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Feb 16, 2017

Maverick Vinales Takes Over During Day Two Of MotoGP Test In Australia (Updated)

Maverick Vinales (25).

FIM MotoGP World Championship Test

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Australia

February 16, 2017

Day Two Best Lap Times (all on Michelin tires):

1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:28.847

2. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:29.309

3. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:29.325

4. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), 1:29.411

5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:29.483

6. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:29.501

7. Jonas Folger, Germany (Yamaha), 1:29.664

8. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:29.674

9. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:29.802

10. Jack Miller, Australia (Honda), 1:29.838

11. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), 1:29.880

12. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), 1:29.947

13. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:30.142

14. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:30.150

15. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), 1:30.197

16. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 1:30.245

17. Hector Barbera, Spain (Ducati), 1:30.352

18. Scott Redding, UK (Ducati), 1:30.435

19. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:30.645

20. Loris Baz, France (Ducati), 1:30.852

21. Sam Lowes, UK (Aprilia), 1:30.895

22. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), 1:31.704



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Movistar Yamaha rider leads the way as testing continues in Australia

The second day of testing at the jaw dropping Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit wrote another chapter of what is fast becoming a familiar story in 2017 so far, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's newest recruit Maverick Viñales taking to the top and remaining unchallenged. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was second fastest, ahead of LCR Honda rider and 2016 winner at the track Cal Crutchlow.

After ending Day 1 in P4, Viñales hit the top of the timesheets early on the second day, remaining there until the close of business. Fastest in Valencia and fastest in Sepang, Valentino Rossi's new teammate did 80 laps with a best of 1:28.847 – almost half a second clear of Marquez in P2 and setting red sectors in the final minutes of the session to set a good run of ominous laptimes. Rossi almost equaled the lapcount of his teammate with 70 laps, but after going second on Day 1, ended Day 2 in P8 with a 1:29.674. The Italian showed good pace on longer runs, with a number of 1:29s.

Marquez did the most laps on the second day in Australia, clocking up over a century with a best of 1:29.309 – another with a good number of laps in the 1:29 bracket. His teammate Dani Pedrosa was ill on the second day, but did get out of the box in the afternoon to complete 40 laps in a busy two hours on track for the three-time World Champion. Pedrosa’s best was a 1:30.245 – putting him P16 and just behind new Ducati Team rider Jorge Lorenzo.

Lorenzo continued his adjustment to the Desmosedici on Day 2, ending the day in P15 but improving on his pace from the first session. A best of 1:30.197 saw the ‘Spartan’ around seven tenths off his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, but four tenths quicker than Day 1. The Spaniard put in over sixty laps, and the Italian 55. ‘DesmoDovi’ was P5 on Day 2, his fastest lap a 1:29.483 – a second quicker than his Wednesday best.

Cal Crutchlow was the fastest Independent Team rider once again – after also taking victory at the track in 2016 – and ended the day in third on a 1:29.325, less than a tenth ahead of Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista. Bautista was also a key presence in the higher echelons of the timesheets during testing in Sepang as he gets to grips with the Desmosedici Ducati for the first time, and impressed once again in Australia.

After a more difficult first day on track for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), the Spaniard made a vast improvement on Day 2 to take P6 with a 1:29.501 after 69 laps, with teammate and rookie Sam Lowes also improving to a 1:30.895. Behind Espargaro in P7 on the timesheets was Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), as the German impressed once again.

Folger, fastest rookie on Day 1 and consolidating his position on Day 2, did another 65 laps with a best of 1:29.664 – a tenth and a half quicker than his teammate, reigning Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco. Zarco did 88 laps and ended the day in P11 as the laptimes tightened behind Viñales.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also took some rookie honours, beating new teammate Andrea Iannone on the timesheets for the first time. Rins ended Day 2 ninth on a 1:29.802 – with Iannone in P12 and the first rider on the board to not improve his time from Day 1, although marginally. Rins did 80 laps, with the “Maniac” almost matching him on 72.

EG0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller was in the top ten once again on Day 2. The Assen winner improved to a 1:29.838 in the second session, taking more than half a second off his Wednesday best. The 2016 Dutch GP winner did 83 laps, with teammate Tito Rabat still out of action and recovering from a crash at the Sepang Test.

Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) was a big improver to move up to P13 with a 1:30.142 as he returns from WorldSBK, with Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci in P14, ahead of Lorenzo. Petrucci did 65 laps on his Ducati GP17, with a best of 1:30.150 – only 0.008 off Abraham and 0.047 ahead of the number 99.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing improved by six tenths on Day 2 with Pol Espargaro, as the Spaniard went down from a best of 1:31.200 to a 1:30.645 and put another 59 laps on the clock. Teammate Bradley Smith also improved his time by nine tenths, and put in 81 laps. The Austrian manufacturer have brought quick updates to the table since their debut as a wildcard entry with Mika Kallio at the Valencian GP, and continue their progress as Qatar approaches.

