Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the final test of 2018 at Jerez:
NAKAGAMI LEADS HONDA ARMADA AS TESTING CONCLUDES IN JEREZ
PRESS RELEASE: 29 November 2018 | Jerez Test Final Day
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami signed off the season in spectacular style as he topped the timesheets on the final day of testing in Jerez. Riding injured team-mate Cal Crutchlow’s 2018 RC213V, the Japanese talent edged out Honda colleague and reigning world champion Marc Marquez to emerge as the quickest rider of the two-day test in southern Spain.
Nakagami had already demonstrated his potential on the machinery as he produced the third best time on Wednesday, but eclipsed that effort today as he laid down a marker ahead of the new season. His outstanding lap came just an hour before the end of the session as he completed a total of 66 laps.
Takaaki Nakagami – 1st
(1’37.945 – lap 63 of 66)
“Of course, it was a great day and I’m really happy to finish with the top time. The time was good, today our target was to get into the high 37s and we did that. I’m really happy with my feeling on the bike and we are improving day by day. The lap time is at a good level, obviously only me and Marc (Marquez) did a 37. It’s a great way to finish for the season and now I’ll relax at home. But I’m already looking forward to the 2019 season and can’t wait to ride this bike again in Sepang.”
Official MotoGP testing comes to an end at Jerez de la Frontera, with Danilo Petrucci fifth and Andrea Dovizioso eighth on second and final day. Álvaro Bautista also on track with the Ducati Test Team’s Desmosedici GP
With the second and final day of official MotoGP testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain, track activity for teams and riders in 2018 has now drawn to a close.
After a two-month winter break, the MotoGP teams will meet up again at the start of next year in Malaysia, where the traditional first official session of 2019 will be held from 6th to 8th February with three days of testing scheduled at the Sepang circuit.
The two factory Ducati Team riders were once again able to make the most of a pleasant day to bring an end to the development work on the 2019 version of the Desmosedici GP.
Danilo Petrucci completed 68 laps, the best of which was 1’38.109, and he finished the session in fifth place, while Andrea Dovizioso (44 laps today) ended up in eighth place with a lap time of 1’38.292.
Álvaro Bautista was also present with the Ducati Test Team’s Desmosedici GP. The Spanish rider, who will be out on track again tomorrow for one more day of Superbike testing with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team’s Panigale V4R machine, put in a total of 65 laps, setting a best time of 1’39.338.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team #9) - 5th - 1’38.109 (68 laps)
“After four days of testing at Valencia and Jerez, I’m very happy with the work that we have done. We tested many different solutions but my feeling with the bike has always been good and so I’m satisfied. For me this is the first time in a factory team, with a new way of working, but I’m really very happy with the atmosphere I found in the box. In these days we’ve collected a lot of important data to work with over the winter and develop the best solutions for next year.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 8th - 1’38.292 (44 laps)
“Luckily I’m OK physically and I didn’t have any problems with my hand, so we were able to carry out all the work programme, which was very important to develop the last aspects of the new material before the winter break. I’m pleased because we were able to understand the differences between the various solutions better than yesterday and we have ended these last two tests of 2018 at Valencia and Jerez with some good feedback. For the first time we have managed to put the 2019-spec bike on track in these end-of-year tests, and for us that’s a very important step forward: our speed is good and I’m very happy with the work we’ve done.”
Álvaro Bautista (Ducati Test Team #19) - 16th - 1’39.338 (65 laps)
“Also today we tried a lot of different solutions and did a lot of laps as well as managing to complete the work schedule we had planned without any setbacks. This is always important to collect all the data necessary to develop the bike for next year. On my side I’m grateful to Ducati for the trust they’ve put in me and from tomorrow onwards I’ll be concentrating once again on Superbike, which is my new objective and which is a project that means a lot to me.”
Marc Marquez second fastest at Jerez as the “last day of school” finally arrives for the MotoGP field
The MotoGP riders completed the second and final day of testing during the last testing session of the year at Jerez de La Frontera in Spain, with Marc Marquez second fastest and just 0.025” off fellow HRC rider Takaaki Nakagami.
Marc and Jorge Lorenzo took advantage of another day in ideal weather conditions to continue their preparation for the new season. Marc set his fastest time of 1’37.970” on lap 53/56. Meanwhile, Jorge finished a very positive fourth with a time of 1’38.105” on his 65th –and final–lap.
It has been a long and successful racing season for the Repsol Honda Team, and the preparation for next year has got off to a positive start. Testing will resume after the winter break, when Marc and Jorge are back on the track in Malaysia, on 6-8 February 2019.
