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Nov 11, 2013

Lorenzo Fastest On First Day Of MotoGP Test At Valencia

Joge Lorenzo (99) was quickest on the first day of post-season MotoGP testing at Valencia. Photo courtesy
Valencia test commences with Lorenzo on top

After his stunning win at Valencia in the final race of the season on Sunday it was Jorge Lorenzo who topped the timesheet again on Monday in the first day of 2014 ‘pre-season’ testing.

Lap times of course do not mean a great deal at this stage, with some riders swapping machinery, many tweaking set-up and some joining new teams, but Lorenzo set the standards again – with a 1’31.257 late in the day. That lap was quicker than anyone went in Sunday’s race and came on the 2013 YZR-M1, although Lorenzo also has a 2014 development Yamaha available this week.

On the other side of the Yamaha Factory Racing box Valentino Rossi spent the day working with new Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera. The Doctor’s best time of the day was just 0.093s off Lorenzo’s best, also coming on his 2013 bike, though he too is already using the 2014 development M1.

Repsol Honda’s new World Champion Marc Marquez and his colleague Dani Pedrosa were both at the circuit but did not test on Monday – though they are expected on track on Tuesday as the battle to stay ahead of Yamaha continues.

Stefan Bradl was the fastest Honda rider on track on Monday, using his RC213V from this season to set the third best time of the day – 0.5s off Lorenzo’s pace.

New Ducati recruit Cal Crutchlow has taken Italian Crew Chief Daniele Romagnoli with him from Tech 3 to the Italian factory Ducati and the pair were working alongside new Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna for the first time on Monday.

Crutchlow matched Ducati’s Sunday race pace, and was sixth overall just over 0.1s behind new Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso who was fifth best. Dovizioso lapped in a similar pace to fourth fastest rider of the day, Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Racing Ducati.

Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro was 0.6s behind Crutchlow in seventh, just ahead of Yonny Hernandez – who was confirmed today to remain as Iannone’s teammate in the Pramac Racing Team permanently during the 2014 season.

Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro rode his first laps on his new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP bike, in tenth spot on the timesheet, with a lap around two seconds off Lorenzo’s pace. His new teammate Bradley Smith sat things out and expects to get through all his test work for this week on Tuesday.

The new Honda RCV1000R was used for the first time by the GO&FUN Honda Gresini team as Scott Redding also got his 2014 MotoGP preparations underway, the Englishman ending up 11th overall. Cristian Gabarrini from HRC got Redding's initial feedback on the new prototype, which the teams will adapt to over the winter.

Hiroshi Aoyama officially joined the Power Electronics Aspar team on Monday, but with Aspar only having one of their new Hondas ready for today, Nicky Hayden will have to wait until Tuesday to ride it. Aoyama was ninth best on the timesheet, 1.8s down on Lorenzo’s P1 pace.

Mike di Meglio has not ridden since the Brno Moto2™ race due to serious injury, but he was back on track today testing with the Avintia Blusens team.

Randy de Puniet should be testing with the PBM team on Tuesday as they look to confirm direction for next season, with the 2014-spec ART being prepared for the Frenchman on Monday.

The testing action at the Ricardo Tormo circuit will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (10am-5pm both days). Live video coverage will be available again through on Tuesday (11am-2pm).

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Ducati Team kicks off Valencia test as work begins for the 2014 season

Less than 24 hours after the 2013 season ended in Valencia, Spain, the MotoGP teams were back on track at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana, beginning a three-day test in preparation for next year’s MotoGP World Championship.

The day served as Cal Crutchlow’s debut with the Ducati Team, where he joins Andrea Dovizioso for the 2014 season. After the track opened at noon in perfect weather conditions, the Briton exited the garage at 1:26 p.m., and when the track closed at 5:00 p.m., Crutchlow had turned 39 laps, focusing on getting the feel of the Ducati.

Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso did 36 laps on a Desmosedici GP13 that was largely similar to the bike he rode in yesterday’s race, though he did try a new fairing as well as some changes to the setup.

Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro did 32 laps while working on the setup of some components of the laboratory bike.

