Press releases from the teams after the first test of the 2017 MotoGP season at Valencia:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Conclude Valencia Test On Top
Maverick Viñales maintained his key protagonist status during the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo. The Spaniard was the only rider to drop under the 1'30s mark to top the standings for the second day in succession. Valentino Rossi also made strides today under the Valencian sun and spent the afternoon testing the new 2017 chassis and engine and set the seventh fastest time.
Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo to continue their 2017 MotoGP testing programme.
Despite having to sit out one hour in the pit box during this second day of testing after the session was red flagged due to two crashes from other riders in turn 12, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were able to made the most of the perfect riding conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and assembled useful data.
Maverick Viñales again eagerly entered the track in the morning and was immediately on the pace. Upon his return in the afternoon he focused on bettering his bike's set-up and posted an impressive 1'30.930s on lap 25, for third place, but he was far from done. The 21-year-old rider's energy was seemingly inexhaustible as he rode a total of 76 laps and became the first rider to drop under the 1'30s with a stunning 1'29.975s on his 66th lap, 0.196s faster than his closest rival.
Valentino Rossi joined the Spaniard later in the day, heading out on track in the afternoon. It only took the nine-time World Champion 13 laps to set a 1'30.893s, enough to shoot him up the rankings to second. The Doctor preferred to spend his time on testing the new chassis and engine for the 2017 YZR-M1 rather than doing a time attack. He was unable to improve in place, but further improved his time to a 1'30.709s for seventh place on his final lap, 0.734s from first.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We can be very pleased with the progression we are making. Maverick's initial nerves have gone now and he is already very strong. It's amazing to see him drop a 1'29s lap so shortly after his transition and we are also very impressed with how accurate his feedback is with so few kilometres under his belt on this bike. Valentino spent the afternoon testing the 2017 spec bike and making comparisons versus the various setting options. Thanks to his assessments we now have a better understanding of how these features affect the bike's balance. We will share this data with Yamaha's Japanese engineers so they can continue developing these items, but for a first test we are already in a good position."
7th, 1'30.709, 45/69 laps
"It was a long day because we worked quite a lot and we needed a lot of laps, especially a lot of comparisons between the old and the new engine and the old and the new chassis. We also tried some tyres and we saw that we still have a lot of work to do, but anyway it was quite a positive day. We have to work in general on the entire package, especially the chassis has some good things, but we need a bit more time to find the right setting. As for the engine, this one is the first evolution, but we still need to work to try go faster."
Positive end of Valencia test for Marquez in 2nd place and Pedrosa in 5th
On the second and final day of the Valencia test, Marc Marquez took to the circuit around 10:20 a.m. local time and made the best of the fair weather conditions to complete a busy test schedule. Marc decided to not try the new front Michelin tyres and instead worked to better understand the new engine, also completing two long runs to find a good base setup. His fastest time of 1’30.171 on lap 58 of 79 placed him second-fastest on the day, just 0.196 seconds from the top.
Dani Pedrosa joined the action shortly after noon, when the track reopened after having been red-flagged for over an hour due to safety conditions following a crash by Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone. Like his teammate, Dani didn’t test the new Michelin front tyre and instead concentrated on comparing the characteristics of his current bike with the 2017 engine. His time of 1’30.686 (lap 38 of 42) put him in fifth place.
“Today was a good day. We started the pre-season better than last year, and we hope to continue to constantly progress from now on. At this track we found a good base setup and a good rhythm, and we’ll see how it goes from now. We hope to continue like this. We didn’t do a ‘time attack,’ and we also didn’t test the new Michelin front, as we eventually used all the track time available to make long exits and also a couple of 10-lap mini-long runs.”
“Today we were able to ride with the new bike a little more and further compare the characteristics. We continued to take things fairly easy physically and not put in too many laps in order to keep up the recovery, but we tried to understand more about the new bike, to see how the tyres, suspension and mapping work with it. I think there are things that are positive and other details that we’ll need to continue working on. We must take the data we’ve gathered and carefully analyze it in order to understand what step to take next with the bike.”
Dovizioso third, Lorenzo eighth at the end of two days of IRTA tests at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit
The second and final day of IRTA tests at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit concluded this afternoon at 5.30 pm.
