MotoGP 2017 – Jerez Test – May 8, 2017
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine

Yamaha men test new chassis – Vinales tops timesheets but Rossi languished in 21st despite putting in 62 laps
Less than a tenth separated Vinales, Marquez and Pedrosa during a one-day MotoGP Test at Jerez overnight

After Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took his first win of the year on Sunday, bikes were back out on track the following day for the Jerez Test – the first post-race test of the year.

The tyre allocation for the test was the same as available throughout the weekend, plus an extra front option with a stiffer construction, in a medium and hard compound – a key component for the grid to evaluate.

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was top, but by only 0.002 from Championship rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Viñales put in 84 laps throughout the day, with a best of 1:38.635 to go top. Both Yamaha riders were focusing on a new chassis as well as tyre testing.

Maverick Vinales – P1

“During the Jerez test we tested different things on the bike. The new chassis works quite well. We compared the same set-up from yesterday with the same tyres, to see if it was working good. Today we had a totally different result compared to yesterday, we had a really good pace. Anyway, we have to start looking forward to Le Mans, because I think that will be a good track for us, especially with my riding style, and we can do a really good job. There were positive and negative points when testing the new chassis, we have to check and analyse and then we will see. I tried the different style front tyre and I feel good with nearly all the tyres, so for me it‘s alright. If they want to go back to the old compounds, for me it‘s going to be OK.”

Valentino Rossi started the test with caution, he steadily booked progress as he worked on fine-tuning his bike‘s setting compared to yesterday. Rather than putting in a hot lap, he spent most of the session testing small details of the set-up he hadn’t been able to try during the Spanish GP weekend, due to a shortened amount of dry track time when rain dampened the Friday free practice sessions. After completing 62 laps in the blistering sunshine, he ended the day in twenty-first place with a fastest lap of 1’40.463s, 1.828s off his teammate’s time.”

Valentino Rossi – P21

“We tried something different with the setting, but unfortunately it didn‘t work in the race. Today‘s results we‘re trying a more normal setting, unfortunately the new stuff, also the new chassis, doesn‘t work better. In this test we tried some different things and I think that we understand something important to fix the problem for the future. I tried the harder carcass tyre and for me it didn‘t make a big difference, but I prefer the one with the harder carcass.

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It was important to have the possibility to stay here for some testing after yesterday‘s race. We had the opportunity to test an updated frame with both riders as well as the new front tyre that Michelin brought. The new frame had some positive points, though there are some areas that we can still improve. While Valentino was working on different bike set-ups, Maverick went out on a bike with the same set-up and tyres, when the temperature was exactly the same as yesterday during the race. He did half a race simulation and the pace was faster than yesterday. During these laps, the feeling of the bike was that it worked as we expected it to work during the race. We will now analyse all the data that we collected today and yesterday to try to understand what the culprit was. We are looking forward to making another step in Le Mans in two weeks‘ time!”

The Repsol Honda Team ended the day in P2 and P3 – Marquez in P2 with a 1:38.637 after 96 laps, and race winner Pedrosa on a 1:38.716 after 52 laps. Both tested a new exhaust used by LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow throughout the Spanish GP, with tyres also a key point of interest, along with some updated electronics.

Marc Marquez – P2

“I’m quite happy with today’s test. We did many laps and tried many things, working hard. It took us half the day to set up this new exhaust, but I think it was important as it has some potential. It was positive and now we must evaluate if we should use it in Le Mans or carry out some more comparisons. Anyway, we took some steps forward, especially with used tyres. I’m happy because we worked a lot with the hard rear and it was a positive day. I also tried the front tyre that Michelin brought here to test, and it gives me more stability on the brakes, more feedback on turning. I like it. Of course now they’ll collect the feedback of all the other riders, so we’ll see what they decide regarding that.”

