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MotoGP – Testing!!

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The first day of the Australian test has concluded with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez leading the field, his fastest lap of 1’29.497” just three-thousands of a second off the 2016 best race lap (1’29.494”). Teammate Dani Pedrosa kept a fast pace throughout the session and finished the day in seventh place.

The day was windy but with blue skies and temperatures that rose from quite chilly in the morning to 30° C (41.8° on track). Marc and Dani began riding around 11 a.m. and continued working on their RC213V machines, both of which were fitted with the engine they had hosen in Malaysia two weeks ago.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team returned to work today as the second official IRTA test of the 2017 MotoGP pre-season got underway on Phillip Island, Australia.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales reported for duty today at the start of the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test. The teammates were back on track to build on the results from the three-day Sepang test a few weeks ago.

Rossi didn’t waste a second to make full use of the testing opportunity at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. He slotted into third place in the timesheets early on in the test and got down to work. He fine-tuned his bike‘s setting in the morning to deal with the strong winds at the Australian coastline, improving his pace.

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The Doctor completed 77 laps, which he used to assess the frames and fairings as well as various other small details for his YZR-M1‘s set-up. Though his focus was on comparing the test items, he still found time to put in a time attack at the end of the eight-hour session. The Italian wrapped up the first day in second place with a best lap time of 1‘29.683s, just 0.186s from the front.

Teammate Viñales was up for the challenge of repeating his strong ride of two weeks ago and needed little time to get back into the swing of things. Immediately in a good rhythm, he was quick to top the timesheets at the start of the test.

As the temperatures started to rise and the pace of the field picked up, the young Spaniard was quick to respond. He smoothly cruised back to first place on the leader board with an impressive 1‘29.989s on lap 26/64, before focusing on further improving the balance of his YZR-M1. With only one other rider dropping under the 1‘30 mark in the first seven hours, he held second position for most of the session, until a flurry of activity in the final stages saw him pushed him back to fourth place, 0.492s from first.

A hot day kicked off the second session of 2017 MotoGP™ with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins busy on the Phillip Island circuit in Australia. The classification at the end of day one sees Iannone in third place and Rins in 19th, after an intense day of work.

Iannone’s program continued from where he had left the bike in Malaysia, with the aim to double check the new specs introduced to the GSX-RR and verify the effectiveness of the direction that the engineers had taken. Also, it was a chance for him to check the capability of the adaptation of the machine and set-up on a brand new circuit. The day went on with different setting tests, as well as different configurations of the electronics, proceeding step-by-step as usual for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. Despite the first part of the day seeing Iannone struggling with the feel of the bike, the modifications introduced in the second part of the afternoon proved to be effective and he posted the positive time of 1:29.926, pushing him into third place, +0.429s from the leader.

Rider comments

Marc Marquez: “We had a quite a busy day because we worked a lot on the engine, which of course is different from the one we used here at Phillip Island last year. That meant we had to readjust everything during the morning and spend a lot of time in the box. In the afternoon we found a base for the electronics, but we still need to work harder in this area. I’m fast, but like in Malaysia we want to double-check how it’s working in some areas. We also worked on the setup, and overall it has been a positive day. The weather was good, which is always important, so hopefully it will stay the same for the next two days.”

Valentino Rossi: “It was a good day, I‘m quite satisfied. We started in a difficult way this morning. Before the break I wasn‘t strong enough and because I couldn‘t push at the maximum I didn‘t have a lot of feeling. We worked well during the break and in the afternoon the situation changed, I was a bit better. At the end, with the new tyre, I was able to do a good lap and second position is positive for the first day. For sure, we still have a lot to do, especially on the long distance and we hope to have good weather also in the next few days.”

Maverick Viñales: “About today, I think I can be happy in one area. On the race pace and basic set-up we made a good step, I feel comfortable. We didn‘t set a fast lap time at the end of the session, in the last ten minutes we went back in the box. We still have time until Qatar to be fast and try to improve the bike and I think our objective here is to be consistent and really fast.”

Andrea Iannone: “This morning was very difficult for us. The team couldn’t find the proper setting to feel confident. I struggled a lot. But then in the afternoon, we changed some settings and improved step by step. At the final stage I was happy because the machine improved, as well as the feeling of the bike and the pace. This is a very positive outcome, because it means we have the capability to overcome very hard situations and turn them into a positive. As of tomorrow, we have the chance to work on pace as well as single lap performance, and also introduce some more improvements. We are on a good path. My crew chief is as new as I am with the GSX-RR and it’s very important for us to learn and get to know it at its best.”

Alex Rins: “The program of first day mainly focused on doing as many laps as possible to get confident with the GSX-RR on a new circuit and find good lines for a MotoGP machine and try to be consistent. Here the wind plays an important role that can affect the riding style. From a technical point of view, we just tried the new 2017 suspensions with some different settings, collecting data to work on. Probably tomorrow we will introduce some more new things, but again the focus will be on my riding style. With my crew chief, I’ve already seen that there are many parts of the track where we can be more effective, like sector three, and this will come with experience and confidence.”

Dani Pedrosa: “I think we started this test in a positive way. Of course it has been a while since I’ve ridden at this track, as I missed the GP year and needed to do some laps to get reacquainted with it. Anyway, the first feeling was good enough. We didn’t work on the electronics too much today because we focused more on the fork’s setting as I looked to find a good feeling with the bike. Tomorrow we’ll focus on the electronics, as we need to find a good base setup. We hope to take another step forward because that will help us at every track.”

 

Results Day 1

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1:29.497
2 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:29.683
3 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:29.926
4 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:29.989
5 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 1:30.065
6 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich 1:30.262
7 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1:30.281
8 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 1:30.410
9 MILLER Jack 43 AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1:30.426
10 FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:30.578
11 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 1:30.631
12 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1:30.770
13 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Avintia Racing 1:30.771
14 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:30.802
15 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:30.867
16 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1:31.179
17 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:31.200
18 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Avintia Racing 1:31.249
19 RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:31.432
20 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich 1:31.755
21 LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:32.307
22 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.690