2014 Valencia MotoGP FP2: Marquez Tops The Time Sheets Once More

2014 World Champion Marc Marquez has displayed ominous consistency on his way to heading the MotoGP FP2 session at his home track in Valencia, his time of 1:31.454 was two tenths slower than his quickest time in the morning's session but was enough to put him a tenth clear of Andrea Dovizioso in second. Aleix Espargaro continued his strong Friday form to post the third fastest time and edge out Jorge Lorenzo who made it three Spaniards in the top four. 

Cal Crutchlow continued to show newly found pace aboard his Ducati to take fifth spot - just over two tenths away from Marquez' best time. Dani Pedrosa focused on fine-tuning his race setup and ended up a further two tenths behind Crutchlow. Honda rider Stefan Bradl ended seventh on the time sheets ahead of Tech 3 riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith while Valentino Rossi rounded out the top ten. 'The Doctor' was six tenths shy of pace-setter Marquez and has work to do in order to be thereabouts for qualifying tomorrow and more importantly for the race on Sunday. 


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Prev
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'31.454    
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'31.558 0.104 0.104
3 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Forward Yamaha 1'31.565 0.111 0.007
4 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'31.568 0.114 0.003
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Ducati 1'31.731 0.277 0.163
6 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'31.895 0.441 0.164
7 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'31.935 0.481 0.040
8 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'32.013 0.559 0.078
9 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'32.024 0.570 0.011
10 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'32.049 0.595 0.025
11 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'32.194 0.740 0.145
12 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'32.267 0.813 0.073
13 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'32.486 1.032 0.219
14 15 Alex DE ANGELIS Forward Yamaha 1'32.562 1.108 0.076
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'32.689 1.235 0.127
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda 1'32.725 1.271 0.036
17 45 Scott REDDING Honda 1'32.771 1.317 0.046
18 14 Randy DE PUNIET Suzuki 1'32.799 1.345 0.028
19 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'32.860 1.406 0.061
20 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 1'33.434 1.980 0.574
21 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 1'33.436 1.982 0.002
22 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ART 1'33.504 2.050 0.068
23 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 1'33.737 2.283 0.233
24 23 Broc PARKES PBM 1'34.106 2.652 0.369
25 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Avintia 1'34.988 3.534 0.882


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Suzuki appears to be down about 15kph based on MotoGP's timing data. Power related to aero drag (the dominant factor in top speed) is a cubic function - that is, a bunch of constants times the velocity cubed is the power required to overcome it. The rolling resistance, drivetrain losses and aero properties (CdA) should be pretty similar among the bikes, so this implies a power deficit of ~15% (ratio of 90m/s^3 to 86m/s^3).

If the top bikes make 250HP, then Suzuki makes ~215HP, which isn't credible. If the top bikes make 270HP, then Suzuki makes ~235HP.

That or RdP is sitting WAY up in the saddle down the straight : )

15% is a LOT of power.

I would invite anyone to check my math and reasoning, as I easily might have made a mistake.

As your starting hypothesis is wrong - drag is a function of the square of the velocity, not the cube.

(See http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/termv.html or Google it if you don't believe me)

This would make the power deficit less than 10% - more plausible.

Also, remember top speed is VERY dependent on the speed at which the preceding corner is exited, and the ability of the bike to put the power down. It is reasonable to assume that Suzuki lags the best by quite a bit in both these areas at this early stage of development.

You're right about force - F= 1/2 CdA Rho V^2 - well known. But force isn't power.

Power = F*d/t = F*V -> 1/2CdA Rho V^3.

So my physics is good. But there might be other issues...

The point about corner exit is very interesting (how TC works, basically) - although I think on a long straight, it's probably less important.

Good points, top speed will also be affected by where the bike makes maximum torque after corner exit and the final gear ratios - is the bike maxing out at the end of the straight?

Of course you are right - call it a senior moment on my side.

Of the math involved. Being down on as much top speed as there are is actually.. quite depressing

I'm sure most of you are like myself and want to see Suzuki do well and challenge the front regularly, despite the fact that I may pull for a different manufacturer.

