Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) topped the one-day Official Test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a late 1:38.919 despite a fall, with most of the grid back on track on Monday after the Grand Prix. Working on their own agendas as well as testing a new Michelin tyre, it was a busy day for many – not least of all the man on top.
Marquez, who put in almost ninety laps, took P1 from Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone by a tenth late on, and had a machine in the box with a black livery – seemingly focused on aerodynamics, with the box closed to prying eyes for most of the day. Teammate Dani Pedrosa put in nearly 80 laps, and he was P7 despite a crash.
Marc Marquez – P1
“We worked a lot today as we had several things to test, some of which were quite important. As always in testing, some of them worked well, and others were good in that we gathered information for the future. We also worked on the electronics and aerodynamics. At the end of the day, we put together all the good things we had found, and I was able to set a fast time. Anyway, the most important thing is that we had a good test.”
Dani Pedrosa – P7
“Today we worked from 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon, non-stop, so thanks to the team for making a great effort; each modification required hard work, and we tried many. Basically, we worked on the bike’s geometry. It wasn’t easy to understand everything because the temperature increased a lot over the day, affecting the track conditions. Still, though we always have to keep our feet on the ground, we hope we were able to find a few things, including a slight modification to the geometry settings compared to the race. We’ll go in that direction now and see if we’ve chosen the right path.”
LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow was sixth and just thousandths ahead of Pedrosa. He was working on aero too, as well as suspension and electronics.
Cal Crutchlow – P6
“It was quite a good day but extremely hot. We’ve tried many different things including electronics and a new Michelin front tyre which could help us in the future. We didn’t concentrate on lap times so much but I think we had a very productive test. Lapped the circuit 61 times and gathered useful data for the future races. Next stop will be Assen and our target remain the podium but it’s also very important to gain points for the standing”.
Teammate and LCR Honda Idemitsu rookie Takaaki Nakagami was P16 after 88 laps, with fellow Honda-riding rookie Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) beating him to top debutant in P12.
Takaaki Nakagami – P16
“The test is going well, we’re checking on the set up again and also have done a lot of practice on the start. We’ve tried to change the mappings for the start and are improving for the future. But we’re also working towards Assen because it’s a bit of unique circuit and the layout there needs you to take it easier on the bike”.
Despite Honda and Marquez taking over late on, Iannone reigned the timesheets for much of the day, with the Italian putting in 37 laps. He was joined by teammate Alex Rins – P8 after 83 laps – and test rider Sylvain Guintoli for the Hamamatsu factory as they continued working with a new chassis, and Rins tried a new swingarm in the afternoon.
Tito Rabat was the leading Ducati machine, with the Real Avintia Racing rider putting in over 80 laps and ending the day four tenths off Marquez. He focused on suspension and showed yet more great pace at the venue. Teammate Xavier Simeon worked on track time, doing over 70 laps and ending the day in P19.
Fellow Borgo Panigale machinery runners Alma Pramac Ducati had Danilo Petrucci in hot pursuit of Rabat in P4, with 40 laps put in despite a crash and work focused on the chassis of his GP18.
Pramac team-mate Jack Miller was tenth, working on braking and making the bike smoother after race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) set a high benchmark on Sunday. The Ducati Team were not present.
Top Yamaha was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco in P5, with the Frenchman putting in more than 70 laps, working on setups. Teammate Hafizh Syahrin was P13 after 42 laps.
Johann Zarco – P5
“Today in Catalunya we mainly worked on improving our feeling on the bike, playing with a different setup and can always better understand the bike. We did a few exits in the morning to warming up the body and then I did long runs to have a better feeling than what I got during the race on Sunday. We found a few things, me also while riding, which is all I need to have a good race in Assen in a few weeks.”
Hafizh Syahrin – P13
“We just tried a new tyre from Michelin today, plus I was working on my riding style. I changed the braking to brake harder initially in order to stop the bike easier. We made a good step. After the crash yesterday, I don’t feel 100 percent fit, so we stopped a bit earlier today. Anyway, we are on a very good way and try to keep working further in this direction. I hope, that I can continue like last weekend when we are in Assen, being strong from the first Free Practice on.”
Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were keen on spending the extra track time usefully, working on their bikes’ race set-ups. They clocked the 9th and 14th fastest time of the day respectively.
