The results of the first day of testing were excellent: Andrea Dovizioso set the quickest time of the day in 1’23.764, followed by his team-mate Andrea Iannone in 1’24.347, while Casey Stoner placed fourth, with a best lap of 1’24.502, behind Scott Redding (Pramac Racing) and a total of eight Ducati riders were classified in the top 10 (Barbera in sixth, Laverty in seventh, Petrucci in eighth and Hernandez in tenth).
Championship leader Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda team were not present but the Factory Movistar MotoGP Yamaha team were present and Valentino Rossi was the fastest Yamaha rider in ninth. Tech 3 Yamaha were not in attendance while the Aprilia riders did not run official timing transponders.
Today the MotoGP riders will be out on track again from 8.30 am to 12.00 and then from 1 pm to 6 pm for the second and final day of testing.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) – 1’23.764 (1st)
“Today went really well: the track has some aggressive first and second gear acceleration areas and quite long straights, so it is suitable for the characteristics of our bike, and as a result it was quite easy to lap quickly. It was great to be constantly quick on this track and, even though it’s not one of the biggest and most spectacular tracks in the championship, it is in any case interesting to lap on a new circuit. Now we have to understand what tyres Michelin will bring for the race because it was also an important test for them. Here the tyre wear is particularly high because the bike tends to slide about on maximum lean and it spins a lot on the straight, so doing an entire race distance without any problems is going to be rather difficult.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati) – 1’24.347 (2nd)
“It has been a very positive day for us because the track is really nice and adapts well to the characteristics of our Desmosedici GP: in fact we went really quick and I immediately established a good feeling. We worked a bit on the bike and also tested some new chassis parts, but all in all we made very few changes because the sensations were always very positive. I also did a mini long-run of 10 laps and my pace was rather good, very close to my best lap, so I am happy with how this first day went.”
Casey Stoner (Ducati) – 1’24.502 (4th)
“You can’t get a much more picturesque circuit than this, it’s something very special. The circuit has some nice parts but it’s a bit strange for bikes because some of the corners don’t flow well together, which makes it somewhat difficult. In general today has been quite good, the surface is fantastic and very smooth, the grip level seems somewhat medium but we’ll put some more rubber down and get a little bit more feeling on the track. This test is a little easier than Misano, where it was very hot and I hadn’t been on the bike for a long time, whereas today I didn’t struggle and it was easier for me on the bike. Today we’ve been trying a lot of comparisons with the bikes, with wings, without wings, lots of things to get data and it’s all been quite positive.”
Maverick Viñales (Suzuki) – 1’24.595 (5th)
“The circuit is really nice, the speed is very high and having the walls so close, you can really notice it. Beside this, the track is peculiar; it is a stop-and-go layout where the acceleration will be very important, and because of this, it may not be the most suitable for our machine, but the set-up will also play a role. It will be the first time here for everybody, therefore it will also be a game between teams to see who will be the most effective with the set-up and adaptation. It’s good we are making this test; at least we can set a base and work on it during the ‘Summer Break’ – otherwise it would have been very hard to arrive here without any knowledge.”
Eugene Laverty (Ducati) 1.24.751 (7th)
“I like the track, it really seems to suit our bike. There are a lot of straights and hard braking and the Ducati is working well here so far. In terms of our programme at this test we have to think about the race here because it is the venue for the next round. We are going to try some ideas we have had during the season but at the same time it is important to prepare to try and make a good race here. So far the bike is working quite well – our problem usually is in long corners and here there aren’t any!”
Aleix Espargaró (Suzuki) – 1’25.099 (10th)
“I liked the track, the layout is very tight and with a lot of hard-braking and fast acceleration. It won’t be easy for us but we have already made some steps forward. This morning I felt very confident and throughout the day we consistently-increased our knowledge with new data. Here we are not trying any major improvements on the machine; we are only trying the track and preparing for the race.”
Yonny Hernández (Ducati) – 1’25.171 (11th)
“I like the circuit here in Austria, it has some very fast straights. We spent this first day of the test doing some work with our front end setting, trying to find the limit and seeing where we can improve. There is plenty to work on in terms of our set-up for the race here.”
Cal Crutchlow (Honda) – 1’25.438 (14th)
“It was a very difficult day of testing today. We are in good spirits coming here from the podium at the Sachsenring, but I think it is clear that at the moment we are struggling with the bike around the Austrian circuit. We did the best job we could though, and we tried a lot of different settings. We didn’t try any soft tyres yet however, and just focused on the hard tyre all afternoon. I think there’s a lot of lap time in the tyres. At the moment we’ve been trying a lot of electronic things, and we also made some geometry changes, but it has been quite difficult. Hopefully tomorrow we can make a good step forward with the LCR Honda Team. Together with the HRC guys we’ll work hard overnight to improve for when we return for the race weekend.”
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