Press releases from some of the teams after the first day of the MotoGP test at Valencia:
Movistar Yamaha Top Day 1 at Valencia Test
After a one-day break, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team returned to the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo to commence the 2019 pre-season. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi concluded the first day of the Valencia MotoGP Official Test in first and third place respectively.
As per usual, Maverick Viñales was present right from the start of the testing session, full of motivation to find improvements ahead of the 2019 season. However, he had to be patient before he could swing his leg over his new number 12 Yamaha for the very first time. Though the sun was out early in the morning, the rain from earlier hadn't completely dried up yet, leaving the track half wet - half dry, always a dangerous condition.
The Spaniard entered the track for his first 2019 pre-season run with a little less than four hours of the session remaining. He was initially using the 2018 bike but soon moved on to a new engine spec. As was announced during the Valencia GP weekend, he spent the entire session working on tuning the YZR-M1's engine to make it smoother, leading to very competitive results. With slightly less than two hours on the clock, he set a 1'31.416s, putting him in first place. As rain in the final hours brought the track action to an early halt, the youngster kept hold of the number one spot, with a 0.302s margin, having completed 39 laps in total.
Valentino Rossi had also arrived back at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in the morning to check if the circumstances were favourable for testing. He gave it a first go at around the same time as his teammate and rose in the rankings to fifth place whilst getting re-familiarised with the track in dry conditions, as he had hoped for.
Similar to Viñales, the Italian used the afternoon to try to compare and contrast the new evolution engine to last years', with positive feedback. He kicked the level up a notch less than five hours into the seven-hour test. He posted a best time of 1'31.845s on lap 27/40, which put him in third position, 0.429s from the top.
Position: 1st – Time: 1’31.416 – Laps: 39
"We tried to make a step forward with the engine, and I just felt really good going out. We still need to amend the engine in terms of acceleration, because the engine is different from what we had during the 2018 season. We need to keep going and I'm really happy. Tomorrow we might have another engine with another step. Maybe we will try that, but I'm quite happy with what we have now, so I want to make laps and set up the electronics really well, because it changes a lot over the whole track and we didn't have time to do it today. I did my best lap with the new engine. I feel the direction we're going in is the right one, because I feel much better in the corners, which is where we needed to improve, so now we can focus on acceleration."
Position: 3rd – Time: 1’31.845 – Laps: 40
"I'm happy about the first day of testing. Before the session came to an end, I was able to do 40 laps and complete the most important work for today, which was comparing the engines. We have one evolution engine that we already tried during the 2018 season, and we compared it to the standard one. It's not so bad, because it helps to reduce stress on the tyre, so it's a good step."
Repsol Honda Team kick off 2019 season with the first of two days of testing at Valencia
Fresh from completing the 2018 Triple Crown at the season finale in Valencia, the Repsol Honda Team was back on track at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit today with its new line-up, which sees Jorge Lorenzo joining the squad alongside World Champion Marc Marquez.
After five days of almost uninterrupted rain showers, the sun finally made its appearance at Valencia today, but it took the whole morning for the asphalt to dry enough to offer good conditions for proper testing.
Lorenzo took to the track around 1 pm, Marc Marquez a few minutes later, and they continued until the rain again put a stop to the action around 3:30.
Marc was immediately on the pace, finishing the day second-fastest with a best time of 1’31.718” after completing 25 laps. Jorge completed 30 laps, with a best time of 1’32.959”, 18th overall on the day.
2nd 1'31.718 (25 laps)
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try everything we had planned to, as the track was still half-and-half in the morning and it started raining again later in the afternoon. So we only did 25 laps. Anyway, we tried three different bikes, starting with the current one but moving immediately to two other bikes, each with slightly different specifications. It was a positive test; there’s still a lot of work to do but we’re on the right path and the first feeling is good. Tomorrow we’ll continue with the same plan, trying to understand the bike’s balance because it changed a bit, and we still have to test the other small modifications. Pre-season just started, so we look forward to improving step by step.”
