— Valencia test commences with Lorenzo on top
After his stunning win at Valencia in the final race of the season on Sunday it was Jorge Lorenzo who topped the timesheet again on Monday in the first day of 2014 ‘pre-season’ testing.
Lap times of course do not mean a great deal at this stage, with some riders swapping machinery, many tweaking set-up and some joining new teams, but Lorenzo set the standards again – with a 1’31.257 late in the day. That lap was quicker than anyone went in Sunday’s race and came on the 2013 YZR-M1, although Lorenzo also has a 2014 development Yamaha available this week.
On the other side of the Yamaha Factory Racing box Valentino Rossi spent the day working with new Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera. The Doctor’s best time of the day was just 0.093s off Lorenzo’s best, also coming on his 2013 bike, though he too is already using the 2014 development M1.
Repsol Honda’s new World Champion Marc Marquez and his colleague Dani Pedrosa were both at the circuit but did not test on Monday – though they are expected on track on Tuesday as the battle to stay ahead of Yamaha continues.
Stefan Bradl was the fastest Honda rider on track on Monday, using his RC213V from this season to set the third best time of the day – 0.5s off Lorenzo’s pace.
New Ducati recruit Cal Crutchlow has taken Italian Crew Chief Daniele Romagnoli with him from Tech 3 to the Italian factory Ducati and the pair were working alongside new Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna for the first time on Monday.
Crutchlow matched Ducati’s Sunday race pace, and was sixth overall just over 0.1s (check) behind new Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso who was fifth best. Dovizioso lapped in a similar pace to fourth fastest rider of the day, Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Racing Ducati.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro was 0.6s behind Crutchlow in seventh, just ahead of Yonny Hernandez – who was confirmed today to remain as Iannone’s teammate in the Pramac Racing Team permanently during the 2014 season.
Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro rode his first laps on his new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP bike, in tenth spot on the timesheet, with a lap around two seconds off Lorenzo’s pace. His new teammate Bradley Smith sat things out and expects to get through all his test work for this week on Tuesday.
The new Honda RCV1000R was used for the first time by the GO&FUN Honda Gresini team as Scott Redding also got his 2014 MotoGP preparations underway, the Englishman ending up 11th overall. Cristian Gabarrini from HRC got Redding’s initial feedback on the new prototype, which the teams will adapt to over the winter.
Hiroshi Aoyama officially joined the Power Electronics Aspar team on Monday, but with Aspar only having one of their new Hondas ready for today, Nicky Hayden will have to wait until Tuesday to ride it. Aoyama was ninth best on the timesheet, 1.8s down on Lorenzo’s P1 pace.
Mike di Meglio has not ridden since the Brno Moto2™ race due to serious injury, but he was back on track today testing with the Avintia Blusens team.
Randy de Puniet should be testing with the PBM team on Tuesday as they look to confirm direction for next season, with the 2014-spec ART being prepared for the Frenchman on Monday.
The testing action at the Ricardo Tormo circuit will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (10am-5pm both days). Live video coverage will be available again through motogp.com on Tuesday (11am-2pm).
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’31.257
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’31.350
3. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’31.751
4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’31.925
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’31.943
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Ducati Team 1’32.054
7. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Test Team 1’32.698
8. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Pramac Racing 1’32.745
9. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Power Electronics Aspar 1’33.020
10. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’33.187
11. Scott Redding (GBR) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’34.195
12. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’34.378
13. Martin Bauer (AUT) Remus Racing Team 1’35.115
14. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Blusens 1’36.304
— Yamaha Report
Less than 24hrs from the end to the 2013 season Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back out on track today. This afternoon’s session was the first of three test days marking the start of the official 2014 pre-season test schedule.
Both riders spent some time evaluating the 2014 YZR-M1 alongside a 2013 reference machine. Lorenzo and Rossi also made some laps with the new standard ECU that will be used as part of the 2014 regulations. Today was Rossi’s first riding session with new crew chief Silvano Galbusera.
