Rider’s reflect on day three of the Sepang MotoGP Test

Jorge Lorenzo – P1

“I leave Sepang very satisfied with the work that we have done over the last three days, not only because of the time that I set today, but also because I’m convinced that many aspects of the bike have improved since last year. Now I feel it’s better adapted to my riding style and I feel more at home when I’m riding it, but we still have to understand a few things to be able to get the best out of its potential. We are only at the start of the year but the sensations are already good and now it will be important to confirm them in the next test in Thailand.”

Jorge Lorenzo smashes Sepang
Jorge Lorenzo smashes Sepang

Dani Pedrosa – P2

“I think we had a positive final day, and a positive test in general here in Sepang. The team did a very good job, as we correctly planned the work schedule for each day. Today we put together all the best aspects from the previous two days and worked on our speed, improving our fast lap and our pace, and completing a long run of almost race distance on a good rhythm. We worked on the engine, aerodynamics, suspension, and tyres—both soft and hard specs. You could say we addressed more or less every area of the setup, and we got a good general feeling and collected a lot of data. We have to analyse everything more thoroughly, but the feeling was there. Now we look forward to confirming everything on other tracks.”

Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Cal Crutchlow – P3

“It was a positive day today, we were really pleased with the way we worked over the three days and we had another good one today. We pushed for the lap time early in the day, maybe not at the right moment because the track condition was not great and I made a few mistakes on my lap, so overall we’re quite pleased with the outcome to be so fast in Malaysia which is not normally a great track for me. We also did a long run today. I started the long run with six laps already on the rear tyre and then I completed another 15 laps. The rear tyre dropped a bit after ten laps of the long run and I also wasn’t on my favoured front tyre. So we didn’t push for a lap time at the end of the day as we’d already completed our programme.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“These were three very interesting days of testing and we go away from Sepang with really good feelings. This morning’s crash complicated today’s programme a bit, but in the end we went out again for another run with the Desmosedici GP17 and were able to compare some data that confirmed the improvements of the new bike, especially in mid-corner. To be honest I didn’t expect such a clear improvement in this first test, and now we have to confirm that we are on the right path at the next tracks we go to.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Jack Miller – P5

“I’m really very satisfied with these first tests. The feeling with the bike is really good and I think we still have some margin to explore here and there. In Thailand we will start working on the details as well, but in the meantime the pace of the long run made today is really encouraging. I look forward to being back on the track in two weeks time”.

Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Alex Rins – P6

“I’m really happy because we finish these three days after a lot of work and it was very productive, today has been great. We tried many things during the three days and one of them was the engine and I think we improved in acceleration and top speed. There were also more things that we tried which were positive. We tried a race simulation and it went well, good race pace, and this is important not only for confidence but for giving good feedback to Japan about their work. We tried new forks and they were also good and we worked in the electronics area as well.”

Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Marc Marquez – P7

“Today I feel very happy because we worked hard and quite well. We even did a long run of 15 laps around three o’clock, when the temperature on track was very high, and our pace was good. In the afternoon we kept trying different things and ultimately didn’t really make a time attack, but I felt very good on the bike. We need to check the new aerodynamics better, and on another circuit, as we want to make the right choice. On the other hand, I think we did a great job on the engine, even if we’re still not at 100 per cent with the setting. Generally speaking, I think Dani, Cal [Crutchlow], and I were working in slightly different ways, and we gathered a lot of information that will be useful for Honda to prepare a good base.”

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Valentino Rossi – P8

“It was hard work today, but also good work. First of all, we tried everything and we have pretty clear ideas, but today was the most difficult day. We suffered a little bit more because of a lack of grip and that made us lose a bit in positions, but compared to last year we’ve improved the pace, also on used tyres. We know it’s hard work, we have to improve, but the test at the end was quite positive.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Johann Zarco – P9

“I’m really happy, because in three days of testing we didn’t report any crash, which is important to be back with the best confidence possible. Today, I did some good laps. The conditions in the morning were ideal and we tried to use this opportunity to lower the lap time. 59.5 is not bad, although I wanted to be a little bit faster. Yet, I know that I also have to further improve myself. Later on, I did 13 laps in a row and physically I was feeling a lot better than one year ago, plus the pace was some tenths faster on every lap. I should be even quicker, but at least I was truly consistent and saved my energy well. The new aerodynamics package from Yamaha was great, it gives us more stability and therefore, it is less physically demanding. I will work with it during the year, depending on the track, but with it I think we can have a good front contact and stability almost everywhere.”

Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco

Danilo Petrucci – P10

“We have worked hard on both bikes. I could have done something more in the morning’s time attack with the best track conditions but we had a technical problem that slowed us down. I am however very satisfied with the sensations that the Ducati Desmosedici 2018 gave me. In Thailand we will have more time to work with the new bike “.

Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Tito Rabat – P11

“It has been a very positive test because I’ve managed to go fast with a very good pace while riding alone. Every time I’m more comfortable with the bike and the team has been doing a great job during the three days. In the afternoon we did a race simulation, but I crashed and so we couldn’t finish it. The positive thing is that we know why it happened, it was the same as the first day and in the same turn, running the medium front tyre. This tyre does not warn you before the limit as we already know, but now we have things clear for the next test. I’m very happy with the result of these tests, with the team, with the bike and with my physical condition. Now it’s time to train hard at home to get ready for Thailand”.

Tito Rabat
Tito Rabat

Andrea Iannone – P12

“Today as well has been a constructive day where we worked step by step with further comparisons and analysis. We’re still missing some information before being able to define a final package, this is a very important moment as we are setting up the development for the future so we need to make sure we take the right choices. The items we had to test were various and we could compare with the feeling we had also in the test last year, to have a comparison with tracks that are very different is useful to put together a package that can help us to be competitive for the whole championship.”

Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Taka Nakagami – P14

“It was the last day today and we made quite good progress, I’m really happy to finish like this. My condition is quite good and I’m really happy with the lap time, I just missed out on a 59 lap by one tenth, but it was still a good day. Our race stimulation was also quite good and this is the main priority for us, to try and understand race conditions. I had a good feeling on the bike and we made a good step from yesterday, so I’m pleased and looking forward to the next test in Thailand.”

Taka Nakagami
Taka Nakagami

Álvaro Bautista – P15

“My first impression at this test perhaps wasn’t the best but we have to take into account this is my first time on this bike, because I didn’t get to ride it at Valencia. Also, we still only have one bike so hopefully we can get the second one soon because with just one if you have a crash or a problem you end up spending a lot of time stuck in the pit box. It’s also a fact that on the first day we lost a lot of time to the rain and then I crashed. In total we have managed two days of tests and now I feel good with the front end but we are lacking rear grip, which means I can’t get into or out of the corners quickly. We have worked hard, tested a lot of things and found some that could help us. It is not perfect but we are getting to know it and together with the team we are working out what it needs. It has been a positive test and even though we have work to do we leave Sepang feeling pretty happy.”

Álvaro Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Mika Kallio – P16

“The biggest job for me was to compare the 2017 and 2018 bikes. We have both here so I was able to back to back both bikes. I was working mostly on the electronics and new WP front forks this week. Conditions were quite good this week and even at the two day private test just before I was able to get a lot of work completed. In the official test I crashed twice so it was more difficult for me. I crashed in the heavy braking zone twice and that’s unusual for me so we need to analyse the data and see why I have a slightly different feeling on the new bike compared to the previous model. We will go through the data to understand carefully what is the next step for the development of this bike because Pol and Bradley had similar comments about the feeling from the front.”

Mika Kallio
Mika Kallio

Franco Morbidelli – P17

“When I rode the bike for the first this morning I had some pain in the fingers on my left hand as a result of the crash yesterday, but I was able to continue with some painkillers. This afternoon we made some work with the medium tyre and I was happy with the results. I was able to make a lot of laps and the time was around 2’01 low, which is not so bad with this tyre. Finally we wanted to try a time attack, but the conditions weren’t as good late in the session as they were this morning and I wasn’t able to improve my time. It was the first test of the year, we managed to get a lot of things done and I felt good working with my crew, so I leave here satisfied and looking forward to Thailand.”

Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Maverick Vinales – P18

“Honestly, we worked quite well. Today it’s been difficult. I don’t know why we lost time, especially in the afternoon – in the morning it went quite well. Anyway, we worked hard, trying to improve, so now we have to check the data and see what we can improve on in Buriram, there we’ll know more. I think the new fairing is really positive, because I felt an improvement in acceleration, so let’s see. I think the circuit in Buriram has many points of acceleration, so we can test it even better there.”

