Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of testing at Phillip Island:
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP PHILLIP ISLAND TESTING PLANS DAMPENED BY RAIN
Energized from the good results at the previous test two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo headed to Australia eager to benefit from the data collected in Sepang for the second official three-day pre-season test. However, when they arrived at the Phillip Island circuit this morning, the wet and changeable weather conditions prevented the teammates from carrying out their testing as planned. They finished today‘s session in sixth and sixteenth place respectively.
PHILLIP ISLAND MOTOGP TEST
Phillip Island, Australia - 17th February 2016
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team was up for the challenge today of repeating their strong ride of two weeks ago as testing kicked off at the second Official MotoGP Test in Australia, but mixed conditions allowed for only limited time on the Phillip Island track.
After two hours of waiting for the weather to improve, the 2016 MotoGP test at Phillip Island finally got underway for riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who used the track time wisely and focused on trying out the Michelin rain tyres and the electronics in damp conditions.
Though the weather was less than ideal, Rossi didn‘t let the opportunity go to waste to test his two Yamahas - the model closer to the 2015 YZR-M1 and the 2016 edition - on a wet track. Despite the brief windows of dry track time he worked diligently throughout the day and set 27 laps in total. Known to be an expert when conditions get tough, he set a fastest time of 1‘33.088s at the end of the session when a sudden dry-spell in the final hour saw him dash to sixth place.
Lorenzo also had a productive day. He was the first of the teammates to come out of the box and steadily increased his pace as he got acclimatised to his Yamaha on the damp Australian track. He was in sixth place at the end of his two hours on track until rays of sunlight broke through in the afternoon, signaling that it was time for the Spaniard to kick up the pace a notch. He set a 1‘39.825s to take third in the provisional ranking before rain put a halt to the action again. Lorenzo returned to the track for another stint later in the afternoon, completing two laps on a slick tyre in dry conditions to bring his total to 24 laps, but chose to end the session early and completed the day in 16th place.
The conditions today at the track were not what we had hoped for, but it did give us an opportunity to source new data for the wet, so we still got something useful out of this day of testing. The riders focused on getting familiar with the wet Michelin tyres and the electronics in these damp conditions and they gave good feedback. At the end of the day a dry line started to form and we were able to get some dry laps in, but the feeling of the riders was not what we expected. Tomorrow we hope for longer dry sessions so we can carry out our testing plans as scheduled and fix any unsettled feelings that they experienced in dry conditions today.
6th VALENTINO ROSSI
1:33.088 / 27 LAPS
It‘s very positive to come here to Phillip Island, because we have a lot of different things to try, especially tyres and we know this track is always very demanding for the compound. Unfortunately we expected summer, but it‘s winter. Today the season changed a minimum of ten times, we had to wait a lot and it was quite frustrating because it was important to do some work, but we didn‘t do a lot of laps. We were able to do some wet laps and also some dry laps at the end. We hope that tomorrow and Friday the weather will become better. It‘s always difficult to find the right window to use the intermediate tyre, but it can help. In the past, with the slick, it was quite dangerous to go out in half and half conditions. I think this year we can use the time more effectively, but here in Phillip Island the feeling with the bike and the tyres changed a lot compared to last year, so we need to work; every track can be different.
16th JORGE LORENZO
1:39.825 / 24 LAPS
It was a very unfortunate day. We are here in the summer and, as we can see in the Superbike race, there‘s usually good weather, but today we‘ve been unlucky. Mixed conditions; not really wet and not really good conditions for riding and there were not many minutes to try in these conditions. It was especially important to test the new electronics on the wet to get settled a little bit. I did only two laps on the slicks and had very strange feelings. I‘m really looking forward to see tomorrow, with a complete day of good conditions, how the bike is working with the Michelin tyres.
Rain affects first day of testing for Ducati Team riders at Phillip Island
Changeable weather conditions, with frequent showers that left the Phillip Island track surface wet for much of the day, prevented the Ducati Team riders from completing their scheduled work load.
Andrea Iannone however was able to complete seven laps on a dry surface in the afternoon, ending the day tenth quickest, while his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso made a couple of exits before coming back into the pit lane and as a result did not record a lap time.
