Press releases from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the final test of the preseason at Jerez:
PRE-SEASON TESTING IS OVER, MARTIN AND DIGGIA ARE NOW READY FOR QATAR
The final pre-season test for the Moto3 World Championship has drawn to a close today at Jerez de la Frontera for Team Del Conca Gresini, who were hoping to encounter more favourable weather conditions in southern Spain to complete their testing programme ahead of the season opener in Qatar – which will get underway in less than 10 days. Rain and wind did not help, although the team was nevertheless able to make the most of the second day of action to improve some areas of the bike.
Jorge Martin was the quickest rider of the three-day test courtesy of a 1’45.945secs lap-time as he was the only one able to break the 1’46secs barrier. The young Spanish rider successfully completed a back-to-back comparison with the previous test at the same track and looks like things went as planned. Martin mostly worked on corner entry and engine brake, and everything was under control.
Fabio Di Giannantonio also turned his attention on the engine brake; he also tried both soft and medium compound tyres and found a great feeling with his Honda machine #21.
Things are about to get serious now, with the opening Grand Prix of the season that will get started next week at Losail.
“I believe the goal at the start was to find again the same perfect feeling we had last time out at Jerez de la Frontera and I must say we did it despite the reduced track-time. I personally think that there is still something that can be improved - especially under braking on corner entry. We also worked on the engine brake, so I can say we’re ready for the season debut!”
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO
“It wasn’t the most favourable test we had given the rain on day one and three, but I can say that my feeling with engine and chassis is really good. We tried many things and most of them turned out to be quite interesting. We got on track yesterday with soft and medium tyres and we we managed to improve each and every time both on the single lap and the longer run. We worked hard to improve the feeling with the front and rear ends of the bike as well as with the engine brake, which is the only area of the new engine that I’m still not fully convinced of.”
Márquez ready to race despite rain disrupted final test in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez declared himself ready for the start of the 2018 season, despite adverse weather disrupting all three days of the final Moto2 preseason test at the Jerez circuit in Spain.
Márquez was only able to complete two sessions on the opening day, in less than ideal conditions, before rain brought a premature end to proceedings. Day two started well, with the sun initially making an appearance above the Jerez circuit, but a red flag and plunging track temperatures in the afternoon meant that testing was again limited to just two sessions.
The third and final day was a complete wash out, with Márquez not even turning one lap as intermittent rain meant that the track never dried completely.
Despite the disruption, Márquez managed to complete a limited test schedule, working with his crew and the Kalex technical staff to evaluate changes to the suspension and geometry on the 2018 bike, ready for the opening race of the season.
The inclement conditions also meant that Márquez never got the chance to match his blistering pace at the previous Jerez test, where he topped the timesheet with an incredible lap time of 1'40.926.
Márquez was the sole representative of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in Jerez, as Joan Mir opted to sit out the test after sustaining an injury to his right shoulder in a training accident.
Instead the reigning Moto3 World Champion remained at home in Mallorca, where he has been undergoing an intensive course of physiotherapy in preparation for his Moto2 debut in Qatar next week.
Álex Márquez: 1'42.161
"Despite the problems with the weather, I'm really happy with what we've achieved here at Jerez. On the second day, the best of the three weather wise, we managed to get quite a lot done, taking a lot of conclusions about our direction with the set up, which is really good for the first race in Qatar. Sure, some more dry track time would have been better but it was the same for everyone. Now we head to Qatar and the first race of the season in a good position, but we need to continue working during the first free practice sessions next weekend. Qatar is a peculiar track, which we need to adapt to, and we know there are going to be even more riders challenging at the front this season, but I'm feeling confident ahead of the first race."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"The weather hasn't been kind to us again this year, with less than ideal conditions at all three preseason tests in Spain. It's the second season that the weather has played a big part and maybe it's time to start looking for an alternative preseason testing location, especially as we'll be racing with different engines for the first time in 2019. Despite the weather disruptions we are in a good position going into the new season, with Álex instrumental in the development of the 2018 Kalex and Joan quickly adapting to the demands of Moto2 despite missing the final test through injury. We're ready for the first race and I'm looking forward to the season ahead."
Bendsneyder and Gardner conclude pre-season with high confidence
The Tech3 Racing duo of Bo Bendsneyder and Remy Gardner was back at Jerez, Spain this week for the ultimate test before the 2018 season kicks off with the traditional opener, the Qatar Grand Prix in just eight days’ time.
In the course of the three days Bendsneyder was able to improve his fastest time from day one by 1.334 seconds to conclude the final preparations in 13th position overall. Thereby, the flying Dutchman was working through an extensive schedule in order to be perfectly positioned for his first ever Moto2 race next week. Meanwhile, Gardner impressed with the fourth quickest lap time on wet tarmac this morning. The Australian decreased his lap time by one second, completing the test just 0.214 seconds behind his team mate in 18th and is eager to prove his good feeling aboard the Mistral 610 in race conditions.
Position: 13th - Time: 1’42.528 - Laps: 102
“It was three positive days. We were quite lucky with the weather, because the forecast said just one dry day and in the end, we got nearly three. Especially the second day was good to try many things. At the start, we struggled a little bit, but finally we changed the bike in the front and step by step, we were improving. We just focused on the race pace and did a simulation, where I did my best time in the last lap. I was also able to ride consistently in the 42s. I’m happy about the work we’ve done and I’m looking forward to Qatar.”
Position: 18th - Time: 1’42.742 - Laps: 95
“We finished testing early, after doing some laps in the wet this morning, which was quite successful. I think we could have refined our setup a bit in the afternoon, but we didn’t want to risk anything before the race. Overall, this test was decent, unfortunately I had two strange tyres and we couldn’t understand why we were not able to go fast. Then we put a different set of tyres on and were working towards a setting that was suiting the poor tyres. I would say, we are ready for Qatar. I think we can have a strong start into the season, although the final result doesn’t really reflect our potential.”
NAVARRO HAPPY AND READY FOR QATAR
Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 leave southern Spain in a positive mood after a weather-wise not-so-exciting final pre-season test at Jerez de la Frontera, which did not stop the team from working hard both in the garage and on track – especially on the second day.
On the opening day of action, Navarro was able to get on track only in the afternoon session as he focused mainly on fast corners, under-braking stability and on finding a more comfortable position on the bike. On day two, which turned out to be the only day blessed by sun and mild temperatures, the 22-year-old Spaniard managed to lap consistently and set a personal best lap-time of 1’42.521.
Despite a third day with continuing rain – and therefore not useful for the testing programme – Navarro and Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 leave Jerez de la Frontera with a smile on their faces and in less than a week will be in Losail for the opening Grand Prix of the 2018 season.
“We tried different set-up configurations to have a clearer idea on what I like and we have found a good base. Obviously, there’s still a lot of work to do and we need something more both from myself and the bike, but we’re on the right direction. We need to do some fine tuning as we were six tenths away from the quickest time here at Jerez but I’m sure we don’t need that much more to be near the front.”
POSITIVE BALANCE FOR THE LAST IRTA TEST IN JEREZ. THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 IS READY FOR QATAR GP
The 2018 pre-season ended in Andalusia. Bagnaia and Marini close to the fastest in Moto2 and are ready for their debut in Doha. At work also Bulega and Foggia in Moto3 for reducing the distances from the Top guys.
Jerez de la Frontera, March 8th 2018 - Just one week to the start of the new season on the Doha track in Qatar, the pre-season season ends for the Sky Racing Team VR46 in Jerez de la Frontera. Checkered flag on the last official IRTA test of the 2018 with Bagnaia and Marini, both close to the most competitive in the category and Bulega and Foggia on track to reduce the gap from the strongest guys.
Despite the rain and the wind, which forced us to change the working schedule, in Moto2, Francesco Bagnaia, the first Kalex, together with Luca Marini, the fastest in the wet today, have continued to develop the bikes and new suspensions. Both satisfied with what they have done, ended the three days of testing respectively at the fourth (1:42.011) and tenth (1:42.472) overall place - 2 tenths of delay from the leaders Lowes (1:41.823).
Challenging days also for the Moto3 Team with Nicolò Bulega and Dennis Foggia working on their KTM. After the injury of last November, another step forward on the riding feeling for Nicolò who is 18th with a best of 1:47.386. Twentieth Dennis Foggia (1:47.424) who will make his debut in the World Championship next week in Qatar.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
Unfortunately, the weather did not allow us to make the most of the three days of testing, but we were able to do a lot of the work scheduled. In Moto2, we have found the right way and we will arrive in Qatar ready to give our best. In Moto3, we still have a bit of work to do, but the Nicolò’s feeling is better, the foot gives less trouble compared to Valencia and Dennis took another step forward.