Andrea Dovizioso went out on track this morning with the 2017 version of the Desmosedici GP and he continued with the same bike until just a few minutes before the end of the session, before switching to the 2016 bike for a comparison run of a few laps. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider ended the session in third place with a best time of 1’30.443, which he set on lap 33 of the 61 completed today.
After doing three exits in the morning with the 2016 version of the Desmosedici GP, Jorge Lorenzo then switched to the new bike, completing 66 laps today with a best time of 1’30.744, and he ended the session in eighth place.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’30.443 (3rd), 61 laps
“These two days have been very interesting, because we were able to do some good tests with the new bike, something that in the last few years had never been possible, and so now we are ahead with our planning. We did a back-to-back comparison with the 2016 version at the end of the day to confirm our impressions and to verify that the improvements were effective. Now we can only get better because the new bike allows for a wider range of adjustments and this is the work that we will do next year. For us it was important to go back home with clear ideas and we were able to do this. We confirmed the pace we showed during the race weekend and even though we still have a lot of work to do, I am pleased with our new bike.”
SUZUKI ECSTAR COMPLETES FIRST 2017 TEST AT VALENCIA
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 16.
The opening MotoGP™ test of 2017 has been completed at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia with the first appearance of Suzuki’s new Factory riders, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins; and after the positive outcome of yesterday, today was more complicated for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR due to crashes from both riders.
First was Rins, who fell this morning at turn 12 because of the loss of the front-end on his GSX-RR. After a first check on-track, he was transferred to the circuit’s ‘Medical Center’ for further checks, where he complained of a lot of pain. For this reason, he was transferred to “Hospital 9 de Octubre” in Valencia for further investigation. He hasn’t suffered major injuries, but he has lesions on thoracic vertebra T8 and T12. He will now remain in hospital for further medical checks and will probably be transferred to Barcelona tomorrow for further medical checks, but his injury is likely to force the young Spaniard to take a month off.
A similar crash at the same spot affected Iannone’s performance, and he suffered pain to his right elbow. But his determination to get back to testing the new machine helped him overcome this; although his performance was not at 100%. Despite this, he completed many laps in the afternoon and gave important feedback to the engineers and his crew that will be helpful to determine the future-development of the Factory GSX-RR and preparation for next week’s test.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR will have a private testing session at Jerez, from Wednesday to Friday, deploying Andrea Iannone and Suzuki Test Team Rider Takuya Tsuda.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today has been a tough day, as both riders crashed, and especially Rins had some serious problems as a result, which makes us sad. Going back to yesterday, he did a positive job, he only needed to gain the confidence with his machine and he has already made some progress. Also, Iannone had a crash today, which caused some delays in our working-schedule, but luckily he didn’t suffer any major injuries. Overall, these two days have been positive because his feeling in general about our machine is better than my concerns, and we could already clearly-find which areas we have to work on to improve. He proved to be a very fast rider, we already knew it, but it’s good to find a confirmation in this. Now we will test more in Jerez next week to collect as much information and feedback to work with over the Winter.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Overall the test was quite positive but today we had some incidents that interrupted the working plan. Alex crashed this morning and suffered a crush in a couple of vertebra and it seems he should rest for at least three weeks or one month. He will not be at Jerez next week for the private test so we should wait until Sepang. It’s a pity because we have lost a bit of time, but the important thing now is he rests as much as possible. Now we wish him the best recovery and we will meet him again in Sepang.
“Both crashes today were quite similar, but in Alex’s case he took the line where it seems there was a lot of rubber and as soon as he touched the brake he crashed. It was even more strange with Iannone’s crash because he was riding so slow. This incident complicated our working plan a bit, but later-on he could ride again and we were able to get some good information ahead of the private test in Jerez next week.”
