Valentino Rossi tops Brno Test ahead of Marquez, Vinales
New Ducati fairing gives Lorenzo front-end confidence
MotoGP 2017 Czech Repulic Brno Test Times – Monday August 7th
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’55.162
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.0183
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.173
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 0.380
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 0.529
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 0.606
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.633
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 0.668
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.961
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.101
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1.241
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1.373
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1.472
- RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1.475
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.506
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.814
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2.689
- TSUDA Takuya 22 JPN Suzuki Test Team Suzuki 4.587
One of the biggest headlines behind the timesheets was a new aero fairing for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, which didn’t break cover during the race weekend.
The team also tried new Öhlins carbon forks and worked on settings, with Maverick Viñales doing 69 laps with a best of 1:55.335 in P3 and Valentino Rossi putting in 52 laps. The ‘Doctor’’s best was a 1:55.162 to take over at the top from Marquez as the session drew to a close. That time was 1.93-seconds than Rossi managed during the race at Brno.
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“After yesterday‘s race it was good that we were able to get extra dry track time and do some testing that we didn‘t have time for during the weekend. Vale and Maverick tried the new fairing, the Öhlins carbon front forks and some other items. There were a few positive and negative points, but overall the rider feedback has been very positive. Maverick worked on the electronics and had a better feeling at the end of the test, and Valentino made a big step today, which resulted in him setting the fastest time of the session. The engineers will go over all the data that we‘ve collected, and they will prepare the next steps forward. It’s been a busy first week after the summer break, so now we have our muscles all warmed up again and we‘re ready to go to Spielberg for the next race in Austria.”
Valentino Rossi – P1
“I’m so happy, because it’s been a long time since I was able to be in the first position on a Monday. I don’t usually like the Monday tests, they are a difficult part of my work. It’s important because we finished a good weekend with a good performance. Being in first position is always a good feeling. Between all the things we tried, we tried the fairing that was good. I have a good feeling, but that depends on the track, I don’t think that for example at a track like Austria this fairing will be very important. I’m happy. I like the fork, because it helps in the change of direction and the bike is easier and lighter, so it’s a good option.”
Maverick Vinales – P3
“We were trying to get more acceleration, which is really important in Austria to get a good lap time. We improved and I feel happy again on the bike, I‘m riding really good. We also tried many things with the electronics that we improved, so I‘m quite happy. The carbon front forks from Öhlins feel much lighter, but anyway the effect wasn‘t the one we wanted. We‘ll try it again in Austria and let‘s see how we do there. We didn‘t try the two new front Michelin tyres, we wanted to keep the momentum going with this tyre and keep the best feeling for Austria.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage had Jonas Folger trying a different chassis and teammate Johann Zarco focusing on settings, specifically to improve corner exit. Folger did 48 laps and was P8, Zarco 70 laps to take fifth.
Johann Zarco – P5
“After a solid weekend, but a tricky race, I was just happy to be back on my Yamaha today, yet the test went positively for me and we completed a lot of laps. The team and I didn’t test any new parts, but we looked at the setup of the YZR-M1 in order to improve the feeling and to try to always be fast yet relaxed. We did a good job and now I can also understand the bike a bit better, which allows me to give more valuable comments to the crew who can then enhance my Yamaha even more. Today I especially focused on the corner exit. When you start to struggle in a Grand Prix, it’s usually because of the rear grip and it’s sometimes difficult to have a solid drive and to follow the other riders, so I worked on this. Also, I tried the new tyres and the results were pleasing because we had a rear tyre that gave me a good feeling but it’s for next year. Additionally, I tried a front compound that Viñales likes, and I too am pleased with it. Today was positive and we made some interesting steps forward so let’s see how these results work in Austria.”
Jonas Folger – P8
“The test today was very positive for us at Brno and we definitely found some advantages that will help. I sampled a difference chassis, which was interesting and I really like it. The turning is a little bit better than the other chassis so we have decided to use it for the rest of the season. Yet, before we did this, we worked on the settings in order to solve the issues that we experienced at the weekend. All in all, we did a super job. The aim was to try to get more load on the front, and the results are very positive. In addition, the chassis was beneficial as well so we certainly made two steps forward. In the end, we are more than pleased about today and I am looking forward to Spielberg where we will try the new settings that we found, and also the new chassis.”
Repsol Honda teammates Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa spent the day prepping for the Austrian GP, working on the electronics and trying different settings.
Marquez did 67 laps with a best of 1:55.180 for second. Pedrosa, fresh from his 150th podium, put in a best of 1:55.795 after 53 laps and was P7.
Marc Marquez – P2
“I’m very happy with today. I had a good feeling on the bike as soon as I got on to the track. Today’s fresh temperature combined with the good conditions of the asphalt allowed us to easily make some very good lap times; we have been very competitive on race pace. We tried several things on our bike’s race setup as it was the perfect day to understand the various settings, also in view of the next GPs. We worked on electronics and we also tried a new front Michelin tyre. We leave from here having made a few improvements and with a few ideas to try in Austria.”
