Tag Archives: MotoGP Testing

Marquez tops rainy Jerez Day 2 | Vinales fastest overall

Jerez Day Two – November 26, 2019

Marc Marquez was fastest on Day 2 of the Jerez test, the reigning Champion posting a 1:37.820 on Tuesday morning to sign off for the season on top – although there were more headlines for the number 93 than just on-track.

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Marc Marquez – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

From the test, Marquez will now head for surgery on his right shoulder after a crash on Day 1 of the test exacerbated a problem that had already begun to plague him.

Alex Rins was second quickest and just 0.017 in arrears, with his teammate Joan Mir completing the top three on Tuesday.

Day 2 at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto was largely disrupted by rain, with the riders getting limited dry track time before the wet weather arrived at around 12:15 local time.

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Maverick Vinales was leader on combined results over the two days – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

On a wet track, less than half the field ventured out, but those who did include MotoGP rookies Alex Marquez, Iker Lecuona and Brad Binder, as all three used the time to test out their new machines in the different conditions.

Before that, however, Marquez had swiftly got down to business, setting the second fastest time of the test overall – and the quickest of the day – on his third flying lap.

Marc Marquez

“Theses two days were very positive for us, working with the 2020 items we have and trying to find the right direction. On the first day we tried a lot of things and then today we started with the best of what we found yesterday. Unfortunately, we only did 20 laps before the rain came. It wasn’t wet enough to properly test in the wet and it certainly wasn’t dry. Now it’s time for the staff in HRC Japan to analyse everything. This winter I would have liked to have a nice holiday and enjoy a bit of quiet time after a great 2019 – but it is time to have surgery on the right shoulder. As everyone knows, last winter was very tough for me with the operation on the left shoulder, which was very, very damaged. I want to avoid the situation where my right shoulder is in this condition in the future so I spoke a lot with the doctors to see what our options were. Before Motegi I had some issues with the shoulder and then after the crash in Malaysia I had a subluxation. Here at the test I had another subluxation after the crash, so we decided with the doctors that it was best to have the surgery to avoid the situation we had with the other shoulder. It will take more or less the same time and we will work in the same way to arrive at the Malaysia test as strong as possible.”

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Marc Marquez – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

The number 93 retained three bikes in the garage as on Day 1, and the partial dislocation of his right shoulder suffered on Monday didn’t seem to be affecting him out on track but Marquez then announced he has elected to have surgery as a preventative measure after medical consultation.

The operation will be similar to the one performed on his left shoulder at the end of 2018. Rookie Alex Marquez was 17th, and Cal Crutchlow 13th on Tuesday – although the Brit put in limited laps.

Crutchlow managed to put in 66 laps on day one, before completing 14 on day two, with lap times across the field mostly well behind those from the Spanish Grand Prix and subsequent test back in May.

Cal Crutchlow

“On day one we did a short evaluation of a few parts with the 2019 bike. We were happy enough with how the day went. We couldn’t get too many laps because the weather wasn’t fantastic. On a normal test here we could probably do 100 laps in a day, but on the first day this time we only did 60-ish and today just 14. Overall, we’re happy with the work we managed to fit in. Day two wasn’t too useful as regards our plans to make steps forward with the 2020 project. It’s a shame for everyone that the weather hasn’t been great, but we will work with the engineers in the factory over winter to make sure we have the best package available for the 2020 season.”

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Cal Crutchlow – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Alex Marquez was left wishing for better track conditions in order to improve his feeling on the RC213V. A best time of 1’39.224, set on the morning of the second day, leaves the 23-year-old as the fastest rookie of the test. The reigning Moto2 World Champion will now begin an intense off season to prepare himself for his debut in the premier class when the lights go out in Qatar.

Alex Marquez

“The weather was like it was, which wasn’t perfect but in the morning we were able to make another step and improved our time on used tyres. This is good news for us. Like yesterday, when we put new tyres in it started to rain so this is still something we have to look at. We were able to try the bike a little bit in the wet and it felt good. I’m happy with this second day of testing even if there’s still a lot of work to do. I know what I need to do at home to be ready in Sepang.”

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Alex Marquez – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Limited laps was true for many and definitely for Mir, who did only 12 laps to end the day in third, with Alex Rins putting in twice that and turning the tables on his teammate on Day 2.

Joan Mir

“We weren’t able to do a lot of laps today because of the conditions, but we still managed to work on the electronics areas, and this was positive because we noticed the difference. I set a strong lap, even after being out on track for a while. Overall, after four days of testing – two here and two in Valencia – the feeling is very positive and I’m already looking forward to coming back after the holidays.”

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Joan Mir – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Test rider Sylvain Guintoli did 14 laps for the Hamamatsu factory, but the Team Suzuki Ecstar camp seem very pleased with their early 2020 progress with the new engine. “Back-to-back” testing with 2019 and 2020 parts was key for Team Manager Davide Brivio, and all three riders improved their laptime on Tuesday morning.

Alex Rins

“These two days have been really nice because we confirmed a lot of things and we’re satisfied with the new engine. I only managed to do two runs in the dry, but I was very happy with my pace, I bettered my lap time from yesterday. I did three or four laps in the early 38s, as well as a fast lap of 1:37.837, and it felt good. Now it’s time for the winter break, and to come back fresh in the new year.”

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Alex Rins – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2
Sylvain Guintoli

“Today was a pretty short today, but we still managed to do almost everything we wanted to and everything we planned. 2019 has now drawn to a close and we’re so excited for next year because the 2020 spec. already looks really promising. The test team are doing more and more and our close bond with the factory side is going well, we’re seeing the results of this work.”

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Sylvain Quintoli – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Yamaha ended Tuesday in fourth with Maverick Viñales – although the number 12 remains fastest overall – and he put in 15 laps. Across the two days, Yamaha duo Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued testing the 2020 YZR-M1, with both having one 2020 – with a slightly different fuel tank – and one 2019 M1 in their garage.

Maverick Vinales

Actually, I felt really good on the bike, riding in a really good way. Yesterday, I felt fantastic on all the laps and that is the most important. I end the 2019 season with a great feeling and a lot of motivation, and that keeps you going when preparing for the new season. Yamaha is working really hard, but we‘re still working on top speed. For sure in other areas we‘re quite strong, but we need to stay focused on improving our weaker areas for the next test in Sepang.”

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Maverick Vinales – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

On Day 1, Rossi did a lot of his running with a carbon swingarm. However, that wasn’t the case on Day 2, with the number 46 running an aluminium swingarm on both of his bikes.

Valentino Rossi

“It‘s a shame about the weather today. It was an important day because we had to work on making a comparison between the new and the old bike, so we had a good program, but, unfortunately, we did only ten laps on the dry, and after that we did some laps on the wet. But the feeling is positive, a lot better than yesterday. On the dry I was a lot faster. I improved my best lap time from the day before already after three laps, and today I was more competitive. After the rain we did some work on the new bike on the wet, and it wasn‘t so bad, but it was only half a day.”

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Valentino Rossi – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Viñales seemed content using the aluminium swingarm for most of the test, with both riders saying small steps have been made with the 2020 engine. Rossi ended Tuesday in 10th, half a second off the top after 33 laps – more laps than most.

Over at Petronas Yamaha SRT, Fabio Quartararo was fifth on Tuesday and teammate Franco Morbidelli seventh. They confirmed they had been trying “a 2020 prototype” Yamaha engine specification in Jerez. The carbon swingarm didn’t appear on Day 2 for the duo, but it was a solid looking test for Quartararo and Morbidelli heading into the winter break.

Fabio Quartararo

“We weren’t able to gain much from today, because just as I was getting ready to really start working on the bike it began to rain. I did my best lap time of the day but it was already starting to rain, and it turned out to be the only chance that I got. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t test as much as we wanted to, although I was also able to complete five laps in the wet to check how the engine worked in those conditions and it was positive. The track wasn’t wet all the way around for long so it wasn’t too helpful to keep riding and risk injury. We still need to work on the power delivery of the bike because it’s different from the current bike’s, but the pace I was setting yesterday was promising. We need to complete more laps, but overall it’s been a successful test for us. Now I’ll enjoy the time off and come back fresh to try everything again in Malaysia.”

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Fabio Quartararo – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2
Franco Morbidelli

“Unfortunately we didn’t learn much today, because as soon as we had completed a shake-down in the morning it started to rain and we had to stop. We managed to complete some laps in the afternoon to check out how the engine was behaving in wet conditions, but that was the end of the day for us. I feel good with the prototype engine, which is a great start. Of course, there is still plenty of work to do because there are areas where we can be better, but the direction that Yamaha has taken has been the right one. We need to improve in the braking areas, but that’s something we can concentrate on at the next test in Sepang.”

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Franco Morbidelli – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Sixth fastest Andrea Dovizioso and 12th fastest Danilo Petrucci continued to work on Ducati’s new chassis on both days in Jerez, with both riders confirming it’s a step in the right direction. On Day 2, test rider Michele Pirro was seen using a new aero piece on the front wheel too.

Jack Miller and Pramac Racing, meanwhile, completed just four laps on Day 2 as the rain saw them pack up early for the winter, but the Australian finished P8 on the day and combined standings after improving his time on Tuesday, the last rider within a second of Viñales’ overall best.

Jack Miller

“They were two very productive days even if today we could not lap much because of the rain. But I am very satisfied because I was able to try new solutions that we will find in Malaysia when I will have the 2020 version of the Desmosedici GP. I would like to say a big thank you to Ducati and Pramac Racing. It has been a satisfying season and since the Sepang tests we will be working to improve even further. Happy holidays to everyone.”