Jorge Lorenzo – 1st / 1’31.257 / 48 laps
“We tried many small things today and some have been very positive so we are quite satisfied. I feel good and I feel in good shape. We were able to give good information to the engineers so everything is going well so far and we are looking forward to continuing tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi – 2nd / 1’31.350 / 42 laps
“Today was very emotional, it was something different. We were working a long time with Jeremy so today was like a restart from the beginning but I’m happy and I’m satisfied with the day. I know Silvano already from Superbike as I did some testing in 2010 with the R1 together with him and I liked the way we worked. It’s just the first day but anyway it was a good day for me, I was faster and we worked well on the bike. The condition of the track and the weather were perfect so I enjoyed it a lot. We worked with both bikes, I liked the new one a lot, it has good power exit from the corners and the chassis gives a good feeling on the front so the first impression is very positive.”
— Ducati Report
Less than 24 hours after the 2013 season ended in Valencia, Spain, the MotoGP teams were back on track at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana, beginning a three-day test in preparation for next year’s MotoGP World Championship.
The day served as Cal Crutchlow’s debut with the Ducati Team, where he joins Andrea Dovizioso for the 2014 season. After the track opened at noon in perfect weather conditions, the Briton exited the garage at 1:26 p.m., and when the track closed at 5:00 p.m., Crutchlow had turned 39 laps, focusing on getting the feel of the Ducati.
Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso did 36 laps on a Desmosedici GP13 that was largely similar to the bike he rode in yesterday’s race, though he did try a new fairing as well as some changes to the setup.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro did 32 laps while working on the setup of some components of the laboratory bike.
This was also the first day for Luigi Dall’Igna working at the track in his new role as Ducati Corse General Manager.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 5th, 1:31.943 (36 laps)
“Today we tried the new front fairing, and the outcome was positive because the bike wheelies less than before. We also did two tests with the setup to give some feedback to Gigi on several aspects that he wanted to check. For today, we focused on those things, and tomorrow we’ll continue checking some other stuff.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:32.054 (39 laps)
“Obviously the situation is completely different to what I was used to before today, but anyway, I’m very happy to come and work with the factory Ducati team. I’ve done everything you should on a first day at work and I think we can safely say that we’ve had a positive day learning everything: the bike, the electronics, the team. There are so many new things to get your head around, but it’s also interesting. In the next two days, we’ll try to focus and improve. The team have been great at listening to my feedback, while I take advantage of their advice and experience. It helps to be able to count on Daniele Romagnoli, as he’s Italian like most of the Ducati technicians. I’m pleased with the way we’re working. We’re not going to change things overnight, but today was a positive first step.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“This was my first day at the track as General Manager of Ducati Corse, and I’m getting to know and appreciate the working situation here. I already had an idea from the few days I spent in Borgo Panigale, because there, too, I found the technical level to be very high and the staff to have a lot of potential. Today we began the practical part that will help us to begin working on the bike and define a strategy that will enable Ducati to improve and return to a competitive level. It’s still early to say anything about time scales and preparing more detailed plans, but I think we’re starting on the right foot.”
— Aspar Report
In the ‘hangover’ period from yesterday’s MotoGP season finale, the premier class riders were back on track in Valencia on Monday to begin the 2014 preseason. At noon, the first of three days of testing began for the MotoGP competitors, some debuting new bikes and with new teams. It is a test to find a direction for the workload to take, ahead of the upcoming winter tests in Malaysia. Fourteen riders shared the track and rode through until 5pm local time. Conditions were as impeccable as during the weekend, and yesterday’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest time of 1’31.257.
Shortly before 2pm, the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar garage took centre stage for the press and photographers. The team were debuting the new Honda production racer with which they will contest the 2014 campaign, and had new rider Hiroshi Aoyama onboard after his confirmation as a POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider yesterday. On his first few hours with the Honda RCV-1000R, Aoyama undertook 38 laps, setting a best time of 1’33.020 on the last of these. Ninth on the overall timesheet, the Japanese rider was impressed with the potential of his new mount, and keen to get back on it this Wednesday.
9th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.33.020 (38 laps): “I was very excited this morning, as it was my first day with the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team and with a new bike. The feeling with the bike was great and very familiar to me. I felt similar with the machine to how I did in 2011, during my previous Honda ride. I am very happy to be able to start this new adventure with a new bike and team. It is only the first day and we have a long journey ahead, but this bike has a lot of potential and we have plenty of room for improvement. I am excited and I enjoyed myself a lot riding today. I still haven’t memorized all the names of my crew, but they’ve looked after me very well and made me feel comfortable. Despite this only being the opening day, the times were positive too, so hopefully from this foundation we will evolve day-by-day.”