This was also the first day for Luigi Dall’Igna working at the track in his new role as Ducati Corse General Manager.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 5th, 1:31.943 (36 laps)
“Today we tried the new front fairing, and the outcome was positive because the bike wheelies less than before. We also did two tests with the setup to give some feedback to Gigi on several aspects that he wanted to check. For today, we focused on those things, and tomorrow we’ll continue checking some other stuff.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) 6th, 1:32.054 (39 laps)
“Obviously the situation is completely different to what I was used to before today, but anyway, I’m very happy to come and work with the factory Ducati team. I’ve done everything you should on a first day at work and I think we can safely say that we’ve had a positive day learning everything: the bike, the electronics, the team. There are so many new things to get your head around, but it’s also interesting. In the next two days, we’ll try to focus and improve. The team have been great at listening to my feedback, while I take advantage of their advice and experience. It helps to be able to count on Daniele Romagnoli, as he’s Italian like most of the Ducati technicians. I’m pleased with the way we’re working. We’re not going to change things overnight, but today was a positive first step.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“This was my first day at the track as General Manager of Ducati Corse, and I’m getting to know and appreciate the working situation here. I already had an idea from the few days I spent in Borgo Panigale, because there, too, I found the technical level to be very high and the staff to have a lot of potential. Today we began the practical part that will help us to begin working on the bike and define a strategy that will enable Ducati to improve and return to a competitive level. It’s still early to say anything about time scales and preparing more detailed plans, but I think we’re starting on the right foot.”

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory Racing:

No Rest for Lorenzo and Rossi as Testing Begins for 2014

Valencia (Spain), 11th November 2013

Less than 24hrs from the end to the 2013 season Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back out on track today. This afternoon’s session was the first of three test days marking the start of the official 2014 pre-season test schedule.

Both riders spent some time evaluating the 2014 YZR-M1 alongside a 2013 reference machine. Lorenzo and Rossi also made some laps with the new standard ECU that will be used as part of the 2014 regulations. Today was Rossi’s first riding session with new crew chief Silvano Galbusera.

Jorge Lorenzo
1st / 1'31.257 / 48 laps
“We tried many small things today and some have been very positive so we are quite satisfied. I feel good and I feel in good shape. We were able to give good information to the engineers so everything is going well so far and we are looking forward to continuing tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi
2nd / 1'31.350 / 42 laps
“Today was very emotional, it was something different. We were working a long time with Jeremy so today was like a restart from the beginning but I’m happy and I’m satisfied with the day. I know Silvano already from Superbike as I did some testing in 2010 with the R1 together with him and I liked the way we worked. It’s just the first day but anyway it was a good day for me, I was faster and we worked well on the bike. The condition of the track and the weather were perfect so I enjoyed it a lot. We worked with both bikes, I liked the new one a lot, it has good power exit from the corners and the chassis gives a good feeling on the front so the first impression is very positive.”

Test Times
1. 99 Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'31.257
2. 46 Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'31.350
3. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'31.751
4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing 1'31.925
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1'31.943
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Ducati Team 1'32.054
7. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Test Team 1'32.698
8. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Pramac Racing 1'32.745
9. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Power Electronics Aspar 1'33.020
10. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1'33.187
11. Scott Redding (GBR) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1'34.195
12. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 1'34.378
13. Martin Bauer (AUT) Remus Racing Team 1'35.115
14. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Blusens 1'36.304

More, from another press release issued by Yamaha Factory Racing:

Silvano Galbusera Confirmed as Crew Chief of Valentino Rossi for 2014

Valencia (Spain), 11th November 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing can confirm that Silvano Galbusera will join the Team from today in the position of Crew Chief for rider Valentino Rossi for the 2014 MotoGP season.

The appointment follows the announcement that Jeremy Burgess would no longer continue with Team following the Valencia Grand Prix weekend.

Silvano began his career in motorcycle racing in 1979 with Gilera, spending 14 years working on both road racing in the 250cc world championship with riders such as Alessandro Gramigni and Paolo Casoli and also worked off road on African Rallies such as the Paris-Dakar with Michele Rinaldi. He then moved to Cagiva in 1994 and worked in the 500cc world championship with John Kocinski.

The following year saw Silvano arrive in the Yamaha family where he remained until 2011. During his time there he worked as both a Crew Chief and Technical Director in World Superbike and World Supersport, guiding riders including Troy Corser, Noriyuki Haga, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies to multiple race wins and of course the 2009 World Superbike Championship title. For 2012 and 2013 Silvano worked with Italian Marco Melandri in BMW’s World Superbike team.

Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“It’s nice to welcome Silvano back to the Yamaha family. Having worked with him personally for ten years I have the utmost respect for his skill and technical expertise. For sure he will need some time to adjust to MotoGP but I have no doubt that he has the capability to successfully lead Valentino’s crew into and through the 2014 season. It has been a pleasure to work with Jeremy over this last season. On behalf of Yamaha I would like to say we are indebted to him for the huge number of successes and invaluable knowledge he has contributed to Yamaha.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Silvano Galbusera
Valentino Rossi's Crew Chief
“I’d like to thank Yamaha and Valentino for this great opportunity to work close to such a multi titled, high level champion. I’m happy to be back in the Yamaha family and to have an opportunity in such a successful team that is always at the top.”
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