The quickest rider of the day was Danilo Petrucci on the Octo Pramac Yakhnich team’s Ducati Desmosedici.
All the riders will be out on track again tomorrow and Friday hoping for better weather conditions.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’34.049 (10th)
“It was a bit of a strange day: unfortunately the weather didn’t allow us to work the way we had planned and I only managed to do seven laps in the afternoon in the dry with the 2016 Desmosedici GP. We hope that in the next two days we’ll get more track time because we’ve still got lots of things to test. However I’m happy with the positive atmosphere in the team garage and I’m feeling confident about the new bike.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – no time
“Honestly speaking for me today was a wasted day. This morning maybe we could have gone out on track when it was raining heavily, to do a few laps in wet weather set-up, but we preferred to wait a bit. However the situation didn’t improve and the track always remained damp. In the afternoon I did a couple of out-in exits with my Desmosedici GP, to allow the engineers to check a few things, but now I’m really hoping the weather is good tomorrow and Friday to give me the chance to put in some track time with the new bike.”
Bad weather affects first day of Phillip Island test
Day one of the test at Phillip Island was affected by poor weather conditions, with intermittent light rainfall and strong winds, and maximum air and track temperatures of 23° C and 30° C, respectively.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was the first rider to take to the track this morning, just over an hour into the session, with his teammate Marc Marquez—who celebrates his 23rd birthday today—following immediately afterward. Both riders were aiming to sort out the Michelin wet and intermediate spec tyres, which they had not tested before, and their electronics’ rain settings.
The day allowed a few laps in full-wet conditions, during which the riders received some positive feedback, both from the bike settings and the rain tyres. Marc managed to make one lap on the intermediates spec tyre, with which he set his best time. The track improved slightly toward the end of the session, but there were only few minutes with almost totally dry track and both Repsol Honda riders decided not to go out.
The Repsol Honda riders’ best efforts for the day were 1’35.354 on lap 18 of 20 for Marc on intermediate tyres, and 1’40.138 on lap 15 of 15 for Dani on wet tyres. Testing will continue for two more days.
1’35.354 20 Laps
“This first day in Australia went well, but the weather made things difficult. We tried wet tyres on the first two runs today and I felt quite comfortable, with plenty of rear grip. It was also important to test the electronics in these conditions, because it was the first time we had a chance to use them in the wet, and they worked well. I did some laps on the intermediate tyre. Anyway, it's hard to know when you should use them. It's a pity because it was difficult to gather data; the conditions were constantly changing between wet and drying out, due to the intermittent rain and wind. At the end of the day it improved a little, but we decided not to go out again because the weather forecast is better for tomorrow.”
1’40.138 15 Laps
“Today it rained almost all day—especially in the morning—and when I saw that the track was completely wet I decided to go out, because at this track you usually don’t have these conditions, due to the strong wind that always dries the asphalt quickly. The feeling was good and it was a positive run, because I did a few laps in these different conditions to test the bike, electronics and tyres at the same time. Everything was different from what we had before, so we have to go step-by-step. I would have liked to put in more laps in the wet, but eventually part of the circuit dried out and the track was neither fully dry nor fully wet. Some riders went out on slicks, but it was still raining a little and the conditions weren’t easy, so we preferred to stay in the garage. Instead, we’ll go back out again tomorrow to check everything if the weather improves.”
VIÑALES 2ND IN RAIN-HIT PHILLIP ISLAND OPENING DAY
Team Suzuki Press Office – February 17.
Mixed weather conditions hampered the first day of MotoGP™ testing at Phillip Island in Australia today with alternate dry and wet conditions leaving many teams unable to find a proper set-up to lap consistently, which delayed the testing program.
Yet despite these hard conditions Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales put-in 20 laps aboard his GSX-RR, tried to test a few new things, in particular some electronics set-ups and recorded second on the timesheets.
Viñales and team-mate Aleix Espargaro have been joined at the test by Suzuki Test Team rider Takuya Tsuda, who worked hard yesterday in more consistent conditions to test mostly the new electronics. The objective of the Test Team in Australia is to continue the initial program with the new electronics and also the new seamless gearbox in order to finalise its development so that it can be transferred to the Factory Team riders.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Unfortunately the weather is totally uncertain and today’s conditions were too hostile to make a proper test. Since the introduction of the new tyres and new electronics all teams desperately need to further investigate the issues and these hard days make us lose many precious chances. However, this morning Maverick could make some laps in the wet which was very helpful for us to verify some things in the electronics and this will help us to find the best direction both tomorrow and for the upcoming season. He also made some laps in dry conditions, even though they were mainly to prepare for tomorrow’s work.
“Aleix, on the contrary, was very unlucky: He wanted to wait for dry conditions in order to lap in good conditions but he could only do a couple of laps before more rain. For him, today was a wasted day, but we hope for better conditions tomorrow and he will probably take advantage also of the information coming from Maverick today. Here in Phillip Island we also have our Test Team which is supposed to bring on crucial work for the development of the machines. I really hope that the weather will get more stable for the next two days as the riders are very keen to ride and all our engineers need data and feedback to work on.”
“Today was very difficult conditions, but we managed to ride some laps and this was positive. We didn’t really test anything specific, we just wanted to verify some set-ups in the electronics, mainly to take some advantages for tomorrow. I feel more confident now than last year, the 2015 season was really helpful for me to grow and also become more focused and sharp when it comes to giving feedback to my engineers and asking for modifications. This new electronics are putting all riders under pressure, we still have so many things to learn before we can manage it properly, but this is also something that is renewing the enthusiasm. I spent all the Winter training to get fit, now it’s time to focus on the machine. In Sepang we had some positive improvements which gave me positive feelings, but now I’m really curious to continue the development and get closer to the top.”
“Today was too hard to predict the set-up, the weather conditions were not either fully-wet or dry which prevented us finding a proper direction. Honestly, if rain came seriously I would have been happy to try in full wet as it could have been useful information for the season, when of course we will have some rainy races. But in these variable conditions we preferred not to risk anything and wait for the upcoming days. I was curious to test the new intermediate tyres because they will be helpful in some races or qualifying, but of course when conditions are not consistent you can’t control the electronics properly; and then it’s very hard to test the tyres’ performances.”
Petrux strikes again: 1° in Australian test debut. Scott works hard and finishes well in 4th place
Danilo Petrucci does not miss a beat and after having taken advantage of the best conditions in the second day of the Sepang test (quickest laptime of the day, second overall in Malaysia) he managed to repeat himself in Australia giving to Octo Pramac Yakhnich the second great satisfaction of this brilliant pre-season. Extremely positive news also came from Scott Redding who has worked hard managing to complete 41 laps (more than anyone else) finishing with the fourth fastest time on his first day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit.
In a day marked by bad weather with rain that has continuously alternating the sun without giving reference points to the team, Petrux did well to take advantage of the afternoon window where the circuit has dried up allowing the riders to lap with slick tires. At the end of his second run the rider from Terni recorded an extremely interesting fastest lap (1:31.764), making it the only rider in the first day of activity to get under the wall of 1:32''.
After trying during the morning session with rain tires in order to grow the feeling in wet conditions with his Ducati Desmosedici GP, Scott Redding appeared soon at ease in the afternoon when he lapped fast with slick tires ending up 4th with a time of 1:32.864.
1° Danilo Petrucci
1:31.764 - 12 laps
"I'm happy to be so competitive. We are very confident and it is nice to start the season with these good feelings. My fastest crono? I hope to do it again even when it will count, but it's always nice to finish a day of work in first place. It was a difficult day due to the rain. In the morning we could have run in the wet but the conditions were not the greatest. We did only a few laps (12) but I'm pretty happy because we produced data to study. Basically we earned two runs to understand which direction to go with the bike. Many things have changed since last year. There is much work to do and to finish in front gives you a boost".
4° Scott Redding
1:32.864 - 41 laps
"I completed 41 laps but were not all that useful. We have done a good workout in the rain and we did a few laps in the dry. All thing considered we did two things we wanted to do although I would have liked to have more continuity instead of entering and leaving the pits because of the rain. The lap time was ok since we are still working on the bike and the conditions found today were not exactly the best. Rain tires? I had a good feeling. The only problem for me was the acqua-planning because I somehow lost grip with the rear. But I must say that the feelings on the behavior of the new tires is good".
MotoGP test in Australia hit by rain
Adverse conditions in Phillip Island limit day one work for MotoGP teams as second test of preseason gets underway
Two weeks after their first test of the 2016 preseason at Sepang, the MotoGP riders were back on track today at Phillip Island. An unusual destination for winter testing, the Australian circuit was selected this year and no doubt the riders were hoping for ideal conditions, with the popular tourist destination currently in the middle of its summer season. However, the conditions were more like those regularly seen during Grand Prix weekend at Phillip Island, with wind, rain and cool temperatures limiting the amount of work the teams were able to complete on track. The majority of riders completed just a handful of laps, with some choosing not to ride at all. Danilo Petrucci set the fastest lap of the day in a time of 1'31.764.
There was little activity in the Aspar Team's MotoGP garage, with Yonny Hernández completing just six laps and his team-mate Eugene Laverty only ten. The Colombian and the Irishman preferred not to take any unnecessary risks today, especially as Laverty continues to recover from a hand injury suffered at the Sepang session. Hernández clocked his best lap on his final effort whilst Eugene's best came on the fifth of his ten laps. Both riders are hoping for better conditions as the test continues tomorrow.
8th Yonny Hernández 1.33.841 (6 laps): “Today was a strange day because the weather was so bad. We were only really able to complete two good laps, the rest were in and out of the garage because of the rain. It has been a short day but at least we have some information to build on tomorrow. I think tomorrow we will know more about how far we have come from the first test to this one. We had some setbacks in Malaysia but today we were able to check the bike and it was working well. Hopefully it responds as we are hoping tomorrow so that we can gather more data and continue to improve.”
14th Eugene Laverty 1.35.679 (10 laps): “There was so much rain today, every time we left the pits it started to rain so we only did a few laps and the conditions were never perfect. The hand is more or less okay, especially around this circuit because it is anti-clockwise with only a few right-handers where I feel the pain. At the moment there is not much to be gained for us by going out in the wet because it is clear I need dry track time, having missed so much at the other tests. We have a lot of work to do but first I need to get comfortable with this bike in the dry so hopefully the weather can be kinder to us for the rest of this test.”
Rabat and Miller experience four seasons in one day at Phillip Island
Phillip Island, Australia – 17 February 2016: The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Tito Rabat and Jack Miller, completed only a limited number of laps of the Phillip Island circuit today, as intermittent rain disrupted the opening day of testing.
As is so often the case at Phillip Island, the changeable weather kept riders and teams guessing all day. Rain would soak the track but as riders exited pit lane on wet tyres the sun would come out, the wind would pick up and the track would start to rapidly dry out.
Unfortunately, with the rain returning at regular intervals the track never dried out fully until late in the afternoon, while the showers didn’t last long enough to give the riders the opportunity to test Michelin’s wet tyres on a fully wet track during the morning.
The two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders got only two short runs on slick tyres late in the afternoon, with Miller jumping up to ninth on the timesheet, despite only completing six laps. Rabat ended the day 11th after managing to fit in only one flying lap in the better conditions.
Both Rabat and Miller are hopeful of an improvement in the weather for the remaining two days of testing but, while the forecast currently promises dry conditions tomorrow, more rain is expected for the third and final day of testing on Friday.
Jack Miller: 9th - 6 Laps – 1’33.992
“I’m pretty happy with today, even if the weather meant my time on the bike was limited. We had a heap of new parts to run in on the bike and we managed to get that done during the brief time the track was dry, so it looks good for tomorrow, when I hope the weather will be better. The leg was fine today; once I’m on the bike it’s really good. Okay, I can’t use the rear brake as much as I’d like to, but I can work on my riding style to compensate for that. Now we just need some better weather and a lot more laps.”
Tito Rabat: 11th - 28 Laps – 1’35.273
“We were limited with what we could do today by the weather, but it was still a positive first day. This morning I learnt a lot about how the electronics work in wet conditions, even if the track was never fully wet. The dry time was short today and I never really got one good lap, but it was a good opportunity to get the feeling with the rear hard tyre. We need dry track time more than anything, so I hope the Australian weather will be kind to us tomorrow and Friday.”
INTERMITTENT RAIN HAMPERS PROGRESS IN AUSTRALIA
LCR Honda and their British rider Cal Crutchlow find themselves in Australia this week, where day one of the second official pre-season testing session was badly affected by rain showers throughout. The picturesque Phillip Island circuit, which lies to the south of Melbourne, can often be caught out by the weather due to its clifftop location and so it proved on Wednesday as Crutchlow was forced to try out the new wet spec Michelin tyres.
The Brit had fairly positive feedback from the rain tyres, working on the 2015-spec factory Honda engine because of the weather situation. He will try the updated version of that engine from tomorrow, when better conditions are predicted.
Crutchlow did manage to squeeze two laps in with the slick tyres when the track briefly dried out, setting the fifth fastest time of the day in the process. However, no sooner had he set his fast lap than the drizzle returned.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 5th (1’32.948)
“Today was pretty much a wasted day. We waited around a lot, but there wasn’t really much we could do with the weather situation. We kept going out with the rain tyre but then the track would dry up too much.”
“Towards the end we put on the slicks and then it’s started to rain so we didn’t get any real information from the dry tyre at all. Even in the two laps I did I could tell we still have some way to go in terms of the power of the bike and the electronics.”
“We were quite happy with the situation in the rain, but now we need to work very hard overnight and then going into tomorrow we will have a lot of different things to try. Hopefully the weather is better as is forecasted. I love riding this circuit, so it would be good to enjoy a full day’s testing here.”
Smith closes rain affected opening day in Australia in third position
Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro started the first day of testing at Phillip Island confidently as they powered on despite the rain falling intermittently throughout the day. Even though the damp weather disrupted the testing plan, it allowed the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team to gather valuable data and also test the new wet Michelin tyres as they prepare for the forthcoming season.
Bradley Smith got straight to work and keenly set about experimenting with the electronics and the setup, which he established at the Sepang test, before completing 27 laps, as he finished the day strongly in third and just one tenth back from second place. Whilst Pol Espargaro, continued his efforts for the impending season as he used the weather to build confidence with his wet setup. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion undertook a total of 20 laps and set his fastest time on his final run which left him just half a second back from his teammate and confident of improving tomorrow with dry weather conditions expected.
Position : 3rd Time : 1'32.590 Laps : 27
"To be honest I’m quite pleased with how today went. It goes without saying that the weather interfered a bit, but it was actually quite positive because it meant that we could really focus on the small details whilst we were waiting for the rain to stop. The electronics take a lot of time to adjust, so having some big breaks due to the weather meant that we could do this and there was no stress or rushing. When I went out onto the track, we knew that we only had a handful of laps and I had to really concentrate so that we could narrow down the right choice of setting. The good thing is that I have quite a positive feeling already, even if it’s only after 7 or 8 laps in the dry, which is very important as I struggled here all weekend last year. In addition, I really enjoyed myself in the wet and had a lot of confidence riding in it, which is a big plus. It looks like the base setting that we worked towards in Sepang is performing well here already, albeit with a few small adjustments. This proves that we are heading in the right direction at the moment and hopefully tomorrow we can gain more valuable information with some dry laps.”
Position : 7th Time : 1'33.126 Laps : 20
"Today, we can’t really say how the test went because neither me nor the other riders really lapped a lot in the dry or the wet conditions. We all rode only a few laps and the times were really far back from the pace that we should be riding at. However, I had a satisfying run in the wet as we tested some electronic settings, yet unfortunately we weren’t able to re-confirm the information that we gained as the track began to dry. Almost the exact same thing happened when I went out on slick tyres and I had to come back in the pits after only a couple of laps. It’s a real pity that we couldn’t make more of today, but the forecast says that the conditions should improve tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to getting back on my bike and finally enjoying this amazing track.