12th place respectively in today's rankings.

Using his time from yesterday as a benchmark, Rossi had a clear target whilst completing his testing schedule. He tried some tyre specs, evaluated various settings and worked on the electronics, so by the end of the day his pace was noticeably quicker on the final run.

The Italian completed 70 laps in total and wrapped up the third day of testing in tenth place, posting a best time of 1'30.511s on lap 69, 0.730s off the front. This result put him in 12th position in the combined timesheets.

Viñales started the session again as soon as the green light at the end of pit lane went on. He was eager to try out the new setting he found yesterday, as well as making some final decisions on the engine and the chassis. However, he was unable to find the same feeling he had the day before.

Though he was unable to beat his time from yesterday, the Spaniard went the extra mile to provide feedback, completing 69 laps in total. His best effort, a 1'30.590s set on lap 66, put him in 12th place in today's testing results, 0.809s from the top. His best Day-2 time, a 1'30.274s, earned him eighth place in the combined Day 1-2-3 standings.

Valentino Rossi

Position: 10th - Time: 1'30.511 - Laps: 70

"I think that we improved today. I rode a 1'30.5s, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the end of a really good lap, else I could have done a 1'30.2s, and we're all very close. Like last year, it's difficult to understand where we stand. A lot of people were strong in Malaysia and here they struggled, and also the opposite. We have to improve, because we didn't make much progress compared to last year, especially when it comes to the electronics. We have a lot of work to do and at this moment we have to get through it - but that's today, maybe in Qatar it will be better."

Maverick Viñales

Position: 12th - Time: 1'30.590 - Laps: 69

"It's been a difficult test, like it was in Malaysia. We are working hard trying to figure out what the problem is - right now mostly on braking, but we have to improve in all areas. We have to continue working, trying to find out how to improve. The race days are coming up fast and we only have the three days in Qatar left. I will keep working and I will be 100% ready, and when the bike is ready I will push."

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"Instead of focusing on the time attack, we rode many laps with used tyres and tried to make them run properly. We tried many solutions, some were good, some didn't work. At the end, we came a few hours short, because we wanted to do a hot lap, but couldn't fit that in anymore. However, we still got a lot of things done here. It was fundamental for us to decide on the engine and chassis at this test, and the package has been confirmed. Now we will need to keep working on the electronics, because there's still room for improvement there. In Qatar we have three more days of testing and we'll put in a lot of effort, and work as much as we can to solve it."



The three days of testing on the Thai Chang circuit were a fundamental stop along the way to approaching the first race of the season. This is especially true for Aprilia, busy developing the new 2018 RS-GP in its second outing after its Sepang début.

The workload in the garage was determined by the demands of a project that, although connected to the bike used last season, has undergone many changes. This means that the teams and riders need to understand the reactions to the changes in the setup, working at the same time on testing new components.

For Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding, this was also their first time on a track that is brand new to MotoGP. The decidedly particular, almost unique characteristics of the Thai track allowed the teams to take on new technical challenges, from which a lot of useful information was drawn in preparation for the next steps in view of the Qatar race.

Over the three days, Aleix turned 188 laps, the fastest of which done today at time of 1'30,701. Scott Redding turned 185 laps, putting his best time on the sheets in today's session at 1'31.311.


"This track proved to be tough, but we were able to clearly identify the areas where we need to improve and I have the utmost confidence in Aprilia. I am sure that from here to Qatar, we will be able to count on a good starting base for our championship season. The areas that give us the most trouble are mainly the stop-and-go corners where we lose more than our rivals. Today we were able to improve in this area, but not enough to let us narrow the gap further. I gave it my all in these tests which were perhaps the most demanding since I have been with Aprilia. We want to keep improving and growing lap after lap."


