Jerez MotoGP Test – Thursday Report
Eugene Laverty breaks wrist – Pirro also goes down
MotoGP and Superbike riders shared the track at Jerez again today as the final test of 2015 continued in the Spanish sunshine.
The track surface took a little time to warm up, but the riders were soon able to start working on their new standard electronics packages for 2016, as well as the new Michelin tyres.
A crash for Michele Pirro saw the red flag produced at around 4pm but once the Italian rider was out of danger the action was able to resume until the track closed at 6pm.
Unfortunately Pirro’s crash was not the last of the day. Around an hour later Power Electronics Aspar rider Eugene Laverty lost the front in turn seven, injuring his left wrist. X-rays at a local hospital confirmed a break to his left radius, just by his wrist. Further examination also revealed a dislocated shoulder and blow to the head.
Eugene was admitted to a hospital in Jerez for a CAT scan to check for any further injuries, he will now fly from Seville to Barcelona and the Hospital Universitario Quirón Dexeus, where Dr. Xavier Mir and his medical team will conduct surgery to relocate and fix his broken and displaced radius.
Meanwhile his team-mate Yonny Hernández will complete the test tomorrow after enjoying a positive day today working on the traction control and engine braking aspects of his new electronics, improving the handling of the bike and the lap times.
Eugene Laverty: “It’s a disappointing end to a good day of testing. We made good progress with the new electronics and the last exit before I crashed was probably the first time we had the bike working correctly. The lap times were getting better and then I crashed, so I’m disappointed. It would always be nice to do another day but the positive thing is that the bike is working well, we are not too far away from the others and Yonny can continue to test tomorrow. Also the Ducati guys are making a big effort so the aim right now is to recover and return in Sepang in a good way.”
Yonny Hernández: “The first run out yesterday was brief but today we were able to spend almost all day on track here at Jerez. We waited a little this morning for the track to get up to temperature and then we started working again on the new electronics. We tried some different things with the traction control and the engine braking. We have got the bike turning better in the slow corners and I am happy with the job we have done because virtually from the start we went a second quicker than yesterday. The relationship with the team is improving every day and I really like the new electronics, which are quite similar to what I used last year.”
Marc Marquez spent this second day concentrating on the 2016 specification engine and electronics, with long waits in the box between exits as his team adjusted the Magneti Marelli software. He completed a total of 58 laps with his best time of 1’39.57.
Marc Marquez – 1’39.57 – 58 laps – “Today I concentrated on the Magneti Marelli software and mainly the new engine. It’s clear that we need a different mapping for the 2015 and 2016 engine – as they are completely different character – so we chose to work more on the 2016 version. Maybe tomorrow we will work on the 2015 engine, but we will have to see. It takes a lot of time working on the new electronics to change things and this extends our time in the box, but we are still far from getting the best out of this software. Last year’s engine was more aggressive in the top end and now we have more power in the lower rpm but still it’s not clear the best way to deliver the torque, we must find the best balance. We didn’t do too much on tyres today and the front tyre is still difficult to understand but we know Michelin are working hard.”
Dani did 53 laps today and a fastest time of 1’40.10. He continued to carry out a comparison between the 2015 and 2016 specification engines and software.
Dani Pedrosa – 1’40.10 – 53 laps – “Today we continued our test programme focusing on the engine in particular. We don’t have a clear direction yet, we are working hard and don’t want to make a mistake. There are still positives and negatives concerning the new engine so we must take our time as we must make the correct choice for next year. Compared to Valencia we have certainly made a step with the new electronics and it’s a little better. We struggled everywhere in Valencia but here it’s all a lot smoother but still we have to get more experience with it. The lap times aren’t that good in general but they are similar to yesterday, so not clear if it’s the track or tyres.”
The Aprilia RS-GP V4 machines from Noale were entrusted to the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl, also assisted by test rider Mike Di Meglio.
Aprilia is on the track with the 2015 RS-GP machines, awaiting the début of the new prototype which should be ready in time for the first official 2016 tests at Sepang.
Alvaro Bautista – “On these first two days we focused on the new tyres, trying to gain familiarity with them and figure out how to adjust my riding style. Today we tried some new solutions on the front, making a few improvements although there is still a lot of work to do. Unlike at Valencia, here we found less grip at the rear so we are also working on this aspect.”
Stefan Bradl – “Today we worked a lot on the tyres, both testing the new options on the front and assessing some fork solutions to increase the feeling. There were some improvements, small steps forward in the right direction, and I hope that the information we are collecting will help Michelin with their development process. I also tried the new electronics package without any problems. Tomorrow we’ll be working in that area.”
The three day test will conclude tomorrow. Click back to our day one report.