Maverick VinalesKarel Abraham – P19

“We had a very difficult day and a half to start off with here but overall our reflections at the end of the test are positive. The bike is quite different to what we had last year: the gearbox is better and the bike behaves differently in turning, it holds the line better. There are many more differences but these are the two main ones and now we have a lot more work to do to adapt to it and make sure we are competitive for the first race of the season.”

Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham

Xavier Simeon – P20

“To be honest I’m very happy because we’ve been working step by step and every day I’ve improved the lap times and, what is more important, I’ve improved my feeling with the bike. For the first time I was able to make changes on the set-up, understand the bike better and how it needs to be ridden. That also allowed me to concentrate on my riding and on such a difficult track like this, we managed to lap in 2’00 which is not bad for my first time at Sepang with a MotoGP bike. I am working very well with the team and they have given me very good indications. Also Rubén (Xaus) has helped me a lot and with his experience I have been able to advance faster and in the end we were with the other ‘rookies’. Now we need to continue working at home to start over in Thailand form where we have left off here”.

Xavier Simeon
Xavier Simeon

Bradley Smith – P22

“Obviously it’s a busy test schedule here in Sepang and after Pol’s crash it has meant that myself and Mika have had to work through a lot. It’s been a chance for us to evaluate a lot of different things and to give us a direction on what to do. On Day 3 the grip was a little less and that means that it’s good conditions for us to test in. Usually when the track gets grippy and hot we struggle a little bit so it’s been good to have these conditions. I’m generally quite pleased with what we’ve tested because I think that we’ve got a good base to work with at the Thailand tests in a few days time.”

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith

Tom Lüthi – P24

“A good day again today, with another step made with the bike and tyres. The conditions were different today; normally it’s fast in the morning and then again in the afternoon when the temperature starts to drop, But today the grip level wasn’t there this afternoon, with no real fast times at the end. Today we worked mostly with old tyres, to understand better how to ride the bike towards the end of the race when the tyres start to slide. This was quite interesting and I think I learnt a lot today. I also got my first MotoGP crash out of the way, after losing the front at turn four. I almost saved it but then the rear went away and down I went. So now I know what that feels like too.”

Tom Lüthi
Tom Lüthi

Yonny Hernandez – P25

“Overall, it was a very positive test and a fantastic experience for me. In the course of the last day I was able to improve again, but I think I’m capable to go even faster. After midday, I didn’t ride too much, nevertheless, I lowered my lap time and I learned a lot. The two exits today were quite hard, especially as the track conditions were incredibly hot. We tried two bikes and I realized that my feeling with the Yamaha in general was increasing. It goes without saying, that P25 is not the position I want to be in, but I can happily say, that I’m delighted I was able to step forward during these three days of testing.”

Yonny Hernandez
Yonny Hernandez

Pol Espargaro – Did Not Ride Day 3

“I feel lucky because I had a big crash on Day 2 and I hit the wall at more than 250 kmp/h. I’m happy not feeling too bad physically but I’m in pain from rolling through the gravel. I had some x-rays and nothing is broken but I have pain when I move so if I am still in pain when I get home I will have some further checks. Even though I couldn’t ride on the final day it was still good to be with the team and able to work with them in the background. It’s a shame to miss Day 3 and not to be able to test what we planned but Mika was able to ride my bike. It’s good because I trust his feedback 100% and it means we were still be able to get a lot of work done here in Sepang.”

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Team Director

“It was a demanding day today for the team, here in Sepang. The conditions were very hot and that made it more difficult. Vale and Maverick continued to put in hard work, riding many laps, but they didn’t have the same feeling they had the two days before. Nevertheless, we almost managed to finish the testing schedule. Overall, this test has been positive, with some good results. We confirmed that we made an improvement in terms of electronics, top speed and tyre life. We will check the data we collected these last few days and work hard over the next two weeks, so we’ll arrive prepared at the next test in Buriram.”

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“In these three days we did so much testing, we had many items to test and we could make back-to-back comparisons with all the riders. My thanks to the crew and all the riders for their intense work. Today Alex improved his lap time and did well in the classification, but also did a sort of race simulation which marked a fast pace. This makes us happy because it means the direction is the correct one. Andrea worked hard but he is still looking for the final opinion on which of the options he prefers, but this doesn’t worry us as it is a normal development process and it is important for us that he makes the choice when he is 100% confident. We will continue this process in Thailand and Qatar, in order to finalise the final package for the debut in the Qatar race.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We finish this first test of the season – these three days, and we are quite happy because we were able to test a few things and try to get a clear picture of everything. We didn’t finish the job, in fact the next tests in Buriram and Qatar will also be very important. We are working on engine specs and chassis configuration with both riders and the target is to decide on the best package to start the season with. Alex put in good and consistent laps, and Andrea also was not far off, so they did a good job. And we can say that it has been three positive days.”

Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager MotoGP

“This was a good test and there are a lot of positives. It was a shame that Pol crashed because it was a small mistake that had a big impact on our week. Anyway we have been able to do some basic work and it looks as though it is easy to set a fast laptime and to be able to keep a constant rhythm. The potential of the bike leaves us positive because we have been able to set some fast times but we know that there is still work to be done to be competitive at the start of the season. Our target is to be ready for Round 1.”

Sebastian Risse – KTM Technical Director MotoGP

“Our target for this test was to compare the baseline specification 2018 bike to what we finished last season using. The new bike has some areas that work quite well and we were able to get more comfortable with the bike. The conditions in Sepang are always a little difficult because you have to adapt to the weather and change your test programme each day accordingly. It was a good test and we found some positive direction that we can work further on. This test is almost seen as a double header for us with the Thailand test and it will be very useful to be able to compare the feedback from Sepang and Thailand. To have two different tracks to compare the data on is always good.”

Michael Bartholemy – Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Team Principal

“For me this was a positive test. With Franky we saw constant improvement each day, so he’s working in a good way. On Tom’s side, he seems a little disappointed with the lap times, but from our perspective he’s doing a good job also. Already we can see many things that he’s doing quite well with the MotoGP bike and if he can make the same progress during the next two tests then I think he’ll make up for the testing time missed at the end of last year ahead of the first race in Qatar. And of course both riders had their first crash in MotoGP, so that’s also done. Now I’m looking forward to going to Thailand.”

Sepang MotoGP Test 2018

Day Three Test Results

  1. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1:58.830
  2. PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.179
  3. CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 0.222
  4. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 0.339
  5. MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 0.516
  6. RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.518
  7. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.552
  8. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.619
  9. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 0.681
  10. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 0.698
  11. RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 0.717
  12. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.785
  13. ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.132
  14. NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1.241
  15. BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1.375
  16. KALLIO Mika 36 FIN KTM Test Team KTM 1.634
  17. MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1.696
  18. VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.717
  19. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1.744
  20. SIMEON Xavier 10 BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1.954
  21. REDDING Scott 45 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.982
  22. SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2.139
  23. GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Suzuki Test Team Suzuki 2.290
  24. LUTHI Tom 12 SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2.296
  25. HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2.393
  26. TEST 3 Yamaha 33 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 2.555
  27. TEST 2 Yamaha 32 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 2.849

Day 1-2-3 Combined Times

  1. Lorenzo 1m58.830
  2. Pedrosa 1m59.009
  3. Crutchlow 1m59.052
  4. Dovizioso 1m59.169
  5. Miller 1m59.346
  6. Rins 1m59.348
  7. Vinales 1m59.355
  8. Marquez 1m59.382
  9. Rossi 1m59.390
  10. Zarco 1m59.511
  11. Petrucci 1m59.528
  12. Rabat 1m59.547
  13. Iannone 1m59.615
  14. Espargaro A 1m59.925
  15. Nakagami 2m00.071
  16. Bautista 2m00.205
  17. Espargaro P 2m00.262
  18. Kallio 2m00.464
  19. Smith 2m00.520
  20. Morbidelli 2m00.526
  21. Abraham 2m00.574
  22. Simeon 2m00.784
  23. Redding 2m00.812
  24. Guintoli 2m01.120
  25. Luthi 2m01.126
  26. Hernandez 2m01.223
  27. Yamaha Test 3 2m01.385
  28. Yamaha Test 2 2m01.679
  29. Yamaha Test 1 2m03.786
  30. Pirro 2m04.767



Jack Miller

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