Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo topped the timings in the one day official post-race test at the Automotodrom Brno with a 1:55.394, as the reigning champion proved the fastest man on track ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi (+0.371) and Repsol Honda Team rider Marc Marquez (+0.754).
Those present at the test were Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Repsol Honda Team, Team Suzuki Ecstar, LCR Honda, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Octo Pramac Yakhnich and Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. Action got underway later than expected after a Red Flag due to track conditions at Turn 11, with the majority of the grid then heading out in the early afternoon to begin work in earnest and the end of the session extended by half an hour to compensate.
Magneti Marelli supplied some software updates to all teams, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP were one of those trying the new software in Brno. Yamaha also focused on evaluating a new chassis and swingarm, as well as the electronic updates and evaluating some different front tyre options that are currently in the development stage for 2017. Reigning champion Lorenzo completed 43 laps, with teammate Rossi putting in 60.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 also tested those front tyre options and the new software changes, with riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro completing 90 laps between them to end the day in P6 and P8 respectively. WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes was a special guest with the team too, as the Brit received a MotoGP test ride as a gift from Yamaha following his win for the manufacturer in the Suzuka 8H endurance race – which he recently won alongside Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro.
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa continued to work on settings and setup, with some new parts to try out principally aimed at improving feeling. Marquez was the late mover up the timesheets after status quo had seen the Repsol Honda riders slightly further down the order, putting in a late lap to go third quickest – seven tenths behind Lorenzo and four behind Rossi. Pedrosa and Marquez were another duo who also evaluated the Michelin new front tyre options and put in a combined total of 87 laps.
LCR Honda were back to work after their victory the day before as Cal Crutchlow tested some engine maps and suspension parts to end the day fourth quickest, with Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS focusing instead on the new software and a new setup for Tito Rabat, who completed 83 laps. Jack Miller didn’t take part in the test after injuries sustained in a crash at the Austrian GP and neither did Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro for the same reason.
Maverick Viñales was therefore the lone Team Suzuki Ecstar on track to test in Brno, and the former Moto3 world champion focused on further evaluating a new swingarm, as well as the new software updates from Magneti Marelli and the Michelin front tyre options. Viñales’ best lap – lap 29 of 37 – saw him end the day fifth with a 1:56.524.
Octo Pramac Yakhnich worked on ergonomics with a new seat unit, as well as the new front tyres and set up solutions. Danilo Petrucci had an early end to the day when he suffered an engine failure after having completed 18 laps, remaining in P11 with teammate Scott Redding further up the order in P9 after 47 laps.
The next stop for MotoGP is the British GP at Silverstone on the first weekend in September, with local rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) heading back to his home track as the first British winner of a premier class race since Barry Sheene in 1981.
“We had more or less similar things to try and some of them gave us a benefit to go faster. It has been a positive journey because we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to test today because some corners were dirty in the beginning, but finally the bikes on track improved the grip, it was not the same as during the weekend and we were able to test many things. We tried both new Michelin tyres and they were better than the standard one, better stability and they have better grip in the corners.”
Valentino Rossi – P2
“At the beginning of the day it was very difficult, because the track was dry but very dirty. The lap times were also quite slow but after, when some other riders also entered the track, it started to clean the circuit and at the end it was a very good test day for me personally because we tried different things, especially different chassis and swingarms and I like them. Now we have to speak and understand when we can start the use, but in general it has been a positive test and I was always quite strong with a good pace. At the end, during the time attack, I did a 1’55.7, that is fast, so it was a very good day and I enjoyed it. We had two new front tyres from Michelin, but unfortunately these are for next year. These tyres are very good, I like them and I improved my lap time and also the feeling. After that we worked a bit on the software and made a small improvement, but at the end it was OK.”
Marc Marquez – P3
“The track was quite dirty at the start of the day, but as everyone went out it got cleaned up and the grip increased. We tested a lot of things, including some new front tyres. We focused our work on trying to understand why the bike is lifting into a wheelie coming out of the corners, and we gathered some positive data and some less positive, as often happens in these cases. We found out quite a lot of things about the setup, trying to absorb some of the wheelie and improve our acceleration. We also had a new swingarm, which may have potential at some circuits, so we’ll keep it ready but for now we’ll continue with the one we’ve used so far this season. All in all I think this test has been good and now we look forward to the Silverstone GP.”
Cal Crutchlow – P4
“We’ve had a positive test today and we were quite pleased with the lap times. We tested a couple of front tyres for Michelin and a few small items for Honda. We had to work late because the track wasn’t in ideal condition this morning, but thanks to the team we worked hard all day and hopefully it’ll bring us some positives for Silverstone.”