2nd 1'37.970 (lap 53/56)
“Today we worked more on the details of the setup and straight away this morning the feeling was very good. We spent time testing some medium and hard Michelin rear tyres and then we continued with testing new things. Some of the updates were very good and some less so, as is normal. We improved in the engine area but we have to continue working on this, and on the chassis area as well. We have a lot of information to analyse now. At the end of the day I put the soft tyre on for the first time and we did a good lap time, even though that wasn’t our main priority. We’re happy with how the test went and now it’s time to take a rest!”
Movistar Yamaha Make Steps on Final 2018 Test Day in Jerez
Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have completed the Jerez MotoGP Official Test, the last riding day of 2018. Continuing their testing schedule, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi spent the allotted time making a final assessment of the new engine specs, setting the 3rd and 11th fastest time of the day respectively.
Viñales used today's session at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto to the full, as he was keen to make a final decision on the new engine spec. The Spaniard mainly focused on race pace again, riding a total of 78 laps, mostly with used tyres. As the session progressed, so did his efforts. When he decided to push hard on a flying lap, he set a 1'38.066s. This hot lap earned him third place in the Day 2 results and fourth place in the combined timesheets, 0.121s from first.
Rossi also had a productive day at the office, finding a better feeling and pace than he had the day before. The Italian had already shared that he would be taking an in-depth look at the data to make a decision on the engine spec. After a total of 67 laps today, he has come to a clear decision on which direction to work in. His best lap, a 1'38.596s put him in 11th position in both the Day 2 and the combined results, 0.651s from the top.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have now completed all 2018 riding action. The next test will be held after the winter break, at the Sepang International Circuit, early February.
Position: 3rd – Time: 1’38.066
"So far, I think we've kept a really good rhythm, because we always got a lot out of used tyres, and I'm actually really happy because when I finally pushed for one lap, the bike responded quite well. I know we could improve the chassis quite a lot, now we've focused a lot on the engines, so for me it's quite clear. Let's see after the meeting what we decide to do. For sure, we always have to improve, but the important thing was to find the base, and now I think for Malaysia we have to improve the top speed, this will be important for the long tracks. I think over all we have a competitive bike."
Position: 11th – Time: 1’38.596
"Today was a good day because we worked more in detail and we improved. My pace was not so bad and the feeling with the bike was quite good. From the start we knew we had to decide on the engine spec and we have already decided. I think the situation is quite clear."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Though we weren't able to use all of the available track time due to the cold temperatures in the morning on both days, the test proceeded well. After completing 60% of the programme earlier in Valencia, we had quite a full-on programme here in Jerez, because we intended to make a decision on the engine specs at the end of these two days. Both Maverick and Vale have given clear feedback and have agreed on a direction, so I think we're close to making a decision. There do remain some different points of view on certain aspects, which we will work on clarifying during the 2019 pre-season tests, but for now we have a sense of which base we should work with. We were looking for smooth power delivery and engine brake, which is especially something Maverick was asking for, because it suits his riding style. We also worked on improving the tyre life, which was a concern during the 2018 season. We've made progress, but we need to keep working. The engineers in Italy and Japan will go over the data thoroughly to come up with further steps to try at the first upcoming test in Sepang, at the start of February, next year."
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team sign off from 2018 in style
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team enjoyed a successful final test of the year as they continued their preparations for 2019 with a two-day session at the Jerez Circuit - Angel Nieto. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo today took further steps forward in their adaptation to the Yamaha, each showing great potential as they ended the test in 6th and 12th place respectively.
The pair spent this morning working on race pace before pushing for a fast lap in the afternoon, enjoying positive results in both aspects. Morbidelli again showed his high level as he rose into the top three positions with an hour remaining, thanks to his lap of 1'38.118. Eventually dropping to 6th position after a total of 68 laps, Franco remained within two tenths of the fastest lap of the day. Quartararo enjoyed his best day so far on the Yamaha since his debut last week. Gaining confidence in acceleration and in corner entry, the French rookie made his first appearance in the top ten with a best effort of 1'38.761 out of his 58 laps, before ending the day in twelfth.
Both riders will now enjoy a two-month winter break before MotoGP returns to action with more preseason tests in February 2019, starting at the team's home track of Sepang.
Position: 6th – Time: 1’38.118
"Today has been a very productive day. We have tried some different set-up configurations and managed to improve the race pace this morning and then the lap time this afternoon, so I am very happy about that. The two tests we have had with the team have been very positive and I feel very comfortable with the team and the people from Yamaha. We can say that we have started the preseason well, so over the winter we can study the information we have gathered and try to make the 2019 bike even better."