"These tests were good overall. I am especially pleased with the consistent improvements, day by day, both in terms of development of the 2018 RS-GP and in terms of my feeling in the saddle. We did a tight testing schedule which was necessary in order to then define the technical package for the first race. This morning we took a step forward in terms of braking. Even if it gets a bit difficult to have the right reference when the temperatures rise, I think the direction we are going is promising. We are constantly working on several fronts because we are developing the new bike while I am adapting my style to the RS-GP. We could have been a few tenths faster on our time attack but, to be honest, I think that we have other priorities at the moment."


"The Thai track is not a particularly easy circuit to interpret for the riders and for the engineers. This was a fundamental test, because coming here without any experience would have really been complicated. We learned a lot, putting the 2018 RS-GP through its paces on a track that is different from Sepang, with unique characteristics compared to the rest of the circuits on the calendar. We collected data that will be useful in defining the configuration with which we will tackle the season opener. In particular, today we explored a new area in terms of the position of the bike's centre of gravity, which gave both Aleix and Scott good sensations. We had a new bike and a 2017 bike available for each rider in order to compare some characteristics, but from Qatar we'll switch to two new bikes, given the unanimous feedback on the overall improvement compared to last year."

Encouraging first MotoGP test for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team in Thailand

MotoGP IRTA Test 2018 – Chang International Circuit (THA)

The Chang International Circuit was the all-new venue for this week's MotoGP test. The circuit's inaugural MotoGP activity saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team enjoy a productive outing in Thailand.

Injury forced Pol Espargaro to sit out the three day test but Bradley Smith and Mika Kallio were able to make significant progress with the KTM RC16. Having struggled with braking performance in Malaysia both riders found improvements in this area. In addition to this new chassis, suspension and aerodynamic parts were available for evaluation.

With only three more days of testing prior to the start of the season on 18 March the exitment is starting to build within the team.

Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): "Testing is always very busy! There is always a long list of items that you need to work on and to assess. It takes a lot of time and energy in the winter to try different things and even if they don't give you a big improvement in laptime they do offer a lot of data to help your knowledge of the package. The team did a great job this week because it was tough not to have Pol. We hope that he will be back for the Qatar test but Bradley and Mike did a great job this week. I think that we've been able to see a direction for us to follow for the start of the season and that we can be quite happy with this test."

Bradley Smith: "I think that we're in a better situation than we were in after Malaysia. When we finished the Sepang test we didn't have the same feeling with the bike that we finished last year with. Then we were pushing for the top 12 but we didn't have that feeling during the first test. For this test the guys analysed the Malaysian data and we found a better feeling and made some refinements. Corner entry was a struggle at Malaysia and it surprised us not to have that feeling. The strength of the KTM last year was under braking and that's very important here in Thailand and we found it much better this week. We've been able to work on a lot of chassis and aerodynamic improvements. It's been good to test here and learn the track and we're definitely more in the mix compared to the Malaysian test."

Mika Kallio: "It's been good to test this week but it has been tough without Pol. This is a new track and it was difficult here during the test because it was hot and physical. On the bike the front of the bike needed to improve after Malaysia. We had some issues with the stopping power and braking stability in Malaysia so we worked on that and tyres. We have been busy all week! The first two days were complicated but I was happy that we were able to find a good feeling on the bike. Today we changed some parts and adjusted the setup. I improved my feeling but we still need to make another step forward. We have one test left before the start of the season but hopefully we've been able to close the gap to the front due to the work in this test."

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP): "It's been a very busy test for Bradley and Mika. We are trying to sort out the new bike. We are still a new team and the processes of this phase is quite new for us. Developing the bike in year two is quite different to last year because we don't intend on changing much now. We found some improvements with the chassis, the aerodynamics and the electronics. We've able to find some steps across the whole bike and that's a big positive for us. This has been a good test and the riders have done a great job. It's a shame that Pol isn't here this week but Bradley and Mika did a good job."

Zarco and Syahrin leave Thailand with excellent impressions

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair concluded the Buriram test in outstanding fashion today, as Johann Zarco topped the time sheets for the majority of the day, while Hafizh Syahrin showed a sensational achievement during his first ever MotoGP test.

