2013 Jerez MotoGP Post-Race Test, Final Times: Marquez Leads Close Group While Ducatis Work

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:

Pos No Rider Team Time Diff Previous
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


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Do we know what yamaha are looking for?, it would appear from the weekend that Jorges style of being on the side for longer is bad for the tyres at some tracks and at some temperatures, increasing that period would at first glance appear counter intuitive. In short the yams operating window appears to be in an ever decreasing arc. On another site someone mentioned that Rossi might test an older incarnation of the frame for more front end feel and more neutral and of course a set up he prefers. can anyone confirm whether this happened?? Do we know if the new frame looked like the rather bizarre frame on this years model...?? Can't help thinking looking at yams frame they've gone looking for something that isn't there..There more traditional approach has worked wonders in the past..Since Rossi and Furasawa left they appear to have completely lost their way..With Jorge nicking the title last year when Honda should have walked it(more than twice as many wins) it's easy to forget how far Yam were in front at the start of 2010. I make it around 20 secs a race they've ceded to honda in that period maybe more..

I know Rossi is looking for weight distribution changes so that he can ride the thing the way he wants, very hard on the brakes. It seems as if it is designed around Lorenzo and his style, which makes sense considering Cal's comments last week about lean angle, etc. Valentino is very picky about the front end of the bike as he likes it near perfect.

Whatever they were looking for I don't think they found it. They are going to have big problems against the Hondas this year. Jerez was supposed to be a track that favored their bike, at least enough to challenge. I'm thinking at this point, without changes to the M1, the RC is going to be extremely difficult to beat over the season with MM and Dani riding well.

The fact is every team builds their bike to meet the demands of the strongest rider. It only makes sense if you want to win.

Yamaha - Lorenzo's massive lean angle and super fast apex speed.
Honda - Stonner's sod the lean angle get her in, turned and out.
Ducati - errrr..... well lost the plot after the anomaly Stonner showed it could win now and then.

So we have two competing ways of getting around the track. Both dependent on only TWO identical inputs. Track and Tyres. All other inputs are massively variable, rider, bike setup etc.

Yamaha - has been at a significant disadvantage not because it has Lorenzo and Rossi decided to throw his toys from the cot, but because his team mate in 2011-2012 could not justify with results his input to the machine against the demands of Lorenzo.

Honda - the 800cc machine was well sorted clearly. The debacle at the start of 2012 with the 1000 due to tyre changes showed that if you screw with any one of the two identical inputs, it takes long time to catch up (mid season). With two riders going well Honda could pick and choose a middle ground between them and satisfy both. Also Pedrosa much to my surprise changed his style to move closer to Stonners.

Yamaha like Honda played to there strengths to get their guy on the top step. NO team will change that until they are forced to by strings of bad results.... NO do not mention Ducati here!

I feel the tyres in Motogp are deciding results. Little else, a poor state of affairs.

P/s Hugelean - rich'en it up a bit mate or you'll hole a piston

Dani has always had a style that was similar to Stoner. They both pick the bike up very early and are on the throttle sooner than most. Lorenzo likes huge conner speed, which is great when you're out front but not so great when you're behind another bike. Rossi is a demon on the brakes, when he has a good feeling with the front he can do magic. It one reason he has always been able to fight back straight away. Barros was like this. I was always amazed at how late he was able to brake.

right up until race time when it got hotter than it had been all weekend, leaving them in no mans land with tyres, the soft too soft and the hard not having enough grip. In that particular scenario Jorge is at a disadvantage because you need to do the 'stand the bike up/square off the corner' thing which plays more to the strengths of Honda and its riders at present. It was interesting to see though that Jorge was giving absoluteley nothing away to Marquez in terms of acceleration onto the front straight at Jerez - if anything he pulled a bike or two on Marquez out of Lorenzo corner.

If temps had stayed the same as in practice Jorge would probably have own it, and everyone would be singing a very different tune. The Yam would have had more grip and Jorge would have been able to exploit it with huge corner speed. And lets not forget Jorge was only a fraction away from taking second. Its not like Honda finished 1-2-3-4 as has happened in the past. When we get to tracks like Mugello which rewards corner speed and has consistent grip levels I think we'll again see how good the Yamaha is.

He was always going to get better but amazing how quickly - from struggling at the Jerez test to 2nd in the race and than at this test he did 37 sub 1:40 laps.

The gap to Rossi is more than .57 of a second in that he did a total of six sub 1:40 laps in testing.

Dani, Jorge & Cal ranged from 19 to 27 laps sub 1.40 to finish off the numbers.

This testing has really just created more questions than it's answered from what I can see which is great for the season imo. Also lets not forget it was LeMans last year which saw the first wet races and MM crash out in the Moto2 race. It'll be interesting to see how he handles the Honda in the wet.

Concerning the result list: It would be nice to know not only what the team of the rider is, but also what kind of bike he is riding. This is quite unclear with the CRT's. Also Dorna seems to want to keep the nature of those bikes a secret. I hardly ever see the brand of engine mentioned in race coverage on TV or the website, just some vague letter combinations that indicate some (to most of the public) unknown frame builder. I think that does not exactly help to get the spectators interested.
I feel that Dorna does not want to give any motorcycle manufacturer 'cheap' publicity in their glamourous MotoGP show. Especially Aprilia, who are doing a very good job in this strange class within a class with their ART machine in the hands of Espargaro en De Puniet.

The fact that they are putting the first CRT rider also in parc fermé and even declaring a CRT champion at the end of the season, means they are not treating it seriously as actual MotoGP contenders.

Just my thought...

I think the various components of CRTs do indeed deserve more mentioning, if anything so that we, the fans, can keep track of what's happening.

Regarding the parc ferme and CRT champion that's just a motivation for sponsors of CRT bikes who want their brands to have a realistic shot at being shown. IMO it doesn't mean that they don't treat the CRT sub-class seriously, but merely that they acknowledge their zero chances at a podium. I think it's necessary, although I don't like it, as I don't like to see Pedrosa waving his red bull can nervously during the pictures on the rostrum, which doesn't bring more bikes on the grid by the way, it's just a personal sponsor.

Indeed. Although I applaud Red Bull for sponsoring and even organising so many cool motor sports and other spectacular sports, that can waving on the rostrum also annoyed me. It reminded me of the childish lollypop antics of Lorenzo some years ago.
What's next? Lorenzo carrying a can of Eneos oil? Bradl bringing a Beta toolbox on the rostrum? Or maybe a Givi 3-piece luggage set?