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Sepang MotoGP Test II: Quote Machine Final
by staff
Friday, February 28, 2014

These just in:

Still some fight in the old dog: Rossi held fast time for most of the final day of the Sepang test, with Pedrosa equaling it later in the day.
image thanks, yamaha

Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa shares joints fastest time on final day in Sepang

The second and final test in Malaysia has come to an end with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa finishing joint first with Valentino Rossi with a time of 1'59.999 on his final exit.

This morning Dani did a race simulation run of 19 laps and worked on various settings and engine mappings on his RC213V machine. He then took the time to rest before returning on track for a time attack, recording his fastest lap of the week. He completed a total of 41 laps today taking his total for the second test to 145.

The team will now pack up and head to Phillip Island for their final test in preparation for the Qatar GP on 23 March.

Dani Pedrosa

1:59.999, 50 laps, 277 km.

"Today we worked on engine mapping to improve cornering, but the most important thing that we were able to do is a race simulation. We also tried to improve our fast lap time attacks as well. We progressed a lot -although there is still room for improvement. Now we are off to Phillip Island to test out the new tyres."

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Yamaha

Yamaha Factory Racing's Valentino Rossi has completed the second official test of the 2014 MotoGP season as the fastest rider. Rossi wrapped up the three days of riding at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia with a fastest time of 1'59.999, one of only two riders to drop under the two minute mark after an impressive fastest lap today.

Whilst still struggling to find a perfect solution to the new Bridgestone tyres, Jorge Lorenzo was able to find a change to make some improvement to set up today. The Mallorcan was still less than satisfied overall with the grip levels on offer from the 2014 rubber. Lorenzo was able to step a little closer to the front than yesterday, wrapping up in seventh, just over 0.6 of a second from his teammate in first.

"We tried a simulation today and it was worse and worse every lap. In the edge there is a problem with no grip but also when you pick up the bike it spins." --Lorenzo
The Team now move directly to Phillip Island in Australia for a further test before the season kicks off under the floodlights of Qatar on the 23rd March.

46 Valentino Rossi
1st / 1'59.999 / 41 laps

"First of all I am very happy because I am in first position and I did a good lap. I was one of the only ones in the 1'59s which is positive, especially because with the 2014 tyres in the first test we tried a time attack and I was more than one second slower than today. This test we have always been at the top and fighting for the first position so it's positive. We still have some problems when it's very hot over long distance with the new tyres, so we still have to work, but we made a good step from the first test. The next test in Philip Island will be very important to understand if also there we improved a lot like here because I am more than one second faster than the second test of last year so we have been working well."

Jorge Lorenzo
7th / 2'00.619 / 70 laps

"We found a better solution today to improve our situation and adapt these tyres at this track. The tyres are much harder in the sidewalls. At this track, with this tarmac that is very slippery, it's not the same as Phillip Island or Mugello for example, it's impossible for us to be competitive. This tyre is much worse for Yamaha and better for Honda. Our bike is competitive, at a similar level to the competitors but with the tyre we have problems. We tried a simulation today and it was worse and worse every lap. In the edge there is a problem with no grip but also when you pick up the bike it spins. You can improve the feeling a little to get more grip but when the tyre starts to drop the problems get worse and worse."

Massimo Meregalli Team Director

"We finished this three day test with some good improvements and were able to make the bike better every day. At the end Valentino was able to make the fastest lap of the day. Jorge continued to have some difficulties, especially because of his riding style. It looks like the new tyre doesn't work very well on our bike, especially at this track. Here at Sepang the problem was increased because of the lack of grip on the tarmac and also the high temperatures. We made some improvements but we are not satisfied 100% and we have to improve over race distance. We look forward to the Phillip Island test now to see what Bridgestone has prepared to solve the issues we had last year and then we are ready for Qatar."

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"It's been a difficult test and really we are not very happy with the result. For the last day Jorge has found some confidence back in the bike. Of course it's not how we want it but at least he could do a decent long run and be quite consistent. It was very hot today and we got a lot of new information with the new tyres. We are very curious to see how we get on in two days in Phillip Island."

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Aspar Honda

DRIVE M7 ASPAR RIDERS SIGN OFF FROM SCORCHING SEPANG

Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama post faster lap times on final day of Malaysian test, improving both performance and consistency

The last of three days of testing at Sepang took place today, bringing an end to the Malaysian preseason leg. Only three more days of tests now remain before the season starts, with the factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders heading to Australia next week and the remainder scheduled to ride in Qatar. Today was the hottest of the six days at Sepang, with the thermometers registering an incredible 64 degrees. It was a gruelling day for the riders, many of whom had full race runs to complete, and probably explains why the pace wasn't quite as quick as yesterday, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa topping the timesheet with an identical best lap of 1.59.999.

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama both picked up their pace on the final day, the Japanese rider clocking his best time of the entire six days here (2.02.070), although the American was unable to match his fastest effort from the first session, when the conditions were more favourable. Despite the tortuous heat both riders managed to improve the consistency of their lap times and are looking forward to making more progress in the next test.

15th Nicky Hayden 2.01.924 (59 laps): "We have worked really hard over the last three days here and we have gathered a lot of information that has given us a better understanding of the bike, although we still haven't made the major step we are looking for. We still don't know why we're struggling so much to get the bike stopped into the corners so we need to work more with the electronics. It has been a strange day and we lost some time making alterations to the set-up to adapt to the heat. We know our potential is much higher than we have been able to show here so we can be optimistic and go to Qatar next week ready to put some more hard work in. It will be interesting to see how the bike performs at a different track but we have a lot to do there to make sure we are ready for the first race."

17th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.02.070 (61 laps): "We had a little setback today and had to put everything on hold at around midday but in the end we fixed it and got back out on track. Our objective today was to continue working on the set-up and we managed to improve the feeling by the end of the day. As well as improving the feeling we also improved the lap times but we still have plenty to test next week in Qatar. We need to have a meeting and work out how we can improve the suspension but in general the feeling is that the bike is good and has plenty of room for improvement - it just needs more laps."

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Tech 3 Yamaha

Expectations met at Sepang 2 for Tech3's Smith and Espargaro

Monster Yamaha Tech3's Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro completed the final day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit today, with many positives to conclude, for the beginning of the MotoGP season at the end of March.

Having undertaken relentless testing programmes for the previous two days, today saw the second Sepang MotoGP test draw to a close. Both Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders experimented with various aspects of their Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes in order to find the most suitable set ups which would suit their riding styles.

British rider Bradley Smith ended the test with an overall feeling of satisfaction regarding his performances over the past three days, as he prepares for his second season in MotoGP. Having spent a large quantity of time on refining the front and rear sections of the Yamaha YZR-M1, as well as accustoming himself to the seamless shift gearbox and the new Bridgestone tyres, Smith was content with the developments made. He completed a full race simulation today, which was successfully undertaken and confirmed that all of the changes made during this test were in the right direction. Undertaking a colossal 185 laps over all three days, the young British rider finished the second Sepang test with a best time of 2:00.804 in 9th place.

Young Spanish rider Pol Espargaro finished the session feeling pleased, having spent the past three days learning and mastering his new MotoGP bike. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion, completed over 158 laps around the 5.543 kilometre track, over the three days. He optimised the available time and tested ceaselessly to continue to gain as much knowledge of his new Yamaha YZR-M1 and Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team as possible. The learning curve was steep and despite a small crash yesterday, Espargaro leaves the Sepang test feeling positive. Having gelled seamlessly with the new gearbox, the young Spaniard set the 3rd fastest time on the opening day, before finishing in 10th overall, with an ultimate lap time of 2:00.999.

The next testing session will commence at the Losail Circuit, Qatar on the 7th of March for Satellite MotoGP riders, and Open Class MotoGP riders only.

Bradley Smith - 9th - 2:00.804:

"We tried a lot of different solutions today, especially with the rear of the bike and tried to work the new Bridgestone tyres as much as possible. I found a setting that I was much happier with, which made the bike smoother, and let me ride the Yamaha how it should be. We definitely made the step with rear tyre performance, which allowed me to be much more consistent, compared to the last Sepang test and last year's race. I did a race simulation, and am pleased as it was during a really hot part of the day, so not perfect in terms of track conditions. At the end of the day, after 70 laps I also did my best time. There are many positives, and I come away from here quite happy. It appears as though the track was slower this time than the previous test, but we are close to my lap time from then. All in all, it has been a somewhat difficult three days, but I am really pleased with the final result. "

Pol Espargaro - 10th -2:00.999:

"It has not been an easy day today. Probably the most difficult one we have had so far. I didn't feel too well, on one hand maybe because of the crash from yesterday, or on the other hand because it's really demanding doing several days and so many laps in such hot and humid conditions. However, even if I'm not too enthusiastic about my performance today, I am still just one second from the top of the timesheets which makes me feel much better. Again, we tried different setup solutions, as I still have many things to learn about this bike. I'm really looking forward to trying the bike on a different circuit, in Qatar next week. This will extend my knowledge further, and will permit us to be able to evaluate the information which we collected during this test in a better way. But honestly, all these comments are not as important when you get news like we received today from our Moto2 rider, who is in hospital in France. My thoughts are with him and I hope he recovers quickly."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:

"It has been a very positive test for us even though we are not on top of the timesheets. We chose to work relentlessly on our race performance. We were also able to evaluate the new seamless gearbox we got from Yamaha for this test, which we are very thankful for. Comparing the race simulations from the first test here at the beginning of the month, and to today, we clearly saw that the gearbox has been a big improvement as well as the new Bridgestone tyre. Of course there are still things to adjust, especially on Pol's side but altogether we are satisfied with the progress we have achieved during the last three days. Unfortunately this positive MotoGP test is shadowed by the very sad news of an incident with our Moto2 rider, Alex Mariñelarena, who is in hospital in Toulon. The thoughts of the whole Tech3 Racing Team are with him and his family. We truly hope he recovers quickly to join us for the upcoming challenges."

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Ducati

Positive conclusion for Ducati Team in second IRTA test at Sepang

The Ducati Team concluded the second IRTA pre-season testing session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia in a positive way, with an excellent third place for Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow finishing eighth overall.

In the three days of testing, which were held almost entirely in suffocating heat and humidity, the two riders completed a massive amount of work, aimed at optimizing the development of their GP14 machines, with both men showing a constant improvement; on today’s final day in particular, Dovizioso and Crutchlow also lapped with the DORNA/Magneti Marelli electronic software and ECU provided for the new Open option.

In the evening, the Ducati Team announced that it will be taking part in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship with the two riders on GP14 bikes in Open configuration.

Dovizioso was particularly satisfied with the lap time he set today, the best the Italian has ever recorded on this track, which took him to just one-tenth away from the fastest riders in the test, Rossi and Pedrosa, while Crutchlow also showed considerable progress over the three days, in which he was able to further get to grips with the bike he will be racing in his first season in Ducati.

Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro carried out a totally different work programme over the three days and his aim was not to push for any really quick lap times.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (2m00.067s)

“I am really pleased: we go away from Sepang having confirmed all the improvements we made three weeks ago. I managed to do a really good lap time, the best I’ve ever done on this track, and I did it in track conditions that were worse than in Sepang 1. This means that we went much better this time around! We also did a long-run of 14 laps and I was also satisfied with that. At this moment we are probably not in a position to fight for the top places, because we are not always able to lap with this pace, but we really improved a lot in these tests.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 8th (2m00.790s)

“Obviously for me the situation in these tests at Sepang was different to what I’ve been used to in the past, so I think Dovi managed to benefit more from the three days because he’s on a familiar machine. But that’s the way it goes and I’m generally pretty satisfied with the results we’ve achieved here. I’ve been consistently able to go as fast as Dovi with used tyres, but not at the start, because I’m unable to push hard right away and get enough grip into the tyres. This is something we will have to improve for qualifying and the races. Overall we’ve made good progress, testing a lot of stuff here, which was the main thing, and starting to understand what the bike does with different set-ups. Now it’ll be good to go to another circuit and try something else.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

“For Ducati it is really important to continue the development work on the GP14 and we certainly made some improvements during this test, just like the previous one. The gap separating us from our rivals is however still a big one, so having the possibility to modify our engine during the season is fundamental for us. For this reason, we have chosen the Open option, sharing the decision with our riders: Andrea and Cal have a lot of confidence in all the Ducati Corse technical staff and they accepted our decision without a moment’s hesitation ".

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ENDS

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