Riders reflect on opening day of Sepang MotoGP Test

2019 MotoGP Sepang Test Day One

A single second covers the top 14

Marc Marquez – P1

“I’m very happy to ride again after a long winter, but I was expecting to be better than I was. I still don’t have full power, for one or two laps it’s ok but I had to change my riding style to compensate. We stopped early to save myself for the rest of the test, there are still two days and we will see what the feeling is. Honda have been working really hard this winter and we tried a few things, but the list is really big. We’re trying the most important things first. The bike is already at a good point, but there’s always more to try before Qatar.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Alex Rins – P2

“My first impressions are very good. We have a lot of new parts here to try, aiming to build on our 2019 bike. The lap times and race pace already felt strong today, so I feel we have a lot of potential. I’m aiming to start the year in the best way so I can put together a strong and consistent season from the very beginning. I feel good about what we’ve achieved today.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Maverick Viñales – P3

“I’m actually really happy, because I felt good straight away. I trained quite a lot with bikes this winter, so physically I’m OK. I want to do the three days with maximum power, so I can be quite precise, especially on the track. There’s room to improve and that is very important if we want to battle for this championship. I would like to improve the acceleration and also a little bit the breaking areas, where we struggled last year, so I’m really focused on that.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Danilo Petrucci – P5

“It’s been a positive first day. Despite the fact that we didn’t try a flying lap, I was able to be quick right away this morning with medium tyres. On the other hand, we still need to improve when temperatures rise and grip levels decrease, so tomorrow we’ll focus on this. Physically I don’t feel fatigued, which means I followed the right conditioning regime over the winter break, and for tomorrow we have a couple of longer runs on schedule during the hottest time of the day. We have a solid base already, which is the most important thing. Also, I have to say it was pretty emotional to go out with the new livery for the first time.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Valentino Rossi – P6

“First of all it is a great feeling to be back on the bike and I enjoyed it even though it was very tough physically, because it was very hot for the first test. The first day is quite positive for us, because I always had a good feeling with the bike and we worked very much on improving the grip and our lap times, especially with used tyres. As it is the first day, I looked a bit at the pace of the strong guys, and we are not so bad. It looks like we made some improvements compared to last year.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Takaaki Nakagami – P7

“The overall position isn’t so bad, but this morning it took a bit of time to get the feeling back with the bike. The last time we rode was in November so you notice two months without sitting on a MotoGP bike! During the winter I have done lots of training to prepare for the season ahead, but even then, it is always different to the real thing. Step by step I got the feeling back with the bike and the lap time was eventually quite good. We need to focus a lot on the set-up of the machine at the moment, we are still not happy with the braking stability, but for the first day it’s not so bad. We have no new parts, so it’s quite simple for us, we just focus on what we’ve got and make it feel as good as possible.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami

Andrea Dovizioso – P8

“Today has been really positive because we found the track in good conditions already and the weather stayed dry. We made some comparisons but we haven’t found substantial differences yet so we need to make more evaluations in the following days. We have a really good base, and the work done by Michele Pirro is always helpful to this end, because he can try some components beforehand, saving us precious time. Also, I felt great physically, so I’m pretty happy overall.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Jack Miller – P11

“I trained a lot during the winter break but riding a MotoGP bike in conditions like the ones we found today is something else. The feeling is good and I think the first day of testing was positive. It’s a shame about the small crash – without any particular consequences – that forced me to change bike. All things considered, I’m satisfied”.

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Franco Morbidelli – P12

“We are really happy with the first day of the test here at the Sepang International Circuit – the feeling with the bike was similar to the way it was at the end of 2018, even though today we weren’t super fast. We focused this morning on getting back up to speed because it has been two months since I last rode a MotoGP bike. In the afternoon we worked more on the medium and used tyres to see how the bike behaved and gathering data for analysis. We finished up on the soft compound but it wasn’t a real time attack. The Yamaha bike flows well and is very stable, which I think helps me a lot with my riding style. It also suits the characteristics of this track a lot. I am delighted with the support that the factory is giving me and the way they are listening to and analysing my feedback.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Cal Crutchlow – P14

“I feel good. It’s really nice to be back out there on the motorcycle and working with the LCR Honda Castrol Team and HRC again here in Malaysia. I thought it was going to be a difficult day, but I was honest about how it was feeling. The first laps were so strange, I went round the track thinking I was doing a 2’01, but I was in the 2’08s or something! I don’t feel fantastic, but I feel I can be competitive this season – which is great. I didn’t really push too hard today, I just worked on trying to understand my feeling on the bike again after so long off. The team did a great job today, they were patient with me with regards to my information. It seemed I quite quickly got back into the way I normally work, so I enjoyed it. I’m confident that if I needed to go one second quicker, I would have. I got to ride the 2019 machine this afternoon. The plan was always for me to start on the 2018 bike anyway, to get back some familiarity with me riding again. I feel HRC have done a good job with the new bike. We need to adjust the setting as is usual and understand it a bit more because it is different to what I’ve been used to, but as expected they’ve done a good job and we’re pleased with how it feels.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Pecco Bagnaia – P15

“I made a first positive day especially this morning when I managed to keep a convincing pace. In the afternoon we put on a new tyre to improve the lap time but I didn’t feel comfortable. Tomorrow we will work to see how we can improve in this area. All in all, I am happy: we are on the right path”.

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Francesco Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

Miguel Oliveira – P16

“Our day has been good. We had a small step back because we couldn’t run as much as we wanted with both bikes and the changes took us quite long, but the team did a really great job. We adapted our program and managed to test everything that we wanted. We did many good laps, which is a positive sign. Finally, to do a fast lap at the end was ok, in general I had a decent pace. So, I’m happy with this first day and look forward to improve tomorrow.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Fabio Quartararo – P18

“We were really looking forward to riding again after two months off the bike and we were excited for the first day here at the Sepang International Circuit. It wasn’t easy to get a feeling for a bike with so much power but I thought the first few laps would be more difficult. I am happy because we have taken a step forward, in that [at Jerez] I needed a lot of laps to set a fast time but today we were able to do a qualifying time after just two laps. The test here at Sepang is different to Jerez, which is a much smaller circuit, whereas here we have some very long straights and it is very hot. Tomorrow we need to keep working on the bike and try to find a better feeling under braking, which is where we are lacking. I’m really keen to just keep on learning.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Sylvain Guintoli – P22

“I’ve been with the team for a few days of testing ahead of this official test, but it feels great to be back on track with all the riders. It’s been a very good and productive day for us. We’re trying some new components for the 2019 package and they were very good, and we made some useful discoveries. In the next days, Alex and Joan can try these things too. I think I set my best ever time in Sepang today, and the rhythm was good as well, it’s been a nice day of work, I did 58 laps and the feeling is positive.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Sylvain Guintoli
Sylvain Guintoli

Joan Mir – P23

“It was a hard day with a lot of work, but we made good progress, and we’ll also be trying a lot of other things in the next couple of days. I feel like a fully-fledged rider now, and the focus today was on the bike, but I will also be focusing a bit on myself tomorrow and Friday so that I can gain more experience and knowledge. I felt an improvement in the bike since I last rode it in Jerez, I really like how the bike is now, and I think everything’s going in a good direction.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Joan Mir
Joan Mir

Hafizh Syahrin – P26

“My first impression was great after the long break following the test in Jerez. It has been a long wait, but in the end, we had the shakedown a bit earlier than some other teams. Overall, I feel good, although we are still a bit far. I was working hard to improve many things in order to try to find the best setup for my new bike, but at the moment I don’t have a good feeling with the rear. Nevertheless, with the front I have some great sensations. Tomorrow we’ll try to find a solution to get more grip on the rear and to improve the exit of the corners.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“Today was a positive day because we went through our programme and we tried different settings. We’re working on the 2019 bike and trying to find the best base setting as well as trying to improve the package overall, using different combinations of parts. So far so good, Alex set strong lap times, not just one isolated ‘fast lap’, but many good quality laps. We were able to get helpful comments and feedback from him. Joan was restarting again with the bike and he is still gaining experience, but he did some useful testing, gave us good feedback and told us his impressions. Everything went smoothly today, let’s continue to work tomorrow.”

2019 MotoGP Sepang Test Day One Times

  1. MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.621 26/29
  2. RINS, Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:59.880 25/61
  3. VIÑALES, Maverick Monster Energy Yamaha 1:59.937 28/63
  4. RABAT, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:59.983 58/59
  5. PETRUCCI, Danilo Mission Winnow Ducati 2:00.051 8/54
  6. ROSSI, Valentino Monster Energy Yamaha 2:00.054 22/56
  7. NAKAGAMI, Takaaki LCR Honda Idemitsu 2:00.158 54/55
  8. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Mission Winnow Ducati 2:00.197 17/49
  9. BRADL, Stefan Honda Test Team 2:00.214 41/61
  10. ESPARGARO, Pol Red Bull KTM Factory 2:00.313 3/44
  11. MILLER, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 2:00.383 26/51
  12. MORBIDELLI, Franco Petronas Yamaha 2:00.460 58/60
  13. ESPARGARO, Aleix Aprilia Racing Team 2:00.602 51/55
  14. CRUTCHLOW, Cal LCR Honda Castrol 2:00.681 24/51
  15. BAGNAIA, Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 2:00.694 25/49
  16. OLIVEIRA, Miguel KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:00.902 58/59
  17. TEST 1, Yamaha Test Team 2:00.965  54/55
  18. QUARTARARO, Fabio Petronas Yamaha 2:00.985 45/65
  19. KALLIO, Mika Red Bull KTM Factory Test 2:01.054 4/20
  20. ZARCO, Johann Red Bull KTM Factory 2:01.121 53/61
  21. IANNONE, Andrea Aprilia Racing Team 2:01.249 35/36
  22. GUINTOLI, Sylvain Suzuki Test Team 2:01.286 14/58
  23. MIR, Joan Team Suzuki Ecstar 2:01.432 24/55
  24. ABRAHAM, Karel Reale Avintia Racing 2:01.627 25/45
  25. TEST 2, Yamaha Test Team 2:01.736 11/45
  26. SYAHRIN, Hafizh KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:01.853 48/49

Source: MCNews.com.au

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