2019 MotoGP season gets underway at Valencia with two days of testing at Ricardo Tormo circuit
Two days after the Valencia Grand Prix, which saw Andrea Dovizioso wrap up the 2018 championship with a superb win in the rain, the 2019 MotoGP season has been getting underway with two days of official testing, today and tomorrow, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
The riders only went out on track towards midday, when the track had totally dried out following overnight rain, and they were able to lap on slick tyres until approximately 15.40, when the weather got worse and everyone opted to bring an early end to the first day of testing.
The 2019 Ducati Team riders – Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci – joined in the test by Michele Pirro, were able to carry out some back-to-back tests between the 2018 and the 2019 versions of the Desmosedici GP.
Andrea Dovizioso completed a total of 38 laps, ending the day in fourth place with a time of 1’31.846, while Danilo Petrucci finished in eighth position with a best mark of 1’32.100 in his 43 laps. In tenth was Michele Pirro, who also crashed, and he completed 19 laps today, the best of which was 1’32.220.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (1’31.846)
“Unfortunately the day wasn’t very prolific because in the morning, with the track surface still partially damp, there weren’t the conditions to go out on track. We had to wait a lot, in the end we didn’t do many laps, and in addition we had to prepare a base set-up with the 2018 bike, because during the race weekend we were unable to lap in the dry. The tests we had scheduled must be done well and in a precise way, because the decisions we will take during these tests will have an effect on the definition of the bike we will use next year. We wanted to do a good back-to-back test but when we were ready, in the afternoon, it began to rain. Tomorrow morning, we hope to find the track dry and to be able to lap all day.”
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team #9) – 8th (1’32.100)
“My first day in the factory team was a fantastic feeling, for me it was like the first day at school! The team welcomed me so well and I immediately felt at ease with them. We were able to work with both bikes, and it’s a pity the rain came when I was lapping strongly and there was a lot of rubber on the track. We did a lot of laps with used tyres and we were quite quick. The new bike is an excellent starting point and doesn’t have any negative aspects, but I’ll also have to work to improve my riding style. It was a good start and I hope to continue this way also tomorrow.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 10th (1’32.220)
“Today we did several tests on various components and we gathered some useful information, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t much help and we started our laps late and finished early. However, we’ve already been able to identify the path we have to follow over the winter months, and this is a positive fact. Unfortunately, I also crashed because the shoulder I injured at Mugello is not quite right yet and even though the painkillers have an effect, I don’t always have total control of the situation. When you have this type of physical problem, these things can happen, but it’s just a matter of gritting my teeth until the end of the month and then I’ll have an operation to finally resolve the situation.”
BRADL COMPLETES TESTING DAY AT VALENCIA FOR LCR
PRESS RELEASE: 20 November 2018 | Valencia Test - Day One
Stefan Bradl’s stand-in duties for the LCR Honda CASTROL Team continued at Valencia on Tuesday, despite the 2018 season coming to a close on Sunday. With Cal Crutchlow still absent due to the ankle injury that will see him spend the winter regaining fitness, the German rider went through the Brit’s scheduled test programme despite tricky conditions at the Spanish venue.
A damp track delayed track time in the morning, before rain brought an early end to the day. In the intervening period Bradl worked through several new items for HRC, and was happy with the results. His lap time was an impressive fifth fastest of the day. Bradl’s test duties for LCR have now come to an end, and he will appear at the next test session in Jerez back in his more familiar role as HRC test rider.
The LCR Honda CASTROL Team would like to thank Stefan for his efforts over recent weeks, and wish him well for the future.
Stefan Bradl – 5th
(1’32.015 – lap 45 of 51)
“We had a plan that we wanted to work on, and I think that we were quick to do our set-up changes, and so we were quite successful. We went through all the test items quickly and we were able to make the most of the short time we had available to test. This was the positive thing".
“Unfortunately, the track conditions were not ideal, but in the end once everyone got out there it was good enough. I’m happy with the way we worked because we found some interesting things which could be good for the future.”
“I would like to say thank you to LCR Honda CASTROL, they have done an excellent job for mem and I have really enjoyed the last two weekends of racing and this test.”