The third and final day of track action at Phillip Island then sees the paddock next on track in Qatar for a test - previewing the venue for the first race of 2017.



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech3:

Tech3 pair up the ante on day 2 of Phillip Island test

Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco turned up the pace today in Australia as they impressively made further leaps forward aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes. Jonas Folger turned heads once again by finishing in 7th and as the fastest rookie after powering to a time that left him 0.339 back from third, having cut 0.914 from his quickest lap yesterday. Whilst Johann Zarco also improved by almost a second as he tirelessly rode the iconic circuit before setting a personal best that put him just 0.206 adrift of the multi World Champion Valentino Rossi. The final day of testing will commence tomorrow at 09:45 local time and both riders will seek to conclude the penultimate pre season test positively.

Jonas Folger

Position: 7th Time : 1'29.664 Laps: 65

"The Tech3 guys and I achieved a good amount today and overall I am very happy. We tried a lot of settings as well as tyres, but we mainly focused on different riding positions on both bikes. After completing some distance on the altered version, we figured out that the original one that we had been using was better so we reverted back to it. We made a big step forward today especially with regards to me feeling more confident at this track, which is vital because of all the fast corners. My rhythm was also quite positive so overall I am really happy and it was a very successful day. I am looking forward to getting back on the Yamaha tomorrow and I’m sure that we can continue from where we stopped, and do a great job."

Johann Zarco

Position: 11th Time: 1'29.880 Laps: 88

"The second day in Australia was good and I will leave the track smiling. The conditions were even better today as there was less wind so it was more comfortable and enjoyable to ride the bike. I completed a lot of distance in order to continue getting used to this track on a MotoGP bike and I’m progressing but there are a few corners that I need to understand more and gain confidence with. Anyway, the day started well and we tested some tyres for Michelin, which was positive, as I was able to lap consistently and at a solid pace, plus it was good to give them feedback. In the end, I produced a time that was under the 1’30 mark, which I am pleased about so I will sleep well tonight and then try my best to improve again tomorrow."



More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

Further improvement for Miller at Phillip Island

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller enjoyed another successful day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit today, posting a lap time more than half a second quicker than his best from yesterday to finish 10th on the timesheet.

The second of three days of testing in Australia started in perfect conditions this morning, with Miller and his crew initially testing different geometry options on his Honda RC213V to improve front tyre endurance.

While the changes extended the life of the front tyre to a small degree they left Miller without the same feeling from the front that he'd had previously, so the Australian will switch back to the same set up he ran yesterday for the third and final day.

In the afternoon Miller moved on to tyre testing for Michelin. The French manufacturer brought with them to Phillip Island three revised rear tyres designed to offer better traction and stability and two new front tyres designed to warm up faster and provide more feedback to the rider.

Miller worked his way through all the rear tyre options this afternoon with positive results. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider will evaluate the two new front tyres tomorrow before the traditional end of test time attack in the afternoon.

Jack Miller: 10th – 1'29.838 – 72 Laps

"We're all getting some graining on the left side of the tyre here, mainly because of the track temperature, so this morning we tested both bikes with revised geometry to try and alleviate this. There was some improvement but we also lost a little bit of cornering, especially in the tighter corners like turns two and four, so we'll switch back to the previous set up for tomorrow. Having said that I did a 1'29.8 on a bike I felt less comfortable on and with a full tank of fuel, so I'm reasonably happy with that. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to throwing in some soft tyres and pushing for a lap time on a bike that I felt really comfortable on yesterday."

Ramon Aurin: Chief Engineer Jack Miller

"Here we had the front tyre from the race; normally the track temperature at the race is quite low, but now it's much higher so we're a little bit on the limit with the front. We made some geometry changes to try and save a little bit the tyre over race distance; it's quite difficult because 27 laps with track temperature around 40 degrees and soft rubber means the wear is high. But we have some experience now, something in the pocket in case we have a similar situation here in the future. We also tested the new rear tyres from Michelin and Jack was happy with some of the options they brought here. This is important for us because it gives an indication of the direction that Michelin will take for the 2017 season. The rigidity of the tyre has a big effect on how the bike works and we need to know how to modify the set up to get the best possible performance from the tyre."



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Development work continues for Marquez, Pedrosa struggles with a fever

Marc Marquez completed an active second day of testing at Phillip Island, finishing second with a time of 1’29.309” recorded on lap 20 of 107 (more than any other rider). On a day again marked by fine weather conditions (air 20° C, track 40° C), the reigning MotoGP World Champion continued his work on the setup of his RC213V. In the final hour he did two long runs of around 15 laps each, with most laps in the 1’29” range.