Johann Zarco performed in incredible form, smashed the lap record around midday with a best time of 1’29.867 and finished the three days at the Chang International Circuit as the fastest Yamaha rider. In progressing run by run, Hafizh Syahrin was able to conclude his first premier class experience just 1.756 seconds off the top and even outperformed multiple World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

In just one week the MotoGP World Championship is back on track for the final pre-season test in Qatar. Therefore, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team aims to announce their second permanent rider for the 2018 season in the coming days.

Johann ZARCO

Position: 2nd - Time: 1’29.867 - Laps: 47

“We had a really great third day, good tyres to use and it was planned to try to do a better lap time today, so we fully achieved our goals. I stopped early today, because we did a lot of work and have enough information on this new track. I’m happy, that I was able to control the bike better and better with each lap and I have truly an amazing feeling. I understand the tyres, found out what happens, when we undertake changes on the bike. Everything is good, I’m satisfied and sure we can prepare the first race in October here well, even if we will have different tyres. Compared to Malaysia I finished the test here in Thailand with a very high pace, which is a fantastic sign for Qatar.”


Position: 21st - Time: 1’31.537 - Laps: 47

“I’m very pleased about the last day. We stopped at lunch time, because we did work really hard and I still have to get used to the demands of a MotoGP machine, as it was the first time for me here. I improved every day and with each run I did. In the last session, we made a huge step forward and this was my target, because yesterday it was not bad, but I was sure, that I can do even more. Overall, I’m very happy and I hope I can see the team again soon. We already had a good feeling with the bike! I want to thank the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for all the information they gave me and also Johann, who helped me a lot to improve. Of course, I also want to thank Herve, Yamaha, Monster and everybody involved for this opportunity and I really hope we can continue this amazing adventure.”


Team Manager

“I truly believe that Monster Yamaha Tech3 did an amazing job in Buriram, Thailand. It was a very important test for us in order to continue our understanding and decision about the package we will use this year with Johann. Of course, it was also a very important test for the other side of the garage with the young Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin. I think we can be proud as a team to have achieved the goals we were looking for and clearly, we leave Buriram with a very special, positive feeling. I would like to thank the whole Buriram circuit staff for their dedication and professionalism and of course we were amazed by how many fans have been gathered around the circuit to follow this. I know everyone is expecting a decision regarding Hafizh Syahrin. All I can say right now is, that he has done a fantastic job during this test, showing a great motivation, willing to learn and speed on track in a really good atmosphere with the team. Very soon we will take our decision, as we have to share all details of organization with all our partners. A very big thank you to our two riders and the whole crew of Yamaha Monster Tech3, who did an excellent job.”


PRESS RELEASE: 18 February 2018 | Buriram Test Day Three

LCR Honda CASTROL’s Cal Crutchlow ended the third and final day of testing at the Buriram International Circuit in fine fashion as he finished third fastest on the day and fourth overall in MotoGP’s second pre-season session.

The British rider has enjoyed a successful reconnaissance of the new venue over the past three days, ahead of October’s maiden event in the north-east of Thailand late in the 2018 season. He stopped the clock in a best time of 1’30.064 today, four-tenths quicker than on Saturday, and just a quarter of a second behind fastest man of the week – Honda colleague Dani Pedrosa.

With LCR Honda team-mate Taka Nakagami also inside the top ten, the Thai test has been a worthwhile outing for the entire squad, ahead of the final three days of tests in Qatar in two weeks’ time – scene of the opening round of the 2018 MotoGP season on March 18th.

Cal Crutchlow – 3rd(4th overall)

(1’30.064 – lap 50 of 81)

“It was a good enough day today, we are happy with our pace. We were lucky to get a full day’s testing in and get through our plan. At the end of the day we wanted to put a ‘lap-time’ in but unfortunately we had the soft rear tyre in at the time and I pushed too hard and ran off the track. I stayed on the bike,but it would have been a good lap and another morale boost.”