Dani Pedrosa – P3

“Today we had perfect track conditions, pretty similar to yesterday but I would say with more grip. I think it was quite a positive day because we tested the front tyres Michelin brought here and did some comparison tests. I’m happy because it was important to have the chance to test the tyre in this kind of good conditions. It gives a bit of a different feeling, but of course the setting is important to understand which one is better, as it must be adapted. Today the feeling was positive enough, and now we’ll see what choice will be made and we’ll deal with it as well as possible. That will be our attitude regarding this matter. We also did some comparison tests with the exhaust I had only tried very briefly in Austin. There’s potential there for some improvement, and we just need to fix some details to make everything work better. We also made some improvements with the electronics and confirmed that our base setup was working. Now we’ll sum up everything to prepare for Le Mans.”

Crutchlow focused on the exhaust, electronics and rear suspension over his day of 70 laps, and the Brit posted the seventh quickest time of the day – a 1:39.319.

Cal Crutchlow – P7

“Today was a long day, we tested all through lunchtime and we had many things that we wanted to try on small runs. We were not testing any new parts, just what we were running over the weekend to see if could improve and overall it was quite positive. Our pace was good, the lap times were consistently fast – in the low 40s – which was good and it was hotter today. We’re pleased with the way the team worked. Our electronic engineer had some late nights here and he had a busy day again, but we’re happy with what we’ve done and we can now focus on getting a positive result in Le Mans.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger ended the day in P9 and P14 with bests of 1:39.528 and 1:39.797 respectively, with the Frenchman putting in 42 laps and the German 39. Folger focused on setting, and working with the front.

Johann Zarco – P9

“After the great race yesterday, it was good to get back on the bike again and work with the team. In the GP, I wasn’t able to keep up with Lorenzo and he could exit the corners better than me. Improving this was our main focus today and we advanced, as my feeling is better. It was quite hot and windy so the conditions were similar to yesterday, which was useful. Overall, we tested a combination of various factors, because, as I said, I wanted to work on the exit drive in the corner, more than the entry, and I want to understand the electronics, chassis and suspension as much as possible. I still need the experience and I have to grow with all of the elements in my hands so that step by step I can understand this awesome Yamaha bike more. As for the Michelin front tyre, it was good to try it, and I was almost doing the same lap times as yesterday so it was perhaps better. However, I don’t have enough experience to comment fully about it. Overall, what we achieved today was beneficial and in the similar conditions to yesterday, I improved my pace and I was faster. So I can be positive for the upcoming races and for my home Grand Prix at Le Mans.”

Jonas Folger – P14

“We achieved some solid results today and improved in several key areas so we are all really happy. It was a hot day, and the conditions were similar to when we raced which was great because we could directly compare what we found today to yesterday. We tried to find a better balance in order to use the front tyre more effectively and we also worked to find additional traction on the rear, which meant that I had to adjust how I ride the bike. I can exit the corner well so I experimented with changing my riding style to get more grip and I tried a different method which was entering the corner faster and exiting slower. This will be useful when the tyres and the traction start to drop in a race. It took us a while to get the feeling and we had to adjust the bike a bit, but we found our way and the results were positive and valuable for the future. With regards to the new tyre, it’s a very good step, and I have heard good things from the Yamaha riders. I was impressed by the tyre itself, which was really stable, especially during braking and I gained a lot of confidence with it. We made some important steps forward so all in all we are very happy and I look forward to the next race at Le Mans.”

Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders had some small parts to try from Honda, with Jack Miller ending the day in P11 with a 1:39.548 and Rabat just behind with a 1:39.576. The test brought a positive conclusion to what had been a difficult weekend, with Miller and Rabat both crashing out of Sunday’s 27-lap Spanish Grand Prix. Both riders tested once again the front tyre that Michelin last supplied at the final race of 2017 at Valencia, which is of a stiffer construction than the tyres used so far this season, with mixed results.

Electronics were an area that Miller and his crew also worked on today, but the Australian’s main focus was on evaluating chassis set up options on his Honda RC213V. Miller completed more than 80 laps and was satisfied with both his pace and his consistency.

