Testing Continues Unabated: Suzuki And Moto2 Stay At Barcelona, Yamaha Head To Aragon

Though most of the MotoGP teams packed up and headed to Assen after the MotoGP test on Monday, Suzuki and the Ducati test team remained. The two factories continued testing on Tuesday, in between tests with some of the top Moto2 teams, including Marc VDS, Aspar, AGR, and Technomag.

Suzuki continued the hard work of preparing for their return next year. They are continuing to work on a new engine, but the biggest headache they face is with the electronics. The process of porting and reengineering their software to work with the spec Magneti Marelli hardware is taking more time than they thought, and it still needs plenty of development before it is ready.

The Moto2 teams testing were working on performance for this year. No times were released, but according to the MotoGP.com website, Jonas Folger posted the fastest unofficial time, a lap of 1'45.6. Folger was working on the WP suspension his team uses, as well as on braking. Tito Rabat was second fastest with a 1'46.4, while Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio spent his time working with a new swingarm. For Maverick Vinales, the test was another chance to continue to work on set up and adapting to the Moto2 class.

Suzuki continue testing at Barcelona on Wednesday, while Yamaha are turning laps at Aragon. The test is behind closed doors, and officially they are testing parts for the 2015 bikes. The paddock was naturally ablaze with rumors, suggesting that the first version of the 2015 bike will make its appearance there, aimed at solving the problems Yamaha - and especially Jorge Lorenzo - have this season. 

Below are press releases from the Marc VDS and Aspar Moto2 teams after Tuesday's testing:

Positive test ends successful Barcelona visit for Marc VDS

Barcelona, Spain – 17 June 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Moto2 riders, Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio, today completed a successful one-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Rabat, who took his fourth win of the season at the circuit on Sunday, today focussed on working with his crew to further refine the set up of his Kalex Moto2 machine ahead of the next race in Assen.

Kallio also worked on set up over the course of the day, in a bid to improve the consistency of his lap times over full race distance. The 31-year-old Finn completed four race simulations in total, posting his fastest time on the final lap of the final run.

The two Marc VDS riders will return to action in just over a week at Assen, known as the Cathedral of Speed and the venue for round eight of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship.

Tito Rabat:

“Today we tested many things on the bike, with positive results. The changes weren’t big, but we did find a number of small improvements in a few areas and, in Moto2 where the bikes are so similar, even a slight advantage can make a big difference when it comes to racing for the win. I also enjoyed riding the bike at Montmeló without the pressure you get during a race weekend. I’m happy with what we achieved during today’s test and I’m now looking forward to the next race in Assen.”

Mika Kallio:

“The test today was quite positive. We found an improvement with the bike, mainly with the front and the rear grip, which allowed a faster, more consistent pace during the race simulations. However, it was a little disappointing that the improvements came today and not during the race weekend as, with today’s set up the race result would have been different. The same was also true at Mugello, where, again, we found the best set up during the post race test. In the future we maybe need to take bigger steps with the set up when we’re struggling during a race weekend; take more of a risk rather than trying to fix the problems with only small changes. Now we need to see what happens when we go to Assen, as we will start with the same set up there.”

Naoya Kaneko: Chief Mechanic, Mika Kallio

“Today’s test was very informative for us. Our focus was on finding a set up that would allow Mika to be more consistent over full race distance. We did four race simulations, making changes between each one based on the lap times, the data and Mika’s feedback. On the last lap of the last run Mika managed to improve his time by half-a-second, which is very positive. Looking at the data, the lap time came as a result of small improvements in a number of areas, rather than from a single change, and now we need to replicate these improvements in Assen and at future races.”

Productive test for Torres and Terol in Catalunya

MAPFRE Aspar find improved grip and lap times compared to Grand Prix weekend

Just two days after the Grand Prix of Catalunya a host of Moto2 riders were back on track in Barcelona today to test alongside the MotoGP factories of Suzuki and Ducati. The track was open to the intermediate category riders from 0900h until 1130h and from 1400h until 1630h. The conditions were cloudy and there was some rainfall at around 1100h but it wasn't enough to cause any breaks in the action on another hot day in Spain.

The MAPFRE Aspar Team continue their quest to solve their early season problems through a simple recipe of hard work, with Jordi Torres and Nico Terol today making full use of the available track time. The pair were able to improve their machine set-up as well as lowering their lap times with respect to the weekend's Grand Prix at the same circuit, with Jordi completing 80 laps as he worked to iron out some chatter problems through a combination of tyre and chassis tests. The Spaniard smashed his best lap from the weekend by almost a second, whilst Nico found the rear grip that he had been looking for over the weekend, taking half a second off his personal best time.

Jordi Torres 1.46.71 (80 laps): “We made the most of today to improve on the things we struggled with at the weekend. We did a lot of different rear tyre tests and by gathering a lot of information we were able to iron out the front chatter problems we had. We also played around with the rear end set-up and got the bike running more smoothly into the corners, improving our pace and consistency from the Grand Prix. I am happy because I really enjoyed riding today and I hope the work we have done proves useful at Assen.”

Nico Terol 1.47.70 (58 laps): “The test day here at the Circuit de Catalunya has been very productive. We have improved our lap times from the weekend and also my feeling with the bike. I felt comfortable this morning and it was just a shame that it started to spot with rain, slowing our progress slightly. Anyway, I am still happy because we have found some more rear grip and that makes the bike easier to ride. We still need to take another step but I am happy with the result of today. We have done a lot of tests and gathered a tonne of information. We still have some chatter on the front that makes me lose confidence in corner entry but other than that it has been a positive test.”

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Two things I don't understand: If Ducati had very little to give their rider to test on Monday, why did they stay to test another day? And why is Suzuki spending time and money in a software they will only use one season? Have they even tried the spec software?