Riders and Team Managers comment on Catalunya MotoGP Test
On the day after an emotional Grand Prix of Catalunya where the tragic loss of Luis Salom cast a shadow over the whole race weekend, the MotoGP riders were all out in force on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second official post-race test of the season.
After having picked up his best result of the year so far on Sunday, LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow continued his positive progress by ending the test day as the fastest rider out on track.
Cal Crutchlow – P1
“Obviously we are happy to be quickest overall, it’s nice to be back on top of the timesheet, even though it’s a Monday and it doesn’t mean anything really. We will take some positives from the day though, and we have worked so well together as a team which means we will go to Assen optimistic. We used the hard tyre for much of the day, because that would be the race tyre here whatever, and we made some setting changes that we had been wanting to try like softening the front end of the bike, which helped it decelerate quite well. There was some electronic stuff to test too, because that takes so long – about 20 to 30 minutes every time you want to make a decent electronic change.We tried the new Michelin front in the morning when it was cooler, and it was positive in some areas and not so good in others, but this is the information they require. Then we tried two new rears towards the end of the day. As you can see from the lap time, they were good. We also tried the ‘over-the-top’ wing for Honda to give them some information. I think maybe it’s a little better.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P2
“It was a positive test. After my crash yesterday I felt quite some pain, especially in my leg, but some pills made me feel better, so I could get through the day quite well. I tried many things, especially some new tyres from Michelin on the rear, some of the them had quite a positive effect on acceleration, and a new chassis from the team, which also gave us some positive points that we will test further tomorrow.”
Maverick Viñales – P3
“Today we focused on testing the evolution chassis that we already had in Valencia and I really feel more confident with it. For the race weekend here in Catalunya we decided to go back to the standard frame as it was too risky to go with the new one, but with the work we’ve done today, and the new settings we tried, the improvement is significant. Compared to yesterday’s pace I could improve a lot, but also the general feeling is better, as it allows me to ride with more confidence. My request was to have more rear-grip, and Suzuki worked to modify the chassis in order to be more efficient in this area. Now I feel more confident in the middle part of corners and this allows me to be less aggressive on the tyres. The engineers will now study and revise all data, but I guess we will keep the evolution chassis in Assen and try to work on that as a base.”
Aleix Espargaró – P5
“This test has been positive because it allowed us to understand many, many things. First of all, we could re-analyse what happened yesterday and take advantage of this and learn from it. Then, we again made a comparison between the standard chassis and the evolution one; the one we already tested in Valencia two weeks ago. Maybe to decide to race the weekend in Catalunya with the evolution chassis was not the best choice for me, because today we spent the morning with it and I felt the same problems I felt during the weekend, then in the afternoon we got back to the standard chassis with new settings and I immediately felt more comfortable and the lap time dropped quickly. This was very helpful to decide which path to take for the next race in Assen. We did many laps today which were very helpful for the new settings and electronics improvements.”
Marc Marquez – P8
“Today I tried out a lot of things, including a chassis and some electronics solutions, and overall, we’ve taken a small step forward today. You always gather a lot of information in a test, which can help you to move forward in the future. With what we’ve learned today, Honda will be able to make their analysis and apply it to the new chassis. The chassis that I tested today was better in some parts of the track, but in others it isn’t entirely suited to my style, so we have to continue working. We have two races coming up at tracks where I’ve always felt very comfortable, so I’m optimistic with that in mind. There are also two weeks between each of them, giving us time to seek further improvements.”
Dani Pedrosa – P10
“We tested various things today, especially with the chassis and a few setups for the electronics and engine to improve our corner exits. Some things we tested worked well and others weren’t yet as good as expected but they gave us more ideas because anyway we’ve found a few positives. We’ll try to keep working with the future in mind; first of all we’re looking at the short term, which is the next race at Assen. There, we’ll try to use some of the feedbacks that we took from today’s test, to see if they work at that track and the coming circuits. Unfortunately I had a crash at midday that meant I could only continue testing with one bike, and I wasn’t able to do many more laps”.
Valentino Rossi – P11
“It was a good test. We concentrated on the tyres and we found something good so the rear tyres are working better than yesterday, but now we have a bigger task because we have to try new things that Yamaha have brought here to test, which will be very interesting for the rest of the season. I tried the new chassis and the first impression was OK and tomorrow we will continue with the rest.”
Bradley Smith – P12
“In general, today was positive and we can leave Barcelona feeling content with what we achieved at the test. After the technical issue in yesterday’s race, I am really pleased to complete 83 laps without any issues at all. I did a lot of tyre testing this morning for Michelin and they brought some interesting options so I’m excited to see how the tyres will evolve in the future. With regards to our setting, the main area of focus was the rear of the bike which seems to be where I’m most sensitive at the moment. We had quite a few different rear shock solutions that we wanted to try and although the result won’t necessarily boost performance, it will certainly make our weekend easier if I am struggling like I was here. Now, we have a good direction as well as more of an understanding about my YZR-M1. I’m always happy about these types of test because, like in Jerez, I can leave with more knowledge and added confidence for the package that I have. I will rest up now for two weeks and then get ready for Assen which I am looking forward to.”
Pol Espargaro – P13
“Overall, the test was successful and we can leave here feeling pleased with what we discovered. We worked on the tyres, the clutch and suspension settings, but the main area of focus was to try to improve the rear grip which was our weakness this weekend and we have made good progress even if I didn’t really go for a fast single lap time. With regards to the tyres, I sampled one new option and I ran ten consistent laps on it. It felt really good because there was stability at the beginning of a run and the drop off was not big, similarly to the medium option. We collected some good information and the best improvements are the traction and the increased stability, which is key. I don’t know exactly when this tyre will be introduced, but my feedback is positive. For the suspension, we adjusted the rear shock as we had a lack of grip on the rear, so I tried three settings and found some encouraging results. Considering that we were already competitive yesterday, I am now confident that I can be even stronger because of today’s outcome. I am pleased with the race performance because it was the first time that we were competing with the front guys so we deserved our result here and with the knowledge that we have gained, the team and I are optimistic for Assen.”
Alvaro Bautista – P14
“First and foremost we tested some new tyres today and I’m rather satisfied with them. On the front the new specification tyre gave me a good feeling and the rear tyres all showed improved performance. We also worked hard on the chassis and the electronics, without any clear steps but continuing our process of fine-tuning the RS-GP. I think that what we did over the weekend and in the tests today will be useful for us at Assen, although it is a track with very different characteristics compared to Barcelona”.
Stefan Bradl – P16
“We took a lot of laps, working hard on the chassis with numerous changes. We need these tests a lot. They help us to discover the bike and they let us test some solutions that would be difficult to analyse during a race weekend. After such an intense weekend and a test day with 82 laps taken, we’ll head to Assen full of both data to analyse and motivation to do well”.
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“After already three days of riding, Jorge, Vale and the team again put in a lot of effort and this made it a successful test so far. We stuck to our schedule and were able to test and compare the required materials for the day. The riders used this one day of official testing to try out a new frame, two rear-arm specifications and they also helped develop the front and rear tyres brought by Michelin. The initial feedback from the riders on the chassis and the tyres was positive. Tomorrow we will continue our test programme and the main task is to decide which chassis is better. If we conclude that the new frame is better, we might have it ready at the next round in Assen. So far we can be satisfied with today‘s results because Jorge rode an impressive lap in the 1‘44.202s on used tyres, which is almost as fast as his pole position lap and shows we are making good progress. Valentino mainly focused on testing the Michelin tyres. His feelings were positive, so we will continue to work on this concept when we are back on the track tomorrow for a private test, which we will use to make our final comparison between the options we tested today.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“During today’s test we had the chance to revise what happened in the racing weekend, gaining more experience and knowledge. With Maverick we re-tested the chassis that we tested in Valencia, which was dropped for the Catalunya race as there was no time in a racing weekend for proper comparisons. Here, he had more time to analyse the feelings and at the end of the day, this evolution frame gave him a good feedback, therefore we will likely take it to Assen for the race. We did some tests on the chassis also with Aleix, who in the end decided to keep the standard version chassis. With both of them we tested different solutions of electronics and settings, in particular for Aleix, to better-manage the front tyre drop, while for Maverick to have the rear-end work more efficiently. It’s been a positive day of work and we gathered more data, which we will try to exploit in Assen and also in the next races.”
Catalunya MotoGP Official Test Results
C. Crutchlow, LCR Honda, 1’43.963 [72/73]
J. Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’44.202 [26/49]
M. Viñales, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1’44.310 [9/65]
A. Iannone, Ducati Team, 1’44.390 [26/36]
A. Espargaró, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1’44.717 [31/64]
H. Barbera, Avintia Racing, 1’44.889 [33/75]
A. Dovizioso, Ducati Team, 1’44.968 [54/55]
M. Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, 1’45.029 [42/77]
S. Redding, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1’45.328 [58/60]
D. Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, 1’45.379 [21/39]
V. Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’45.454 [23/42]
B. Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech3, 1’45.670 [44/83]
P. Espargaró, Monster Yamaha Tech3, 1’45.835 [3/48]
A. Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, 1’46.338 [28/72]
D. Petrucci, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1’46.515 [26/67]
S. Bradl, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, 1’46.524 [44/82]
J. Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’47.005 [14/48]
T. Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’47.481 [3/16]
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