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Jack Miller – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, MotoGP Legend and test rider Dani Pedrosa was back out on track after missing Day 1 through illness and he did 11 laps. Pol Espargaro, fastest KTM in ninth, continued to lap with a new RC16 with the orange chassis. There was also a new fairing and new aero setup on display across the two days as Espargaro seems pleased with the Austrian factory’s progress.

Pol Espargaro

“The last test of 2019 and we were not so lucky with the weather which mean we could not work as much as we wanted. Fortunately, we did some laps this morning when we felt quite good and we were just three tenths away from the top guy with ten laps on the tyre, which was important for consistency. Overall the pre-season has been very good. We did a lot and tested a lot of new stuff at Valencia and we have been fast. Now it’s time for the winter and after healing a little bit I will try to work harder than I did last year to try and come back in better shape. I’m already looking forward to trying the 2020 RC16 again in Malaysia.”

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Pol Espargaro – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Binder was lapping on the ‘old’ bike and did a good amount of laps before the rain came on Tuesday morning, and as aforementioned the South African also headed out in the wet.

Brad Binder

“We decided to do a couple of laps when it was a little bit wet just to get the feeling of the new bike and that was really awesome. I’m glad I got a chance to experience that. It’s been difficult these last two tests. It hasn’t been easy to adapt to the new bike but I think I’ve got a lot to think about now in the off-season and hopefully we can try to make a step in Sepang. I think I just need to improve my riding; my feeling with the front a little bit and just being able to have confidence to put the bike where I want to, especially on the entry to corners. I think once I get that right the rest will fall into place.”

Brad Binder MotoGP Valencia Jerez
Brad Binder – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Lecuona was also still on the ‘old’ bike as both rookies’ aim was to get more comfortable on the MotoGP machine. Lecuona and Binder ended the test 20th and 22nd respectively on Tuesday.

Iker Lecuona

“It was my first time in wet conditions and to be honest, it was quite strange. I need more laps, but finally I went quite fast. I liked the feeling, although I didn’t find out the limit in every point. I’m happy, but with some sectors not too much. For next year, I know that I need to improve in all the points, which is clear as long as you are not finishing first. I need work on my riding, on the brakes and picking up the bike, but finally in the wet it all went quite well and in general, I’m very happy.”

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Iker Lecuona – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and Aleix Espargaro had a new front wheel cover on Day 2 in Andalucia, an all-in-one piece with the front mudguard, wheel cover and caliper duct. He was 15th after 24 laps.

Aleix Espargarò

“The Jerez tests are more relevant than the Valencia tests because this is a more traditional and more indicative track. We continued working on the 2019 package with a few changes to the electronics, which is an area we are strengthening. Now the ball is in the Aprilia engineers’ court as they develop the 2020 prototype. The coming months will be crucial in achieving the objective of having the new bike on the track in Sepang.”

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Aleix Espargarò – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

Andrea Iannone, on the other side of the garage, only did four laps on Day 2 but finished eleventh. Test rider Bradley Smith, 21st on Tuesday, completed the most laps of anyone on Day 2 – 43.

Andrea Iannone

“Unfortunately, we were a bit limited during these two days, both because of the weather and because I arrived in Jerez with a fever. In any case, we found some interesting things to work on over the winter in order to show up in Sepang stronger than before. The work done by Michelin on the new tyres also seemed to go very well. I’ll stay in contact with the guys in Noale now to follow development of the new bike. It will be important for me to be able to make a step forward next season.”

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Andrea Iannone – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2
Bradley Smith

“Our programme here was not much different than the one in Valencia. We are gathering the final data that will allow the racing department to refine the 2020 bike. The weather wasn’t the best, especially on the second day, but we tried to provide as much information as possible, even lapping in the wet.”

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Bradley Smith – Jerez MotoGP Test Day 2

The MotoGP World Championship will now begin a two-month winter break and the teams and riders will next be back on track at Sepang (Malaysia) from 7th to 9th February 2020 for the first official testing session of the new year.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Vinales leads Quartararo & Mir on Jerez Test Day 1

Jerez Day One – November 25, 2019

Maverick Viñales has topped Day 1 of the Jerez Test by quite a margin on Monday, the Spaniard ending the session over seven-tenths clear of the next fastest rider – Fabio Quartararo.

Joan Mir was third and continued his impressive run on the testing timesheets, pipping teammate Alex Rins as the Hamamatsu factory locked out third and fourth.

The day was punctuated by some drizzle and Red Flags, although the majority of riders out on track managed nearly or over 50 laps.

Viñales swung his leg over the bike for the first time in Jerez at 11 o‘clock and found a good rhythm again and began chipping away at his time while comparing various testing items. He completed 68 laps in total familiarising himself with the new engine and showed no signs of slowing down. He posted a best time of 1’37.131s on lap 60, consolidating his place at the top of the standings with a convincing 0.754s-margin over his closest rival.

Maverick Vinales

“We are working a lot on the new engine trying to understand the positives and negative points of the new bike. This test is quite important for us to decide on the engines and take the right approach to further improve the engine on the track, which is our focus here. We are trying to understand the best way to work. For tomorrow my plan is the same. I need to make laps with the engine, and I also need to try the tyres, and then we will see. Even if it rains, we need to go out and try the newer stuff. For sure, we are comparing the old and new items back-to-back. The positive point is that I felt good with both bikes today, so we have two good choices, which is even better. I feel we can create a lot of potential with the new engine.”

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Maverick Vinales – Jerez MotoGP Test

Yamaha have now topped all three days of ‘2020’ testing so far, once with Quartararo and twice with Viñales. At Jerez, both the former and latter did 68 laps, with Franco Morbidelli in fifth adding another 75.

Fabio Quartararo

“It was a long day despite having great pace on the bike and we were able to try new things. The tyres were working really well, but unfortunately, it seems like every time we put a new set on the bike there was a red flag or it started to rain a little! Maverick Viñales is really fast, but we’re not far behind him and I’m feeling really good. We used a new prototype engine from Yamaha for most of the day, but it was difficult to understand all the benefits from just one day, so there’s plenty to continue with tomorrow.”

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Fabio Quartararo – Jerez MotoGP Test
Franco Morbidelli

“I tried a new prototype engine specification today, and we were up to speed quite quickly with it. I had a good feeling from the bike straight away, which is very positive. We’ve still got to collect data and work on our settings, but as a first impression, it was pretty great! The plan for tomorrow is to maintain the working routine from today and aim to reconfirm the items we tried in Valencia with the new engine, but for that to happen we need the weather to play ball!”

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Franco Morbidelli – Jerez MotoGP Test

Valentino Rossi meanwhile did 64 laps and finished the day in 14th. He and teammate Viñales had one ‘new’ and one ‘old’ Yamaha in the garage to compare, with Rossi’s 2020 machine fitted with the carbon swingarm but Viñales content without it, working on the engine. Neither Petronas Yamaha SRT rider had the carbon swingarm on Monday, although they had “some new things” to test.

Valentino Rossi

“We worked a lot today, even though the weather conditions weren‘t fantastic. Every now and then we had some rain, we had to stop and start like this, but the track conditions were quite good anyway. We worked a lot on the new bike and made another comparison with the old one, and the feeling isn‘t too bad. Some things were better, and we also have some areas where we need to work.”

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Valentino Rossi – Jerez MotoGP Test

Alex Rins and Joan Mir were joined by Sylvain Guintoli and the rest of the test team as they continued their preparations for the 2020 season. The majority of the track action was spent as a continuation of the Valencia Test; comparing the 2019 and 2020 engine specifications.

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Joan Mir – Jerez MotoGP Test

They also worked on electronics and general set-up, with a view to building up the package ahead of the Sepang Test in February. Guintoli also spent some time with a new swing arm and adjusting other aspects of the chassis.

Mir finished the session in 3rd place, having done 56 laps, while Rins was just behind in 4th, completing 69 laps. Sylvain Guintoli closed the session 16th with a total of 63 laps.

Joan Mir

“I’m really happy because I felt we made some improvements today. We focused on the engine and also on electronics; I also tried some new parts which helped my feel even more. I’m feeling comfortable and happy with the bike. Let’s hope the weather will be OK tomorrow so we can continue this good work.”

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Joan Mir – Jerez MotoGP Test
Alex Rins

“Today’s test session went quite well. We tried the same things as in Valencia, like the 2020 engine spec., and we confirmed our initial findings. Tomorrow we’ll try a few more things regarding the set-up. We had some more plans for today, such as trying a fast lap with the new tyre, but unfortunately the rain arrived this afternoon and that hampered our progress.”

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Alex Rins – Jerez MotoGP Test
Sylvain Guintoli

“Today we worked on next year’s engine, as well as some chassis work such as the swing arm. I also did some long runs and tried the new spec. Michelin rear tyre, which I found to be very good. My lap times were strong today, I did my best lap of Jerez today. Looking forward to tomorrow, fingers crossed conditions are OK.”

Honda were the next factory up, with reigning Champion Marc Marquez in sixth despite a crash at Turn 13. It was a slow lowside but in the gravel trap he hit his shoulder, heading to the Medical Centre for a check up. He’d suffered a partially dislocated right shoulder – not the one on which he had surgery this time last year – and did get back out on track but said he slowed up slightly. He had three bikes in the garage.

Marc Marquez

“Again today we tried some different things for 2020, assessing two different directions. It looks like tomorrow the weather could be a little bit tricky, so we had to alter our plan a little bit to make sure we got the most out of today. This part of the season is very important, so we have to stay very focused here and keep working. The crash today was my mistake, I ran wide and at that time the outside of the track was a little damp so I lost the front. Fortunately I am OK, I just went to the medical centre for a precautionary check.”