Viñales once again showed his impeccable work ethic as he worked around the clock to better his bike‘s race set-up whilst riding with a full tank. He completed a total of 85 laps, looking for improvements and testing small details of the settings. He ended the day dipping under the 1‘40s-mark, dropping a 1‘39.797s on lap 81. His fastest lap earned him ninth place, 0.881s from first.
“We‘ve been working a lot with a full tank, especially concentrating on the first five-six laps, where I struggled the most. I think we improved a lot at the end, in the afternoon, and I‘m happy about that. I tried to sit a bit more backwards, because I thought I could ride better like that. It didn‘t turn out that way, because it upsets the front. Finally, the bike was the same, we just tried different set-ups to make the front tyre work. I think we did a good job today, but it‘s just a test day, we need to prove it during a race. I hope to come back strong in Assen and be able to push from the beginning of the race. The bike is there, I just need to make the first five laps in a good rhythm.”
Having secured his third consecutive third place of the 2018 MotoGP season yesterday, Rossi arrived at the track motivated to make another step forward. Rather than wanting to set a fast time, the Doctor worked on acceleration, trying solutions he hadn‘t been able to test during the race weekend, and also ran a new tyre for Michelin. He completed 58 laps in total. His fastest time, a 1‘40.124s lap set on lap 13, put him in 14th place in the rankings, 1.208s from today‘s fastest time.
Valentino Rossi – P14
“We had some new stuff for today, to try to improve the acceleration. We worked hard, also on some other details and we tried a tyre for Michelin, for the future, that I like and it‘s not so bad. Unfortunately we weren‘t able to improve our performance and acceleration, but yesterday’s third place gives us great motivation for the next races.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“Our riders spent today‘s time following their own testing plans. Maverick worked on his race set-up, riding with a full tank, whilst Valentino tried a new Michelin tyre and some options to improve acceleration. Some of the things we tried today were more successful than others, so we will take this information on board for the next GP. This championship is still open in terms of the rider, constructor, and team standings, so we will continue to work hard to prepare for the next round in Assen.”
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding were P11 and P18 respectively, working on improvements with their race bikes.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing were out in full force with Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith and test rider Mika Kallio. Espargaro had a crash at the final corner in the afternoon. He was working with the early version of the 2019 RC16 ridden in wildcard performances by Kallio, and the three were focused on engine and chassis. Smith was top Austrian machine in P15, Espargaro was P17 and Kallio didn’t do many laps following a crash on Sunday.
Next stop on the 2018 MotoGP calendar is TT Circuit Assen where action gets underway on June 29.
MotoGP Test Results
Catalunya – June 18, 2018
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda 1m38.916 Lap 86/88
Andrea Iannone – Ecstar Suzuki 1m39.020 Lap 22/37
Tito Rabat – Reale Avintia Ducati 1m39.362 Lap 30/82
Danilo Petrucci – Pramac Ducati 1m39.488 Lap 29/41
Johann Zarco – Tech3 Yamaha 1m39.534 Lap 5/72
Cal Crutchlow – LCR Honda 1m39.727 Lap 22/61
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda 1m39.738 Lap 75/77
Alex Rins – Ecstar Suzuki 1m39.793 Lap 38/83
Maverick Vinales – Yamaha 1m39.797 Lap 81/85
Jack Miller – Pramac Ducati 1m39.799 Lap 23/52
Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia 1m39.915 Lap 15/56
Franco Morbidelli – MarcVDS Honda 1m40.004 Lap 24/70
Hafizh Syahrin – Tech3 Yamaha 1m40.108 Lap 7/42
Valentino Rossi – Yamaha 1m40.124 Lap 13/58
Bradley Smith – Red Bull KTM 1m40.462 Lap 68/77
Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda 1m40.541 Lap 44/88
Pol Espargaro – Red Bull KTM 1m40.721 Lap 49/49
Scott Redding – Aprilia 1m40.732 Lap 11/62
Xavier Simeon – Reale Avintia Ducati 1m41.145 Lap 47/74
Tom Luthi – MarcVDS Honda 1m41.207 Lap 61/82
Sylvain Guintoli – Ecstar Suzuki 1m41.316 Lap 61/62
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