Marc Marquez topped the timesheet at the end of the one-day test at Jerez, the Repsol Honda man setting his fastest time of the weekend as his team solved some of the front-end issues which had been dogging the Spaniard. Marquez' lead was very slim, however: less than a tenth of a second faster than Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow, and a little more than a tenth quicker than Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. Fourth fastest man was Valentino Rossi, but the Italian was nearly six tenths slower than Marquez.
While Honda focused on suspension and electronics - only a partial success, judging by the body language in Dani Pedrosa's pits, the Repsol Honda man gesturing that the rear was still moving around too much for his liking - Yamaha tested a new chassis, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi alternating between the 2012 and 2013 chassis, and Bradley Smith testing the same chassis which Cal Crutchlow has been using this year (the one used by the Factory Yamaha team from Aragon onwards). Smith pronounced himself pleased, finding a clear improvement in braking stability which helped with his consistency. Rossi and Lorenzo, however, were still undecided between the two chassis, both versions offering improvements in some areas, but losing out in others. Lorenzo came down largely in favor, but Rossi is still not convinced of the benefits.
At Ducati, both Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso tried the 'lab bike' raced by Michele Pirro this weekend, and both pronounced it a clear improvement. The biggest benefit came in corner entry, requiring less effort to get the bike into the corner. The understeer out of the corner remained, however, even with what Ducati Corse boss Bernhard Gobmeier referred to as this intermediate chassis. Though testing is completed at Jerez, it continues for Ducati at Mugello, where the Italian factory will be riding from Tuesday through Thursday. Franco Battaini will be doing reliability testing, while Michele Pirro works on the next generation of Ducati's Desmosedici, which this time includes updates to help tackle the understeer. Gobmeier was deliberately vague when talking to the press, admitting only that the changes involved all facets of the bike, chassis stiffness, weight distribution and altered electronics. He did tell reporters that he did not expect to change the mounting points for the engine, meaning that Ducati can continue to bring new chassis without being forced to use an extra engine from their allocation.
The CRT machines present spent the day working on a new software package brought by Magneti Marelli for the teams using the spec electronics. This was another major step forward, improving wheelie control and throttle connection, and receiving generally positive feedback from the riders.
The paddock as a whole will assemble next at Le Mans, for the French Grand Prix in just under two weeks' time.
Times at the end of the one-day test at Jerez:
|1||93||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||1:38.824|
|2||35||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:38.916||0.092||0.092|
|3||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing Team||1:38.958||0.134||0.042|
|4||26||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||1:38.979||0.155||0.021|
|5||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha Factory Racing Team||1:39.397||0.573||0.418|
|6||19||Alvaro Bautista||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||1:39.457||0.633||0.060|
|7||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||1:39.524||0.700||0.067|
|8||69||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Team||1:39.643||0.819||0.119|
|9||6||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda MotoGP||1:39.894||1.070||0.251|
|10||38||Bradley Smith||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:40.009||1.185||0.115|
|11||8||Hector Barbera||Avintia Blusens||1:40.197||1.373||0.188|
|12||7||Hiroshi Aoyama||Avintia Blusens||1:40.730||1.906||0.533|
|13||71||Claudio Corti||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:40.958||2.134||0.228|
|14||9||Danilo Petrucci||Came IodaRacing Project||1:41.029||2.205||0.071|
|15||70||Michael Laverty||Paul Bird Motorsport||1:41.045||2.221||0.016|
|16||67||Bryan Staring||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||1:41.181||2.357||0.136|
|17||5||Colin Edwards||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:41.591||2.767||0.410|
|18||68||Yonny Hernandez||Paul Bird Motorsport||1:41.763||2.939||0.172|
|19||52||Lukas Pesek||Came IodaRacing Project||1:43.017||4.193||1.254|