“It doesn’t really matter though because we were already consistently fast throughout the day. I set my best time with the medium rear tyre and a used hard front tyre which is positive. We did some good runs throughout the day, as a team we have worked very well and we’re also pleased as a team for how well Taka (Nakagami) is riding too. He’s shown a lot of people and a lot of the riders what he can do in MotoGP today.”

Reale Avintia Racing riders complete a successful test in Thailand

MotoGP Thai Test – Chang International Circuit

Reale Avintia Racing team riders Tito Rabat and Xavier Simeon finished the three-day test at the Chang International Circuit with very positive feelings. The Spaniard all but solved his lack of confidence with the front end of his bike and in the next test in Qatar he hopes to have new parts from Ducati that should help him to make another step forward.

The former Moto2 World Champion enjoyed riding the bike at Buriram and he finished again very close to the fastest riders. His smile at the end of the test was the best proof that everything is going well and that he can be fighting for good results with Reale Avintia in 2018.

For Xavi Simeón it was not so easy, but after the issues from the second day, he was able to improvement today. The Belgian rider has a lot to learn in the premier class and he also has to continue to work on his riding style, to deepen his understanding of the bike and the tyres.

Rabat and Simeon now have a couple of weeks to prepare for the final winter test of 2018, which takes place in Qatar from March 1 to 3.

Tito Rabat | 1'30.476 | P11

“I’m very happy because all three days have been very positive and we managed to be more competitive. From the first test last year, we had a problem with the front end of the bike that didn’t let me push to the maximum and I was crashing in the fast turns losing the front, but little by little we have found a way to improve and now at least I don’t crash like that any more. Nevertheless, we have to keep working to be more confident in the fast corners and, with the help of Ducati, in Qatar I hope to take another step in this way to continue gaining confidence. The team has done an incredible job once again and helped me a lot to improve. Now it’s time to charge the batteries for the last test of the pre-season”.

Xavier Simeon | 1'32.019 | P24

“The last day was better, not much better, but enough for me. Overall I’ve improved a lot with used tyres and it’s clear that we still need to work to understand the tyres, because I’m struggling in that area. It was a bit frustrating because every time I went out with new tyres, I didn’t make the jump we expected. But with a 25-lap tyre I was doing my best lap times. That’s why I have to understand how the Michelins tyres work. Due to the layout of this track, it is important not to force the tyre too much in some turns and the opposite goes for some other turns. I still don’t have enough confidence with the bike to ride at the maximum on this track, but overall the test has been positive and we got very good conclusions. Not having improved as much as I expected also has its positive side, because it makes me see that MotoGP is a very difficult class”.


Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham complete close to forty laps each on last day in Thailand, after putting in more than 150 on the first two days

The MotoGP World Championship concluded another preseason test this Sunday. The first ever run at the Buriram track in Thailand, which received a great welcome from the local fans, had a third and final day of action –the last there until the weekend of the October 6th Grand Prix. Dani Pedrosa, Johann Zarco and Marc Márquez were the only riders able to break the 1:30 barrier. The first two even lowered the time set by Márquez yesterday, to set an unofficial circuit record of 1:29.781. Behind them, Cal Crutchlow was two tenths off Pedrosa's time. The MotoGP riders will be back in the saddle on March 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Qatar, for the final preseason test before the start of the 2018 season.

The Ángel Nieto Team riders completed the second preseason test with a day in which they put in close to 40 laps each. Álvaro Bautista closed the test with a best Sunday time of 1:31.486, after an electrical problem ended his work prematurely. The Spaniard was not able to lower the 1:30.883 he set yesterday and was seventeenth in the combined timesheet for the three days. Bautista leaves Thailand happy, although he admits that he has not yet found the limit with his new bike.