Historic day for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team as MotoGP adventure begins
Positive first day of tests for Franco Morbidelli (6th) and Fabio Quartararo (23rd) as they complete first laps with Yamaha YZR-M1 at Valencia, on a historic day for the Malaysian outfit.
It was a day to remember today for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, where the Malaysian outfit took its first steps in the MotoGP World Championship with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. Both riders were able to test the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time on a day when the focus was on finding a feeling and adapting to their new machines.
Morbidelli adapted quickly to the bike from the opening laps, clocking the sixth fastest time of the opening day (1’32.085) after a total of 40 laps. Meanwhile, Quartararo enjoyed his first 38 laps in MotoGP, a special experience for the French rookie. With a best effort of 1’33.850 the 19-year-old improved each time he went out onto the track, finishing the day in 23rd position.
Morbidelli and Quartararo, who took to the track at 1pm local time after waiting for the track to dry, were limited to just two and half hours of action as the rain returned to send the riders back to the garage. However, both will have the chance to ride again tomorrow from 10am until 5pm, as they continue their adaptation to the Yamaha.
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“It has been a great first day, I felt good with the bike as soon as I got in it and the connection with the team is really good. I managed to get some laps in this afternoon that were solid and fast. I have more time to find in my riding, as I get to know the bike and understand its strengths and weaknesses, to get the most out of this test. I have been surprised how smooth the Yamaha is to ride and how easy it is to understand.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“The first day of the test has gone really well. It was a shame we didn’t get to do more laps because of the conditions, which weren’t the best, but I am happy because each time I went out onto the track I improved. So far in the middle of the corner and the exit we are quite strong but I am losing time in braking. The team are encouraging me to believe in the brakes because at the start you think you’re not going to be able to get stopped but in the end you can do it and I enjoyed that.
The most impressive thing about my first outing on the Yamaha was the power, especially on the first straight, and also the brakes. Hopefully we can have good conditions tomorrow because we want to work on braking and improving the feeling.”
JOAN MIR MAKES HIS SUZUKI DEBUT IN VALENCIA TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office - November 20.
Alex Rins: 12th – 1’32.402 (+0.986s)
Joan Mir: 15th – 1’32.787 (+1.371s)
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR debut for rookie Mir.
• Alex Rins feeling positive following 2018 season.
• Testing to continue tomorrow at Ricardo Tormo.
Following a positive conclusion to the 2018 season which saw Alex Rins achieve another podium and 5th in the championship, the team remained at Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia for the first test of 2019.
For MotoGP rookie Joan Mir it was the opportunity to confirm his first feeling and to start working onto his GSX-RR. The former Moto3 champion had to wait for a few hours in the morning while the track was damp, but he was able to ride for the majority of the afternoon, completing an impressive amount of laps: 59. Thrilled with the chance to finally get on track, the Mallorcan did a great job and finished the day in 15th place, 1.371s from the top.
Meanwhile, Alex Rins was feeling good but was frustrated with the lack of track time due to chilly temperatures in the morning and rain in the afternoon, which interrupted his plans. However, he was still able to try different settings and adjustments. He closed the session in 12th place, 0.986s down.
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“It’s been a good day but it could have been better because the rain arrived. Alex wasn’t able to complete his plan to test the new engine, so we hope it will be dry tomorrow so that we can do it then. We still tried some things, which of course is always useful, but we lost a lot of time in the morning due to the conditions. It’s been positive for Joan, he was able to do a lot of laps in the afternoon before the rain, he is learning, understanding, and adjusting. Everything is on schedule with him. He really enjoyed riding and that’s always a good way to start.”
“Today was a bit of a shame, because at the beginning we could do some positive work, but when we were ready to go with the new engine the rain arrived and we had to give up. We were still able to put in some laps and try some small things, but we haven’t really tried anything major yet. The grip level was quite low so riding wasn’t easy today, we hope tomorrow will be drier and we can fit more laps in. I have a lot more experience now and this gives me bigger confidence to help develop the bike, we have a lot of confidence in each other when it comes to preparing for next season. Joan has a lot of potential and we’ll see how he continues, he did a great job today.”