Jack Miller – P11

“It’s been a positive day of testing for us here in Jerez and we’ve certainly put in the laps today. The best thing is that they were all good quality laps when you look at the times and the consistency, so I’m pretty happy with that. We also tried the new front tyre; well it’s more of an old new front because we’ve tried it before. I liked it and it worked well in the heat here, but there’s a question mark over how well it will work when we get to colder tracks like Assen or Sachsenring. We threw in a soft tyre right at the end, but there was too much spinning from the rear to set a faster lap time.”

Rabat also worked with his crew to evaluate different traction control settings on his Honda RC213V before going on to equal his fastest time from the race weekend, but this time on the medium option rear tyre rather than the soft he used in qualifying.

Tito Rabat – P12

“I really enjoyed this morning and it’s been a positive test overall. We focussed mainly on the electronics, trying different settings for things like the traction control and we fixed some issues we’ve been having as well as finding some improvements. With the front tyre we tested here the lap time and the consistency was the same as with the previous tyre, so no big change, but the character is different. We need to adjust because, while it’s good for the lap time, I had some stability issues when releasing the brakes going into the corner. We also need to see how the tyre works when the track temperature isn’t as high as it is here in Jerez.”

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head straight from Jerez to Valencia, where Miller and Rabat will participate in a one-day wet tyre test for Michelin.

The Ducati Team of Andrea Dovizioso and Spanish GP podium finisher Jorge Lorenzo ended the day in fifth and sixth respectively, with best laps of 1:39.030 and 1:39.124. The Borgo Panigale factory brought no new parts, focusing on the Michelin rubber.

Andrea Dovizioso – P5

“Today we tested some new front tyre solutions, but I actually didn’t find that much difference from the ones we used during the weekend. We also carried out some interesting set-up work which we were unable to do in the last few days. All in all, our speed was not bad and I go back home from Jerez with some good sensations, especially because in the race we were able to salvage a very difficult situation and this was a great result.”

Jorge Lorenzo – P6

“Today, even though we didn’t really try anything new, we found some more effective solutions to the ones we used yesterday in the race. Overall I’m very satisfied, above all because I’m continuing to rack up the mileage on the bike and am starting to feel that it’s really mine. We were also able to test the new front tyre today, but I continue to prefer the one we have used until now because, in my opinion, it has better grip especially in mid-corner.”

Octo Pramac Racing Ducati riders Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci had two distinct days of testing, with the Brit in P10 as a later improver and the Italian in P15. Redding focused on early race pace with a full tank and new tyres, with Petrucci trying a new front fork to improve turning on his GP17.
 
Reale Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was another improver in the afternoon up to P8. The Spaniard raised the seat and footpeg height on his GP16 in the test, trying to find more front feeling, as teammate Loris Baz worked on the front end to get more comfortable on his GP15.

Hector Barbera – P8

“It was a positive day and I leave Jerez really happy. Today we finally found the good direction to get my feeling back and be comfortable riding my bike. At the end of the day I put one soft rear tyre and I did the best lap of my life at this circuit. The feelings are comingback and this is the best news of this test. Maybe we are not at 100% yet, but we are closer and this makes me very optimistic. We also tried the front Michelin bought here and I liked it, but the most important thing was the riding position changes, because I did the same lap times with both front tyres.”

Loris Baz – P19

“We did a really good job today when the track temperature was higher and using the same tyres from the race. We have found a solution to the problems we have had over the weekend. We also tested the front tyre that Michelin has brought, but I did not like it very much, I do not have the same feeling as with this year’s one. Overall it was a very positive practice day and I leave Jerez much happier than I finished the race yesterday. Now I have to work hard to prepare for my home race at Le Mans.”

