MotoGP Phillip Island Testing Day One (March 3) 1730 Update
By Trevor Hedge with images from Andrew Gosling
After a somewhat disappointing performance at Sepang last week, Yamaha star Jorge Lorenzo seems to be finding things more to his liking this morning at Phillip Island after quickly sneaking under the 1m30s barrier to post a best of 1m29.715 early in the day. He lowered that mark to a 1m29.213 late this afternoon. Valentino Rossi was second quickest for most of the afternoon before being pushed back to third by Cal Crutchlow, the Ducati man recording a 1m29.576 in the dying minutes of today’s session.
It is important to note, however, that today’s lap times do not represent a true indication of outright pace. Riders used six different compounds of tyres throughout the day, and at different times to each other, thus the times are vaguely indicative at best. Today was all about tyre research to try and save MotoGP from the same type of major embarrassment that beset the series at the 4.4km Australian circuit last year. In 2013 the Moto2 race distance was halved due to the rubber not being up to managing the distance, while MotoGP had a forced pit stop strategy replace tyres due to the Bridgestone MotoGP rubber proving unsafe for any more than half the regular race distance.
Today the schedules were for short runs, six to eight lap sessions, evaluating some new experimental Phillip Island specific tyres with longer runs scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, where the favoured one or two compounds from today will be put through more punishing race distance simulations.
Unlikely rumours surfaced last week that Casey Stoner might jump aboard a Repsol Honda for the test to provide more feedback to the team while World Champion Marc Marquez, continues to recover from a broken leg. #27 is yet to pop his head up at Phillip Island though so those rumours are more than likely just the clickbait they were designed to be, rather than having any credible basis in fact.
Andrea Dovizioso was feeling under the weather this morning but hit the track this afternoon and was quickly up to speed.
In the Moto2 ranks, two leading teams have been selected by Dunlop to work on behalf of the tyre company, as Marc VDS Racing Team is represented by Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat, the latter of which was the hard worker of the day with 100 laps under his belt; while Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol and Jordi Torres also put in plenty of laps at Phillip Island today testing the nine tyre options Dunlop have brought Down Under for this test. Kallio fell at Siberia this afternoon, suffering an injury to his wrist, but precautionary x-rays showed the damage to be tissue rather than skeletal, his Marc VDS mechanics are busily rebuilding his bike in anticipation of tomorrow’s testing workload.
It was a sunny 25° at Phillip Island today. 30° is predicted for tomorrow but with a chance of rain, infrequent showers are also possible on Wednesday. There was negligible wind at Phillip Island today.
Phillip Island MotoGP Testing – Times Updated at 1730- Monday, March 3rd
*It is important to note that today’s lap times do not represent a true indication of outright pace.
*Riders used six different compounds of tyres throughout the day, and at different times to each other, thus the times are vaguely indicative at best.
Jorge Lorenzo / 1m29.213 / 68 laps
Cal Crutchlow / 1m29.576 / 68 laps
Valentino Rossi / 1m29.730 / 85 laps
Dani Pedrosa / 1m29.961 / 88 laps
Andrea Dovizioso / 1m29.965 / 60 laps
Tito Rabat / 1m32.316 / 100 laps
Nico Terol / 1m33.290 / 82 laps
Mika Kallio / 1m33.440 / 62 laps
Jordi Torres / 1m34.000 / 56 laps
Dani Pedrosa 1’29.961 (88 laps) – “This morning I spent time riding to regain my feel for this track, and then after lunch I began the testing programme with the new compounds. We’ve been evaluating the different tyres that have been brought here, and tomorrow we will continue our testing with another compound.”
Nico Terol 1.33.290 (82 laps): “So far it has been a very productive test. We have been through a variety of different compound tyres – some I liked, some not so much – but in general Dunlop have done a good job. At the end of the day we also made a change to the front of the bike that worked really well, giving us the turning we have been looking for for a while. It was thanks to this that I improved my time on the final lap and I am happy with the lap time and my feeling on the bike. We know we have a lot of improving still to do but we did 82 laps today so it has been productive. Hopefully tomorrow can be the same.”
Jordi Torres 1.34.000 (56 laps): “Dunlop have prepared this test for us and today they had two different tyres for us to test. We started out this morning with the same rubber we used for the race here last year and after some fast laps Dunlop gave us another one to try. They gave us some pretty clear directions and we focused purely on giving them specific feedback. Halfway through the day we had a little engine problem but luckily we were able to fix it. The engine was worn out so it was a good opportunity to fit the new one.”
Phillip Island Times put in context (From our research undertaken through our own archives today – please email corrections if you think there are any errors in the data)
1m27.899 – MotoGP Qualifying Record – Jorge Lorenzo’s pole position time from 2013
1m28.108 – MotoGP Race Lap Record – Marc Marquez (Honda) at Phillip Island last year
1m30.038 – World Superbike Superpole – Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) in 2014
1m30.949 – World Superbike race lap record – Chaz Davies on the Ducati Panigale this year
1m32.075 – 250cc Grand Prix Qualifying record – Marco Simoncelli on a Gilera in 2008
1m32.274 – Australian Production Superbike pole position – Wayne Maxwell (Suzuki) at 2013 MotoGP
1m32.316 – Australian Production Superbike race lap record – Wayne Maxwell (Honda) at 2009 MotoGP
1m32.530 – Moto2 Qualifying record – Pol Espargaro on a Kalex in 2013
1m32.545 – World Supersport pole position record – Sam Lowes (Yam) in 2013
1m32.710 – 250cc Grand Prix race lap record – Alvaro Bautista on an Aprilia RSV250 in 2008
1m32.743 – 500cc Grand Prix lap record Kenny Roberts Jr. (Suz) in 1999 (Roberts led the race early on before a chunking rear tyre caused him to lose pace)
1m32.814 – Moto2 Race Lap Record set by Alex De Angelis (Speed Up) in 2013
1m36.625 – 125cc Grand Prix Qualifying record set by Mika Kallio on a KTM in 2006
1m36.650 – Moto3 Qualifying record set by Maverick Vinales on a KTM in 2013
1m36.915 – Time set on a 1982 Suzuki Katana by Shawn Giles at the 2013 Island Classic
1m36.927 – 125cc Grand Prix lap record set by Alvaro Bautista on a Honda RS125S in 2006
1m37.073 – Moto 3 Race Lap Record set by Alex Marquez (KTM) in 2013
1m38.726 – Sidecar lap record set by Steve Webster and David James in 1999
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