Official Catalunya Test
While Maverick Vinales topped the Barcelona test, Aleix Espargaró – involved in an accident the previous day – was confirmed to have suffered a micro-fracture to the femur and an injury to the left tibia, with significant damage to the ligaments ruled out for the moment, meaning Aleix can begin recovery quickly. The situation with the knee will be assessed in the coming days in anticipation of the Assen race. Espargaró’s goal is to be back in the saddle as soon as possible.
“I’m relieved since the medical check-up showed a better situation than we had initially expected. In any case, I’m sorry to have missed this day of testing. My goal is to begin recovery as soon as possible and speed up my return to the saddle, compatibly with the feedback from the doctors. They told me that in a couple days I’ll be able to get back to cycling and I’m counting down the hours!”
Maverick Viñales meanwhile finished the official Barcelona Test at the top of the timesheets after setting a 1:38.967 at the end of the play, the Spaniard completing a whopping 98 laps to finish 0.047 faster than second place Franco Morbidelli, with Catalan GP race winner Marc Marquez third.
Maverick Vinales – P1
“I’m quite satisfied about the test, not because of the lap time, but because of the way we handled this test, because it was important to try many things. The whole team put in hard work and we changed many parts of the bike. To end at the top is important for us, also for the mechanics, who worked very hard today. But the most important thing is that my feeling on the bike was really good and let’s see if we can keep this momentum, which we had here in Barcelona, going at the next race in Assen. We changed the settings on the bike quite a lot because we think we found one area here that helped us for the race, and it seemed to work, so we will continue to work in that direction and get more confidence on the bike. The feedback on the new Michelin tyres is good. The grip from the tyres is good, so I was able to do really good laps, and I hope they will bring these tyres in the future, because for our bike that will help a lot. But for now we are in 2019 and we keep improving race by race.”
Franco Morbidelli – P2
“Today we had the opportunity to work on aspects of the bike that we didn’t have the chance to look at during the race weekend. In particular, we tested different electronics set-ups. We took a step forward with engine braking, especially in the afternoon, so this has been a very positive point of this test. I’m also very happy with the results from the tyres we tested, and I think it is a step in the right direction. Today has been a positive day for us and we hope to be able to use everything we tried today at Assen – especially the electronics.”
Both Viñales and teammate Valentino Rossi weren’t testing anything big in Barcelona, with the team expecting to have some more parts at the Brno test.
Valentino Rossi – P14
“We tried some different things, especially with the electronics, traction control, and engine brake, to make some improvements. We also tried some mechanical things, some parts on the bike. Some things were good, others normal, but overall, we found something positive. We worked a bit with an eye on the future, also for next year and also for the next race, so we noticed a small difference already and I hope we can be faster. The Michelin tyres are fantastic! They did a good job, because they improved the grip in acceleration. You can open the throttle earlier and go faster, so the new tyres are better.”
Rossi headed out with the new exhaust and a finger operated rear brake to finish P14 on the timesheets, 1.001 from Viñales’ time, with Fabio Quartararo working on his starts and testing Michelin’s new tyre compounds – the Frenchman was 5th fastest.
Fabio Quartararo – P5
“Today we tried out some changes to the electronics, some different settings for Assen and some new tyre compounds that have been brought here specially for the test. We haven’t put in many laps, since today I felt that my arm was very stiff after a weekend of riding. However, it was a positive day because we were able to work more thoroughly on the electronics, something that is always interesting to manage. In addition, I think we found something special on corner exit that can help us to prolong the life of the tyres at the end of the race. We hope to be able to put it into practice at the coming races.”
Marquez had three HRC bikes at his disposal for the test: one standard, one with a carbon covered frame and one that looks to be Takaaki Nakagami’s 2018 model. The number 93 completed 80 laps on Monday, but it wasn’t all so smooth.
Marc Marquez – P3
“It has been a very good test and we were able to get a lot of information after trying a few different things for the future. We were looking at not only this year but also the future and what direction we need to take. We looked at both 2020 and also the second half of the season. We tried a new chassis and some new aerodynamics looking to try something for the future. Like always, there were some positives and also some negatives with everything. In the afternoon we made another step and we’ll see how we can use it in Assen.”
Marquez crashed at Turn 4, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo going down at Turn 9 – riders ok. In the LCR Honda garage, Nakagami got to try a 2019-spec RC213V, with Cal Crutchlow having some aerodynamic parts to test for HRC – Lorenzo also circulated with a new aero package.
Takaaki Nakagami – P7
“It was a very important test for us today, because we tested the 2019 Honda RC213V – actually one of my team-mate Cal’s. We only did three or four short outings in the afternoon, but HRC asked me to test it and it was positive. During the season, during races and practices I have seen the differences when fighting with the factory Hondas, and today I got chance to jump on it, which I enjoyed. It’s a good package and I’m really happy that HRC gave me the opportunity to test it, I’d like to thank them for that. The lap times were good with my 2018 bike as well as the 2019 machine, so that’s a positive too. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU team have done a great job. Having finished this test in a decent way, I’m really looking forward to Assen now as it’s a track I’ve had success at before. However, our target is still trying to put together the best package we can, and to show the best of our abilities. I like the layout in the Netherlands, and even if it is physically hard the straight isn’t too long and our bike handles well. The only concern will be the weather, but you can’t control this!”
Cal Crutchlow – P10
“Overall we’re happy. We’ve been doing a lot of work today. We had a lot of small items to test, and we were evaluating the setting of the bike from the last race to the one yesterday because they were completely different set-ups. Again, I can do the same lap time on both settings, so we are none the wiser in that area. I felt good with the bike today, just as I did in the race yesterday. We’ve assessed some parts for Honda and had some good results. As always with testing, there have been positives and negatives, but that’s why we do it!”
Jorge Lorenzo – P17
“The crash affected my speed and my stamina a lot during the test, it was a very big crash at Turn 9 and I rolled a lot in the gravel. I was lucky not to break anything and I’ve had pain in my elbows, fingers and back all day but we needed to keep working. We worked more on the ergonomics and on some small chassis details, some things for the next races and some things for next year. I want to say thank you again to Honda for organising the trip to Japan we had and their rapid developments.”
Rins was testing an upgrade to Suzuki’s chassis, the same one that test rider Guintoli used throughout the weekend at the Catalan GP. After earning his best premier class finish on Sunday, Joan Mir wasn’t testing anything in particular, just different settings as he continues to adapt to life in MotoGP.
Alex Rins – P4
“Today I found that the modified chassis had a lot of positive points, but also there are some things about it that I would like to improve. There’s not a lot to change with it, but we will evaluate it further to try and get the best from it. I’ve done quite a lot of laps today and in general I think we can feel very positive about the way things are going.”
Joan Mir – P8
“I’m happy because I’ve improved my general pace and my fast lap pace. We’ve worked well all day, improving every area of the bike a little bit. We didn’t focus on any one thing really, more just my overall feeling with bike and building my experience up.”
Francesco Bagnaia was the leading Ducati rider on Monday in Barcelona, the reigning Moto2 World Champion finishing 6th quickest. Bagnaia did crash at Turn 13, rider ok, with teammate Jack Miller testing a new ‘salad box’ on his GP19 – the Australian completed 60 laps and finished P9.
In the factory Ducati garage, Andrea Dovizioso was on track with a carbon reinforced chassis, similar to that of the GP18. Dovi was 12th, with teammate Danilo Petrucci 0.008 faster in 11th.
Danilo Petrucci – P11
“I’m satisfied with how this test went. We tried several upgrades in terms of chassis, electronics and aerodynamics, finding some solutions that gave me better sensations on the bike. In particular, we improved the feeling with the front and mid-corner turning. The track may have been a bit quicker compared to yesterday, but we were fast with used tyres, which is never something to take for granted. We’ll utilize some of these upgrades starting from next round at Assen, where we’ll resume from this base to keep the positive momentum.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P12
“It’s been a positive test, in which we focused on several areas. We tried some new tyres brought by Michelin ahead of the next races, and a chassis upgrade that gave us a good feeling especially in corner entry, even though we’ll be able to gauge its true advantages only during a race. Yesterday didn’t go as planned, but it’s important to keep working hard to understand where we have more room for improvement and to further increase our competitiveness. Starting from Assen, we’ll try to use these upgrades to our advantage.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had three riders at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with MotoGP Legend Dani Pedrosa joining Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco. Pedrosa was testing what looked like a new tail unit, with Zarco finishing as the fastest KTM in P15. Espargaro crashed at Turn 2, rider ok.
Johann Zarco – P15
“I got a new chassis and a different seat to try and improve. It is not an easy job because when I change things I feel better but it is not immediately visible so I need to push myself to get the faster lap-time and use the parts. I improved today compared to my qualifying time on Saturday so I am quite happy. Everyone was very fast today and it was pretty tough but we must keep working hard. I’m quite satisfied.”
Pol Espargaro – P16
“We tried a lot of chassis parts and also electronics because we had problems at the weekend through Turns 12 and 13. I had a small crash and could not make a faster time. We’ll have to see in the races to come if we have found some more improvements but we did some work on the aerodynamics and other aspects such as the change of direction with the bike. I’m happy. The bike we finished the race with here we will use in Holland because we have a good package and it will be interesting to see what we have now works in cooler conditions.”
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini were one rider short after Aleix Espargaro’s crash on Sunday in Barcelona. Teammate Andrea Iannone was seen trying a carbon swingarm, with the Italian and test rider Bradley Smith completing a combined 164 valuable laps for Aprilia.
Reale Avinita Racing’s Karel Abraham had to jump off his Ducati after it caught fire at Turn 4 – rider ok.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin were also back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with premier class rookie Oliveira doing 61 laps in total with a fastest time of 1:40.862 minutes. Syahrin clocked a 1:41.162 after doing 52 laps in the Catalan sunshine.
Miguel Oliveira – P20
“Today has been a very productive day. We confirmed some parts that we already tried in the past, but because it was in race condition, we couldn’t really validate, what we tested and we did some tyre tests for Michelin and finally we also tried some different setups suggested by KTM.”
Hafizh Syahrin – P22
“This has been a truly good test. I was able to improve my riding a bit, but we had to start a bit later with a mechanical problem on the bike. Everybody already set a time in the morning, therefore, we were not concentrating on doing a fast lap anymore. I didn’t use many new tyre, but a new one from Michelin, which was really good and even better than the one we chose in the race. I was able to do very consistent laps. I know, they are still far off, but with the race condition from yesterday, it would have been very good. Overall, this test has been positive. We also tried some things with the electronic, which was a bit better, but also the same at some places. We need to keep working hard and try to be better in Assen next time out. I’m happy with this test.”
Catalunya MotoGP Test – Day 1 Sessions
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