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was an impressive performer, in fourth on the timesheets with a best of 1:38.999 after 69 laps. The rider from Granollers was one of those with the most additions to test, including a new swingarm and internal cooling ducts for the fuel tank – as well working on electronics and testing a new fairing. Teammate Sam Lowes did over 60 laps as he continues his progression, ending the day in P22.

Aleix Espargaro – P4

“I am satisfied with this test. We tried a lot of things and I was able to be more competitive than I was in the race yesterday. We are working to better understand how the bike behaves in load transfers. In fact, the RS-GP is extremely stable in braking, but it suffers when I release the brake. The front tyre with the more rigid carcass provides benefits in this sector. I think it may be interesting to try it again. Overall, we took a step forward in terms of getting to know the bike and we have a lot of data to work on from now until the next race.”

Sam Lowes – P22

“Today we worked mainly on understanding what happened yesterday. In fact, I started with the bike in identical conditions to the race, immediately improving my times. It is strange. It could be due both to the track conditions and to my lack of experience. The important thing was getting back to lapping at the times I was doing during practice. I also tested a new swingarm that should increase stability, but I think it may work better on tracks with more grip. Both the new front tyre that Michelin brought and the downforce fairing gave positive signals. They are not massive differences, but in any case it is a tangible contribution to my feeling with the RS-GP. Honestly I think this has been the best test for me so far”.

Team Suzuki Ecstar brought no new parts, but focused on front-end feeling – especially given the new front tyre to evaluate. Andrea Iannone was P12 with a 1:39.654, with test rider Takuya Tsuda in P18. Le Mans replacement rider for injured Alex Rins, Sylvain Guintoli, rode in the afternoon as he gets back in the GP groove – and will remain at Jerez on Tuesday alongside Andrea Iannone for another day of track action after 37 initial laps on first contact.

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“It’s been quite a busy day as we had three riders that used 5 bikes, which gave us the possibility to try many things. Finally, we could find much information and hopefully find a direction to work that seems to be effective. I want to thank very much Andrea and Tsuda, they did a massive amount of work. We also had Sylvain joining us and although he could run only a couple of hours, his lap time was not bad at all, so we are looking forward to test again tomorrow with him and then see him in action in Le Mans. Still we have a lot of work to do tomorrow, we are trying different setup configurations specifically to improve the feeling with the bike and the drive speed. Some things proved to be good, others were bad, and this gave us a clearer idea of the direction to take. We are also introducing some new ideas for the electronics and Andrea seemed to be happy with the progresses.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We did a very intense day of work today, both Andrea and Tsuda ran more than 90 laps each which allowed us to try many things. One thing was to test the Michelin front tyre, just like every other team did and we liked it. In case Michelin will decide to keep it as an option we would be positive about this. Then with Andrea we wanted to take a breath in a more calm situation as a test is to explore all the possibilities we have with the setting and balancing, and we managed to make a positive work. We collected much information, we could make many back-to-back tests and compare different configurations. The same we did with the electronics, we saw some small improvements. Tomorrow we will continue this work trying to check some more ideas we still have and finally put everything together to create an effective package for Le Mans. Also with Sylvain we started the preparation for the race, today he could run 37 laps as a first touch of our GSX-RR and the Michelin tyres, there are so many new things he has to adapt to. Tomorrow he will stay with us and he will have available for him the whole crew, since the mechanics today had to split between Sylvain and Tsuda. It’s going be a full day for him, but he’s getting back to MotoGP in his home grand prix so I’m sure that he is eager to get as ready as he can just as much as we are to put him in the best conditions for a positive race.”

 

Andrea Iannone – P13

“Today we could focus on many different setup configurations and I’m pretty satisfied because we could find a positive direction to continue the development. My feeling is that this one has been one of the most positive tests I’ve ever done with Suzuki, it’s been very intense and productive, we really tested so many things and I’m satisfied. We could explore new configurations with the balance of the bike that made me feel more confident. Also, we tried the Michelin front tyre: I like it, although to be honest I was expecting a bigger improvement. I feel better, but not that much better. We are also working on the electronics but we need some patience, for the moment we are more focusing on the rideability of the bike, on my feeling, and step-by-step we are getting there.”