Considering the weather conditions of the three days, a difficult test. We tried to do our best for recovering the time we have lost in Valencia and we were able to try different materials. Many solutions have given us a good feedback, others we have rejected, but it is normal in a testing session. This morning we had the opportunity to ride in the wet to work on even the last details. We close this pre season with a positive balance: we arrive in Qatar close to the strongest guys and well prepared.
A complicated testing session: due to rain, we could not complete our scheduled plan. The goal was to focus on the feeling with the used tyres to improve the race pace. The feelings are positive and we can leave this last test satisfied with the work done during the whole pre season. We are well prepared and I'm very happy. A final note on these three days: this morning I was very fast and constant in the wet.
I'm quite satisfied. We did a good job, yesterday we had some problems, but we were able to fix them, we have found something that can be more suitable for my style and today I did a race simulation in wet. Compared to the last test, I feel more comfortable, and I hope to make another step forward for Qatar.
A challenging test: I tried many different things and I continued to improve the bike setting for QatarGP. Despite the position, we did a great job. A pity not being able to use at 100% the new tyre to improve my lap time.
Jerez Test ends Leopard Racing team’s pre-season
Once again, bad weather restricted the expected testing programming of the reigning champions at the Andalusian track. But the team were able to make the most of dry track time, which left positive feeling for the Italian pairing of Bastianini and Dalla Porta. Now the team will head towards Losail, where the first challenge of the 2018 season awaits.
Three days reduced to one: the final IRTA sanctioned test before the start of the 2018 season in Qatar, at the start next week, was a brief one. The test, which combined Moto2 and Moto3 teams, was hit hard by mixed weather conditions which saw many choose not to risk riding in the wet with the start of the season so close.
The Leopard Racing team arrived at the historic Andalusian track with the intention of making the most of the three days (6-7-8 March) available and were anticipating the challenge of their direct rivals, against which they will have to fight to defend the Moto3 World Champion title won last season. Unfortunately, as happened in Valencia and Jerez in February, bad weather did not help the team led by Christian Lundberg. Rain and wind in fact fell on the 4.4 km of the Circuit on the first and third day, restricting any proper testing to just a single day on Wednesday.
The positive note was the confirmation of the sensations and progress made in riding their Honda NSF250RW from Enea Bastianini and Lorenzo Dalla Porta. The 20 year old from Rimini showed a fast and constant pace, always gravitating in the top positions of the classifications. ‘Bestia’ said he was satisfied with the feedback of his bike and the working method of the team.
His compatriot, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, lived a rather daring day yesterday, showing himself as a respectable performer (6th in the 2nd session of day 2) despite a high-side at Turn 10: no physical consequences for the rider who immediately returned to the box to put himself at the service of the team. Dalla Porta found a good setup by registering 34 laps in total.
Now it is time to act, Qatar is just around the corner: the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit have already been turned on and are waiting for the young bikers of the Leopard Racing team.
#33 Enea BASTIANINI:
"I'm happy because I found myself immediately at ease with the bike, just like it happened here last month. We improved on the front by making a small step forward. We did not look for the fastest times because the track was not in ideal conditions: instead we used a lot of used tyres and did long runs. I had excellent feedback from the bike and we proved to be consistent. The relationship with the team is booming, they have a working method that I like a lot and I have adapted quickly. Christian [Lundberg] is smart, aware of what he does, and above all ... he always has an ace up his sleeve!"
#48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA:
"They were very productive tests on one side, and not very satisfying on the other. I crashed while I was pushing to make the time. I'm sorry for not being able to show more but at the same time I am aware of the very high potential, we could easily have been in the Top3 in these tests. I'm satisfied with the bike, we managed to find a good setting even in the race configuration by running with the used tire. The goal is to do well in Qatar."
ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM END PRESEASON IN GOOD SHAPE FOR QATAR
Andrea Migno and Albert Arenas conclude preparations with wet session at the Andalusian circuit
The final preparations for the Moto3 World Championship took place in rainy conditions today, with nobody able to improve on the lap times set yesterday at Jerez. As such, it is Jorge Martín who will travel to Qatar with the honor of having been the fastest in the final test, after yesterday clocking a 1'45.945 that only the Italian Enea Bastianini was able to threaten. With eleven riders within a second and up to twenty-six covered by two seconds, the equality in the Moto3 category is maximum and only the checkered flag will decide the winner of the first race, within a week, at the Losail circuit.
The Angel Nieto Team riders have seen their work plans interrupted by the incessant rain over these three days of testing in Jerez. Despite this, both Andrea Migno and Albert Arenas leave Jerez with their ambition intact and eager to give their best from the moment the red lights turn green in Qatar next Friday. The Italian has worked throughout the preseason with his new team and has enjoyed some positive results, which he hopes to build on in the first race of the season. His team-mate Albert Arenas has also focused his work on the the start of the season and together with his technical team he is clear of the direction he needs to take to continue improving in Qatar.
Andrea Migno 1:56.957 (24 laps): "We have enjoyed a pretty good preseason in general, although our ambitions are high and we know that we still need a little to fight constantly for the top positions. In Qatar we will continue giving our best to find it and to be among the best. The good thing is that during this preseason we have worked in all possible conditions. I'm looking forward to starting the season, and especially on a circuit that I like. "
Albert Arenas 1:58.901 (13 laps): "I would have liked to finish the tests with a dry race simulation, but it wasn't to be. It's a shame but with the rain we have not been able to make the most of these three days. When the track has allowed us, we have been able to try several things thinking about the first race in Qatar. We have a clear direction to follow. I like the bike a lot, but there is an area where we still have to improve, which is corner entry. In Qatar we will start from scratch, with the atmosphere of the race weekend. It was important to finish the preseason with a good feeling both with the bike and with the team. Now I'm looking forward to the first race to see where we are."
Here we are. The last pre-championship test, at Jerez de la Frontera, ended today. Everything is ready to fly, in 5 days, to Qatar, for the first race of the year. Three test days conditioned by the unstable weather conditions which, however, didn't prevent Romano Fenati from showing his potentialities. Third in the first day and seventh in the second, the rider from Ascoli fixed his best time in 1'42.368, just 0.545 from the leader, definitely not bad for a rookie. Today, in the third and last available day, on wet conditions, just few riders came back on track. Romano did just a couple of laps but there were not the right conditions to continue. In Moto3, Tony Arbolino, together with the team, focused on the set up of the new engine. It was necessary more time to understand it, but unfortunately the weather was not merciful and the work will continue at Losail, in the first free practices.
Romano Fenati: "It was a positive test, we are satisfied as we made more progress compared to the last time, especially the feeling improved a lot and this is a great motivation to face at the best the first race. Here we are and we leave for Qatar to learn as much as possible because even if I know well the track, going there, in the new class, is as facing it for the first time. We are ready for the new adventure and ready to start a new championship".
Tony Arbolino: "Here at Jerez we received the new Honda engine and we worked a lot, by focusing mainly on the engine braking. Weather conditions didn't help us too much, we would have needed all the 3 days to set up everything at the best. Anyway, I came on track both on wet and dry, to be ready to every conditions. We leave for Qatar aware that we need to use at the best the first free practices to prepare the race. I am looking forward to be there".
Livio Loi and Reale Avintia Academy ready to start the season
IRTA Moto3 Test – Circuito de Jerez
Reale Avintia Academy team rider, Livio Loi, completed three succesful days of testing at the Jerez circuit in preparation for the first race on Sunday, March 18th in Qatar.
The weather has not been good in Jerez de la Frontera and Moto2 and Moto3 riders didn’t have enough dry time at the Spanish venue. Even so Livio Loi has made good use of the dry track time for and he also made some good steps in wet conditions. The Belgian rider finishes the test 10 in the combined times sheets after the three days, but more importante than the final position, is the work done with his team and the positive feelings with the bike.
Before heading to Qatar for the first race of the season, Livio will be tomorrow in Madrid for the launch of the of Reale Avintia projects in MotoGP World Championship, Moto3, FIM CEV Moto3 / Moto2 and European Talent Cup.
Livio Loi | 1'46.847 | P10
“I’m happy because it was a very positive test in both dry and wet conditions. Bad weather didn’t allowed us to work more, but we have made the most of the time in dry testing trying different things and we have found important information for the set-up of the bike. It was a very important test for this reason and I think the lap times, given the conditions of the track, have been quite good. We are ready to start in Qatar and everyone in the team is looking forward to the start of the championship”.
Data analysis on final day of Jerez test
With riding in optimal weather conditions proving to be impossible, Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez dedicated most of Thursday to analysing information with their crews. Canet finished third on the timesheets, with Lopez sixth.
