The factory Honda, Aprilia and Ducati MotoGP bikes were on track Wednesday alongside several of their counterparts from World Superbike at the Jerez Circuit in Spain, venue of the final test of 2015 before the winter testing ban kicks in on December 1.
The three-day session continues until Friday here and it is an important chance for the teams to gather vital data using the new standard electronics packages that will be compulsory from next season. With a new single tyre supplier also on board, the teams welcomed the good conditions on Wednesday, with MotoGP riders opting not to run official timing transponders.
A cold fresh morning greeted riders but they were blessed with good weather all day remaining dry and sunny until the end of testing.
Both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa spent this first day comparing different engines and working on the electronics set up.
Marc finished the day with a best time of 1’39.92, completing 65 laps in total.
Marc Marquez – 1m39.92 (65 laps) – “Every time we go on track it’s interesting because we try many things, starting with the software as our reference and with the Michelin tyres which is a big task to understand where the limit is. We did a few laps to understand a few things and we tried the new engine too which felt similar to Valencia but we must complete more laps to get the electronics working better, as it’s hard to understand the true character until we have that fixed. The electronics are still not consistent we have made progress, but it’s clear they are certainly a step behind the Honda software we are used to, but we know it won’t be the same so we must find a way to work with it, especially concerning the engine brake and traction control.”
Dani, who missed the race here this year due to injury, managed 56 laps and his fastest time was 1’40.12. He had a small crash on the last exit in the final corner, but escaped unhurt.
Dani Pedrosa – 1m40.12 (56 laps) – “It’s been a good first day, despite the crash at the end where I was a little strong on the braking and lost the front in the last corner. I was a little slower today as I’ve not ridden here since the 2014 race, so I took my time to adjust to the Michelin tyres and this bike at this track. I was comparing the different engines but also working on settings as I had no data from the race this year. We tried to do the best job possible today, for sure it was more of a setup day, tomorrow we will work on the engines, tyres and electronics in more detail.”
For the Power Electronics Aspar Team this is an important test as they get to grips with the new electronics, using today simply to dial in some basic settings. It was a short opening day for Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty, both riders taking to the track shortly after 2pm and finishing just after 5pm. The pair took the chance to get a feel for the new electronics and learn more about the new tyres, with Laverty also continuing his adaptation to the Ducati. Despite not completing many laps, both riders are happy with the start they have made here at Jerez.
Yonny Hernández: “Today we got our first chance to run the new electronics and we focused on finding an initial setting. I like the new electronics more than the Open version. The base is quite similar to what I used last season. At the end of the day we had a problem with the exhaust and we couldn’t push that little bit harder but in general the feeling was very positive, even more so than Valencia. My feeling with the Michelin tyres is also improving every time I go out on track. I am happy with the initial work we have done here at Jerez, I think we are on the right lines and I hope we can continue to improve our pace and feeling tomorrow.”
Eugene Laverty: “Day one, we didn’t do many laps, just 26 to complete some preliminary work on the electronics for next year. We did a few exits and now we are happy that the electronics are ready to start the test properly tomorrow. We had to set the electronics so that simple things like corner entry and corner exit felt normal. From here we can really start to play with the bike and try to improve a lot. Still, my first impressions from the bike remain, which are that we have a good bike with a strong engine and a lot of potential. Tomorrow we start trying to maximise that potential.”
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