Post-race test for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes fires up in Austria
Remy Gardner works on suspension and chatter issues ahead of Silverstone
After a high-calibre showdown on Sunday at the Red Bull Ring, Moto2 and Moto3 were back out on track on Monday for a one day Official Test. Each garage concentrated on their own specifics, with the majority of the Moto grid taking part in the test day and lots of activity out on track.
In the lightweight class, present were Red Bull KTM Ajo, Sky Racing Team VR46, the British Talent Team, AGR Team, Peugeot MC Saxoprint, RBA BOE Racing, Platinum Bay Real Estate and Südmetall Schedl GP Racing.
In Moto2, at Tech 3 Racing, the team were testing out new Kayaba forks, Nissin calipers and a new exhaust – with Xavi Vierge starting with most of the novelties as teammate Remy Gardner concentrated on suspension and improving chatter he’d suffered during the race.
Struggling to find the optimum set-up over the weekend’s racing, Gardner is still searching for better front end feel during, but still managed an impressive result of 15th, after starting from 25th on the grid at Red Bull Ring. Remy described the race as tough, with chatter problems developing during the race.
“It was a tough race but I gave it my all. I made a good start and managed to avoid all the chaos at the first corner but as the race went on the bike developed some chatter. I tried to copy the others around me in terms of braking points and lines but it didn’t make a difference. Looking ahead to Silverstone in a couple of weeks I hope that we can find something to make a step so that we can stay in the fight for points for the rest of the year. Thanks again to the team and all my supporters!”
Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had two bikes in the garage to run back-to-back Öhlins comparisons, with teammate Alex Marquez also working on the suspension, as well as setup.
“Today we mostly worked on bike set up, fine tuning the base set up we have to get even more from the bike. We’re winning races but I’m not always the fastest and there is always something to improve. We’ve tried quite a few different things today, including revised front forks, and the feeling has been good. We also tested a new rear tyre from Dunlop, but I think we need more laps on this at a few different circuits before coming to any conclusions. Overall a good test for us and now we can enjoy a few days off before heading to Silverstone for the next race.”
“We tested a few different options with the chassis set up as well as some changes to the geometry, mainly to improve the feedback from the front in the hard braking areas here. Not big changes, because I was happy with the set up I had in yesterday’s race, but just a few small things that we thought might bring an additional tenth or two. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made today; we found a few small improvements but we also confirmed that the race set up we went with yesterday was definitely the right one. Now we need to look forward to the next race in Silverstone, which is another of my favourite tracks.”
Italtrans Racing Team worked on geometry and settings, as did Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team). Teluru SAG Team rider Tetsuta Nagashima was more concentrating on ergonomics, as the Japanese rider settles into racing the 2017 Kalex chassis – which he has now had since Brno, meaning every Kalex rider is now on the new chassis.
Forward Racing Team saw Lorenzo Baldassarri sit out the test after his crash during the race weekend, with CEV rider Lukas Tulovic on track in his place. Luca Marini tested a rear thumb brake, looking to adapt the bike to his height as best possible.
Concentrating on the corners, Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was adjusting the steering angle to improve corner entry, with rival Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) also looking to improve turning. The Malaysian used a combination of changes to try and improve, working with the swingarm and the stiffness of the chassis.
Championship challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) was one rider out on track testing a new Dunlop rear tyre, with a different compound, as well as key rival Morbidelli.
Lüthi will be one big name hoping to have made the most of the test day before the Championship gets back in gear at Silverstone – with Morbidelli gaining some ground in Austria and the race on to get it back.
In Moto3, one of the biggest focuses was new tyres brought by Dunlop, with two new front compounds and three new rear tyres that are bigger in diameter.
John McPhee (British Talent Team) was one concentrating on tyres, as was Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) – with teammate Patrik Pulkkinnen instead using the track time to concentrate on riding.
RBA BOE Racing’s Juanfran Guevara and Gabriel Rodrigo also worked on riding, in a slightly different way. Guevara concentrated on working with the tyres, but also sparring with his teammate to give Rodrigo more experience in defensive riding – without losing time.
Sky Racing Team VR46 also had a specific mission for Nicolo Bulega, as the Italian worked on his starts, and the team also worked with chassis upgrades for 2018. Another KTM runner, Maria Herrera (AGR Team), used her time to do more radical setup changes – with Red Bull KTM Ajo also more concentrating on setup, as well as tyres.
Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate), with two bikes to work with due to his teammate’s injury, did back to back comparisons on two different engine maps.
Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing), meanwhile, worked on finding the best geometry and suspension settings with the new swingarm KTM brought before Brno – looking to get more rear grip in the latter stages of the race.
Now it’s time for both classes to get back on the road and head north for Silverstone – and Round 12!
Moto2 Standings after Round 11 – Red Bull Ring – Austria
- Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex ITA 207
- Thomas LUTHI Kalex SWI 181
- Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 153
- Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 133
- Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex ITA 100
- Mattia PASINI Kalex ITA 84
- Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex JPN 79
- Simone CORSI Speed Up ITA 68
- Dominique AEGERTER Suter SWI 5
…22. Remy GARDNER Tech 3 AUS 14
Moto3 Standings after Round 11 – Red Bull Ring – Austria
- Joan MIR Honda SPA 215
- Romano FENATI Honda ITA 151
- Aron CANET Honda SPA 137
- Jorge MARTIN Honda SPA 105
- Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda ITA 95
- John MCPHEE Honda GBR 93
- Marcos RAMIREZ KTM SPA 92
- Andrea MIGNO KTM ITA 83
- Juanfran GUEVARA KTM SPA 71
- Enea BASTIANINI Honda ITA 65