The Moto3 World Championship preseason concluded this Thursday at the Circuito de Jerez, with damp conditions meaning that Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez undertook more work in the pits than on track.
Canet had proven to be in fine for during this weeks' visit to Andalusia, topping the timesheets on Tuesday and placing third on Wednesday. His main objective was to improve the setup of the front end of his bike, as well as finding a solid pace with used tires and establishing a base setup to keep him among the frontrunners when the season gets underway. On Thursday, the Spanish rider went out on track in the opening session, returning to the pits soon after. He and the rest of his crew spent the majority of the day analysing the data collected this week.
Alonso Lopez had aimed to put in as many laps as possible before the season gets underway, but the conditions did not allow him to make the most of all the available track time. However, the Moto3 rookie did have the chance to debut his new 2018 spec engine, with which he will compete this season. After modifying some of the settings for the engine he turned his focus to setting up the bike, benefitting from progress made with the front end and lowering his lap times every time he went out on track. With conditions unstable on Thursday, the Spaniard also decided to analyse data with his crew.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders will next have the opportunity to ride when the season gets underway in Losail, the scene of the Qatar GP on March 16th.
3rd, +0.262, 1:46.207, 61 laps, 269 km
“This test has helped us to be fast and consistent"
“I only rode a few laps today, but I wanted to go out on track anyway so that my new team and myself could get familiar with the wet setup. I felt the improvement compared to the same situation at this point last season. I had good grip, and that's what we were looking for. If we find ourselves in a wet race and continue like this, I think it will be very positive. This test has been very useful because it has helped us to be fast, consistent and gain the confidence we need before heading to Qatar."
6th, +0.615, 1:46.560, 71 laps, 314 km
“My feeling has improved every time I've gone out on track"
“My conclusions from this test are fairly positive because, even though we've not ridden as much as we would have liked, I was able to find a fast pace quickly. My feeling on the bike has improved every time I've gone out on track. I did that when riding alone, which was also one of our objectives, so I'm very satisfied."
Positive final test before the beginning of the 2018 season for RBA BOÉ SKULL RIDER
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
After three days of IRTA test at the circuit of Jerez, the Moto3 preseason comes to its end. The changeable weather didn't help riders also in this occasion, limiting the chances to work on a completely dry track. However, Rodrigo and his technicians could get a great deal of data for the KTM set-up, in order to have a strong base for the beginning of the season.
Likewise, Masaki and his crew tried to take full advantage of the time at disposal, as they tested a new setting and analysed the points on which to focus for its development.
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 15th - 1'47.144 [combined standings]
"Once again the weather played the main role in this test. During the first day we could barely get any useful information, since the conditions on dry tarmac weren't the best ones. We couldn't really complete many laps and soon it began raining, even though the track didn't get completely wet. During the second day we could get out on dry asphalt and, even if we lost the first session because the track was still humid, we did have the chance to test quite a few things. Today, which was the last day, it started to rain again and we couldn't move on with the plans we had for good weather. In any case we managed to go out on full wet and we confirmed a very good feeling, just like in the private test in Valencia. I felt confident and competitive. We did a decent job when it came to organising our work, despite the changeable weather: we took as much advantage as possible of each session. We had an extensive work plan and the weather was against us during this preseason. However, we could focus on some important points and we could confirm them. We couldn't perform a time attack, since we only worked on the race rhythm. We didn't check the potential of the bike on a hot lap, but I'm confident on that matter: that's something we've always done well. We improved a lot our pace, which was our main goal. We are ready for Qatar, we'll try to keep working in this direction and push harder for the first race."
#22 Kazuki Masaki: 27th - 1'47.988 [combined standings]
"I'm not too happy with these three days of tests: the weather kept changing and that didn't let us work in a consistent way. The first day it rained. The showers stopped every now and then, but the conditions of the track were mixed and far from being ideal. Eventually we couldn't do much. On top of that, another rider made me crash, so it definitely wasn't a good day. Yesterday, when the track was finally dry, we could get down to business. During the second and the third session we had the chance to test the new setting that we prepared. We had a couple of different issues and I couldn't improve my fastest lap, but we saw that we were working in the right direction. We still have to improve the feeling with the front part of the bike, since the weather didn't really give us the opportunity to do that. In the last sessions we were going to keep preparing the set-up, but it started raining again. Next week we're going to Qatar and there I think we can take advantage of the good weather to work on the bike. I'll do my best to improve in each session on track."