Lorenzo fastest on Monday in 2015 MotoGP Valencia test as Marquez brothers ride together
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was Monday’s fastest rider in the 2015 MotoGP Valencia test, with the day also featuring MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez showing his brother Alex Marquez how to ride a premier class prototype.
Lorenzo’s fastest time of 1’30.975 was the best of the day as he and his teammate Valentino Rossi worked on various updates to their YZR-M1. Rossi was fourth fastest and 0.275s off Lorenzo’s time, the Italian behind Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith as Yamaha locked out the top four.
Alex Marquez got a nice present for winning the Moto3™ title on Sunday as his brother Marc Marquez rode a few laps with him on the elder brother’s Repsol Honda RC213V machines. Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was sixth fastest overall, 0.627s down on Lorenzo.
Bridgestone brought the same tyre specifications as the race weekend to help the teams with cross-referencing their data, with only the harder rear tyre featuring a slightly different spec.
Andrea Dovizioso was seventh fastest and new factory Ducati Team colleague Andrea Iannone was fifth, as they worked with a similar package to that which they ended the 2014 season on. Their 2015 bike will only be available from Sepang testing after the winter break and they therefore ended their test on Monday.
Yonny Hernandez was 10th and his new Pramac Racing teammate Danilo Petrucci was 13th as they tested only the GP14, whilst Hernandez will switch to the GP14.2 from Tuesday.
The new look CWM LCR Honda team were hard at work with new recruits Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller both on track. Crutchlow ended the day eighth on his new RC213V, with Miller further down the timesheet notching up 61 laps on a 2014 Open Honda as he adapted to MotoGP. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) ended the day 15th, as he too tested the RC213V and lapped two seconds slower than Lorenzo.
Spanish pair Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales started their Suzuki adventure with rookie Viñales in 17th – roughly a second behind his more experienced new teammate. Espargaro was 14th overall and 1.34s off P1 pace.
Evolving Aprilia machines were tested by Alex Hofmann, with Marco Melandri making an appearance late in the day for the new Factory Aprilia Gresini team. Alvaro Bautista also featured, with the Italian manufacturer experimenting with differing air intake options and a new pneumatic valve engine.
NGM Forward Racing welcomed Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz as the team focused their work on chassis and suspension, with the new riders adapting to the Forward-Yamaha package.
The test will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (10am-5pm).
After having closed the 2014 season only yesterday, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on the track less than 24 hours later to successfully test the 2015 YZR-M1 machines for the upcoming season.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team made the most of the beautiful weather at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit by starting the session with the 2014 machine. The data derived from this year’s bike was used as a point of reference once they switched to the 2015 M1 at half point.
Forty-five minutes into the five-hour long test session, Lorenzo entered the track as the eighth rider and immediately set the pace. After setting multiple fastest laps he led for most of the session with a 1’31.501. After completing seven laps he returned to the pits, but soon increased his lead further to a 1’31.421 when he returned to the track. Upon return to the pits he was pushed back by Pol Espargaro, but 2 hours and 20 minutes into the session Lorenzo retook the lead and soon improved his time to an impressive 1’30.975, making him the only rider to go under the 1’31 mark.
With two hours of the session remaining, teammate Valentino Rossi also joined his rivals on the track to have a go on the 2015 bike. It only took the nine-time World Champion five laps to reach the top five and he soon further improved his time to a 1’31.312. This was enough to shoot him up the rankings to third, just behind Lorenzo and Smith, but in front of Pol Espargarò. The Yamaha top four was leading the standings into the final hour of the first day of testing. Back in the pits Rossi got pushed back to fourth as Pol Espargarò improved. Rossi was determined to regain his position and headed back out to post some more flying laps. He was unable to improve in place, but further improved his time to a 1’31.250, just 0.275s behind his teammate.
Jorge Lorenzo – 1st / 1’30.975 / 45 laps – “I was very happy to do this test because the weather was very stable all day. There was no wind and this was good because we were able to do all the things we needed try. We tried a lot of things to reduce the weight, especially with the chassis, but it’s important to have the same feeling despite decreasing the weight. Other than that we worked on the setting and some other little things. I am satisfied because I rode the fastest lap time, even better than the times set this weekend during the Grand Prix. I didn’t ride a 1’30 before, so this means the bike is working well.”
Valentino Rossi – 4th / 1’31.250 / 42 laps – “Today the biggest news was the chassis. We tried a chassis that’s a little bit different and we didn’t expect a lot of difference, but in reality the bike is better. I felt good and it helped me with braking and entering the corners. Yamaha did a good job and I already was able to go faster than the 2014 race bike, so that’s not bad. Later we tried some other things: a different pipe, some electronics and some other things. It’s been a good day. We have to work on all the areas of the bike but especially we have to try to stress the rear tyre less and keep a better pace when the tyre has done a lot of laps.”
Massimo Meregalli – “After the end of a successful season, today we had a positive first day of testing. We used this session to get a feeling for the bike and to test some small things. Though the differences between the new 2015 bike and the 2014 one are minimal, there were some changes made on the frame and piping. We can be very satisfied with today’s results because Jorge rode an impressive lap in the 1’30’s, which is better than the times ridden this weekend. Valentino also showed a good pace and closed an all-Yamaha top four. This shows that the bike is working well.”
Repsol HRC Report
Fresh from their second successive Triple Crown, the Repsol Honda Team were back on track in Valencia today for the first official test of 2015.
After a long season, Marc decided – together with HRC – that he would not test today, and only his teammate Dani Pedrosa took to the track to begin his test programme. He began the half day test aboard his 2014 spec machine and then crossed over onto the 2015 prototype – an updated version from the Brno test earlier in the year. He completed a total of 33 laps with his best time of 1’31.602 (lap 15) placing him 6th for the day.
Instead of testing today, Marc and his brother Alex – who was crowned Moto3 World Champion yesterday – took advantage of the kind gift from HRC to Alex to test ride Marc’s MotoGP machine, in recognition of his World Title success, the first one for Honda in Moto3. The two brothers completed 12 exhibition laps on Marc’s two bikes, riding in tandem around the Valencia track.
The test will continue tomorrow and Wednesday with 2014 World Champion Marc joining the rest of the field in an official capacity tomorrow.
Dani Pedrosa – 6th – 1’31.602 – laps 33 – “On this first day of testing we put in only a few laps, just to try out some basic things. The test begins for real tomorrow, which is when we will try to find a good setup. Today we just verified that the bikes work well and that everything is in its right place.”
Marc Marquez – “It was a wonderful experience riding with Alex and following him around the track! Sometimes it got a bit too much for him to take in, which is normal because it was his first laps on a MotoGP bike. I really enjoyed myself, but also had a bit of trouble going behind him because sometimes he went a little wide. Overall, he did very well. Coming from Moto3 and completing some laps on a MotoGP bike is difficult and he surprised us with how well he adapted. Alex enjoyed this experience; we’ll see if in the future we can repeat it!”
Alex Marquez – “I am very happy to have tried the MotoGP bike. Yesterday I fulfilled a dream that I had, and today I fulfilled another. It’s not every day you can try a bike like this! I want to thank Honda and especially Shuhei Nakamoto for this opportunity that they have given me. It is a great gift after becoming Moto3 World Champion. What impressed me the most was the power that the bike has. The feeling you get when you’re on the straight is incredible and braking is amazing too, plus the time between corners is greatly reduced. At first I was a little stiff on the bike, but I think I held up well. It was a lot of fun and I ended up a little tired!”
The 2015 season got underway officially for the Ducati Team today, with Andrea Dovizioso and his new team-mate Andrea Iannone out on track at the Valencia circuit on their Desmosedici GP14.2 machines.
Both riders carried out chassis testing and were able to accumulate some useful information for the development of the new Desmosedici GP15, which will make its debut next year. The two factory riders today concluded their testing at Valencia, while Michele Pirro, test-rider for the Ducati Test Team, will continue his workload as scheduled for the next two days.
Andrea Iannone completed 39 laps on his first outing in Ducati Team colours, setting a quickest time of 1’31.465 and finishing the day in fifth place. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso managed to do 46 laps with a best time of 1’31.644, seventh overall today, while Michele Pirro finished in ninth position after setting a best time of 1’32.054 over 37 laps.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 5th 1’31.465 (39 laps) – “Today I am very happy because my first day as factory Ducati Team rider has finally arrived! I began to work with my new team and, even though we didn’t make any big changes from our race weekend, we were able to verify a number of different chassis solutions and understand what we need to do for the future. At the end of the month we will be testing again at Jerez and then I hope to spend a nice winter and get into perfect form for the new year!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 7th 1’31.644 (46 laps) – “Today we tested a few things with the chassis that we were not yet able to test on the Desmosedici GP14.2, and this work will all be useful as experience for next year. Today’s times are not to be taken as a benchmark but all things considered we went quite well.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 9th 1’32.054 (37 laps) – “It was a positive day for me, apart from my crash towards the end of the session. It’s a pity because I was going well and I could have improved on the time I set in qualifying on Saturday. Today we made further improvements with the electronics and, even though there are still a few parameters that need to be sorted out, I am satisfied. Tomorrow and Wednesday we will continue our development work here at Valencia.”
Team Suzuki MotoGP made a positive first-day test at Valencia in Spain today with new riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales aboard their 2015 GSX-RR MotoGP machines.
Twenty five-year-old Espargaro set a lap-time of 1:32.315 on his 35th of 40 laps around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo; and in his first laps aboard the machine was within 1.34-seconds away from fastest rider Jorge Lorenzo. Teenager Vinales (19) took his first-laps on the GSX-RR and set a best-time of 1:33.268 on his penultimate lap of 64.
Aleix Espargaro: “It was really fantastic. I feel the riding-position is much better compared to the one that I rode this year, and it turns very well so that braking and turning into the corners is really comfortable for me.
“We are still missing some top-end power but I was previously informed this by the Suzuki engineers and I believe that they are working on-it, but the electronic control is not too bad, obviously.
“The machine feels quite compact for me as I am quite tall, but I really enjoyed riding it and had a very positive start: I’m so exciting to continue riding it tomorrow.
Maverick Vinales: “It was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed today. It wasn’t easy to get used to the power and speed for me in the beginning, so I paid a lot of attention and concentrated at the start of the session and tried to adapt little-by-little.
“The chassis is quite compact – and that fitted me very well – and I could brake as hard as in Moto2, but I’ve only opened ‘full-gas’ in the middle of the straight-straight so far. I’m also not using the electronic control either, apart from the traction control, so there is still a lot to do. The bike leans and corners easily, even though I’ve not had to change my riding-style so much; I’m really feel comfortable without modifying anything.
“I hope the power-delivery will be improved-more for me as we continue our testing, but I also need to learn lots more myself and improve my riding as well.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager: “I’m quite happy with our first day. The new team atmosphere is especially good, which gives the team a good motivation and I’m glad to see that our new riders look so happy on their bikes. Our garage looks happy and relaxed.
“Another positive thing was that we’d got lots of feedback from our two riders: Aleix, who has more experience, understands the machine’s character very quickly and gave us the positive-points and negative-points immediately; while Maverick – who also enjoyed riding the MotoGP bike for his first time – prefers to make his steps slowly but steadily to have confidence and find the limits.
“Overall, it was a very positive start, and we hope the weather stays good tomorrow, and to continue a good improvement and direction.”
Jack Miller gets first taste of MotoGP power
Preparations for the 2015 season began in earnest at the Valencia circuit in Spain today, scene of yesterday’s final round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship. Sunny skies and ideal temperatures gave rise to a positive first day for CWM LCR Honda and one of their two new riders for next season, Jack Miller.
The Australian youngster may have ended yesterday’s Moto3 World Championship with a sixth race victory and the runners-up spot in the title race, but it was a completely different story for the Queenslander today. Having competed all season on a 250cc bike in Moto3, he got his first taste of the CWM LCR Honda RC213V-RS Open machine, and began to learn his way around the track on the 1000cc beast.
Scores of photographers and TV cameras witnessed Miller’s first exit from the pits, and once he returned, the Aussie was wearing a huge smile. The 19 year-old continued to spend the day getting accustomed to the new bike, and will have a further two days to do so at Valencia although rain is forecast for tomorrow, Tuesday.