Dani Pedrosa – P7
“Today we worked a lot on several little details we want to improve on our bike setup, aiming to be more comfortable during the race weekend. We tried a few mappings looking to get a better control on the throttle, besides some different setups for the front fork. We made some steps forward compared to the last time we worked in those areas, though we need to work more on them. We tried some Michelin tyres for future races. The track conditions were good and the grip increased more and more over the day but we did not go for a time attack, preferring to concentrate on the setup of our bike. The team did a good job and in general it was a positive day.”
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow was working to solve some issues he’d encountered during the Czech GP, before focusing heavily on getting ready for the hard braking and hard acceleration of the Austrian GP. He was P6 after 48 laps.
Cal Crutchlow – P6
“I didn’t feel too bad, by the time I stopped for the day I’d done the most laps. We’re always trying to improve the package, my team did a good job today and I’m pleased with the pace we had and I’m looking forward now to going to Austria. We were concentrating on the braking as always to try and gain half a second in every braking zone, we just have to try and do the best job we can. We had a positive day today at Brno, but Spielberg may be a different story, I hope not. We used two sets of medium tyres all day, and no soft tyres, and did not too bad lap times, so I’m pleased and we can go away from here happy”.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS
EG 0,0 Marc VDS saw Jack Miller trying a softer triple clamp, and worked on increasing rear grip, which has been an issue for the Australian in recent races, and to improve turning performance. The test also allowed Miller more time to readapt to the demands of his Honda RC213V, having spent the summer break testing and racing a superbike at the Suzuki Eight-Hours, as well as evaluating two new tyres from Michelin, one front and one rear.
Miller declared himself satisfied with progress made during today’s test, which he finished with a time of 1’56.634, placing him 13th on the timesheet and just over a second off the fastest time of the day.
Jack Miller – P13
“Today was mostly about rediscovering the feeling on the MotoGP bike and Michelin tyres after picking up some bad habits on the superbike in Suzuka! Overall it was a really positive test here for us, with some consistent lap times and really good pace on the medium tyre, so I’m happy. We also spent some time working on the geometry in preparation for Austria next weekend, where late braking is critical. I have slightly less than fond memories after the track did a number on me last year, but I’m excited to go back.”
Tito Rabat focussed on chassis set up today, evaluating changes to both the balance and geometry of his Honda RC213V, as he worked to improve drive and traction out of the corners. A significant improvement in this area saw the Moto2 World Champion break into the 1’56s bracket for the first time.
In addition Rabat modified slightly both his riding style and his position on the bike to bring more stability under braking, which will be critical at next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, with the Red Bull Ring featuring many hard braking areas.
Tito Rabat – P12
“Today was very positive for us. We made a big step forward on corner exit, finally figuring out how to get the bike to drive out of the turn on the gas, rather than losing traction by spinning up the rear tyre. This is so important, because it’s where I’ve struggled the most since stepping up to MotoGP last season. I want to say thank you to my crew for all their hard work, not just today but throughout the year, as now I go to the next race in Austria in a more confident frame of mind. It was a productive test with a lot of laps and a big improvement in both feeling and lap time. I’m happy with what we achieved here today.”
Work for the Ducati Team centered around their radical new aero fairing that first appeared during the Czech GP weekend. Jorge Lorenzo kept working with it after having used it in the race, with Andrea Dovizioso trying it out for the first time. Lorenzo was P4 with a 1:55.542 after 55 laps, Dovizioso P11 after 45 laps.
Jorge Lorenzo – P4
“Today was perhaps the most important day of the year for me. I had an excellent feeling with the bike and am very satisfied. Already in the race weekend we were very competitive but today we improved even more: it’s true that the track was probably in a better condition than the previous days, but we found some set-up solutions that are better for my riding style and they allowed me to push even harder and go even quicker. My feeling with the new fairing continues to be very good, because it gives me more confidence in the front.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P11
“Today was a perfect day to do all the tests that we had planned. We had all the time that was necessary to evaluate the bike with the new fairing, and we managed to test it to the full and obtain some clear feedback. The guys in Ducati Corse have done a really great job, because it was not easy to recreate the effects of the winglets with the new regulations, but as always there are pros and cons in riding and feel. In my opinion it will be useful at certain tracks and I think that it could give us a good advantage in Austria.”
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini continued working with their new parts brought after summer – although Sam Lowes was forced to limit his track time after injuring his foot during the GP weekend.
The Noale factory have a new engine, airbox, exhaust, gearbox and swingarm as some of their key upgrades. Aleix Espargaro was P10 after 51 laps, Lowes P17 after 26.
Aleix Espargaro – P10
“It is always a good thing to test after a race, although it is obviously demanding from a physical point of view. We worked well, continuing to explore in depth the new technical package that Aprilia brought and also testing a new swingarm. Our pace with a race tyre was good and that makes me optimistic for the coming races. The engine confirmed that it is working well. We got close to the leaders in terms of top speed and this is also important.”