Marco Rigamonti – Iannone’s Crew Chief:
“This test has been very positive for us, as Andrea reported very good feelings and could already give important feedback to Suzuki about the areas to improve on. Today he had a crash in the morning, which resulted in some pain to his right elbow. This prevented him pushing 100%, but he managed to do many laps and confirm his positive impressions from yesterday. He reported to have a very good feeling with the corner-speed and the general balance of the machine, as well as he appreciated the extremely-positive handling. We will now focus to improve the traction and acceleration, especially at the first touch of the throttle, and to further-investigate the potential of the electronics. The whole crew is very dedicated to Andrea; they are all keen to listen and understand his feedback and requests and we’re pretty confident they will manage to fulfil his desires. This also contributed to making him feel at ease in the garage during these first two days and we are all eager to go testing in Jerez next week.”
Michele Zasa - Clinica Mobile Medical Co-ordinator:
“Alex Rins suffered this morning a crash and he was moved straight after to the ‘Medical Center’ in the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. He was conscious all the time and he could move both arms and legs and was just complaining with back pain. So, because of that he was moved to the ‘Hospital 9 de Octubre’ in Valencia and he underwent a few exams including a CT Scan and an MRI. Specifically, from these examinations it came out there were lesions on thoracic vertebra T8 and T12 because of the injury, but fortunately the lesion didn’t affect the spine. Alex is at the hospital now waiting for neurosurgical consultation and afterwards we will try to organise the transfer to Barcelona where he will be visited by the medical team in Hospital ‘Clinica Dexeus’.”
“It was a pity to crash early today because I was eager to improve the feeling with the bike and we were following the correct work-plan with the team. I’m disappointed because this test was important to find out the first impressions and to get confidence with the bike, but unfortunately we can’t change what was happened. Now it’s time to come back home, take some rest; and then think about the pre-season. I would like to thank all the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR members for the kindness to me during these set-up days and for all the work they did to show me the best way to kick-off in the MotoGP world.”
MOTOGP 2017 BEGINS AT VALENCIA FOR APRILIA
SAM LOWES AND ALEIX ESPARGARÒ ON THE TRACK FOR THE FIRST TESTS OF THE NEW SEASON
On the track where the 2016 MotoGP Championship ended, the first tests of the new season got underway. Astride the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini RS-GP machines were Sam Lowes and Aleix Espargarò, the former making his début in the category and the latter making contact for the first time with the prototype from Veneto.
For Sam, who had already tested the Aprilia RS-GP during the 2016 season on a path of gradual refinement, the tests ended early. In fact, on the first day the English rider was the unlucky victim of a crash. The violent impact with the barriers left him in pain and, although the medical checks did not show any injuries, the rider and the team preferred to suspend the test session. Sam put in 63 laps before the crash, stopping the clock at 1’33.359 on his best one.
It was a good début for Aleix Espargarò, who finished with the ninth best time (1'30.885) in the combined standings for the two days, where he did 122 laps.
MARCUS ESCHEMBACHER - CREW CHIEF FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÒ
“We can consider ourselves satisfied with these first tests. Aleix found a good feeling with the bike straight away, especially liking the stability and the electronics package. No particular critical issues came up and this confirms the solidity of the base package on which we will continue developing. He was fast, but more than anything, he was very analytical and precise in expressing his feelings in the saddle. This is information that will be fundamental for the racing department in developing the new RS-GP".
GIULIO NAVA - CREW CHIEF FOR SAM LOWES
"Sam is a very fast rider in his rookie year in a demanding category like MotoGP, so at the moment it is essential for him to build experience both in terms of riding the bike and the way the team works. Yesterday we set up the day to work on this, without making any drastic changes to the settings. Unfortunately, partly because of the low asphalt temperatures in the afternoon, he had a bad slide in one of the braking sections. We made the decision to stop together. In a few days we will be on the track again at Jerez and we will pick up where we left off as we approach the new season".
KTM launches road to Qatar 2017 at final MotoGP IRTA test
MotoGP IRTA Test 2016 – Valencia (ESP)
The KTM Factory Racing Team immediately started to prepare to officially join the MotoGP competition in Qatar 2017 right after following the first wildcard entry at the season’s final round last weekend. On Tuesday and Wednesday they took part in the official IRTA test in Valencia with the two factory riders Bradley Smith (GBR) and Pol Espargaro (ESP) riding the KTM RC16.
The test immediately followed the exciting race weekend so there was no chance for a break. On Monday two KTM RC16s on each side were brought up the latest technical standards and adapted for the new factory riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. Conditions were very good on both test days with almost cloudless skies and useful grip conditions. It was rather cold in the morning for the season, and most riders only started their test programs shortly before midday. Despite both riders having one harmless crash, the team was able to put in a total of 238 laps and gather extremely valuable experience for the further development of the KTM MotoGP bike.
Bradley Smith (Factory Rider): “I can’t ask for more. It’s been two very hard days and my head wants to explode. The biggest thing is I really enjoy working with people that understand and can implement what I am trying to achieve, and I think that’s the most exciting thing. They understand and they can change things and improve things. These last two days have just been information gathering from an electronics point of view or gearbox and gearing. To be aware which gear gets the maximum power from the engine at the right moment. That’s been the main focus. Its not basic stuff but its far away from working on chassis settings and suspension. We’re really at the beginning of our working process. I believe what we have achieved in these two days is very good. It gives direction for where we want to go.”
Tom Jojic (Crew Chief Bradley Smith): “I was on Moto3 for the past three and a half years and I worked with Bradley before in Moto2. So when he joined this MotoGP project he requested that I come to be his crew chief. Today, this test was the first time for me to be crew chief for Bradley in this team. I came to the Misano test after Brno just to watch for three days and understand what was going on and what they were working on. It was my first time working with the motorcycle, and to try to understand how it works and how to fit it together with Bradley’s needs. He is quite confident on the bike and the two riders were closer than we expected, especially on the first day. The fact that we always improved on the bike was important. In general I am quite happy for this first test.”
Mike Leitner (Team Manager): “We are happy because this was the first time where we had to perform under pressure, so no excuses when the others are here. But there are no question marks. Everything is clear. We know where we are and we know what we have to do, and this is super important for the next steps. Actually the riders’ impression was not so bad but we have to make the steps and we have to improve the lap times. We are in a high competition and the other manufacturers are so long here and have so much experience. The riders are quite happy with the bike’s ability and the braking. Of course the speed is a key factor in MotoGP for every manufacturer. You cannot pick up in two days what the others have achieved in a whole season.”
Sebastian Risse (Technical Director): “We now know where we are, what we can expect form the tires and what not and what the other motorcycles can do and not do. We can now concentrate on what we can improve and what is possible to improve. The biggest point in this test was the engine brakes but that was not a point that demands a complete rethink. Otherwise we had input regarding the chassis. What we can do in various steps and how we can step by step improve the development parts for the test in Jerez. There will be two focuses next week in Jerez, certainly to follow up on these impressions with Mika (Kallio) and to bring him to a point that he, as our test rider, can work on these critical points and can understand them like the (factory) riders.”
There will be more testing in Jerez from Wednesday to Friday next week, which will be the 14th and final private test on this year’s program. After that, no testing is permitted in December 2016 and January 2017. Due to still existing rider contractual obligations, Mika Kallio, the team’s regular test rider will take his place next to factory rider Bradley Smith at the Jerez tests.
Zarco and Folger leave Valencia with high confidence after continuing notable starts
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair depart the Circuit Ricardo Tormo feeling fired up for the forthcoming season after once again thoroughly impressing on only their second day aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1’s as the rookies gathered more knowledge of the premier class motorcycles. Jonas Folger turned heads with another superb performance as he finished the test inside the top ten, with a time that was only 0.973 from the top of the standings. Whilst Johann Zarco made further encouraging strides forward as he finished a mere 0.067 behind his teammate and in 11th, ahead of numerous experienced MotoGP riders.
Position: 10th Time : 1'30.948 Laps: 63
"Overall, it was a very successful time for us and we can leave feeling happy about what we achieved. The plan was to carry on from where we finished yesterday which meant that I continued to work a lot on my riding style. We completed many laps and it was a long day but we collected a large quantity of data, which we needed to gather. Also, the Tech3 team and I started to alter the bike slightly to see which direction that we could possibly head towards in the future. I still need to adjust my riding style with regards to running the worn tyres, but on the whole, it was a positive day and I was able to round it off by setting a good lap time. Thanks to the crew for their efforts and I look forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the future."
Position: 11th Time: 1'31.015 Laps: 61
"Today was really positive and I am truly satisfied about the work that we undertook. As soon as we started this morning, I was able to run at a similar pace to yesterday, where I was pushing, so it was good to have a bike that I was comfortable with and that I could be fast on straight away. Every time that I left the pit box, I was stronger and I improved my lap times quite consistently. The Tech3 team did a super job and I was able to adapt my riding style more to suit the Yamaha. I am feeling more confident on the M1 which I am really happy about and a 1’31.0 lap is a great target to achieve, plus I was only one second from the front which is very pleasing and a solid way to close the test."
Positive post-season Valencia test for Miller and Rabat
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat head into the winter break with confidence renewed, after a successful two day test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
Both riders spent the two days evaluating a new chassis on their Honda RC213V machines, as well as a revised configuration of the unified software. Miller felt an immediate improvement, posting a fastest lap of 1'31.477 to finish the opening day 11th on the timesheet and just 0.547s off the fastest time of the day, set by Maverick Viñales.
The Australian continued to improve on the second and final day of testing, posting a time of 1'31.069, despite a minor fall at turn one. The test also provided Miller with his first opportunity to work with new Chief Engineer Ramon Aurin, who joins Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for the 2017 season.
Rabat was similarly impressed with the improvements offered by the latest chassis and electronics configuration, which restored some of the front end feeling that the former Moto2 World Champion has missed since starting his rookie season in the premier class.
The Spaniard ended the opening day 18th with a time of 1'32.578, but more track time to adapt to the revised Honda RC213V on the second day allowed Rabat to improve on this time by over half a second. It was a massive confidence boost for the MotoGP Rookie, after a difficult second half to the season.
Like his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate, Rabat was working for the first time with new crewmembers on his side of the pit box, including new Chief Engineer Diego Gubellini.
Jack Miller: 12th – 1'31.069
"During both days of the test I was enjoying riding the bike more and more each time I went out on it and that hasn't always been the case this season because we've been struggling to overcome problems and to build confidence. Such a positive test here at Valencia has allowed us to start rebuilding some of the confidence lost and it's a positive way to end the season and head into the winter break. It also provides a good base from which to work from when we return to testing in Sepang early next year."
Tito Rabat: 18th – 1'31.918
"I'm really happy after these two days with the new chassis, which brought some big improvements for me, but also with my new crew who are really working well together to get the bike working better for me. In terms of the lap times I made my best time alone and was able to repeat it consistently, which has been something I haven't been able to do before this season. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do when we resume testing next year, but the importance of going into the winter break with confidence cannot be underestimated and this test has restored a lot of the confidence that a difficult season had robbed me of. Overall I couldn't be happier with the significant step forward made here in Valencia.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"The Valencia test was the best way to end what has at times been a very difficult season. The new chassis and the revised electronics package brought big improvements for both riders, not just in the lap times, which were significantly quicker and more consistent than during the race weekend, but also to team morale. Tuesday was the first time this season that I've walked into the pit box and seen both riders happy, and that's an important step forward, equal to the steps made with the bike. It's a perfect way for the riders to head into the winter break, as it means they focus on the positive from now until we resume testing in Sepang next year. The test also saw many new people join the team and, after just two days, I can say that I believe we made the right choices in terms of our technical staff too."
CRUTCHLOW AND LCR HONDA COMPLETE TESTING IN POSITIVE FASHION
The 2016 MotoGP season finally came to a close for the LCR Honda Team and two-time race winner Cal Crutchlow, as they completed a last day of testing at the Valencia circuit in Spain. With all of next year’s field out on track beginning their work for 2017, the British rider ended the session as the seventh fastest rider of the two-day test, setting a best lap of 1’30.709.
After his excellent performances this year, Crutchlow has been tasked with helping the factory riders in developing the 2017 RC213V, testing a standard and evolution version of the new Honda power unit.
A red flag for a crash had halted testing in the morning until track barriers were repaired, but once given a green light, he ran back-to-back race simulations on the two variants. With a few tweaks to test electronics settings, Crutchlow and his crew were satisfied with the work done, and next return to track for testing in the new year, at the Sepang circuit in February.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 7th (1’30.709)
“We did most of the plan that we wanted to do. I was pleased enough with regards to the settings on the bike. As you know we tried the newer spec engine, but in the end there are positives and negatives and we will give this information to Honda. I think Honda is doing a good job because I don’t think it’s easy at the moment to understand the best direction to go. We will let them know our feelings, and then we will go from there.”
Avintia Racing riders start to work ahead 2017 at Valencia
Avintia Racing riders started yesterday at Valencia the preparations for 2017 season and the first conclusions after two days of testing have been vey positive. Both riders started to work with the bike they will be racing next year, the Ducati Desmosecidi GP 2016 for Hector Barbera and the 2015 model for Loris Baz. Both had good feelings and they think the potential of the new machines is enormous.
Hector Barbera focused on working his position on the bike and together with his crew he tried to adapt it to his riding style more than trying to do a fast lap. He was ninth overall the first day just 0.3s from the fastest pace, while was fifteenth today. The Spaniard only worked with the softer compound rear Michelin tyre, because the track temperatures didn’t aloud him to use the hard compound on his Ducati during the course of the test. He had positive feelings and he is looking forward to improve next week in Jerez.
Loris Baz finished the two days of testing in Valencia with a big smile on his face. He had a new bike, but also a new crew chief, Paolo Zavalloni, and the first impression working together has been really positive. He found the bike very competitive and as his teammate feels there is a big potential to explore during the winter test.
Hector Barbera - 1'31.244 - P15
“This has been a very positive test because we were able to work in my riding position on the bike and the feeling was better every time I went out on track. The pace was fast and consistent, and although maybe we failed to do a really fast lap, I’m happy with the improvement made during these two days. Four tyres for two days are not so much, and the hardest Michelin tyre was too hard for the track conditions and our bike. I knew the bike thank to the races I did in Japan and Australia, and I confirmed that this bike has a big potential. The preseason has just started and now we’ll go to Jerez for another test of three days, where I will try to get more information. We also saw riders changing teams and some new people, and I think we will have even more fun during next season.”
Loris Baz - 1'32.161 - P19
“I’m happy, because this has been a really good test and a good way to start. But mainly because with this bike we solved the problems we have been fighting with during all the season. We also understand why we struggled and basically it is because this bike is better, you can easily keep a constant pace and this one of the main problems we had last season. I also had the chance to work for the first time with my new crew chief, Paolo, and we started to know each other better. The first feeling was good and this was also positive. Finally we finished the year in good mood, although we had to wait for next season preparations. We will see how it goes in Jerez next week, where I hope to make a step forward.”
Positive start to preseason for Pull&Bear Aspar Team
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 17:14
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham conclude first test of 2017 preseason at Valencia
The Pull&Bear Aspar Team completed the first test of the 2017 preseason at Valencia today with positive impressions of an entirely new project. For the second day Álvaro Bautista was able to ride the Ducati GP16 that he will campaign next season, the Spaniard completing 69 laps of the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo with a best time of 1'31.186.
Meanwhile Karel Abraham enjoyed his first day aboard the Ducati GP15 that he will ride in next season's MotoGP World Championship. The Czech rider made his return to MotoGP yesterday on the GP14, setting a best lap of 1'33.231. Today he completed 41 laps, the best of which was a 1'32.699. The next test for the Pull&Bear Aspar riders will take place next week at Jerez.
Jorge Martínez “Aspar”: “We are really happy with the way the first test of the preseason has gone. Bautista looks a very mature, complete and confident rider. He improved by half a second from yesterday but it is more hi rhythm that has impressed me; he set 18 laps over two runs in the 1'31s. That is much more important than setting a one off 1'30 lap. Rhythm is important and he would have put on an impressive race with that kind of pace. Abraham also improved a lot from yesterday. We have to remember that this is the first time he has ridden the Ducati GP15, which is very different from the bike he rode yesterday. It is easier to ride, it turns better... He hasn't done a lot of laps but I hope that in the two days of tests at Jerez we can continue to improve like we have done here and have two full days at it.”