Karel Abraham, who put in 38 laps to add to a total of 154 from the first two days, was also unable to best his Saturday time of 1:31.661. The Czech rider ends the Thai test in twenty-third position and with the goal of continuing his progress at the Qatar test, before the start of the season in the Arab country on the weekend of March 18th.

20th Álvaro Bautista 1:31.486 (37 laps): "We have greatly improved in the rear, without worsening things with the front. In Sepang we took a step forward and another here, and we have not reached the limit yet. This is a bike that, unlike GP16, gives me a lot of confidence; I am more comfortable with it. It seems a more secure bike. Also, if another rider with the same bike can set competitive times, why can’t we? We are in good shape, and we’ll see if in Qatar we can take another step forward as we have done so far. It has been a positive three day and I am happy. Yesterday afternoon we found a setup that made me feel better on the bike and I felt very comfortable. I set a good time with the medium rear tyre, which is usually something that I find hard. We gained a lot of grip. However, with the extra soft tyre I had even more grip and I couldn’t take advantage of its potential, but it could have greatly improved my lap time. This morning, when the conditions were theoretically a little better than yesterday, I lost all that grip and I was not able to ride like I had yesterday. Little by little, when the temperature rose, I started to get better. It's strange because the opposite happened to me before. We took data from both conditions and we have a lot to learn from. In the morning we weren’t been able to do more laps because we ran out of fuel; we hadn’t expected to ride as much as we did yesterday and on Friday. In the afternoon, as soon as I went out I felt great on the bike, had good grip and set my best lap of the day, without forcing it. We wanted to try a race simulation, but on the second lap we had a problem on the bike and I could not go back out. We have work to do and data to analyse. I'm happy, although we have not been able to do all we had planned."

24th Karel Abraham 1:32.024 (38 laps): "Today has been a difficult day. We found it hard to go faster. I don’t know what that is down to, but we need to lower our time by at least a second. We have to work to improve in Qatar. We must prepare ourselves to the fullest for the test and, obviously, for the race."

Another step forward for MotoGP rookies Morbidelli and Lüthi in Buriram

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi, depart Thailand satisfied with the progress made during three-days of testing at the Chang International Circuit, the latest addition to the MotoGP calendar.

For Morbidelli the focus of the test was on refining both set up and riding style to get the best from Honda's RC213V MotoGP machine. The reigning Moto2 World Champion saw steady improvement over the course of the three days but also identified areas on which to focus during the next test in Qatar.

With just three days prior testing in Sepang, due to missing the post-season tests through injury, the focus for Lüthi in Thailand was on increasing his understanding and confidence in both the Honda RC213V and the Michelin tyres. The Swiss rider made solid progress over the course of the three days in Buriram, improving his lap time by over a second as a result.

Both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders leave Thailand with a clear direction for the third and final preseason test in Qatar, which gets underway on 1st March.

Franco Morbidelli: 1'30.648

"I'm really happy with this test, which we finished well today. We've worked hard trying to understand better how to get the best from the bike and tyres and finally we found a good direction, we improved and I managed to post a decent lap time to end the test. We went forward, which is the most important thing, because this is my main objective; to always move forward. I have to say thank you to my crew, because they have helped me a lot and we are working well together. Now we need to continue in the same way in Qatar, increasing even more our understanding of the bike, the tyres and the set up."

Tom Lüthi: 1'31.354

"We saw progression on each of the three days here in Thailand and I think that's the most important thing. It was quite tough at the start today because our progress seemed to stall; we were looking for better lap times but they didn't come. We decided to make a step back with the bike, trying to get a feel for some changes to the set up and this was quite interesting. Towards the end of the day I started to get a better feeling with the front and this helped me a lot, allowing me to go a little bit faster and close the gap a little more to the guys at the front. Now we need to continue in the same way in Qatar if we're to be ready for the first race of the season."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

"These three days in Buriram were quire positive for the team, with both riders improving as their understanding of how to get the best out of the bike and tyres increased with more track time. Just as importantly we also identified areas for further improvement that we need to work on during the next test in Qatar. Both Franco and Tom should be satisfied with the steps they've made here in Thailand. It's very easy for a rider to become frustrated when they feel they are not progressing fast enough, but we know from experience that mastering a MotoGP bike takes some time and that a methodical and patient approach pays dividends in the end. We didn't know what to expect when we came here to the Buriram, but it's been a positive experience and the passion of the local fans is incredible. I'm looking forward to coming back for the race in October."