Sam Lowes – P17
“Despite not doing many laps today, we worked well. I need to improve my riding style, especially in braking where the movements required are very different than on the Moto2 bike. I have a tendency to downshift very quickly, to the detriment of the braking force, but today we took an important step forward in braking habits. The Austrian track is a start-and-stop circuit, where braking and acceleration are fundamental, so we tested a specific setting without focusing on the fast lap here at Brno. My foot still hurts a bit. We stopped early without stressing it so that I’ll be at 100% in Austria.”
Andrea Iannone was getting over the pain in his leg that he got after Sunday’s accident, and was able to do important work with new setting configurations, some electronics finalisation, and some new parts in the engine that will be useful for development for 2018. He also tested the new Michelin’s front tyre again, with positive feedback.
After a positive race yesterday and the consistent improvements that he has made since his comeback after the injury, Alex Rins focused his testing on new setup configurations and an update of the chassis. He got the Evolution chassis that Iannone is already using. This will allow for the improvement of his understanding of the GSX-RR, and the beginning the machine’s finalization according to his feedback.
Test rider Takuya Tsuda joined Team Suzuki MotoGP in this test in order to help the engineers continued efforts to develop the electronics. His target is to gather as much information as possible on the new configurations that have been developed in order to make them available to the engineers for further evaluations and development.
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki MotoGP Technical Manager
“This has been a very important test for us, both immediately and for the development for 2018. We had many items to test, and three different programs for the three riders, all with different priorities. Overall, the feedback is positive: with Andrea and Alex were able to take some steps forward that could be useful as early as Austria, but we also had some important indications that will push the development in the second part of the season. Alex was also able to try the Evolution chassis that Andrea has already been using since Barcelona. He did find some benefits to it. We also brought some new specs for the engine that helped the riders with its feeling and this will be very important for next year. Tsuda worked hard with the test team, developing some new solutions with the electronics.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager
“I believe this test has been very positive for both riders. We wanted to make some tests not only for immediate improvements but also for the development for 2018. The riders gave us important feedback and we have been given many indications as to what we can work on. With Andrea we tested some settings and improvements that will be useful in Austria this Friday, while Alex finally recovered enough to test the new chassis that he lost in Barcelona; the same chassis that Andrea is using. He liked it, felt some improvements, so I believe we will try to use it in Austria. This has been a positive test that provided us useful information. Also the test rider Tsuda joined us and he focused more on the electronics. His job was meant more to support the development that the Factory is carrying out in Japan.”
Andrea Iannone – P9
“It’s a shame we couldn’t make better use of the soft tyre, but unfortunately this morning I crashed two times in the trial trying to push the bike to its limit, and this cut some of our time off. We focused on trying out some new improvements for 2018, and I feel the direction is correct. My feeling on the bike improved a lot. In fact, today I could lap much faster than yesterday in the race. Also the pace improved. I spoke with Alex and he had pretty much the same feelings I had, therefore I think we are all on the right path and we have a good chance to improve.”
Alex Rins – P14
“Today it was a very positive day because we were able to try so many pieces and this is always a positive thing. I tried a new chassis, the one Andrea has been using for a few races, and I felt much more comfortable. We will try to use it in Austria, and if we see we can work in the same good line we will use it. We improved the cornering speed and also in the corner exit. Overall it was a very positive test for us so let’s see if we can take a step forward after today’s improvements.”
Red Bull Factory Racing followed up their best ever result with Pol Espargaro in the Czech GP with some preparation for their home race next time out. Espargaro was working on the chassis and on acceleration when the bike is upright – with stopping power something the Austrian factory are already happy with. Bradley Smith’s side of the garage were trying out ways to adapt the bike more to the Brit’s riding style. Espargaro did 60 laps and was P15, Smith 51 laps to end the day in sixteenth.
Now the paddock head for the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, for the next round after a quick turnaround.
MotoGP 2017 – Championship Points Standings after Round Ten at Brno
- MARQUEZ Marc SPA 154 Repsol Honda Team Honda
- VINALES Maverick SPA 140 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 133 Ducati Team Ducati
- ROSSI Valentino ITA 132 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
- PEDROSA Dani SPA 123 Repsol Honda Team Honda
- ZARCO Johann FRA 88 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
- FOLGER Jonas GER 77 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
- PETRUCCI Danilo ITA 75 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
- CRUTCHLOW Cal GBR 75 LCR Honda Honda
- LORENZO Jorge SPA 66 Ducati Team Ducati
- BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA 44 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
- MILLER Jack AUS 43 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
- ESPARGARO Aleix SPA 40 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
- REDDING Scott GBR 33 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
- BAZ Loris FRA 31 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
- IANNONE Andrea ITA 28 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
- ABRAHAM Karel CZE 23 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
- RABAT Tito SPA 23 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
- BARBERA Hector SPA 21 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
- ESPARGARO Pol SPA 21 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
- RINS Alex SPA 12 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
- SMITH Bradley GBR 8 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
- PIRRO Michele ITA 7 Ducati Team Ducati
- LOWES Sam GBR 2 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
- GUINTOLI Sylvain FRA 1 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki