MotoGP rider quotes on #ThaiTest

Pedrosa tops Thai Test ahead of Zarco and Marquez

Dani Pedrosa – P1

“We leave Thailand with positive feelings. The test was quite tough as the temperatures were high, and we worked really hard over the three days. In the end we didn’t have many tyres left, so we had to carefully manage the planning of our work. We worked on many aspects of the bike’s setup, and step-by-step we improved our speed and pace. Among other things, today we tested a carbon swing arm that’s a new area for us to work on, so we’re still in the process of learning and of finding the feeling. I’m very happy with the job my team is doing at the track, and with what the engineers are doing back in Japan. They’re really helping us to improve, and this is good and gives us confidence. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue this trend at the final test in Qatar, which will be very interesting as conditions will be different.”

Dani Pedrosa – Image by AJRN
Dani Pedrosa – Image by AJRN
Johann Zarco – P2

“We had a really great third day, good tyres to use and it was planned to try to do a better lap time today, so we fully achieved our goals. I stopped early today, because we did a lot of work and have enough information on this new track. I’m happy, that I was able to control the bike better and better with each lap and I have truly an amazing feeling. I understand the tyres, found out what happens, when we undertake changes on the bike. Everything is good, I’m satisfied and sure we can prepare the first race in October here well, even if we will have different tyres. Compared to Malaysia I finished the test here in Thailand with a very high pace, which is a fantastic sign for Qatar.”

Johann Zarco – Image by AJRN
Johann Zarco – Image by AJRN
Marc Marquez – P3

“I’m very, very happy with what we did today, as we completed many laps and were able to improve the bike’s setup in several areas. Our lap times today were slower than yesterday, but we worked differently and I didn’t push for a time attack. We completed a 20-lap long run with a strong pace, and I also felt good from a physical-conditioning point of view, which was very satisfying. Today we worked on some new things, including a carbon swing arm that we had actually already tried, so we were able to do some back-to-back tests. Of course we’re just starting our work on that, so we’re still in the phase where there are both positives and negatives and we need to understand it better. The new aerodynamics was quite positive, I liked it today. It requires a little bit different riding style, but I managed to be very consistent on used tyres with it so I’m happy about that as well.”

Marc Marquez – Image by AJRN
Marc Marquez – Image by AJRN
Cal Crutchlow – P4

“It was a good enough day today, we are happy with our pace. We were lucky to get a full day’s testing in and get through our plan. At the end of the day we wanted to put a ‘lap-time’ in but unfortunately we had the soft rear tyre in at the time and I pushed too hard and ran off the track. I stayed on the bike,but it would have been a good lap and another morale boost. It doesn’t really matter though because we were already consistently fast throughout the day. I set my best time with the medium rear tyre and a used hard front tyre which is positive. We did some good runs throughout the day, as a team we have worked very well and we’re also pleased as a team for how well Taka (Nakagami) is riding too. He’s shown a lot of people and a lot of the riders what he can do in MotoGP today.”

Cal Crutchlow - Image by AJRN
Cal Crutchlow – Image by AJRN
Alex Rins – P5

“Well, if I had to rate these 3 days in Thailand I would say 8 or 8.5, because we worked a lot and we tried many things. It was positive because now I’m sure we have a really good base for 2018. In Malaysia I was 80% sure that this package was good and the right fit for me, but now I’m going home 100% sure that this package has a strong potential. We will likely keep this new aerodynamic fairing because it helps me a lot in terms of anti-wheelie, which then helps to deliver more power. We will probably adjust it a little bit yet, but we are working in a good way. During these winter tests my target was to try to be competitive, and to create a good bike, to hopefully fight for the top positions this season.”

Alex Rins - Image by AJRN
Alex Rins – Image by AJRN
Jack Miller – P6

“I am really satisfied with what we have done in these tests. The feeling is really good. Every time I go on the track I feel more and more comfortable and lap after lap I have the feeling of being ever faster. I made a mistake this morning on the first lap of the long run. I am sorry for the team because we could have finished our work this morning. We return home with great confidence and I look forward to being in Qatar”.

Jack Miller - Image by AJRN
Jack Miller – Image by AJRN
Andrea Dovizioso  – P7

“These were three very useful days, in which we were able to do a lot of work and test the fairings, the frame and the other new material that Ducati brought here to Thailand. It wasn’t an easy job because it was really hot out there and this track is a bit unusual, but we gathered lots of useful information and confirmed that the GP18 is a very competitive bike. To get a better idea of the form of our rivals, we also have to see what tyre they set their times with, but in my opinion here at Buriram we are in good shape, just like in Malaysia. I’m going back home very happy and ready to leave again in a couple of weeks’ time for Qatar, where we want to prepare well for the first round of the 2018 championship.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso
Maverick Viñales – P8

“It’s been a difficult test, like it was in Malaysia. We are working hard trying to figure out what the problem is – right now mostly on braking, but we have to improve in all areas. We have to continue working, trying to find out how to improve. The race days are coming up fast and we only have the three days in Qatar left. I will keep working and I will be 100% ready, and when the bike is ready I will push.”

Maverick Viñales – Image by AJRN
Maverick Viñales – Image by AJRN
Danilo Petrucci – P9

“It was a good test. We are very happy because we worked very well without making many changes to the bike after Sepang. We were always among the first with a very interesting race step. We didn’t do the time attack but it’s not important, also because in the tests they don’t give any prize. And then how far back for the GP we will not have this tyres and the weather conditions will be very different. I go to Qatar with great confidence”.

Danilo Petrucci - Image AJRN
Danilo Petrucci – Image AJRN
Takaaki Nakagami – P10

“I’m really happy with the three days overall, both in terms of the lap time and the position in the field. We have made lots of improvements, with the bike, with the team – getting to know each other even better. I want to say a big thank you to the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team because I am very happy with our progress over these days. To finish inside the top ten for the first time is a really good thing, but we still need to work hard in Qatar when we get there. Let’s see what happens, but I hope we can continue in this way and I’m sure it will be a good test over there before the season starts for real.”

Takaaki Nakagami – Image by AJRN
Takaaki Nakagami – Image by AJRN
Tito Rabat – P11

“I’m very happy because all three days have been very positive and we managed to be more competitive. From the first test last year, we had a problem with the front end of the bike that didn’t let me push to the maximum and I was crashing in the fast turns losing the front, but little by little we have found a way to improve and now at least I don’t crash like that any more. Nevertheless, we have to keep working to be more confident in the fast corners and, with the help of Ducati, in Qatar I hope to take another step in this way to continue gaining confidence. The team has done an incredible job once again and helped me a lot to improve. Now it’s time to charge the batteries for the last test of the pre-season.”

Tito Rabat – Image by AJRN
Tito Rabat – Image by AJRN
Valentino Rossi – P12

“I think that we improved today. I rode a 1’30.5s, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the end of a really good lap, else I could have done a 1’30.2s, and we’re all very close. Like last year, it’s difficult to understand where we stand. A lot of people were strong in Malaysia and here they struggled, and also the opposite. We have to improve, because we didn’t make much progress compared to last year, especially when it comes to the electronics. We have a lot of work to do and at this moment we have to get through it – but that’s today, maybe in Qatar it will be better.”

Valentino Rossi - Image by AJRN
Valentino Rossi – Image by AJRN
Franco Morbidelli – P13

“I’m really happy with this test, which we finished well today. We’ve worked hard trying to understand better how to get the best from the bike and tyres and finally we found a good direction, we improved and I managed to post a decent lap time to end the test. We went forward, which is the most important thing, because this is my main objective; to always move forward. I have to say thank you to my crew, because they have helped me a lot and we are working well together. Now we need to continue in the same way in Qatar, increasing even more our understanding of the bike, the tyres and the set up.”

Franco Morbidelli – Image by AJRN
Franco Morbidelli – Image by AJRN
Aleix Espargaró – P14

“This track proved to be tough, but we were able to clearly identify the areas where we need to improve and I have the utmost confidence in Aprilia. I am sure that from here to Qatar, we will be able to count on a good starting base for our championship season. The areas that give us the most trouble are mainly the stop-and-go corners where we lose more than our rivals. Today we were able to improve in this area, but not enough to let us narrow the gap further. I gave it my all in these tests which were perhaps the most demanding since I have been with Aprilia. We want to keep improving and growing lap after lap.”

Aleix Espargaro'
Aleix Espargaro’
Andrea Iannone – P15

“Although I’m not 100% satisfied, these tests have still been very positive for us. We could test everything again to make a final comparison between the improvements we’ve been carrying out during the last months, and now we have a clearer idea of the direct we have to follow. The only disappointing thing for me is not having been able to find positive efficacy on the single lap top performance. On consecutive laps I can be consistently fast, which is important for the races. The new fairing gave me good sensations. In Qatar we’ll finalise some more things in order to be ready, but I feel positive about starting the championship.”

Andrea Iannone - Image by AJRN
Andrea Iannone – Image by AJRN
Jorge Lorenzo – P16

“Unfortunately for me these have been three very complicated days, because I was never able to be really competitive. I didn’t feel at ease on the GP18 and yesterday we also had a few doubts so we decided to do a back-to-back test with last year’s bike. As always happens, there are good and bad points with both versions, but at the moment it seems that the GP18 has a greater potential so we will focus on this bike in the next test in Qatar.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo
Álvaro Bautista – P17

“We have greatly improved in the rear, without worsening things with the front. In Sepang we took a step forward and another here, and we have not reached the limit yet. This is a bike that, unlike GP16, gives me a lot of confidence; I am more comfortable with it. It seems a more secure bike. Also, if another rider with the same bike can set competitive times, why can’t we? We are in good shape, and we’ll see if in Qatar we can take another step forward as we have done so far. It has been a positive three day and I am happy. Yesterday afternoon we found a setup that made me feel better on the bike and I felt very comfortable. I set a good time with the medium rear tyre, which is usually something that I find hard. We gained a lot of grip. However, with the extra soft tyre I had even more grip and I couldn’t take advantage of its potential, but it could have greatly improved my lap time. This morning, when the conditions were theoretically a little better than yesterday, I lost all that grip and I was not able to ride like I had yesterday. Little by little, when the temperature rose, I started to get better. It’s strange because the opposite happened to me before. We took data from both conditions and we have a lot to learn from. In the morning we weren’t been able to do more laps because we ran out of fuel; we hadn’t expected to ride as much as we did yesterday and on Friday. In the afternoon, as soon as I went out I felt great on the bike, had good grip and set my best lap of the day, without forcing it. We wanted to try a race simulation, but on the second lap we had a problem on the bike and I could not go back out. We have work to do and data to analyse. I’m happy, although we have not been able to do all we had planned.”

Álvaro Bautista - Image by AJRN
Álvaro Bautista – Image by AJRN
Bradley Smith – P18

“I think that we’re in a better situation than we were in after Malaysia. When we finished the Sepang test we didn’t have the same feeling with the bike that we finished last year with. Then we were pushing for the top 12 but we didn’t have that feeling during the first test. For this test the guys analysed the Malaysian data and we found a better feeling and made some refinements. Corner entry was a struggle at Malaysia and it surprised us not to have that feeling. The strength of the KTM last year was under braking and that’s very important here in Thailand and we found it much better this week. We’ve been able to work on a lot of chassis and aerodynamic improvements. It’s been good to test here and learn the track and we’re definitely more in the mix compared to the Malaysian test.”

Bradley Smith - Image by AJRN
Bradley Smith – Image by AJRN
Mika Kallio – P19

“It’s been good to test this week but it has been tough without Pol. This is a new track and it was difficult here during the test because it was hot and physical. On the bike the front of the bike needed to improve after Malaysia. We had some issues with the stopping power and braking stability in Malaysia so we worked on that and tyres. We have been busy all week! The first two days were complicated but I was happy that we were able to find a good feeling on the bike. Today we changed some parts and adjusted the setup. I improved my feeling but we still need to make another step forward. We have one test left before the start of the season but hopefully we’ve been able to close the gap to the front due to the work in this test.”

Mika Kallio - Image by AJRN
Mika Kallio – Image by AJRN
Scott Redding – P20

“These tests were good overall. I am especially pleased with the consistent improvements, day by day, both in terms of development of the 2018 RS-GP and in terms of my feeling in the saddle. We did a tight testing schedule which was necessary in order to then define the technical package for the first race. This morning we took a step forward in terms of braking. Even if it gets a bit difficult to have the right reference when the temperatures rise, I think the direction we are going is promising. We are constantly working on several fronts because we are developing the new bike while I am adapting my style to the RS-GP. We could have been a few tenths faster on our time attack but, to be honest, I think that we have other priorities at the moment.”

Scott Redding - Image by AJRN
Scott Redding – Image by AJRN
Tom Lüthi – P21

“We saw progression on each of the three days here in Thailand and I think that’s the most important thing. It was quite tough at the start today because our progress seemed to stall; we were looking for better lap times but they didn’t come. We decided to make a step back with the bike, trying to get a feel for some changes to the set up and this was quite interesting. Towards the end of the day I started to get a better feeling with the front and this helped me a lot, allowing me to go a little bit faster and close the gap a little more to the guys at the front. Now we need to continue in the same way in Qatar if we’re to be ready for the first race of the season.”

Tom Luthi - Image by AJRN
Tom Luthi – Image by AJRN
Hafizh Syahrin – P22

“I’m very pleased about the last day. We stopped at lunch time, because we did work really hard and I still have to get used to the demands of a MotoGP machine, as it was the first time for me here. I improved every day and with each run I did. In the last session, we made a huge step forward and this was my target, because yesterday it was not bad, but I was sure, that I can do even more. Overall, I’m very happy and I hope I can see the team again soon. We already had a good feeling with the bike! I want to thank the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for all the information they gave me and also Johann, who helped me a lot to improve. Of course, I also want to thank Herve, Yamaha, Monster and everybody involved for this opportunity and I really hope we can continue this amazing adventure.”

Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin
Karel Abraham – P23

“Today has been a difficult day. We found it hard to go faster. I don’t know what that is down to, but we need to lower our time by at least a second. We have to work to improve in Qatar. We must prepare ourselves to the fullest for the test and, obviously, for the race.”

Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham
Xavier Simeon – P24

“The last day was better, not much better, but enough for me. Overall I’ve improved a lot with used tyres and it’s clear that we still need to work to understand the tyres, because I’m struggling in that area. It was a bit frustrating because every time I went out with new tyres, I didn’t make the jump we expected. But with a 25-lap tyre I was doing my best lap times. That’s why I have to understand how the Michelins tyres work. Due to the layout of this track, it is important not to force the tyre too much in some turns and the opposite goes for some other turns. I still don’t have enough confidence with the bike to ride at the maximum on this track, but overall the test has been positive and we got very good conclusions. Not having improved as much as I expected also has its positive side, because it makes me see that MotoGP is a very difficult class”.

Xavier Simeon - Image by AJRN
Xavier Simeon – Image by AJRN

Hervé Poncharal – Team Manager Monster Yamaha Tech3

“I truly believe that Monster Yamaha Tech3 did an amazing job in Buriram, Thailand. It was a very important test for us in order to continue our understanding and decision about the package we will use this year with Johann. Of course, it was also a very important test for the other side of the garage with the young Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin. I think we can be proud as a team to have achieved the goals we were looking for and clearly, we leave Buriram with a very special, positive feeling. I would like to thank the whole Buriram circuit staff for their dedication and professionalism and of course we were amazed by how many fans have been gathered around the circuit to follow this. I know everyone is expecting a decision regarding Hafizh Syahrin. All I can say right now is, that he has done a fantastic job during this test, showing a great motivation, willing to learn and speed on track in a really good atmosphere with the team. Very soon we will take our decision, as we have to share all details of organization with all our partners. A very big thank you to our two riders and the whole crew of Yamaha Monster Tech3, who did an excellent job.”

Johann Zarco - Image by AJRN
Johann Zarco – Image by AJRN
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Instead of focusing on the time attack, we rode many laps with used tyres and tried to make them run properly. We tried many solutions, some were good, some didn’t work. At the end, we came a few hours short, because we wanted to do a hot lap, but couldn’t fit that in anymore. However, we still got a lot of things done here. It was fundamental for us to decide on the engine and chassis at this test, and the package has been confirmed. Now we will need to keep working on the electronics, because there’s still room for improvement there. In Qatar we have three more days of testing and we’ll put in a lot of effort, and work as much as we can to solve it.”

Valentino Rossi - Image by AJRN
Valentino Rossi – Image by AJRN
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager

“These three days have been positive for us because we could work intensively and complete the plan that we had. We’ve been carrying out some different options on the chassis and the engines for several months, with small but significant improvements occurring in every test. Now we have a clearer picture and we can leave Thailand with more awareness of what the best base package is. Alex worked on many comparisons and back-to-back analysis, his performance is positive both on multi and single lap pace. We’re very happy about this. Andrea is struggling a little with time attack on new tyres, and we will look for more improvements in that area. But his pace is solid and fast, which is the main positive for him to bring back from Buriram.”

Alex Rins
Alex Rins

#ThaiTest Combined Days Times Overall

Pos Rider Team Combined  Times
1 Dani PEDROSA  Honda 1m29.781
2 Johann ZARCO  Yamaha 1m29.867
3 Marc MARQUEZ  Honda 1m29.969
4 Cal CRUTCHLOW  Honda 1m30.064
5 Alex RINS  Suzuki 1m30.178
6 Jack MILLER Ducati 1m30.185
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1m30.185
8 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha  1m30.274
9 Danilo PETRUCCI  Ducati 1m30.274
10 Takaaki NAKAGAMI  Honda 1m30.456
11 Tito RABAT Ducati 1m30.476
12 Valentino ROSSI  Yamaha  1m30.511
13 Franco MORBIDELLI  Honda 1m30.648
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia  1m30.701
15 Andrea IANNONE  Suzuki 1m30.718
16 Jorge LORENZO  Ducati 1m30.729
17 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1m30.883
18 Bradley SMITH  KTM 1m30.921
19 Mika KALLIO  KTM 1m31.169
20 Scott REDDING  Aprilia  1m31.311
21 Tom LUTHI  Honda 1m31.354
22 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha  1m31.537
23 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1m31.661
24 Xavier SIMEON  Ducati 1m32.019


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