“My feeling was really good. It’s my first real day as a MotoGP rider, and my first day in Suzuki colours and I’m super happy. I have a great crew around me and I feel comfortable with them and also quite comfortable with the bike, so that’s important. It’s a big challenge to adapt from Moto2 to MotoGP. Compared with Moto2, you spend a lot more time braking, and you must brake very hard. And, of course, the acceleration is much more powerful. Electronics will be one of the things that will require more efforts to learn. It’s only the first day, but I’ve already found it useful to compare info with Alex. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Strong comeback for Tito Rabat – Karel Abraham debuts with Reale Avintia at Valencia
MotoGP Test Valencia – Ricardo Tormo
The 2019 season started for Reale Avintia Racing riders Tito Rabat and Karel Abraham today at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Spain.
It was a very special day of testing for Rabat this as he made his comeback on a MotoGP bike almost three months later his leg injury at Silverstone. The Spanish rider went step by step and his feelings with his Ducati GP18 were very positive. Rabat completed 36 laps and finished just 1.4s behind the fastest rider. He will be back on track tomorrow to continue working and adapting to his new bike.
Karel Abraham’s debut with Reale Avintia Racing was also positive and his feelings with his Ducati GP18 were great. The Czech rider is convinced of this bike’s big potential and he was full of praise for the work of the team. The first day was just a shakedown to get to know his technical crew and the first contact was encouraging. Abraham finished 20th and just 1.8s behind the fastest lap time of the day.
Tito Rabat | 1'32.834 | P16
“Today was a good first contact with my bike and the team after too much time at home. We did a good job and the only negative point was that it started to rain in the afternoon. But I’m happy, we finished the first day 1.4s from the top, which is much more than I had expected. I can see that the bike has huge potential, which makes me very optimistic for the upcoming season. The plan tomorrow is to continue working to improve and get closer. I still miss strength in my right leg, but I knew that before I came here. Even though riding is painful sometimes, we need these two tests here in Valencia and then in Jerez to get the leg stronger and get some rhythm. This morning before the start I was afraid how it would all go, but then the day was good and I’m looking forward to ride again tomorrow”.
Karel Abraham | 1'33.301 | P20
“The first day couldn’t have been better! The bike is really good and very different from the one I’ve been riding before. We have many things to set and change to adapt the bike to my demands, but unfortunately it started to rain when I was on my fastest lap. The most important thing is that I’ve improved at every exit and the goal tomorrow is to continue this way. I’m excited about the team and the bike and I’m very optimistic. The team is new for me, we still have to make some adjustments, but overall the first day has been good in all aspects”.
FIRST DAY OF TESTS AT VALENCIA IN ANTICIPATION OF THE 2019 MOTOGP SEASON
ANDREA IANNONE AND THE RS-GP TAKE THEIR FIRST STEPS TOGETHER
ESPARGARÓ DOES WELL TAKING AN UPGRADED ENGINE ONTO THE TRACK SUCCESSFULLY
BRADLEY SMITH ALSO MAKES HIS DÉBUT ON APRILIA AS THE NEW TEST TEAM RIDER
The first day of the long-awaited post-season MotoGP tests, which actually kick off the 2019 season, had a brilliant Aleix Espargaró taking an upgraded engine onto the track and Andrea Iannone starting to get to know his new team and, above all, his RS-GP.
Even in Aleix's garage, there was no lack of changes. A new crew chief (Antonio Jimenez) and numerous team changes, including the new electronics engineer, Gianluca Giorgini, came in addition to the upgrade steps on the RS-GP that the number 41 rider took out onto the track. At the end of the day, the feedback on both aspects was positive. Aleix also finished in a good position with the seventh best time of 1'32,095, less than seven tenths behind the best time of the day.
Andrea Iannone was busy setting up the bike and getting to know his new team for a long time, which is rather normal for the first day in a new camp. Partially due to the rain, which actually brought the tests to a halt more than an hour earlier than planned, Andrea did not turn very many laps (15) and he'll have to wait until tomorrow to take his RS-GP closer to the limit in order to find indications on the next evolutions of the Italian bike.