Position: 12th – Time: 1’38.761
"On this last day of the test we have improved the feeling and the lap time. We have taken a step forward and managed to try some things with the electronics, which up until now we had hardly touched. The biggest gain has been on the first contact with the throttle, in acceleration and also in corner entry. Today I could feel that the lap times were coming down and I felt fast, it was a really nice feeling. We knew that the more laps we could do with the Yamaha, the more we were going to improve. My objective today was a 1'38 lap and we did three of them. We are working on our pace, little by little, and gradually closing the gap to the fastest guys. I am really happy with how these few days have gone here in Jerez and this first phase of the 2019 preseason, so my thanks to all the team for the work they have done. Now I'm just looking forward to February!"
Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
"We can say that I am a happy Team Manager. After just two tests everything is going pretty well for the team and in terms of the lap times we are competing with the fastest guys. To have Franco [Morbidelli] finish sixth and Fabio [Quartararo] twelfth is much more than we could have hoped for. In general, we are very satisfied with the results. There has been no pressure and no problems, and our riders are happy and fast.
As far as this winter is concerned we have a lot to do to get ready for Sepang, because we are competing against teams with more than 25 years of experience in the paddock and we are still new. To be competitive you need a good bike and good riders and we have that, but we also need to grow as an organisation until we reach the maximum in every aspect."
#JerezTest D2. Great job guys! Jack and Pecco 7th and 9th, only 3 tenths from the top. Enjoy your winter holidays!
The 2018 MotoGP season ends with an excellent result for Alma Pramac Racing. Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia are among the protagonists of the second and last day of the Jerez test which gives an absolutely surprising standings with the first nine riders in less than 4 tenths of a second.
Jack's feeling with the Ducati Desmosedici GP 2019 is improving lap by lap. After working on the set up and trying out new technical solutions on his bike, the Australian rider is the first to take the lead in the time attack session at the end of the day. Jack will then finish seventh just 262 thousandths from the best chrono of a surprising Nakagami.
After setting the third best time already in the middle of the day, Pecco surprises everyone in the final time attack with an impressive T2 (the best overall in the second day of testing) and finishes in ninth position at 388 thousandths from the top. After the Valencia tests, the Italian rider confirms himself as the first rookie in the standings and proves that he can already stay firmly in the Top 10 group with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2018.
P9 – Pecco Bagnaia (50 laps)
"I'm very happy because the feeling improves lap by lap. I am also very satisfied because we were able to improve the braking phase compared to the first day of testing. We still have a lot of room for improvement, but we are certainly on the right path. Next step? Enjoy the holidays. See you in Malaysia."
P7 - Jack Miller (57 laps)
"We did a really good test. We have tried many different set ups and things on the bike working also on ergonomics. There are a lot of experiments and a lot of work to be done but the feelings are very positive. I am really satisfied with the way things went in the first two tests".
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR MAKE FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR 2019
Team Suzuki Press Office - November 29.
Alex Rins: 10th - 1:38.522 (+0.577s)
Joan Mir: 15th - 1:38.931 (+0.986s)
Sylvain Guintoli: 22nd - 1:40.498 (+2.553s)
• Alex Rins builds on Day 1’s hard work.
• Joan Mir continues excellent adaptation process.
• The Team end on a high as important settings found.
The second day of testing in Jerez de la Frontera also marked the final day of MotoGP track action in 2018. The ‘winter test ban’ will now come into place for December, and the next official test will see the teams head to Sepang in February.
With the pressure on to finalise settings and seal the engines for 2019, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR put in another day of hard work which saw Rins, Mir and Guintoli all trying different aspects of the 2019 package.
On Day 1 Alex Rins was the rider who completed the most laps (87) and the Spaniard was keen to continue the progress made. Testing the new chassis and engine spec., he was able to make comparisons and try many different settings, and felt comfortable and confident. He also spent time working on electronics and the swingarm. He completed 63 laps and finished 10th.
Meanwhile Mallorcan rookie Joan Mir switched his focus towards understanding how the changes affect the bike. But he was also able to try lots of useful parts as well as the new chassis and engine. He was 14th, without pushing for a fast lap. And clocked 55 laps in total.
And Test Rider Sylvain Guintoli helped the team in working towards finding the final settings. The Frenchman felt very positive about the work carried out, and believes it will pay off well coming into 2019.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“During these two days of testing we could try many things. Alex tried the new engine spec. and new chassis spec. and we collected a lot of data and found some positive points. Also Joan tried the new engine and chassis and shared his input too. So thanks to them, and also thanks to Sylvain because he’s also done an important job. We feel prepared for the winter and we’ll be working very hard.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“Today was another good day of testing, very intense and useful. Here we had different options of chassis and engine, together with some other items like the swingarm and some electronics, so we had to work hard to define which works better. It’s a tough job, pretty boring for the riders but absolutely crucial. We have to put together all the best pieces and compose the puzzle, especially for the engine we have to take a decision now that will affect the winter work and the whole new season. We have some pressure on for this, but that’s racing and the pressure is also our motivation. All Alex, Joan and Sylvain carried out this hard work, putting together lot of information that will now be useful for the engineers, and I’m happy that Alex could also put together a positive lap time. So we can go into this winter break feeling happy and hoping for a positive restart again in February in Sepang.”
“These two days have been very positive because we tried everything - new chassis, new engine, and lots of comparisons. Yesterday I was more focused on the chassis, and today more focused on the engine. This morning we started with the 2018 chassis and the new engine spec. and we tried all the suggestions that the engineers made, it was very positive. We haven’t finalised yet, but the engineers will be working on this. We’ve been working very hard and we feel like we can have a very competitive bike.”
“It was a really tough day today. We were really focused on trying the new parts because we need to prepare everything for the winter so the guys in Japan can continue their work there. It’s been a pretty positive day, we tried a little bit of everything and did some comparisons and that was useful. We weren’t focused on lap times today, it was more for me to try the engine. We have a lot of good information to send to Japan. I feel that I’m improving with every session, I still need to get more used to riding the big bike but it’s gone well.”
“The test was very useful for us when it comes to defining the way forward for next year. Losing the concessions has made our work during these test days even more relevant because obviously once the engine choice is settled, that will be it. We’ve all worked a lot during this Jerez test, and we’re really happy about the job we’ve done. I’ll miss riding my bike for the next two months! But we’ve accomplished a lot with the testing and as we saw during 2018, the work in the tests really pays off on track.”
Tito Rabat and Karel Abraham close 2018 season with a positive test at Jerez
MotoGP Test Jerez – Jerez Circuit
Reale Avintia Racing riders, Tito Rabat and Karel Abraham, completed a successful two-day-test at the Angel Nieto – Jerez Circuit. This was the final test of 2018 MotoGP season and, although the riders had to wait for more track temperature every day, the weather was sunny and warm in the South of Spain.
Tito Rabat did 113 laps in the course of the test at the 4,4 km circuit and he finished 14th in the combined time sheets with a best lap time of 1’38.876, only 0.9s from the fastest rider of the test. Big respect for Tito, as he showed a great determination to get back on the bike as he uses crutches to walk and he still recovering from multiple fractures on his right leg. Rabat highlighted the potential of his new Ducati GP18 and he is confident of his package to be fighting at the top next season.
Reale Avintia Racing new rider, Karel Abraham, had some pain in one foot from a training incident, and he was not able to complete too many laps, but the Czech rider is happy with the work done these two days and he could test many positive things on the bike. He did a step forward with the bike and adapted to his new team crew.
Rabat and Abraham will have to wait until February 6th to back on track. This will be the first of three days of testing at Sepang that will open 2019 MotoGP winter test schedule.
Tito Rabat | 1'38.876 | P14
“The test was very positive because we managed to finish within a second from the fastest rider and, considering my physical condition it is not so bad. I also understood my new bike better and I think we have a bike with a big potential. The team did a master job during the test and, with this bike and this team we have a very competitive package to be fighting for better results next season. Now we have to get stronger during the winter break.”
Karel Abraham | 1'39.744 | P17
“I think it was a very good and productive two days of testing. Today we did manage to make another step forward to go faster and be more consistent, which is important for us. It was the last test of the season and I felt good, we were fast, we did not crash and everything we tried has worked in the right direction. Now holidays, that will be good to refresh and work to get back stronger for the first test of the year in Sepang.”
APRILIA CONCLUDES THE MOTOGP TESTS AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA
TWO FUNDAMENTAL DAYS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2019 PROTOTYPES
The 2018 MotoGP World Championship season came to a close today with the second day of tests at Jerez de la Frontera. These tests are closely correlated to next year's calendar, since they are the last chance to collect data and information until testing resumes in February.
In the Aprilia camp, the testing schedule continued with Andrea Iannone, Bradley Smith and Matteo Baiocco. In fact, after going out on the track for a few laps, Aleix Espargaró had to throw in the towel due to the after-effects of his bout with gastritis that forced him to skip the tests yesterday.
While Andrea continued his apprenticeship astride the RS-GP, where he experimented with the various available configurations, despite the troublesome consequences of his crash yesterday, Bradley focused on comparing the two different engine types. In the Aprilia Test Team garage, Matteo Baiocco moved forward with development work, turning 48 laps.
"Today we once again had to change our plans slightly since Aleix was unfortunately still debilitated. Our work focused on the comparison between two different engine types, a decision in anticipation of the 2019 season to try to find, above all, rideability and better power distribution. Our ideas are rather clear. During the two days of testing in Valencia and these tests, Aleix, Andrea and I had rather similar sensations and this is certainly helpful for development of the new Aprilia MotoGP bike."
KTM close 2018 MotoGP year with productive Jerez test
MotoGP 2018 – IRTA Test Jerez
Two more days of essential set-up work and data gathering for the 2019 FIM MotoGP season took place at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain yesterday and today. The final test of 2018 saw Red Bull KTM flanked by the new Red Bull Tech 3 KTM RC16s of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin once more.
In contrast to the autumnal conditions and rain that affected the final round of 2018 MotoGP and stretched into the first testing days of 2019 work, the second MotoGP IRTA session at the Circuito de Jerez was blessed with sunshine and an important opportunity to progress with tasks for next year.
Pol Espargaro ploughed through two days of trial and experimentation with new engine internals, chassis modifications and yet more feedback with a fresh electronics package. Despite the list of changes and components the Spaniard looked for key upgrades to the 2019 KTM RC16 package before the testing MotoGP ‘blackout’ comes into force through December and January.
Johann Zarco clocked just his third and fourth days on the new #5 race bike. The French star was satisfied with a discovery for his base set-up on Wednesday that allowed more comfort and speed with corner entry. On Thursday he established a comfortable and consistent pace and on finalising a direction for his RC16 with a view towards the next tests early in 2019.
Jerez was another crucial opportunity for the Tech 3 squad to adapt to the KTM machinery, and for Hafizh Syahrin to delve deeper into his first full MotoGP off-season of work while Miguel Oliveira continued his adaption to the KTM RC16 in what will be a measured term as a rookie in the premier class.
Pol Espargaro: “It has been a busy, busy test and we tried the bike from bottom to top. Yesterday we mainly did longer runs with a used tyre and our pace is not bad but we struggled a bit today in making a single fast lap. I had a big list of things to try and it is difficult to make fast lap-times and be consistent with pace when the bike is changing so much and is ‘live’! We were trying different parameters in the engine and something for turning when the tyre drops. In the chassis we made some modifications, which I think will be an improvement for the future, and the swing arm also. The WP guys have been working quite a lot with suspension and they also have some ideas. The team will work for Malaysia and we’ll have some meetings now to see in what areas Johann wants to go as well so we can improve this bike together.”
Johann Zarco: “So, some more days with the KTM and I’m happy because I made a step that I was looking for. It gave confirmation for the technicians for which direction we have to go. We began today on a better level and I was improving my lap-time. We then moved to test different things and could not do so many laps. We are still working on my base setting. We are not working to be the fastest one out there but the base is coming better and better every time I go out, and I can see that because the lap-time is there and I can repeat it relaxed. It means this is the direction we need. This engine is giving a good feeling to go out of the corner. Even if you miss it the bike will go and this is still one of our strong points and when we go faster we will be able to use it even better."
Hafizh Syahrin: “To be honest, we expected to improve our lap time a bit more, but we still need more rear grip to find decent traction. At the moment, I feel very good with the front tyre, which is really stable, but at the same time the rear is spinning. We tried many things, but didn’t find the ideal solution yet. Now we need to think about it to find something for the next test. Overall, the two days of testing were very positive, but we are a bit far from the top. Anyway, we work hard and try to improve step by step in 2019.”
Miguel Oliveira: “On the last day of testing this year I was able to make a very big step compared to yesterday regarding the lap time, more than a second, so I’m happy for that. Again we understood more about the bike, about what is missing and I’m just glad that the team and me are going home with a clear idea of what we need to do.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “We came to Jerez to make a lot of base setting work so we started with the 2018 bike and brought many new items. We ‘loaded’ Pol a lot and he did a great job. We tried many aspects on the engine, chassis, aerodynamics and suspension. We have some good information now and will have to go home, work and bring the best mix to the next test in Sepang. Johann made a big step with his understanding of the bike and went into the ’39 lap-times with used tyres and that was positive. Also his feeling on the bike was getting better but for sure we still have a lot of work to do with him also. We’ll work during the winter now to be ready for Malaysia.”
Red Bull KTM cooled the engines on their second full MotoGP year as the sun set at Jerez today. 2018 has been a challenging but satisfying second campaign of further education at the highest level and witnessed significant reduction in the margin to the long-established leaders of the Grand Prix grid. 2019 gathers serious pace with the first pre-season test at Sepang, Malaysia on February 6th.