“Unfortunately the conditions of the track in the morning didn’t allow us to test, so we had to wait until the afternoon to have proper performance. Finally, we could only test some new options in set-up and electronics, we’re still working in the pursuit of traction and we found some new information that will be useful for Silverstone and for the rest of the season. The lap-time has been consistently positive, making our day positive. After a back-to-back race it’s hard to stay for a test, but it was worthwhile. It’s a pity about the conditions, we could have worked a little more and test some more things, but at the end of the day, the work we’ve done will be useful.”
Bradley Smith – P6
“I feel that we have picked up some valuable knowledge that will certainly help us in the future even though we didn’t have a huge amount to test today. We spent the time clarifying certain aspects that we needed to look at so that we can head into Silverstone with a bike that has the best possible setup. We’ve learnt a lot in these past two races and we are starting to find our rhythm, hence why I wanted to check a few things again today. In addition, we’ve improved the bike in corner entry and the initial pickup of the throttle. I still think that we need to work on the sliding going into the corner and then the spinning on the exit. Moreover, for one lap on new tyres, I don’t feel too bad anymore and we’re going in the right direction. Yet, when the asphalt loses its grip on a Sunday, that seems to be where we struggle the most. Anyway, it’s time to head home but after the work that we completed, I am happy and confident as we head towards Silverstone.”
Dani Pedrosa – P7
“We went out late today, as the track conditions weren’t good and we wouldn’t have understood if the work we did was good or not. Finally, we were able to start and we focused our work on trying to clarify the direction we want to follow for the setup in the coming races. Basically we tried to regroup and to find some new ideas to regain some confidence. We also tried a new swingarm and now we’ll analyse everything in order to build upon what we have understood. We didn’t test the new Michelin front tyres as our priorities at this moment were different, but we’ll definitely try them in the next test.”
Pol Espargaro – P8
“We have made some good progress at this test and the work that we did leaves me feeling positive about my chances at future races. At the same time, it wasn’t ideal because we didn’t have too many tyres to use, the track surface was dirty and it was difficult to get into the rhythm this morning. Using only these few tyres meant that we struggled a little bit to get through everything that we wanted to go over. However, we tested some electronic settings, which I think will increase our performance so we will use these at some future GP’s. Furthermore, we also really improved how the bike behaves when braking which is very important because this is what we struggled a lot with this weekend and also in Austria, so it was the main accomplishment of the test. Due to the knowledge that we have gained, I am confident and I am looking forward to the next race.”
“Obviously this was one of the best days of my life! From when you‘re a kid you dream about an opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike and it was fantastic. Obviously I didn‘t do too many laps, but the feel of the bike was incredible. The power of the bike and the way that it turns was everything that I expected and even more than that, so it was an incredible experience. I have to say a massive thank you to Yamaha for giving me this opportunity, it‘s a dream for me. Also a massive thank you to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for giving me the opportunity as well and I‘m so sorry for the crash, but honestly I really enjoyed the experience and it‘s a day I will remember for the rest of my life. The brakes and the tyres are quite a lot different from a WorldSBK bike, but the biggest difference is the power. When I came from my first lap onto the straight I felt the engine‘s full power and it was amazing, I couldn‘t believe how fast it was, so I would say the biggest difference is the power. The crash was on my last couple of laps, nearly at the end of the day and obviously the reason was because I tried to push a bit too much without understanding everything. I braked a bit more and lifted the rear a bit, went a little wide and the track was a bit dirty and I lost he front. It was only a small crash but I‘m feeling really sorry for that. Honestly, it was a fantastic experience and I really enjoyed it, even if I did only 15 laps, they were the best 15 laps I ever had. The YZR-M1 is so nimble and agile, it’s a big step compared to what I have been used to. I have no experience of anything like this before and the way you go from one side to the other, it‘s like you are on a bicycle, it is really easy. So many things felt a lot better for me but were also difficult to understand in the limited time available, but it’s been great.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha Team Director
“Today was a very important test as we were able to evaluate the direction we’re working towards. The day started slow, but has been very positive overall. Jorge and Vale were able to make enough laps to compare and contrast some new chassis, swingarms and two front tyres from Michelin that were brought here to test. We also tested and updated software with good feedback. The engineers will collect the data to prepare the next steps. It’s been a busy two weeks, the team and the riders have earned a small break so we will be ready to attack at Silverstone in a fortnight’s time.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager
“We had a positive day of testing today, despite not being able to lap as much as we wanted; the track was very cold and dirty in the morning, so we could only exploit the afternoon session. After yesterday’s race, we decided to allow Aleix to go back home because his injured finger requires some recovery time, so we will see him again at Silverstone. Maverick, instead, lapped today and did a very good job. He couldn’t lap in the morning because of bad track conditions but finally the situation and conditions got better and better. We didn’t make very big improvements here, technically-wise, but some important fine-tunings; as this test was more meant to check some information and try different combinations of electronics and set-up. Maverick was consistently-fast throughout the afternoon and this is positive, but more-importantly is the positive feeling he reported and the feedback he left with our engineers.”
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