Takuya Tsuda – P18

“As I had a chance to experience a MotoGP race for the first time in my life, it had changed my idea a lot and I could find a lot of information which I would never found if I didn’t experience the race. The test today was definitely more efficient ever and I’m sure that I will have different ideas of approach for the further development of GSX-RR. I’m happy that I had improved my qualifying time today and could also keep the good pace more consistently, and I’m confident that I can do a much better race if I start the race weekend tomorrow. I would like to thank the team for giving me this wonderful opportunity and I believe this experience will also help to improve my performance in Japan for the All Japan Championship.

Sylvain Guintoli – P23

“This day was even better than I expected. The feeling with a MotoGP bike is something difficult to explain, it’s unique, and this Suzuki GSX-RR is just fantastic. For me today was only a few laps to understand how the bike behaves, and also to try to understand the Michelin tyres which I haven’t ridden since 2002, so quite a big time. I felt good, we managed to improve the lap time step-by-step and I literally can’t wait for tomorrow to keep improving the feeling and work with this fantastic bike and crew. The engine is so fast and so smooth, I’m impressed. Now I have also to work on my riding style because looking at the data it looks like I’m already strong in braking and acceleration, but I can improve the feeling with entrance and cornering speed. It’s pretty normal as it’s a completely different machine from the one I’m used to race, I was expecting this but honestly I was expecting also my gap from the top to be much bigger, but instead I’m not so far.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had race riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith at the test, as well as test rider Mika Kallio. Espargaro focused on reconfirming results so far for the Austrian factory, checking previous data was correct after racking up a lot of miles since the last chance the teams had the chance to test outside of a race weekend. The three men were P16, P17 and P20 respectively, with Espargaro’s 1:39.959 the best lap of the day from the KTM men who between them logged and a combined total of over 150 laps.


 
Next up is Le Mans for the French GP, with even more data gathered and steps made as the early stages of the Championship this year begin to take shape. Action gets underway on the Bugatti circuit on May 19th.

MotoGP 2017 – Jerez Test Results – Monday, May 8
  1. Vinales 1m38.635
  2. Marquez +0.002
  3. Pedrosa +0.081
  4. Espargaro A +0.283
  5. Dovizioso +0.395
  6. Lorenzo +0.489
  7. Crutchlow +0.684
  8. Barbera +0.825
  9. Zarco +0.893
  10. Redding +0.901
  11. Miller +0.913
  12. Rabat +0.941
  13. Iannone +1.019
  14. Folger +1.162
  15. Petrucci +1.244
  16. Espargaro P +1.324
  17. Smith +1.476
  18. Tsuda +1.528
  19. Baz +1.742
  20. Kallio +1.747
  21. Rossi +1.828
  22. Lowes +1.937
  23. Guintoli +2.625
MotoGP 2017 – MotoGP Championship Points Standings after Round Four at Jerez
  1. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 62 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
  2. VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 60 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
  3. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 58 Repsol Honda Team
  4. PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 52 Repsol Honda Team
  5. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 41 Ducati Team
  6. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 35 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  7. CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 29 LCR Honda
  8. FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 29 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  9. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 28 Ducati Team
  10. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 26 Octo Pramac Racing
  11. REDDING Scott 45 GBR 26 Octo Pramac Racing
  12. MILLER Jack 43 AUS 21 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS
  13. ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 17 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
  14. BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 14 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
  15. BAZ Loris 76 FRA 12 Reale Avintia Racing
  16. BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 12 Reale Avintia Racing
  17. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 9 Team Suzuki Ecstar
  18. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 9 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
  19. RABAT Tito 53 SPA 8 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS
  20. RINS Alex 42 SPA 7 Team Suzuki Ecstar
  21. SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 3 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
  22. ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 2 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing