Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the final day of testing at the Red Bull Ring in Austria:
APRILIA EXPLORES THE RED BULL RING
TWO DAYS OF TESTS FOR BAUTISTA, LOWES AND DI MEGLIO ON THE NEW AUSTRIAN CIRCUIT
The MotoGP riders had a chance to discover the Austrian Red Bull Ring circuit, one of the new additions to the 2016 calendar. Characterised by hard braking, fast acceleration and steep slope changes, the new track will host the next round on the weekend of 14 August.
Only Alvaro Bautista was on the track for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, whereas his teammate, Stefan Bradl, is still recovering after his crash during the warm-up session at the Sachsenring last weekend.
Two more RS-GP machines available to the Aprilia Test Team were ridden by tester Mike Di Meglio and Same Lowes, the English rider currently on the Gresini Moto2 Team, on his second time out with the Italian MotoGP bike that he will ride next season. Sam is continuing his apprenticeship on the RS-GP that began recently in Misano, completing 58 laps on the first day of testing.
Bautista focused on preparatory tests for the race, therefore working on the chassis and electronics setup, in addition to tyre choice. The Austrian track proved to be rather particular straight away. There are a lot of blind corners and the braking and acceleration sections become extremely important, just as much as engine performance that is put to the test on the long, uphill straight stretches. Alvaro also conducted some comparative tests with a new type of front wing and the lighter swingarm that had already been tested at the Sachsenring, two elements that will require further evaluation.
The results in terms of times were satisfactory, with Alvaro taking 166 laps over the course of the two days.
“On this new track you need a lot of engine and a stable bike in braking and acceleration. We worked with these goals, finding some interesting solutions in terms of the race. We still need to do some more testing on the lighter swingarm though. I'm still not certain that it provides an advantage. I should also point out that this is a rather particular track, so it is quite difficult to make comparisons. In terms of safety, on the other hand, I think there are a few spots with very little space and close to the walls. Before the race it would be good to think about a few solutions, especially given the high speeds”.
“After the first contact in Misano, I'm beginning to feel more and more at ease astride the RS-GP. It is a positive trend. I improved every time I went out and we began to work on the bike setup to adapt it to my riding style. We have more tests scheduled with Aprilia, but at the moment I am pleased with the level we have achieved. The track is very nice. There are some tight corners and flowing sections. Overall it's fun. It isn't very difficult to learn; you just have to remember the right reference points on the blind corners. Let's just say that, after riding the RS-GP, the straight stretches will seem even longer with the Moto2 bike!”.
Miller and Rabat conclude successful Spielberg test
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat head into the summer break with their confidence high after completing a successful two-day test at Spielberg in Austria.
The Spielberg track is new to the calendar this season and two days of perfect testing weather allowed Miller and Rabat ample time to get to know the characteristics of the 4.318km circuit, which features seven right and three left corners and constant changes of elevation.
While the circuit was completely new to Rabat, Miller is one of only two MotoGP riders with previous experience of Spielberg, having raced here aboard a 125cc machine in the German Championship back in 2011.
The two days in Austria provided an ideal opportunity for Miller to catch up on the testing he missed at the start of the season due to injury. The Australian took advantage of the perfect weather conditions to rack up 151 laps, as he worked to evaluate a number of different settings and to further refine the set up of his Honda RC213V.
As well as trying to discover the secrets to a fast lap on an unfamiliar track Rabat also focussed on refining both his riding style and the set up on his Honda RC213V to allow him to maximise the performance of the Michelin tyres.
The former Moto2 World Champion set his fastest time of the test during the final session, after finding a solution to the lack of front-end feeling that has caused him so many issues this season. As a result Rabat heads into the summer break with renewed confidence and looking forward to the second half of the season.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will return to Austria in August to get the second half of the 2016 underway.
Jack Miller: 151 Laps – 1'24.555
"The track here is good and I've really enjoyed riding it the last two days. This test was really important for us after missing so many tests at the start of the season. It was great just to get a whole heap of dry laps in where I could just go out and ride the bike, which I really enjoyed. It was a lot of fun. Yesterday we managed to make some improvements with the set up and we've built on that today, finding a bit more speed but also I feel more comfortable on the bike now. We've got a little break now, but I'm looking forward to getting back here next month to get the second half of the season underway."
Tito Rabat: 221 Laps – 1'24.760
"It's been a long two days with a heavy workload, both for me and the team, but it's also been a very successful test. Now we understand better how to make the front tyre work for us and, finally, I have the feeling with the front end that I need and that's a big boost to my confidence after a couple of difficult races. My understanding of how the bike and tyres work has improved and the team have made a step forward with the settings needed to get the best from both, so it's been very positive for me. Now I am looking forward to some time away from the track to reflect on the first half of the season, before returning fresh to start the second half."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Jack is riding high on confidence after his win at Assen and a good race at the Sachsenring. This confidence has been boosted further after he made a step forward with the set up of his Honda RC213V during these two days in Austria. It means he goes into the summer break in a strong frame of mind and I'm sure we'll see a fired up Jack when he returns here to get the second half of the season underway in August. The test was also positive for Tito. Once again he's increased his understanding of the bike and tyres, as well as learning just a little bit more about how to get the best from them. I know his expectations are high, which frustrates him sometimes, but he should be happy with the progress he's made since the start of the year. I think we will see further big improvements from him in the second half of the season."
CRUTCHLOW CONCLUDES PRODUCTIVE TEST IN AUSTRIA
Cal Crutchlow made a positive impression during the 2day of testing session at the new MotoGP venue in Austria. The circuit in Spielberg will host the next round of the World Championship and the LCR Honda rider got to grips with the unfamiliar lay-out.
Crutchlow put in a total of 86 laps in two days action as he gathered valuable data not only for his own team, but also for Honda whose factory outfit were not present at the test. Indeed, the Briton – who decided to leave the session nearly two hours before the scheduled finish - was leading the standings for a large part of the afternoon after posting a fastest lap of 1’24.455.
That time was eclipsed towards the end of the day and Crutchlow would eventually end up in tenth position overall, with Ducati rider Andrea Iannone topping the timesheets.
#35 Cal Crutchlow, 1’24.455 (10th today – 11th overall)
“We are in good spirits coming here from the podium at the Sachsenring. Today was ok, we’re happy enough with our progress during the course of the test. We got through everything we needed to test for Honda and also our team.
“We worked in a positive way and I was pleasantly surprised with the lap times we were posting and the time of day we were doing them. In the end we have to try and improve for the race weekend here, but we are satisfied at having covered everything we needed to.
“We’re set to have a few weeks off with the summer break now and I look forward to coming back to the Austria race in three weeks’ time.”
SUZUKI ECSTAR IMPROVES AT RED BULL RING TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office – July 20.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR completed the second and final day of testing at the Austrian Red Bull Ring circuit today with positive improvements and important data collected in preparation of the race next month.
Both Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró improved their lap-times session-by-session as the confidence with the layout got better. Also, SUZUKI ECSTAR engineers could rely on more information collected in the several new runs done by both riders today.
The Team and riders will now take benefit of the ‘Summer Break’ - a three-week pause before the 10th round of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the circuit on August 14th.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Our riders and team had only one day of resting after the race in Germany and we immediately came here to Austria for testing. The riders did a really good job; they ran two fully-intense days where we could compare many test items. We focused on getting acquaintance with the circuit, but we could also test some improvements in electronics and chassis with a new swingarm, as well as some new tyres brought here by Michelin. If we look at the single lap-time we are not at the top and some competitors are faster than us, but looking at the pace we are in a good position. Now we take this whole experience and we go to Japan, we will exploit the ‘Summer Break’ to work on this and prepare for the Austrian GP at our best, in order to come back stronger than where we are now.”
“This second day confirmed my good impression of the circuit. The layout and the surroundings are very nice, but also it is a very unusual track; it is a typical ‘on/ off track’, with hard accelerations, three long straights and hard braking. This says that those who have the biggest power may be advantaged at this circuit, and for this we have to work more. For sure, today we made some improvements, we were looking for some more traction and some of the solutions we have tried proved to be effective; our engineers will now work on that as we need to get here for the race in our best shape. It won’t be easy, but our pace is not bad and we will do our best to pursue our usual objective; to fight in the top-six.”
“Today we worked really hard, especially in the afternoon where we tried different solutions with the electronics and also a different swingarm, to try to find more traction. This circuit is very nice but the full power will play a major role; for this I expect we will be struggling a lot. For sure races are done by the pace also, and on this we worked hard and had positive responses. This summer break will be useful, we will take a rest from the race weekend rhythm, but this will also allow us to look at our issues with clear mind. The second part of the season will be very tough as we will have many back-to-back races, therefore we will come here again for the race with full determination and enthusiasm.”
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP GET FIRST FEEL FOR AUSTRIAN CIRCUIT
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo completed their first kilometres aboard their YZR-M1s at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track in Styria, Austria, during the two-day private test that started just two days after the German GP
RED BULL RING MOTOGP TEST
Spielberg, Austria - 20th July 2016
Red Bull Ring (Austria), 20th July 2016
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team shaped up for the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich during today and yesterday‘s private test at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg circuit. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo took their YZR-M1 machines to the track for the first time to get a head start on preparing a well-balanced setting for the tenth race of the MotoGP season. The teammates tried various Michelin tyres and worked diligently on their settings at the circuit that lays the importance on top speed, acceleration and braking stability.
On August 14th, the circuit will host a MotoGP Grand Prix for the first time in nineteen years. Thanks to his long career in the MotoGP World Championship, Rossi is the only current premier class rider who has ever ridden at the circuit before. He has good memories of the venue as he secured his first ever podium at the Red Bull Ring for a third place in the 125cc class in 1996. The Italian had fun experiencing the track on a 1000cc bike over the last two days, as shown by the fifth fastest time he set today, a 1‘24.169s.
As it was the first time for teammate Lorenzo to ride at the Austrian circuit, his main aim was to get a feel for the track‘s unique character and find a good balance for all aspects of his bike‘s set up. The track has only ten corners (three left and seven right), a 626m longest straight and many opportunities to fully open the throttle. The Mallorcan was impressed with the beauty of the circuit and looks forward to racing there in three weeks‘ time after booking progress with the set up of his bike today. His fastest time, a 1‘24.194s, earned him sixth place in the second day time sheets.
We finished the first testing days at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg well and it has been a reasonably successful outing. It was very important we came here, so we could start preparing the race at a place for which we didn‘t have any kind of information. We made an improvement from yesterday to the end of today. We invested a lot of time in bettering the setting, the chassis and also the electronics and we did quite a lot of work for Michelin as well. This circuit doesn‘t look like it will be one of Yamaha‘s favourites, this kind of track lay out doesn‘t play into our strengths. It will be fundamental that our Japanese engineers at Yamaha Motor Company will study the data we got during these two days so we can come back here with some good solutions. There is still some work to do for the race, but we were able to collected good data. We are now midway through and we deserve some rest before we come back here in three weeks‘ time.
5th - 1'24.169 / 82 LAPS
t‘s a very particular circuit because it is really, really fast and you spend a lot of time with the throttle fully open. Compared to the other circuits it has a lot less corners, at the end of the lap you have done only nine or ten, normally there are around fifteen. It‘s very fast and the place is good and the corners are OK. For us, personally, it‘s not the best circuit because usually we suffer a bit on top speed, and in fact we are struggling, but it‘s just the first day and we collected a lot of data and made some kilometres.
It were two good days, especially today we improved the performance and the balance of the bike a lot, but also the track was better, with more rubber where we needed it. We were able to improve the lap times and our position and we‘re a little bit closer to the top guys. I think racing here will be very difficult because it‘s a fast track, so for sure it‘s not the best circuit for us or for the YZR-M1. We have to work and give the maximum to get the maximum. Already today, we made a step and now we‘ll see. We‘ll get some rest and take a holiday and we will see what happens when we come back in August. It will be a very difficult race, especially with some of our factory rivals, they are faster than us. It will be very important to also understand the potential of the other competitors, because some are not here. It will be interesting to see if we are a little bit faster or slower than them, but we‘ll have to wait for the race weekend.
6th - 1'24.194 / 80 LAPS
The track is beautiful and very fast. The tarmac is good, there are just three or four corners where the wall is very close and that can be dangerous in case of a crash. It‘s difficult to change this track, but for sure for the future it would be good to try to improve the safety. The test of speed has been hard, because some of our rivals are fast, it looks like the track is giving them a big advantage, especially in braking stability, acceleration and top speed. They can put in all the power they have at this track and the difference is huge. Compared to other competitors we are not so far behind, but there are a lot of rivals, who are all very fast. We will reduce their advantage, but not close the whole margin, because they are so fast. With the bike we have - the balance and the electronics – we have to find the best setting for all the aspects and go as fast as possible.
Compared to yesterday, today was better, because by riding all day the track was gaining grip and we were able to go a little bit faster. We also tried many things on the bike and some of them improved, so again I could go a little bit faster. Finally we were not 1.4s from the fastest one, but nine tenths. It‘s a little improvement and we are still far behind, but let‘s see if we can do another step in the race weekend. We will have to see what the weather does and which tyres Michelin will bring for the GP. Maybe they won‘t bring the tyres that we tried here. Let‘s see if they have less grip or suffer more graining. The one they keep may not be the best, but should be safer for a long race. Let's see how we feel in one month‘s time.
Ducati Team dominates two days of private testing in Austria
Two days of private MotoGP testing organized by Ducati at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Zeltweg, in view of the next round of the championship - the Austrian GP on August 14th - have concluded successfully for the Ducati Team.
A total of 21 riders and test-riders from all the manufacturers involved in the championship were present to get a first look at the renovated Austrian circuit.
Both yesterday and today the Ducati Team riders were the quickest men out on track, and this evening the final standings saw Andrea Iannone top the times ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, with two-time world champion Casey Stoner, present as the team’s test-rider, in third place.
During the second day Michele Pirro, the official tester for the Ducati Team, also went out on track for a few laps.
Iannone was the quickest man on track, with a best time of 1’23.240, followed four-tenths behind by Dovizioso in 1’23.680. Despite a crash at Turn 6 five minutes from the end, Stoner was classified in third place, with a best lap of 1’23.865.
The MotoGP teams and riders will be back again at the Zeltweg circuit in twenty days’ time for the tenth round of the world championship.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’23.240 (1st)
“It was a very positive test. I am happy that we finished it in this way with the best time, because in the two days we always lapped very quickly and we worked very well: yesterday we tried for the first time the new chassis, which gave me some very positive sensations. Today we focused on working on some different bike set-up solutions, with good results and I can say that a result like this is the best possible way to go on holiday!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’23.680 (2nd)
“These were two days of very positive tests for us, we worked hard on many different aspects of the bike, as well as preparing for the race in the best possible way. Here we have been really competitive, it’s great to do two days of testing before the race because it gives you the chance of working on fine-tuning aspects and I know that we can still improve there. I am very pleased with my Desmosedici GP on this track, because we can exploit our potential to the maximum and I believe that we can be really competitive in the race.”
Casey Stoner (Ducati Team #27) – 1’23.865 (3rd)
“We had quite a positive day but really didn’t get a lot of laps in because the Test Team had to put Michele Pirro on the bike to do some testing this afternoon. We did lots of short runs to change the bike all the time, did a couple of comparisons in the chassis, and we adjusted and moved everything around a bit to get the bike more stable under brakes on a good track. I’m happy and satisfied but also a bit disappointed towards the end because it was the first time I had to push in four years with a soft tyre and it didn’t go well as I crashed at Turn 6. I’m pretty happy with the hard tyre, and the bike felt good, even though in both days we were still using the previous chassis, but I think we can lap even better with the new version.”
Pull&Bear Aspar Team round off two productive test days in Austria
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 16:47
Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernández conclude testing at the venue for the next MotoGP World Championship round, satisfied with the performance of their bikes
The track at Spielberg, Austria, which debuts on the World Championship calendar this year, hosted a two-day test for the majority of MotoGP teams this week. The top performers were the Ducati riders, who dominated proceedings through Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, followed by test rider Casey Stoner –just six tenths back- and Hector Barbera in eighth. Behind the top two were Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró, all between nine tenths and a second slower. The only MotoGP riders missing from the test were Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith, who will have to wait until Friday, August 12th and the first Free Practice for the Austrian GP.
Like the other Ducati riders, the Pull&Bear Aspar Team duo of Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty shone on the two days at Spielberg. The quickest of the pair was Hernández, who concluded the test in tenth place. In the morning session on Wednesday he clocked the third quickest time of 1.24.396, just six tenths off the factory riders, and in the afternoon session he put looking for a fast time on the backburner –instead focusing on preparing for the August 14th race. The Colombian tried different traction control mapping and a new swingarm during the 76 laps he put in on Wednesday. Laverty set his best time (a 1.24.497) in the afternoon. He put in 59 laps, with his work centred around adjusting different aspects of the geometry of his Ducati and the front fork -the latter a change that he had been waiting for several races to test.
10th Yonny Hernández 1.24.396 (76 laps):“"In the morning we finished third, behind the two factory Ducatis, with a good time of 1.24.396. In the afternoon we worked with more of a focus on finding a good pace for the race: We tried different mapping, traction control and a swingarm, without looking for a quick lap time. We had some problems with the rear tyre, which degraded fairly quickly. We'll have to see what tyres Michelin bring here for the race.”
12th Eugene Laverty 1.24.497 (59 laps):"We have made quite a bit of progress at this test. We managed to be consistent and find a good pace, rather than just setting one-off quick laps. We spent almost all the time in the same time range. We worked on the geometry of the bike and the front fork in order to improve my feeling. We had wanted to try it out for a while, but hadn’t been able to until now, and it was a good step forward.”