Jack Miller #43 (22nd place, 1’34.633, 61 laps) – “It was a really good day and we got a lot of testing done – I did a lot of laps! I enjoyed it so much though, and I think it might be one of the greatest days of my riding career. I have never had so much fun on a bike; the power was incredible, the brakes were great and it’s amazing how much grip you get from the tyres. It just means that I’m looking forward even more to the upcoming days of testing with the CWM LCR Honda Team. Although I’ve enjoyed today, we’ll be working really hard and staying focused on learning this new machine step by step.”
Cal Crutchlow gets on the LCR Honda
Preparations for the 2015 season began in earnest at the Valencia circuit in Spain today, scene of yesterday’s final round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship. Sunny skies and ideal temperatures gave rise to a positive first day for CWM LCR Honda and one of their two new riders for next season, Cal Crutchlow.
The Briton enters his fifth season in MotoGP in 2015, and quickly got to grips with his new Honda RC213V, the third different machine he has ridden in the premier class. The Coventry-born rider spent the day adjusting the bike to his personal preferences, making a series of short runs as he lapped for the first time on the Honda.
Crutchlow was the eighth fastest rider on the day, with a best lap of 1’31.847, and will continue his adaptation to his new CWM LCR Honda over the next two days of tests on Tuesday and Wednesday at Valencia.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (8th place, 1’31.847, 53 laps) “It’s been a good first day with the CWM LCR Honda Team, and I’m pleased to say that we all worked well together. We made some small settings adjustments throughout the day that I thought were positive, but ultimately I’m learning to ride the Honda for the first time; it was a different experience, but enjoyable nonetheless. Today is just a familiarisation day and we made some shorter runs because I didn’t really understand some things in some corners, but we are quite pleased with the initial pace of me riding the Honda.”
Drive M7 Aspar Report
Even though the MotoGP World Championship might have ended at around 3pm Sunday, the riders were back on track today at Valencia as preparations began in earnest for the 2015 season. It is time for the teams to gather crucial data for their winter development programmes as they ready their new machines for the upcoming campaign. Bright sunshine and warm temperatures made for ideal conditions on the first of three days, with the track opening from midday to around 5pm as a host of riders completed their first laps after switching bikes, some of them coming from different categories all together.
Amongst the latter group was new DRIVE M7 Aspar Team signing Eugene Laverty. The Irishman is a former 250cc Grand Prix rider but he enters the elite category after building vast four-stroke experience in the World Supersport and World Superbike Championships, having finished as runner-up in both series’. Today was the start of a promising new relationship between the team and Laverty, who clocked up 45 laps today with a best time of 1’34.320.
Eugene Laverty: “We completed 45 laps today; the first twenty were to get to know the bike, which is completely different to what I am used to riding. After the first few laps I started to enjoy myself. The biggest difference I noticed today was with the tyres, the way you need to make them slide and the limits you can reach with them. The Honda handles really well and with these tyres you have a lot of control, it’s good fun. It was useful to have my brother Michael on hand to give me advice on when and where to push. I love the feeling with the rear of this bike, you can really slide it a lot. We worked today mainly with used tyres and the first impression was very positive. Hopefully I can continue to get to know the bike tomorrow and gradually chip away at the lap times.”
Marc VDS Report
The Marc VDS Racing Team’s 2015 MotoGP campaign got underway at Valencia today, with Scott Redding making his first appearance aboard the Estrella Galicia 0,0 liveried Honda RC213V.
The 21-year-old Briton campaigned a Honda RCV1000R this season, finishing as the highest placed of the open class Honda riders in the championship standings, but he was surprised at just how different the RC213V factory bike was to the open class machine he raced for the final time yesterday.
Redding declared himself reasonably satisfied with the progress made during a positive first test today, although he would have preferred to have finished closer to the top of the timesheet.
Scott Redding // 15th // 1’32.998 – “Today was quite a surprise, because the RC213V is very different to the RCV1000R I’ve been racing this season, much more than I expected. It was like riding a completely different bike, so it took a bit of getting used to. I didn’t want to go out there and push for a fast lap only to hit a wall with the lap time, preferring instead to take my time and learn the bike, building up the pace as we go. My lap time improved with every exit, so I’m happy enough with the progress we made today. I’d have preferred to be a little bit quicker, but I’m happy enough with the progress today and I’m confident that over the next two days, as I get to know the bike and my crew a little better, and they get to know me, we’ll see some improvements.”