On his first day of testing, Bradley Smith also made his début on Aprilia (17 laps for him) as the new Aprilia Racing test team rider. This is the new and improved structure which, thanks in part to the contribution of the British rider, will have to support the young Aprilia project in its growth.
"These tests started off on the right foot. In addition to the technical upgrades, there were some new faces in my garage: crew chief Antonio Jimenez and electronics engineer Gianluca Giorgini. From this point of view, the initial impact was more than good. The engine upgrade that I tested today also had some positive sides, especially in terms of power distribution management. This is an aspect that should let us be more effective in conditions with very used tyres, in other words, in the final laps which are often the decisive ones in the race. In any case, I want to delve farther and compare the different configurations calmly in order to avoid any rushed decisions."
"I'm satisfied with the first approach with the new team and the new bike, although this was a shakedown. As a tester, I'll need to do a different job than Aleix and Andrea, but my goal is still to go as fast as possible and contribute to improving the Aprilia. A more detailed balance sheet will only be possible after doing a good number of laps, both here and in the next tests in Jerez."
NAKAGAMI DELIGHTED WITH NEW BIKE IN FIRST DAY OF TESTING FOR 2019
PRESS RELEASE: 20 November 2018 | Valencia Test - Day One
With the 2018 MotoGP season coming to a close for the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team at Valencia on Sunday, just two days later and the first preparations began in earnest for 2019 with an official test at the same venue.
Despite a damp track at the start of the day, and rain bringing an early end to proceedings Takaaki Nakagami made his first laps on board the 2018 RC213V which has been ridden by his LCR teammate Cal Crutchlow this season. Nakagami was instantly impressed by the engine on his new machine, and although he didn’t get a huge number of laps in, was adamant that it was a distinct improvement on his previous package.
Testing continues for Nakagami at Valencia on Wednesday.
Takaaki Nakagami – 13th
(1’32.539 – lap 21 of 26)
“My feeling on the bike is absolutely improved. What I like is the engine character - the difference between the 2017 and 2018 bike is that it is much smoother, and there is more power. It is quite easy to find the lap time. Still I didn’t push too much because we only got a few laps in the dry. We didn’t even put new tyres in, but the lap time was still ok. We have to take it step by step, there are just a few small things we needed to check, but the first impression was good.”
“There isn’t such a big difference in the way the chassis felt, but the engine feeling was definitely a big difference. For the second day we hope it’s going to be dry, and then we can try a few more things with the chassis in terms of set-up. The engine however, is incredible!”
Syahrin and Oliveira get their first taste of the KTM RC16
The curtain fell at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia shortly after lunchtime today for Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira, when both tried the KTM RC16 for the first time during the first day of the official IRTA test in preparation of the 2019 MotoGP season.
Syahrin started to get a first feeling aboard his new machine, lapping the Spanish track 20 times, before the rain was back in the afternoon, which halted the action on track. On the other side, Oliveira, who is one of the rookies in the premier class, likewise gradually got used to his new working tool. With 33 laps, his first day at MotoGP school was cut short as well. Both, Syahrin and Oliveira can’t wait for Wednesday to continue their adaption.
Position: 24th – Time: 1’34.233 – Laps: 20
“I’m very happy to be in the KTM garage and part of this family. We were not able to do many laps today, because this morning the track was still wet and many riders were waiting. I did 20 laps and we planned to continue, but the rain suddenly came nearly two hours before the official end of the test, so we had no chance to do more laps on a dry track. At the moment, I have the feeling the bike is quite good in handling and more powerful, but obviously we need to change some things to adapt to my riding. Anyway, I’m very happy to be riding the RC16 and can’t wait to keep on working with it.”
Position: 25th – Time: 1’35.118 – Laps: 33
“I’m really happy to officially sit on the MotoGP bike for the first time. Everything feels obviously quite strange. We spent our runs on trying to get a sensation for the commands like the throttle, brake, gearing, also rear brake while trying to get an overall feeling for the bike, plus trying to understand a little bit how the electronic works. We were just getting the laps in, so I am happy for that. Obviously we were pretty slow, but I’m sure I’m getting my time to understand and make solid steps.”