PRESS RELEASE: 18 February 2018 | Buriam Test Day Three

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rookie Takaaki Nakagami completed the three-day pre-season test at the Buriram International Circuit in impressive fashion on Sunday, ending up in the top ten overall and eighth-fastest on the final day. The Japanese rider will make his debut in the premier class of MotoGP in a month’s time in Qatar, and will head into that event full of confidence after three excellent days of hard work in Thailand.

The Chiba-born rider stopped the clock in a best time of 1’30.456 today, shaving half a second off his benchmark from Saturday. That lap time put him eighth fastest on the timesheets and meant he was the quickest of the rookies for the third day in a row. It augurs well for the 2018 season for 26 year-old Taka, who has a final three-day test in Qatar in a couple of weeks before the curtain raises on the MotoGP season at the same venue two weeks later.

Takaaki Nakagami– 8th (10th overall)

(1’30.456 – lap 60 of 78)

“I’m really happy with the three days overall, both in terms of the lap time and the position in the field. We have made lots of improvements, with the bike, with the team - getting to know each other even better. I want to say a big thank you to the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team because I am very happy with our progress over these days.”

“To finish inside the top ten for the first time is a really good thing, but we still need to work hard in Qatar when we get there. Let’s see what happens, but I hope we can continue in this way and I’m sure it will be a good test over there before the season starts for real.”

#ThaiTest – Alma Pramac Racing ends up with great conviction: Jack 6th and Petrux 9th in the combined standings

Another extremely positive test for Alma Pramac Racing that after the excellent results of #SepangTest, finishes in a very convincing way also the three days of activity on the Chang Internationl Circuit of Bruriram, Thailand.

Jack Miller placed 6th thanks to the remarkable time attack set in Day-2 while Danilo Petrucci (11th today, 9th in the combined standings) worked on the race pace, postponing the attempt on the single lap to the next tests in Qatar. Compared to the first two days of activity, the track conditions were slightly less performing today due to higher humidity.

Jack confirmed himself at a very high level after 5th place in the Sepang combined standings. The Australian rider completed 198 laps in the three days of Buriram, highlighting an enviable feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017. His third day on the track starts with a double time attack that brings him to close to 5 thousandths of a second his best time notched up yesterday. The race pace recorded in the afternoon’s long run is once again incisive.

Petrux goes back home very satisfied after an uninterrupted focus on his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2018. The rider from Terni worked intensively (192 laps completed in the test) first on the comparison of tyres and then on the bike set up. The race pace is extremely encouraging and the appointment with the time attack is for #QatarTest.

11th Danilo Petrucci - 1:30.573

“It was a good test. We are very happy because we worked very well without making many changes to the bike after Sepang. We were always among the first with a very interesting race step. We didn't do the time attack but it's not important, also because in the tests they don't give any prize. And then how far back for the GP we will not have this tyres and the weather conditions will be very different. I go to Qatar with great confidence”.

6th Jack Miller - 1:30.190

“I am really satisfied with what we have done in these tests. The feeling is really good. Every time I go on the track I feel more and more comfortable and lap after lap I have the feeling of being ever faster. I made a mistake this morning on the first lap of the long run. I am sorry for the team because we could have finished our work this morning. We return home with great confidence and I look forward to being in Qatar”.

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The only Yamaha rider riding the bike they have is Zarco. Both Rossi & Vinales are riding a bike they wish they had.

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