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Marc Marquez – Jerez MotoGP Test

Where Marquez was focusing on 2020 comparisons, Cal Crutchlow was more on 2019 machinery on Monday. He was just 0.026 behind Marquez and put in 66 laps.

Rookie Alex Marquez was out in HRC and Repsol colours, and he seemed to take a step forward. The number 73 was 17th and did 70 laps, saying he found Jerez a bigger step on a MotoGP bike – but also an easier one.

Alex Marquez

“Today we tried to improve and close the distance to the front while learning how to work with my team for next year. Throughout the day we were able to make steady improvements and I was able to work a lot with used tyres, to understand how I need to change my riding to make the most out of them. We didn’t fit any new tyres at the end as it started raining a little bit, but I am happy. I think today went better than both days in Valencia as I was more comfortable right away.”

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Alex Marquez – Jerez MotoGP Test

KTM were the fourth fastest factory on Monday with Pol Espargaro slotting in behind Marquez and Crutchlow on the timesheets. He did 56 laps and although he took a tumble – rider ok. He had three bikes in the garage, one ‘old’ and two ‘new’, although he spent his time out on the new. He did 56 laps and was within a tenth of Crutchlow.

Rookie teammate Brad Binder, meanwhile, remained on 2019 machinery and did 67 laps. Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rookie Iker Lecuona had a huge crash on Monday, but rider ok, and he did 38 laps. Test rider Dani Pedrosa was absent due to illness.

Iker Lecuona

“Jerez is a very difficult track on the MotoGP bike, it’s not easy to go fast here and have a good feeling on the bike. For sure, I need more laps tomorrow in order to get more kilometers in. At the moment, I finished 2.802 seconds from the top, which is obviously too much. After the crash, I feel a bit bruised, but overall, I’m ok. This circuit is definitely completely different to what we had in Valencia, so I need to further adapt myself and I can’t wait to be back on the bike tomorrow.”

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Iker Lecuono – Jerez MotoGP Test

Ducati’s onslaught on the timesheets was led by Danilo Petrucci, back in action after missing some of Valencia due to shoulder pain, who narrowly headed teammate Andrea Dovizioso as they took P9 and P10. The former did 48 laps and the latter 45.

Danilo Petrucci

“It was quite a challenging day for me, because I still wasn’t entirely sure about my physical condition. My left shoulder, which was hurting me a lot at Valencia, gave me a bit of bother this morning: in the afternoon however I was better and we were able to carry out some back-to-back tests, without aiming for fast times. We mainly focussed on getting a better understanding of the new solutions present on the bike, and we certainly managed to obtain some useful indications for the future.”

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Danilo Petrucci – Jerez MotoGP Test

Dovizioso had the new, bigger ‘salad box’ and work continued on what the duo had worked on at Valencia. Jack Miller was only 0.018 off Dovi in 11th.

Andrea Dovizioso

“Today we were able to carry out the back-to-back comparison between the two bikes, in a much better way than at Valencia, and this was important because Jerez is a track with very different characteristics. The feedback was certainly positive, but we will have to take a closer more detailed look at all the information we accumulated and make a major effort to understand which direction to take for the next development stage.”

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Andrea Dovizioso – Jerez MotoGP Test

Test rider Michele Pirro had a technical issue and that caused a Red Flag, and a sensor was spotted on top of the tail unit on his machine.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini were 12th and 13th, and nothing big was seen from the Noale factory although both Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone had the swingarm with a hole in it fitted.

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Aleix Espargaro- Jerez MotoGP Test

Espargaro did 53 laps and Iannone 49. Test rider Bradley Smith had the ‘solid’ version of the swingarm and did 67 laps.

Jerez Test Day 1 Combined Results

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 VINALES Maverick SPA Yamaha 1’37.131
2 QUARTARARO Fabio FRA Yamaha 0.754
3 MIR Joan SPA Suzuki 0.881
4 RINS Alex SPA Suzuki 0.958
5 MORBIDELLI Franco ITA Yamaha 0.986
6 MARQUEZ Marc SPA Honda 1.096
7 CRUTCHLOW Cal GBR Honda 1.122
9 PETRUCCI Danilo ITA Ducati 1.227
10 DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA Ducati 1.343
11 MILLER Jack AUS Ducati 1.361
12 ESPARGARO Aleix SPA Aprilia 1.369
13 IANNONE Andrea ITA Aprilia 1.62
14 ROSSI Valentino ITA Yamaha 1.628
15 RABAT Tito SPA Ducati 1.972
16 GUINTOLI Sylvain FRA Suzuki 2.017
17 MARQUEZ Alex SPA Honda 2.282
18 SMITH Bradley GBR Aprilia 2.457
19 PIRRO Michele ITA Ducati 2.521
20 LECOUNA Iker SPA KTM 2.802
21 BINDER Brad RSA KTM 2.849
22 GRANADO Eric BRA Ducati 5.925

Source: MCNews.com.au

Eric Granado to test Ducati GP18 at Jerez this week

Eric Granado to joinsJerez test on Ducati GP18

After a great season finale with two victories in the MotoE category, the Reale Avintia Racing Team will reward Brazilian rider Eric Granado by giving him the opportunity to ride the Ducati GP18 during the test that will take place this week at the Jerez circuit.

MotoGP Rnd Valencia QP MotoE Garzo Granado Smith
Eric Granado topping QP in MotoE

Despite a challenging start to the year, Granado concluded the first MotoE season in third position overall, overcoming the adversities that he had to face throughout the year.

MotoE World Cup test Valencia Final Eric Granado Wins
Eric Granado

The Reale Avintia team is to offer the riders of our structure what they deserve and this is a great opportunity to see the potential and feelings of this young pilot in MotoGP.

MotoE World Cup test Valencia Final Eric Granado With Energica Eva
Eric Granado with his Energica Eva

Jerez marks the second 2020 test, with the two-day event taking place on Monday and Tuesday. Maverick Vinales was fastest at the previous Valencia test, leading the Yamaha trio including Quartararo and Morbidelli, with top Ducati being Dovizioso back in eighth, followed by Jack Miller in 11th.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Quartararo bounces back to top Misano Test

MotoGP Misano Test Day Two Combined

Fabio Quartararo has bounced back to dominate the Misano MotoGP test, finishing half a second clear of the field, and coming within 0.010-seconds of the outright lap record in doing so, in a result that bodes well for the up-coming race.

On Friday the rookie was once again top of the pile, this time ahead of the Ducati of Danilo Petrucci by nearly half a second, with Franco Morbidelli completing the top three after another impressive day for the Italian.

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Fabio Quartararo – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Once more it was a scorcher on the Riviera de Rimini as the sun beat down on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the second and final day of the two-day test. And as Petronas Yamaha SRT continued their almost-dominance at the top, Yamaha overall continued their solid showing.

For Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Valentino Rossi was seen leaving pitlane with what looked like a carbon covered front brake on one of his YZR-M1s. Teammate Maverick Viñales was on track with the double exhaust again today as well, seemingly doing a comparison with the ‘normal’ Yamaha exhaust.

Valentino Rossi

“First we tested the prototype of the 2020 bike, but after that we focused more on some new stuff that we can also use in the last part of the current season. The test overall was not so bad because we improved the rear grip, the acceleration, and I feel good, and we are competitive.”

MotoGP Test Misano D Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019
Maverick Vinales

“We tried to work a lot for the race. We worked all the time on the set-up, especially to try to improve on the first laps of the race. Today has been a bit more positive than yesterday, so I‘m quite happy and pleased about the test. We especially improved in the hotter conditions. I‘ve been riding a lot when the temperatures were higher, trying to do a race simulation, and my pace is quite good, so I‘m actually really pleased with that.”

MotoGP Test Misano D Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

The Spaniard was also back to using the usual tail on both of his bikes on Friday as he ended the test P6, just under a second back from Quartararo. ‘The Doctor’ had climbed into the top three in the closing stages, only to be displaced by Petrucci’s late time attack to end the day fourth at his home track.

Ducati shot up the timesheets on the second day with Petrucci. He and teammate Andrea Dovizioso were out testing with one of their two bikes having the swingarm attachment. In addition, the two Italians were both using the wheel covers on their GP19s, with test rider Michele Pirro displaying a slightly different looking Ducati belly pan. Pirro finished 15th on the timesheets, Dovizioso was 17th.

Danilo Petrucci

“These were two very important days because in view of the different conditions of the asphalt with less grip, being able to test at the same track we will race on in two weeks’ time allowed us to understand lots of things for the race. We did a lot of interesting tests and I’m satisfied with the work we’ve done even though for sure we’ll have to improve in the race weekend. In any case I’m pleased with my pace and confident about the upcoming GP.”

MotoGP Test Misano D Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019
Andrea Dovizioso

“Luckily I managed to do a day and a half of testing and physically I’m OK. In the last few days we did a good job at home: I was able to get back into good shape and here I managed to lap on track, even though I still feel a bit knocked about. It was very important to test here, because we found a track that was quite different to last year, with not so much grip and because there were also all the other riders. We were able to do a lot of interesting tests in view of the race, both with the material available and with the set-up. I’m not entirely satisfied with our speed but it was important to get out on track in this test; we did it so now we’ll prepare well to get ready during the race weekend.”

MotoGP Test Misano D Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Jack Miller meanwhile, was the lunchtime leader and he even ended his test at midday, the Australian encountering an issue with his number one bike during the morning. The number 43 was mainly working on his race pace and stability in the high-speed corners, something he says he struggled with a bit at Silverstone.

Miller also said he and the team had found a little bit of direction in that department; good news ahead of the Grand Prix weekend. Teammate Francesco Bagnaia was also mainly working on race setup, and the rookie had a positive-looking test on board his GP18 as the Pramac duo finished up fifth and seventh respectively. Tito Rabat also put his Ducati in P12 after a solid day’s work.

Takaaki Nakagami was the fastest Honda rider at the Misano Test, the Japanese rider putting in his fastest laps towards the end of Day 2 to sit P8 on the timesheets. In the Repsol Honda garage, as well as having two Repsol liveried bikes, Championship leader Marc Marquez had HRC test rider Stefan Bradl’s bike at his disposal on Friday as he ended the test P10.

Marquez rode a blacked-out Honda on Thursday and today it was the turn of Bradl to have a go, with Cal Crutchlow also having a black Honda on his side of the garage on Day 2. Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo didn’t ride on Day 2 as he continues to recover from injury.

Marc Marquez

“It was quite a busy test for us as we are already starting to work for 2020. First of all we did a bit of work for the end of the 2019 season to make sure we can finish it in a good way. Then we moved to trying some components for 2020. Overall it was a good test and we worked well and in a precise way to get the most out of our time on track. I was feeling good with the bike over these two days so we were able to understand a lot.”

MotoGP Test Misano D Marquez
Marc Marquez – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Meanwhile at Team Suzuki Ecstar, Joan Mir finished the test in P11 as the Spaniard continued to get back up to speed following his huge Brno Test crash. “Some new parts”, settings and grip was Mir’s main aim, and the rookie ended the test ahead of British GP winner Alex Rins, who had a low key time on the timesheets at least.

Joan Mir

“My feeling on the bike was good, and today went even better than yesterday, which actually was already above expectations. I’m not yet at 100%, so now I feel tired, but we were able to make a positive test without compromising the technical work. Now I have two weeks to rest a bit more and to train to get ready for the GP. We worked mostly on the settings of the bike; nothing special apart getting the feeling.”

MotoGP Test Misano D joan mir
Joan Mir – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019
Alex Rins

“I think it was a really positive test for us, we tried a lot of things including the different chassis which we already tried at the Montmelo Test. We also tried a swingarm and some electronic settings, as well as some new tyres that Michelin gave us. So, in general, it was positive. I’m not concerned by the lap times I’ve set during this test, there are no prizes for setting the quickest time, and there’s no point pushing to the limit when you’re trying to test new things.”

MotoGP Test Misano D alex rins
Alex Rins – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Aprilia ended the second day in the top ten. Aleix Espargaro was ninth quickest on his Aprilia Racing Team Gresini machine as the Italian brand continue working towards 2020, although the Spaniard suffered two crashes during the morning session on Day 2. Teammate Andrea Iannone confirmed the team were working more in the direction of next year’s package and the Italian ended the test in P14.

MotoGP Test Misano D Iannone
Andrea Iannone – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Some of the headlines, however, remain reserved for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. MotoGP Legend Dani Pedrosa got a full day of testing done for Austrian factory KTM, with the three-time World Champion trying a tail unit that was similar to what Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco used at the opening round of the season, something Pedrosa also used at the Barcelona Test earlier in the year.

MotoGP Test Misano D Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

KTM did confirm they tested things they think they will use in the coming races and Pedrosa finished the day as the quickest KTM rider, with Dovizioso splitting him from Espargaro on the timesheets. Espargaro also crashed in the morning. Hafizh Syahrin was behind the number 44, and his teammate Miguel Oliveira remains absent to recover from his Silverstone crash.

MotoGP Test Misano D Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – Misano MotoGP Test Day 2, 2019 – Image by Lukas Leitner

Jorge Lorenzo’s test was cut short after experiencing some pain while on the bike during running on Thursday morning. Lorenzo and the team elected to limit his testing to give Lorenzo the maximum amount of time possible to recover physically ahead of the Misano race, September 15. Before ending his test, Lorenzo was able to complete 31 laps as he assessed the Honda RC213V around the 4.2km long Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Jorge Lorenzo

“Unfortunately I didn’t feel great and I had quite a lot of pain on the bike, even more than in Silverstone. We were able to make 20 laps in Silverstone and everyone was very pleased, but it took a lot of effort from me physically and I had some more inflammation and pain after the race. It improved a bit, but I am still hurting too much on the bike so we decided together with the team to finish the test early and to arrive at the Misano race in the best condition possible. Even with the limited running we were able to try some new parts like the chassis.”

MotoGP Test Misano D Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

That’s a wrap for testing at Misano, with plenty of talking points to take us into the next race at the same track!

Source: MCNews.com.au

Quartararo tops Misano Test Day 1 | Morbidelli P2

MotoGP 2019

Misano Official MotoGP Test Day 1

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli set the pace on Day 1 of the Misano Test, the Frenchman’s 1:32.996 in the afternoon enough to pip teammate by just 0.023 and dropping him into the 1:32s.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Fri Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

The Petronas Yamaha SRT duo duo sit over two tenths clear of third-fastest Marc Marquez at the end of the first day of track action, with the reigning Champion the only non-Yamaha in the top five.

On a sunny opening day at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, neither Quartararo nor Morbidelli were testing anything in particular, but they both lit up the timesheets. It was the rookie’s first visit to the venue on a premier class machine so the main aim was to find the best setup for the Grand Prix weekend, with electronics the main goal for Friday. Morbidelli, meanwhile, wanted to test the Michelin tyres to find the best balance, with the aim of improving grip.

MotoGP Test Misano D Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales were trying a second version of Yamaha’s 2020 engine, having tried a first one at the Brno Test. Viñales and Rossi finished fourth and fifth respectively to place all four Yamahas inside the top five.

The Iwata factory rolling out a different exhaust, similar to Suzuki’s double exhaust setup, as well as a carbon swingarm and a carbon cover on the front brake. ‘The Doctor’ had three bikes in his garage, while Viñales was out testing the front aero that was seen in Brno and the new tail unit we also saw in Czechia.

MotoGP Test Misano D Marquez
Marc Marquez – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Championship leader Marquez had three bikes at his disposal for most of the day and then four by the end of play, with fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow given three to play with. Marquez’ completely black bike seemed to have a cover on the swingarm, while there was also some carbon reinforcement at the top of the chassis.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl was also on track with two bikes to use, one in Repsol colours and one in his usual HRC livery. The German was also on track with EG 0,0 Marc VDS duo Alex Marquez and Xavi Vierge on Wednesday, and now continues his program.

Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, is still suffering from pain, reporting it was worse than at Silverstone. The five-time World Champion decided to end Day 1 slightly early as he continues his comeback from injury.

MotoGP Test Misano D Pirro
Michele Pirro – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

At Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso was back on his GP19 in the afternoon session having been declared fit to ride earlier in the day, as were Quartararo and Joan Mir.

Ducati Team Manager Davide Tardozzi said the Italian’s testing plan was cancelled as ‘DesmoDovi’ checks his physical condition on the bike after his Silverstone crash. Teammate Danilo Petrucci, though, was testing electronics and test rider Michele Pirro had new chassis parts and settings to try, with the fairing he used at the KymiRing seen out at Misano on Thursday. In addition, Petrucci, Pirro and Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller had the swingarm attachment back on their bikes.

MotoGP Test Misano D Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019 – Image by Lukas Leitner

At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, it was a very positive day on the timesheets. Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco finished 6th and 8th respectively, with the duo both working towards the race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

MotoGP Test Misano D Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019 – Image by Lukas Leitner

As always, KTM are constantly developing the RC16 and while working on race setup, the Austrian factory were also busy working on the chassis and engine. In the afternoon, test rider Dani Pedrosa took to the track before the MotoGP Legend does a full day of riding at the venue on Friday, with Zarco only riding on Thursday.

MotoGP Test Misano D Pol Espargaro Dani Pedrosa
Pol Espargaro & Dani Pedrosa – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019 – Image by Lukas Leitner

On the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 side, Miguel Oliveira’s test ended after two laps as the Portuguese rider was still feeling the pain from his Silverstone crash. He flew home on Thursday, with Hafizh Syahrin the sole machine for the squad on track from then on, aiming to regain his confidence on the RC16.

MotoGP Test Misano D Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019 – Image by Lukas Leitner

In the Team Suzuki Ecstar garage, it was a return to action for Joan Mir after his injury layoff. The Spaniard finished P9 on the timesheets with a best time of 1:33.763 to finish 0.767 off Quartararo’s lap.

Joan Mir

“I am happy to be back and feel the MotoGP thrill again! I’ve spent the last weeks at home, after the accident in Brno, in order to have time to recover. The decision to miss the British GP was the correct one, but I must say that I really missed being at the race. The team had huge success with Alex, it was pretty clear that the GSX-RR was well-suited to Silverstone’s layout. I felt frustrated being at home on my couch, but of course I felt proud and happy for Alex and the Team! Finally, I got back on the bike and my feeling is good, I did an effective rehab and recuperation job, and with the training last week I now feel almost 100% fit. Despite this, I arrived at the circuit this morning feeling like a rookie again, being aware that I needed to take it easy and take time to recover the feeling. I was impressed to see that I just needed two or three corners in the first run to start enjoying the feel like before. This allowed us to start testing some items and prepare for the Misano GP.”

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Joan Mir – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

Teammate and British GP winner Alex Rins was testing some settings for the race weekend, as well as checking parts on the swingarm, some electronics and a slightly different chassis they used in Brno to do some comparison work. Rins also suffered a crash at Turn 8 near the end of the morning session.

Alex Rins

“Honestly I’m very happy to already be back riding! After only 4 days I’m still feeling the thrill of the victory in Silverstone, and I’m fully enjoying these sensations on my Suzuki. Today we did a good job, we tried several options and worked on consistency. Finally, we didn’t have time to fit a soft tyre and try for the best lap, this is something we will have to work on tomorrow. We’re already thinking ahead to the San Marino GP, so we need to finalise a good setup for this tyre option as the white-striped tyre was the tyre choice of last year’s race.”

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Alex Rins – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

According to Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Technical Manager Romano Albesiano, his team were trying a very different setup on the RS-GP. In addition, both Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone were working on electronics, engine braking, the swingarm and the chassis. Espargaro finished 12th fastest with a best time of 1:33.842, with Iannone claiming P17.

Reale Avintia Racing’s Karel Abraham left the circuit early as he was suffering from injury. The Czech rider was on the bike in the morning, with teammate Tito Rabat completing an impressive 74 laps in the afternoon. The Spaniard will complete a full day of testing on Friday.

MotoGP Test Misano D Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – Misano MotoGP Test Day 1, 2019

In terms of tyres, Michelin provided the teams with the same allocation as they will have for the race weekend. In addition, the tyre manufacturer gave the riders the new rear that had previously been testing in Barcelona and Brno in a medium compound. And, there was also a new front casing, which has been developed to improve grip under braking. This was tested for the first time on Thursday.

That’s Day 1 complete at Misano, with plenty hustle and bustle up and down pitlane. They’ll be back out for another action-packed day on Friday

2019 Misano MotoGP Test – Day 1 Combined

# Rider Team Time Gap
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:32.996
2 Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:33.019 0.023
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1:33.222 0.226
4 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1:33.247 0.251
5 Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1:33.296 0.3
6 Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:33.588 0.592
7 Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:33.690 0.694
8 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:33.763 0.767
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1:33.777 0.781
10 Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1:33.802 0.806
11 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:33.842 0.846
12 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1:33.854 0.858
13 Michele PIRRO Ducati Test Team 1:33.940 0.944
14 Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1:33.945 0.949
15 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:34.134 1.138
16 Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1:34.242 1.246
17 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:34.243 1.247
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1:34.411 1.415
19 Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1:34.599 1.603
20 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1:34.644 1.648
21 Stefan BRADL HRC Team 1:34.774 1.778
22 Dani PEDROSA  Red Bull KTM Factory Racing  1:34.976 1.98

Source: MCNews.com.au

MotoGP testing gets underway at Finland’s KymiRing

MotoGP 2019

KymiRing Test – Finland

MotoGP has landed in Finland to test out the new KymiRing circuit across two days, with riders heading out on track for the first time, alongside press conferences on the riders and officials first thoughts.

The opening day was unfortunately wet and there was an immediate change to the program, with the timetable for the MotoGP runners changed to later in the day to try and avoid some of the worst of the rain. That meant it was the local heroes up first to try out the track, instead of at the end of the day.

MotoGP KymiRing Test Day Kymring Riders Conf
MotoGP riders at a pre-test conference – KymiRing MotoGP Test 2019

That trend of home heroes first continued once the green light was on for the premier class test, with Mika Kallio out first on the KTM RC16 – with the latest chassis – to greet the fans who had flocked to the circuit to witness premier class motorcycle action in Finland for the first time since 1982. All six test riders eventually got a taste of the circuit though, despite conditions being far from ideal with rain falling throughout the day.

Mika Kallio

“I think for everyone if you can race at home it’s something special absolutely, and I was the first guy out with the MotoGP machine today so that’s cool to be the first to make those laps. I agree with what the guys have said, some parts of the track are quite slow, at the moment and especially in these conditions and new tarmac, with water…it was quite slippery all the time and there we couldn’t quite get the right feeling. But hopefully tomorrow it’ll be dry and we’ll get more impression how the racetrack is.”

Aprilia’s Bradley Smith was the next out on track and the British rider was fastest at lunchtime with the first sub-two-minute lap.

Bradley Smith

“This is a different track, very different to anything we’ve seen before, quite tight and twisty and a little bit slow in places, but we also have places like Silverstone where it’s flat out everywhere – sometimes it’s good to have a complete different end of the spectrum. Also we have three different categories! It’s not just for MotoGP and I think those smaller bikes will really fit this race track. Let’s see tomorrow. There are a lot of off camber corners here which makes it difficult for the riders, it’s a technical challenge.”

MotoGP KymiRing Test Day Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith – KymiRing MotoGP Test 2019

Ducati’s Michele Pirro and Honda’s Stefan Bradl were up next, with Bradl continuing development work on the carbon-reinforced chassis but also making some unwanted history by becoming the first rider to crash at the KymiRing as he went down at the final corner, rider OK.

Stefan Bradl

“Unfortunately we weren’t lucky with the weather, which was the biggest problem today. So I hope tomorrow it’s dry and we can get more impressions of this race track. It’s a very interesting track, it’s good to get some laps in the wet and so far so good! I’m looking forward to tomorrow because there will be better conditions and I think that will be better for everyone – spectators and us as riders, we’ll have more fun and enjoy this atmosphere here.”

MotoGP KymiRing Test Day Bradl
Stefan Bradl – KymiRing MotoGP Test 2019

The German was also spotted as having a ‘salad box’ fitted to both bikes in his garage, which was last seen at the Sepang Official Test at the start of 2019.

Michele Pirro

“It’s a really nice track, it’s been difficult to understand in wet conditions! I hope conditions are better tomorrow and dry, that’s important. But I think the first part, it’s fast and really nice, the second part is slow but interesting and I like it. I hope tomorrow we can do some laps in the dry, but it’s a great track for MotoGP.”

MotoGP KymiRing Test Day Pirro
Michele Pirro – KymiRing MotoGP Test 2019

Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli and Yamaha’s Jonas Folger were the last to try out the KymiRing later in the day, getting a taster before more action is expected tomorrow – as well as better conditions. Track time will be 11:00 to 18:00 local time, with young Finnish riders on track the hour before.

Sylvain Guintoli

“The first part is good, Turn 1 to Turn 3, I like that bit a lot, you go down then up into the braking before the straight. I love it here in Finland, I’ve never been before and it’s been nice to visit the place. I like countryside so I’m happy here!”

Officials talk KymiRing

MotoGP KymiRing Test Day L R Carlos Ezpeleta Tapio Nevala Jorge Viegas Kari O Sohlberg Timo Pohjola Aki Ajo
L-R: Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna Sports); Tapio Nevala (Finnish Motorcycle Federation); Jorge Viegas (FIM); Kari O. Sohlberg (Board of KymiRing);Timo Pohjola (KymiRing Circuit Director); Aki Ajo (Ajo Motorsport).
Jorge Viegas, President of the FIM

“Finland is a country with a lot of tradition in motorsport. It’s on the way, I have been in this position, managing works on a circuit in my country 20 years ago, so I know what it feels like to have journalists coming, Dorna and the FIM coming…I know how it feels! But everything is going well, and I think it’s a privilege to be here for the first time.”

Tapio Nevala, President of the Finnish Motorcycle Federation

“It’s a big dream to have MotoGP bikes in Finland, my heart has been pounding. It’s very important for us, for Finnish motorsport. A MotoGP race is important for our sport and for Nordic motorsport, as well as it being important for this whole area.”

Timo Pohjola, KymiRing Circuit Director

“We continue the work on infrastructure, we don’t have green on the circuit at the moment so we’ll raise the standard of the facility. A lot of work needs to be done, we have one year to do everything but the most important thing is that for safety reasons, especially, that we can have the test here. Because after that we know exactly where we will have everything like the curbs. So that’s important for us but also for the teams, that’s the meaning of testing. But overall I’m very happy, it’s been a long journey and I know many of you will recognise these words from a driver once: ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!’”

Aki Ajo, Ajo Motorsport

“We’ve been dreaming for years about this, to have this kind of track and to have the chance to have a MotoGP race in Finland. It was a special feeling for me this morning that I woke up in my own bed before a MotoGP test, which doesn’t happen very often! But seriously, it’s really important to have first track action here, now is the time to see what they need to do to finalise everything here so we can have a great race.”

Carlos Ezpeleta, Senior Sporting Director at Dorna Sports

“I visited for the first time with Franco Uncini a few years ago and honestly, it’s a great place and I have to congratulate everyone for the work they’ve done because it’s very impressive that we have bikes on track today. I know these past months have been hard for them and I must congratulate them because the job they’ve done is of a high standard. We’re very happy to have Finland back on the calendar, it’s one of the countries with a lot of history in motorsport as has been said, and we know that the requirements for a MotoGP track are very high, both on track and off, and the plan is to accommodate all of them so we’re very happy.”

Source: MCNews.com.au

Vinales tops 2019 Catalunya MotoGP Test from Morbidelli

MotoGP 2019

Official Catalunya Test

While Maverick Vinales topped the Barcelona test, Aleix Espargaró – involved in an accident the previous day – was confirmed to have suffered a micro-fracture to the femur and an injury to the left tibia, with significant damage to the ligaments ruled out for the moment, meaning Aleix can begin recovery quickly. The situation with the knee will be assessed in the coming days in anticipation of the Assen race. Espargaró’s goal is to be back in the saddle as soon as possible.

MotoGP Catalunya Test Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaró – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Aleix Espargaro

“I’m relieved since the medical check-up showed a better situation than we had initially expected. In any case, I’m sorry to have missed this day of testing. My goal is to begin recovery as soon as possible and speed up my return to the saddle, compatibly with the feedback from the doctors. They told me that in a couple days I’ll be able to get back to cycling and I’m counting down the hours!”

Maverick Viñales meanwhile finished the official Barcelona Test at the top of the timesheets after setting a 1:38.967 at the end of the play, the Spaniard completing a whopping 98 laps to finish 0.047 faster than second place Franco Morbidelli, with Catalan GP race winner Marc Marquez third.

Maverick Vinales – P1

“I’m quite satisfied about the test, not because of the lap time, but because of the way we handled this test, because it was important to try many things. The whole team put in hard work and we changed many parts of the bike. To end at the top is important for us, also for the mechanics, who worked very hard today. But the most important thing is that my feeling on the bike was really good and let’s see if we can keep this momentum, which we had here in Barcelona, going at the next race in Assen. We changed the settings on the bike quite a lot because we think we found one area here that helped us for the race, and it seemed to work, so we will continue to work in that direction and get more confidence on the bike. The feedback on the new Michelin tyres is good. The grip from the tyres is good, so I was able to do really good laps, and I hope they will bring these tyres in the future, because for our bike that will help a lot. But for now we are in 2019 and we keep improving race by race.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Vinales JR
Maverick Vinales – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Franco Morbidelli – P2

“Today we had the opportunity to work on aspects of the bike that we didn’t have the chance to look at during the race weekend. In particular, we tested different electronics set-ups. We took a step forward with engine braking, especially in the afternoon, so this has been a very positive point of this test. I’m also very happy with the results from the tyres we tested, and I think it is a step in the right direction. Today has been a positive day for us and we hope to be able to use everything we tried today at Assen – especially the electronics.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Both Viñales and teammate Valentino Rossi weren’t testing anything big in Barcelona, with the team expecting to have some more parts at the Brno test.

Valentino Rossi – P14

“We tried some different things, especially with the electronics, traction control, and engine brake, to make some improvements. We also tried some mechanical things, some parts on the bike. Some things were good, others normal, but overall, we found something positive. We worked a bit with an eye on the future, also for next year and also for the next race, so we noticed a small difference already and I hope we can be faster. The Michelin tyres are fantastic! They did a good job, because they improved the grip in acceleration. You can open the throttle earlier and go faster, so the new tyres are better.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Rossi headed out with the new exhaust and a finger operated rear brake to finish P14 on the timesheets, 1.001 from Viñales’ time, with Fabio Quartararo working on his starts and testing Michelin’s new tyre compounds – the Frenchman was 5th fastest.

Fabio Quartararo – P5

“Today we tried out some changes to the electronics, some different settings for Assen and some new tyre compounds that have been brought here specially for the test. We haven’t put in many laps, since today I felt that my arm was very stiff after a weekend of riding. However, it was a positive day because we were able to work more thoroughly on the electronics, something that is always interesting to manage. In addition, I think we found something special on corner exit that can help us to prolong the life of the tyres at the end of the race. We hope to be able to put it into practice at the coming races.”

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Marquez had three HRC bikes at his disposal for the test: one standard, one with a carbon covered frame and one that looks to be Takaaki Nakagami’s 2018 model. The number 93 completed 80 laps on Monday, but it wasn’t all so smooth.

Marc Marquez – P3

“It has been a very good test and we were able to get a lot of information after trying a few different things for the future. We were looking at not only this year but also the future and what direction we need to take. We looked at both 2020 and also the second half of the season. We tried a new chassis and some new aerodynamics looking to try something for the future. Like always, there were some positives and also some negatives with everything. In the afternoon we made another step and we’ll see how we can use it in Assen.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Marquez
Marc Marquez – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Marquez crashed at Turn 4, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo going down at Turn 9 – riders ok. In the LCR Honda garage, Nakagami got to try a 2019-spec RC213V, with Cal Crutchlow having some aerodynamic parts to test for HRC – Lorenzo also circulated with a new aero package.

Takaaki Nakagami – P7

“It was a very important test for us today, because we tested the 2019 Honda RC213V – actually one of my team-mate Cal’s. We only did three or four short outings in the afternoon, but HRC asked me to test it and it was positive. During the season, during races and practices I have seen the differences when fighting with the factory Hondas, and today I got chance to jump on it, which I enjoyed. It’s a good package and I’m really happy that HRC gave me the opportunity to test it, I’d like to thank them for that. The lap times were good with my 2018 bike as well as the 2019 machine, so that’s a positive too. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU team have done a great job. Having finished this test in a decent way, I’m really looking forward to Assen now as it’s a track I’ve had success at before. However, our target is still trying to put together the best package we can, and to show the best of our abilities. I like the layout in the Netherlands, and even if it is physically hard the straight isn’t too long and our bike handles well. The only concern will be the weather, but you can’t control this!”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Takaaki Nakagami G
Takaaki Nakagami – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Cal Crutchlow – P10

“Overall we’re happy. We’ve been doing a lot of work today. We had a lot of small items to test, and we were evaluating the setting of the bike from the last race to the one yesterday because they were completely different set-ups. Again, I can do the same lap time on both settings, so we are none the wiser in that area. I felt good with the bike today, just as I did in the race yesterday. We’ve assessed some parts for Honda and had some good results. As always with testing, there have been positives and negatives, but that’s why we do it!”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Crutchlow G
Cal Crutchlow – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Jorge Lorenzo – P17

“The crash affected my speed and my stamina a lot during the test, it was a very big crash at Turn 9 and I rolled a lot in the gravel. I was lucky not to break anything and I’ve had pain in my elbows, fingers and back all day but we needed to keep working. We worked more on the ergonomics and on some small chassis details, some things for the next races and some things for next year. I want to say thank you again to Honda for organising the trip to Japan we had and their rapid developments.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Rins was testing an upgrade to Suzuki’s chassis, the same one that test rider Guintoli used throughout the weekend at the Catalan GP. After earning his best premier class finish on Sunday, Joan Mir wasn’t testing anything in particular, just different settings as he continues to adapt to life in MotoGP.

Alex Rins – P4

“Today I found that the modified chassis had a lot of positive points, but also there are some things about it that I would like to improve. There’s not a lot to change with it, but we will evaluate it further to try and get the best from it. I’ve done quite a lot of laps today and in general I think we can feel very positive about the way things are going.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test alex rins
Alex Rins – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Joan Mir – P8

“I’m happy because I’ve improved my general pace and my fast lap pace. We’ve worked well all day, improving every area of the bike a little bit. We didn’t focus on any one thing really, more just my overall feeling with bike and building my experience up.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test joan mir
Joan Mir – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Francesco Bagnaia was the leading Ducati rider on Monday in Barcelona, the reigning Moto2 World Champion finishing 6th quickest. Bagnaia did crash at Turn 13, rider ok, with teammate Jack Miller testing a new ‘salad box’ on his GP19 – the Australian completed 60 laps and finished P9.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya QP Miller
Jack Miller – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

In the factory Ducati garage, Andrea Dovizioso was on track with a carbon reinforced chassis, similar to that of the GP18. Dovi was 12th, with teammate Danilo Petrucci 0.008 faster in 11th.

Danilo Petrucci – P11

“I’m satisfied with how this test went. We tried several upgrades in terms of chassis, electronics and aerodynamics, finding some solutions that gave me better sensations on the bike. In particular, we improved the feeling with the front and mid-corner turning. The track may have been a bit quicker compared to yesterday, but we were fast with used tyres, which is never something to take for granted. We’ll utilize some of these upgrades starting from next round at Assen, where we’ll resume from this base to keep the positive momentum.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Andrea Dovizioso – P12

“It’s been a positive test, in which we focused on several areas. We tried some new tyres brought by Michelin ahead of the next races, and a chassis upgrade that gave us a good feeling especially in corner entry, even though we’ll be able to gauge its true advantages only during a race. Yesterday didn’t go as planned, but it’s important to keep working hard to understand where we have more room for improvement and to further increase our competitiveness. Starting from Assen, we’ll try to use these upgrades to our advantage.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had three riders at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with MotoGP Legend Dani Pedrosa joining Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco. Pedrosa was testing what looked like a new tail unit, with Zarco finishing as the fastest KTM in P15. Espargaro crashed at Turn 2, rider ok.

Johann Zarco – P15

“I got a new chassis and a different seat to try and improve. It is not an easy job because when I change things I feel better but it is not immediately visible so I need to push myself to get the faster lap-time and use the parts. I improved today compared to my qualifying time on Saturday so I am quite happy. Everyone was very fast today and it was pretty tough but we must keep working hard. I’m quite satisfied.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Pol Espargaro – P16

“We tried a lot of chassis parts and also electronics because we had problems at the weekend through Turns 12 and 13. I had a small crash and could not make a faster time. We’ll have to see in the races to come if we have found some more improvements but we did some work on the aerodynamics and other aspects such as the change of direction with the bike. I’m happy. The bike we finished the race with here we will use in Holland because we have a good package and it will be interesting to see what we have now works in cooler conditions.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini were one rider short after Aleix Espargaro’s crash on Sunday in Barcelona. Teammate Andrea Iannone was seen trying a carbon swingarm, with the Italian and test rider Bradley Smith completing a combined 164 valuable laps for Aprilia.

Reale Avinita Racing’s Karel Abraham had to jump off his Ducati after it caught fire at Turn 4 – rider ok.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin were also back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with premier class rookie Oliveira doing 61 laps in total with a fastest time of 1:40.862 minutes. Syahrin clocked a 1:41.162 after doing 52 laps in the Catalan sunshine.

Miguel Oliveira – P20

“Today has been a very productive day. We confirmed some parts that we already tried in the past, but because it was in race condition, we couldn’t really validate, what we tested and we did some tyre tests for Michelin and finally we also tried some different setups suggested by KTM.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test
Hafizh Syahrin – P22

“This has been a truly good test. I was able to improve my riding a bit, but we had to start a bit later with a mechanical problem on the bike. Everybody already set a time in the morning, therefore, we were not concentrating on doing a fast lap anymore. I didn’t use many new tyre, but a new one from Michelin, which was really good and even better than the one we chose in the race. I was able to do very consistent laps. I know, they are still far off, but with the race condition from yesterday, it would have been very good. Overall, this test has been positive. We also tried some things with the electronic, which was a bit better, but also the same at some places. We need to keep working hard and try to be better in Assen next time out. I’m happy with this test.”

MotoGP Catalunya Test Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin – 2019 MotoGP Catalunya Test

Catalunya MotoGP Test – Day 1 Sessions

  1. Maverick VIÑALES SPA YAMAHA 1’38.967
  2. Franco MORBIDELLI ITA, YAMAHA 1’39.014
  3. Marc MARQUEZ SPA, HONDA 1’39.257
  4. Alex RINS SPA, SUZUKI 1’39.334
  5. Fabio QUARTARARO FRA, YAMAHA 1’39.428
  6. Francesco BAGNAIA ITA, DUCATI 1’39.466
  7. Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN, HONDA 1’39.555
  8. Joan MIR SPA, SUZUKI 1’39.670
  9. Jack MILLER AUS, DUCATI 1’39.745
  10. Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR, HONDA 1’39.903
  11. Danilo PETRUCCI ITA, DUCATI 1’39.917
  12. Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA, DUCATI 1’39.925
  13. Tito RABAT SPA, DUCATI 1’39.938
  14. Valentino ROSSI ITA, YAMAHA 1’39.968
  15. Johann ZARCO FRA, KTM 1’40.197
  16. Pol ESPARGARO SPA, KTM 1’40.201
  17. Jorge LORENZO SPA, HONDA 1’40.357
  18. Bradley SMITH GBR, APRILIA 1’40.564
  19. Andrea IANNONE ITA, APRILIA 1’40.606
  20. Miguel OLIVEIRA POR, KTM 1’40.862
  21. Karel ABRAHAM CZE, DUCATI 1’41.100
  22. Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL, KTM 1’41.162
  23. Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA, SUZUKI 1’41.243
  24. Stefan BRADL GER, HONDA 1’41.429
  25. Dani PEDROSA SPA, KTM 1’41.824

Source: MCNews.com.au

2019 MotoGP Test Day One Results | Notes | Images

2019 MotoGP Test Day One

Maverick Viñales (Yamaha Factory Racing) took the first honours of 2019 track action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, setting the quickest time of 1:31.416 to head 2018 World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) by 0.302, with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) third on the timesheets.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Onlookers also witnessed Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and others get to grips with their new machines – although it was an earlier end to the day than anticipated after rain cut action short in the late afternoon.

The day also began with similar weather problems, with the skies dry but the track a little damp, and that delayed proceedings a little. Once it did get underway, the day ushered in a new era.

At the Repsol Honda Team, Marquez was a threat near the top for much of the day and the reigning Champion had two other black-liveried bikes in the garage – a 2019 development bike and an all-new bike for the coming season.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

But arguably the biggest talking point from the test was Lorenzo’s debut on an RC213V machine. The five-time World Champion didn’t head out until around 1pm local time, but eventually completed 30 laps before rain stopped play at around 15:20.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Still not up to full fitness after his wrist injury, Lorenzo ended Day 1 with the 18th fastest time; his 1:32.959 was 1.543 off Viñales as he begins his adaptation from Ducati to Honda.

Marc Marquez

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Viñales was the later improver to take to the top. The Spaniard’s main focus was on the engine, and he began with some time on the ‘old’ bike before changing to a new engine option which helped put him on the top of the timesheets. 

Maverick Viñales

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Teammate Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, was also near the top – and he had positive things to say about the engine he tried, that it stresses the tyre less. He also gave a peek of what he’ll be working on tomorrow – another spec.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

“Today we tried one (engine) and tomorrow we’ll try the other one, which is similar but different. Tomorrow, the most important thing is try the second spec. For me, these two tests are not crucial, but are important. We have time until next February to choose the engine, but in this test we can give a good indication to work more in one way.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Ducati was a slightly different story, with 2017 and 2018 runner-up Andrea Dovizioso left a little frustrated after Day 1. With no dry laptimes from the weekend as a reference, the Italian worked on an updated GP18 to lay down some laps to use as a comparison for the new bike – but then it rained.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Tomorrow the number 04 will be looking to get that base and then begin work in earnest if the weather proves better, but he did finish Day 1 only 0.001 off Rossi.

Andrea Dovizioso

“Unfortunately the day wasn’t very productive 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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

On the other side of the garage, newcomer Danilo Petrucci described it as the first day at school as he debuts in factory colours, and had no negatives to report back.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Danilo Petrucci

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Test rider Michele Pirro, meanwhile – the only rider to crash on the opening day – headed out on a GP19 for 19 laps to set the tenth fastest time, 0.804 from the top.

Michele Pirro

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Pirro
Michele Pirro

Behind Dovizioso, LCR Honda Castrol’s replacement rider Stefan Bradl completed the top five after 51 laps, putting in a 1:32.015, with teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) a little further down the timesheets in P13.

In sixth came one of the most impressive performances of the day from new team on the grid Petronas Yamaha SRT. Franco Morbidelli, fresh from being crowned 2018 Rookie of the Year, was only two tenths off Rossi and using a hybrid of Johann Zarco’s former 2018 bike with a new engine from the factory.

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.”

And on his first ever outing on a MotoGP machine, teammate Fabio Quartararo was able to get 38 laps under his belt to set a quickest time of 1:33.850 – 2.434 off Viñales. The biggest change? The Frenchman reported it was the power – and where he has to brake in the premier class compared to the intermediate.

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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was satisfied and positive after Day 1, too. The Spaniard was working on updates and hopes the machine will be the basis of their 2019 bike, and he was up the timesheets from early in the track action and eventually finished up in P7.

Aleix Espargaro

“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.”

New teammate Andrea Iannone also took to the RS-GP for the first time. The Italian was only able to get 15 laps under his belt to as he ended the day in P19, while test rider Bradley Smith was able to get to grips with his new bike – 17 laps completed for the British rider, with a best time of 1:33.709.

Behind Aleix Espargaro and Petrucci was the hero of the hour for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing on Sunday: Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard was positive after Day 1 and ended up P9, putting in 35 laps due to the decreased track time and eager to go again tomorrow. The focus, he says, is currently on electronics – where KTM could stand to make a key gain as they aim to establish themselves as regular runners nearer the podium they took in the Grand Prix on the weekend.

New teammate Johann Zarco, meanwhile, reported a 50/50 day – the Frenchman said he initially struggled to find a base setting but is delighted with the feeling in the team and the factory support; another eager to head out again on Wednesday. Zarco was P17 overall, seven tenths off his new teammate.

The fastest rookie of the day was Francesco Bagnaia, who joins Alma Pramac Racing. He impressed in P11 just behind Pirro, and was focusing on simply putting in the laps and settling in.

Pecco Bagnaia

“Unfortunately the rain stopped us after only 38 laps. But I’m really very satisfied with this first day. Honestly, we just tried to lap as much as we could. We’ll start working on the setup tomorrow. My first feeling? The bike is impressive.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Pecco Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

His teammate Jack Miller, meanwhile, said his new bike has almost nothing in common with the old and had positive reports – although the Australian’s day was brought to an even earlier end due to a small technical problem they’ll have rectified for Day 2. Miller ended the day in P14.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Jack Miller

“Feelings are very positive. I feel that the new much is better in many ways. Unfortunately, we had a technical problem that forced us to stop the test earlier. I can’t wait to get back on track tomorrow”.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins slots into P12 after Day 1. A podium finisher on Sunday, Rins was straight back to business in testing and, much like Dovizioso at Ducati and Marquez at Honda, was about to head out to begin some key work when the rain came down. The Spaniard was suited and booted to start evaluating the Hamamatsu Factory’s new engine, but that will now be a task for tomorrow.

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Alex Rins

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Rookie teammate Joan Mir, meanwhile, ended the day in P15 just behind Jack Miller – and only a few tenths off Rins after an impressive first day of ‘official’ experience – having briefly tested the Suzuki in Japan previously.

Joan Mir

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Joan Mir
Joan Mir

Davide Brivio – Suzuki 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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Joan Mir
Joan Mir

Just behind Mir came Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing). The Spaniard, out of action since his crash at Silverstone, said he was positively surprised how he felt on the bike and his sixteenth-place finish on the first day showed once again that the former intermediate class Champion is made of steel.

His new teammate, Karel Abraham, was four-tenths off him as the Czech rider moves in one leap from a GP16 to a GP18. He spent most of the day settling in, and reported he made some big changes already.

Jonas Folger (Yamaha Test Team) was another man back in action as he begins working as a Europe-based test rider for the Iwata factory. He did 30 laps on the first day and was 0.040 ahead of Quartararo.

The final names on the timesheets were Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira, who both begin new eras – as does the Tech 3 team. Beginning a new chapter with KTM, the KTM Tech 3 Racing riders put in 20 and 33 laps respectively as the Malaysian adapts from the Yamaha and Oliveira adapts from Moto2.

Hafizh Syahrin – P24

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Miguel Oliveira – P25

“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.”

MotoGP Test Valencia Day Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Testing contines on Wednesday. 

2019 MotoGP Test Day One Times

2019 Valencia Test


Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Gap Laps
1 VIÑALES, Maverick Yamaha Factory Racing 1:31.416   33 / 39
2 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:31.718 0.302 21 / 25
3 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing 1:31.845 0.429 27 / 40
4 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:31.846 0.430 34 / 38
5 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda 1:32.015 0.599 45 / 51
6 MORBIDELLI, Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:32.085 0.669 32 / 40
7 ESPARGARO, Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:32.095 0.679 35 / 37
8 PETRUCCI, Danilo Ducati Team 1:32.100 0.684 25 / 43
9 ESPARGARO, Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.179 0.763 23 / 35
10 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Team 1:32.220 0.804 18 / 19
11 BAGNAIA, Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 1:32.396 0.980 37 / 38
12 RINS, Alex Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:32.402 0.986 30 / 32
13 NAKAGAMI, Takaaki LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1:32.539 1.123 21 / 26
14 MILLER, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 1:32.555 1.139 18 / 19
15 MIR, Joan Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:32.787 1.371 57 / 59
16 RABAT, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:32.834 1.418 28 / 36
17 ZARCO, Johann Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.835 1.419 32 / 36
18 LORENZO, Jorge Repsol Honda Team 1:32.959 1.543 28 / 30
19 IANNONE, Andrea Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:33.291 1.875 14 / 15
20 ABRAHAM, Karel Reale Avintia Racing 1:33.301 1.885 32 / 35
21 SMITH, Bradley Aprilia Racing Test Team 1:33.709 2.293 16 / 17
22 FOLGER, Jonas Yamaha Test Team 1:33.810 2.394 27 / 30
23 QUARTARARO, Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:33.850 2.434 35 / 38
24 SYAHRIN, Hafizh KTM Tech 3 Racing 1:34.233 2.817 19 / 20
25 OLIVEIRA, Miguel KTM Tech 3 Racing 1:35.118 3.702 21 / 33

Source: MCNews.com.au

A new era for MotoGP as testing for 2019 gets underway

This morning was a very big start to the next stage in many riders careers as testing got underway at Valencia ahead of MotoGP season 2019. 

For Moto2 graduates such as Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha), Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Ducati) and Miguel Oliveira (KTM) the first opportunity to get a taste of the mind-bending performance that a 1000cc MotoGP machine making almost twice the horsepower that a Moto2 can muster had to wait. Fellow debutante Joan Mir (Team Suzuki) had already thrown a leg over the GSX-RR earlier this year in Japan so he has a little head start on his fellow class of 2019 newcomers. 

Early morning rain had left the circuit damp when pit-lane opened and it was a couple of hours before any machines turned a Michelin around the 14-turn, 4.005km Circuit Ricardo Tormo, also known as Circuit de Valencia.

After a stellar year for KTM in Moto3 and Moto2 the Austrian brand double up their efforts in MotoGP for season 2019 with now four riders astride the KTM RC 16. Their testing program will also receive a major boost with Bradley Smith becoming a full-time test rider along with five wilcard appearances during the season, while Dani Pedrosa will also join KTM as an official test rider next year. 

Both Tech3 Yamaha riders have moved over to KTM with Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin in orange for 2019. It was Zarco that first braved conditions as he turned his initial familiarisation laps with the KTM RC16. The track now dry, but a moment for the 28-year-old showed that grip was still at a premium. After a couple of laps Zarco was back in to the pits for some adjustments, this first day will largely be spent getting the Frenchman comfortable on the Austrian machine. Of course the KTM is quite unique, it utilises a steel trellis frame to house its V4 engine and runs on WP suspension, so the RC16 will certainly feel very different to the Tech3 Yamaha he is familiar with. 

MotoGP Valencia Test Johann Zarco GPT AN
Johann Zarco exits pitlane on the KTM – Image by AJRN

Pol Espargaro continues with the KTM squad he rode with in 2018 while KTM’s Portuguese Moto2 rider Miguel Oliveira graduates to the premier class. With Espargaro already holding the #44 plate in MotoGP, Oliveira elected to double his regular number from Moto2 to #88 for MotoGP. 

MotoGP Tech Syahrin Oliveira
Red Bull KTMs in test livery ready for debutante Miguel Oliveira and young Malaysian star Hafizh Syahrin at Valencia

Yamaha had their troubles in season 2018 and a lot of people suggested that Yamaha’s lack of a European test team was a contributing factor to their problems. Today marks the start of a new Yamaha Factory Racing European Test Team with rider Jonas Folger. Despite a one-year absence, the 25-year old German is familiar with the YZR-M1 as he rode a Tech3 Yamaha throughout the 2017 season.

Lin Jarvis – Managing Director, Yamaha Racing

“It is no secret that Yamaha has had a challenging season in 2018. Though we made progress towards the end, we are convinced that the extra support from a European test team will be greatly beneficial to the development process of the YZR-M1. Jonas Folger will be Yamaha’s new European MotoGP test rider and he will start his duties here in Valencia during the official IRTA Test. We are very pleased to welcome him back to Yamaha‘s MotoGP programme. Jonas showed great skill and excellent speed when he was a Yamaha satellite rider in 2017. His past experience with the YZR-M1, as well as his youth and drive, will surely make him a great asset to our 2019 campaign. We look forward to having him working closely with our four MotoGP-class riders and our development engineers to further improve the YZR-M1.”

Jonas Folger Will Not Race in 2018
Jonas Folger

With Tech3 making the switch to KTM machinery Yamaha have partnered with the new Sepang International Circuit Racing Team which will race under the banner of Petronas Yamaha SRT. 2018 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Franco Morbidelli and MotoGP debutante Fabio Quartararo at the controls of latest spec YZR-M1 machinery for the Malaysian funded team. 

MotoGP Valencia Test Fabio Quartararo GPT AN
Fabio Quartararo checks out his new machine at Valencia this morning – AJRN Image

Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales both continue with the existing Movistar MotoGP Yamaha squad but the Spaniard has switched to a new crew chief.  Vinales has poached Esteban Garcia, Bradley Smith’s crew chief from KTM. The pair had previously worked together when Vinales was in Moto3 back in 2013. 

Vinales’ previous crew chief Ramon Forcada has switched to Yamaha’s new SIC Racing satellite team to work with Franco Morbidelli. The 23-year-old Italian starts the test on the YZR-M1 Maverick Vinales rode at last weekend’s Valencia MotoGP.

MotoGP Valencia Test Franco Morbidelli GPT AN
Franco Morbidelli with Ramon Forcada – Image by AJRN

Vinales made the decision to split with Forcada back in July after a frustrating season, but the Spaniard then got the monkey off his back late in the season and started scoring results, thus it will be interesting to see if he regrets his earlier frustrations that caused him to jettison the very well regarded Forcada. 

MotoGP Australia Vinales Forcada
Maverick Vinales with crew chief Ramon Forcada, Vinales sacked the well regarded technican and wanted a new crew chief after being frustrated by his lack of results in season 2018.

Over at Honda of course the big news is Jorge Lorenzo joining the Factory Repsol squad alongside World Champion Marc Marquez.

It is without doubt that Lorenzo will achieve success on the Honda, it is just a matter of how long it takes him to adapt and achieve it. We all witnessed his turn-around in form when he found a solution at Ducati, from zero to hero in one foul swoop. How long will it take him to find form on what seems to be a very difficult to ride Honda…?

As Repsol Honda fired up their machines this morning at Valencia in their first warm-up procedures it was humorous to see senior Ducati and KTM technical personnel crowd around as close as they could get to the new Honda. HRC boss Tetsuhiro Kuwata came out and made some friendly gestures suggesting that they piss off somewhere else but it all seemed in good humour, for the cameras anwyay…

At Ducati Danilo Petrucci makes the step up from the satellite Alma Pramac squad to take over Lorenzo’s spot in the Factory garage. 

Joining Jack Miller at Alma Pramac Ducati is debutante Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia. The Australian was on 2017 machinery in 2018, and will jump straight to the latest 2019 spec’ machine for next season, bypassing the 2018 model altogether. A much smoother power delivery has been promised by Ducati for 2019. 

MotoGP Valencia Test Jack Miller GPT AN
Alma Pramac squad getting ready for action this morning at Valencia – AJRN Image

Andrea Iannone has moved from Suzuki to Aprilia where he joins Aleix Espargaro, while previous incumbent Scott Redding heads to British Superbike with Ducati. 

Taking Iannone’s spot at Suzuki is 21-year-old Spaniard Joan Mir. Alex Rins seems to be particularly excited about the prospects of the 2019 iteration of the GSX-RR with a big boost in engine performance expected for the new season. 

Tito Rabat and Karel Abraham will ride for Reale Avintia Racing Ducati.

Takaaki Nakagami and Cal Crutchlow continue with LCR Honda while at today’s test Honda test rider Stefan Bradl is also on an LCR machine. 

With all of the high profile changes and the new blood coming into the category MotoGP season 2019 has plenty of promise. The absolutely stellar season we enjoyed this year though will certainy take some beating. 

Today’s test will finish up at 0300 AEDT Wednesday morning and we will be here to report what went on tomorrow morning. At the time of publishing the piece, 2200 AEDT, there was five hours remaining on the clock, and still only Zarco had been on track to turn a couple of laps. All other riders remained in their pit garages awaiting better conditions. 

2019 MotoGP Entry List
Rider Nationality Team Machine
4 Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team Ducati
5 Johann Zarco French Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing KTM
9 Danilo Petrucci Italian Ducati Team Ducati
12 Maverick Vinales Spanish Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
17 Karel Abraham Czech Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
20 Fabio Quartararo French Petronas Yamaha Srt Yamaha
21 Franco Morbidelli Italian Petronas Yamaha Srt Yamaha
29 Andrea Iannone Italian Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
30 Takaaki Nakagami Japanese Lcr Honda Idemitsu Honda
35 Cal Crutchlow British Lcr Honda Castrol Honda
36 Joan Mir Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
41 Aleix Espargaro Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
42 Alex Rins Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
43 Jack Miller Australian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
44 Pol Espargaro Spanish Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing KTM
46 Valentino Rossi Italian Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
53 Tito Rabat Spanish Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
55 Hafizh Syahrin Malaysian Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
63 Francesco Bagnaia Italian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
88 Miguel Oliveira Portuguese Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
93 Marc Marquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda
99 Jorge Lorenzo Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda

Source: MCNews.com.au