I know RdP mentioned they do struggle with drive off the corners, but to be down that much on top end doesn't bode well. Hopefully this is a very undeveloped motor and they'll get much closer to the other bikes top speeds over the winter.

Can wait to see Aleix on that bike Monday to see what it can really do

The Suzuki is right where I expect it to be which is discouraging. My stomach tightens and sours. Imagine Aleix's feeling! Compare his best laps on his Customer Yamaha this weekend to the test on the Suzuki. Ugh!

Patience and focus Aleix and the whole Suzuki team. It is a long haul, and Suzuki you belong here. Keep at it and keep your chin up. You and Aprilia are both really just doing development next yr, the real beginning is 2016.

Aleix, you are the most under manifested talent on the grid. I was hoping for you to get on the LCR. Keep doing your magic! Speaking of LCR, how do the "Cal's mouth writes checks his riding can't cash" comments of a couple short months ago look now? The guy is shining!

I agree, Suzuki is where we expected them to be, right in the mix with the Open Hondas and the Ducatis.
But I don't think that's depressing, I would say Suzuki beating Ducati straight out of the box would be much more depressing (and would cause collective immolation at Borgo Panigale).
With Ducati struggling so much while still racing (and showing the first encouraging signs for a while this season), you can not expect Suzuki to be much closer than 1.5 seconds from Marquez with a wildcard rider.
I love Randy and I expect him to do well next year in WSBK, but you have to keep your feet on the ground.
The real question is how much time do they need to be competitive with the best Ducatis?

PS: very disappointed with the 15 km/h deficit in top speed compared to the other official bikes, the only bikes slower in a straight line are the ex-CRTs: ART, PBM and FTR-Kawasaki.

Right there with you. That just isn't enough motor. I expect it to be chasing the 2014 Customer Hondas that don't exist (outside of putting lights/plates on them and selling them for $200k?) after Sunday. What I expect is still discouraging. Hope? Specifically that Aleix on a Factory Suzuki could beat Aleix previously on a 3rd rate Customer Yamaha. I think he won't, not just at the test but next yr.

That becomes ok for me with an assumption/belief/hope that 2016 brings increased competition, some surprises, three different manu's on a podium, and maybe even five manu's in the top ten someday. A non- Honda or Yamaha race win is coming in the dry. And 2017 Kawasaki?

Skippiting over to WSBK news for a moment Elias is riding a BMW next season. The EVO-ish rules look to be favoring that big motor, curious how that old bike will do.

Sorry. Back to point. "Lunched itself" - Hah! Suzuki only has 3 motors to use for the wknd so hope the issue was unique to the one. The championship software package as related to the HP getting to the rear wheel vs the rideability of the bike and getting drive out of corners is an ineresting mystery to me. We know why the Prod Honda is down on power w that top end, but the Prod Yamaha? Not sure about why they can't get more power than they are w their rules. Is it the engine tune because they have so few avail from Yamaha, or is it the electronics? Is the Suzuki engine going to look better when the next version (version 7?) comes out for everyone? I think it is more about what is plain old possible in engine development. I am sure it is FAR from easy to get that last 10% of HP and make it reliable, let alone rideable. Honda, Yamaha and Ducati have done some amazing and hard work there, hats off to them.

Go little Suzuki and Aprilia, I am pulling for you!

The way I see it the open software, non-seamless gearbox Suzuki ridden by a rider in his first 2014 race is doing better that the ditto factory Honda being ridden by Aoyama who has been racing all year.

Comment appreciated, howdy! :)

DePuniet has had plenty of seat time on the Suzuki, and the bike has been shaken out. Aoyama just got on the 2015 Customer Honda which is a blank slate. Aoyama is just spinning up his rear a bunch on exits which should be quickly sorted. Randy on the other hand...

It really is way too early to draw many conclusions about the Suzuki.
Electronics will make a lot of difference in getting hooked up, all the other teams are highly battle-tested and have some kind of base setting to start with. Its a whole new ball game for these guys to come to grips with 45 minutes to get a setup. De Puniet is doing pretty OK, all things considered.