Dani Pedrosa woke up with a sore throat and a bit of a fever, and after a check-up in the Clinica Mobile, he and his team decided it would be prudent for him to rest for a while in an effort to recover some strength. Dani finally took to the track around 3 p.m. and bravely completed 40 laps despite his less-than-ideal condition. His best lap time of 1’30.245” placed him in 16th position. He hopes to feel better for the third and final day of the test tomorrow.

Marc Marquez

2ND 1:29.309

“It’s been a day of really hard work, and I’m a little bit tired, but it was the plan we had for today with the team and we did it! Together with my Engineers we decided to do many laps to try a few things, and we focused on riding as consistently as possible, trying to avoid any mistakes. I also did two long runs at the end of the day, to try different configurations of the electronics, and that allowed us to gather a lot of information. Anyway, as I said yesterday, we’re still missing something, because I’m not 100% comfortable, but we’re working in a good way. Hopefully these two long runs will allow us to find the areas where we can take a step forward. I also tried a new Michelin front tire and tomorrow we’ll try the rear one, as today we had no time to do it.”

Dani Pedrosa

16TH 1:30.245

“Unfortunately, near the end of yesterday’s session I started feeling a bit strange and things got worse overnight. This morning I couldn’t have breakfast as I wasn’t feeling good in my stomach and I had a bit of a fever and no strength. I could eat absolutely nothing until around 2 o’clock, so I just waited. I tried to do some laps in the afternoon, starting slowly, and although I improved a little lap by lap, I didn’t push hard. Anyway, now I’m feeling better and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be in better shape for the final day of the test.”



More, from a press release issued by Aspar Team:

Bautista back in MotoGP top five with Abraham thirteenth

Pull&Bear Aspar riders help set Ducati pace on second day of Phillip Island test

Maverick Viñales showed his Sepang test form was no fluke today as he set the pace on the second day of testing in Australia. The Spaniard was the only rider capable of breaking the 1'29 barrier today, a 1'28.847 leaving him almost half a second clear of Marc Márquez, who himself put together an extraordinary rhythm today with over 100 laps. Third fastest today was British rider Cal Crutchlow, followed by the first Ducati rider, Pull&Bear Aspar man Álvaro Bautista guiding his GP16 to fourth position with a lap of 1'29.411, just narrowly ahead of factory counterpart Andrea Dovizioso. The Australian test concludes tomorrow with another eight hours of track activity before the bikes head to Qatar for the final test of preseason followed by the first Grand Prix of the year.

After getting their first laps of Phillip Island under their belts yesterday the Pull&Bear Aspar pairing of Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham today ostensibly improved their feelings and their laps times today, the Spaniard finishing as top Ducati after 86 laps of the track. Bautista revealed he had made 'small steps' forward in this test but is still short of finding the same feeling he had in Malaysia. Karel Abraham was the second Ducati independent rider after shaving a second off his best lap time from yesterday with an early effort this morning. The Czech rider then focused on longer runs, including one of twenty laps, whilst continuing to make set-up changes with the Grand Prix of Qatar in mind. Abraham was just outside the 1'30 barrier, stopping the clock at 1'30.142 after 73 laps today, well inside his objective of 1'30.5.

4th Álvaro Bautista 1.29.411 (86 laps): “Today we worked on improving the feeling from yesterday and we tried various things. We haven't taken a big step but some small ones to improve my confidence. I have improved my pace quite a bit from yesterday but the truth is the track conditions were better and we have all improved. In the end we were a little more competitive than yesterday but I still don't feel 100% like the last tests. We have gathered more data and for example tried some new tyres, which we found positive things with. In general it has been quite a complete day. Let's see if we can continue to improve tomorrow and take some more steps in the right direction, which even though we can't take giant steps will be important. We will work hard to make sure we leave here feeling as satisfied as possible.”

13th Karel Abraham 1.30.142 (73 laps): “In general it has been a good day. This morning we did some tests with the electronics and the tyres. The first experiment was good and even though I set my best time on the second one I was losing the front from the third lap. Then we did almost a full race simulation of twenty laps and it wasn't bad, we set some quite decent times. In the afternoon we continued testing things and tried to keep the same tyres but the rear was sliding quite a lot. At the end of the day I managed to set a bunch of low 1'30s and that was my best run of the day. I am happy because the objective today was to make a 1'30.5”.



More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

 Petrux and Scott with good confidence after second day of testing at Phillip Island

The second day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit, in Australia, has given positive indications to the two Octo Pramac Racing riders. Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding worked hard on the set up of their bikes as on race pace, finishing their track activity with interesting data.

After the good results of the first day of testing (6th place), Petrux continued to develop his Ducati Dersmosedici Gp 2017 concluding 65 laps in which he also tested some tire solutions brought by Michelin. The feelings with his race pace were very positive even if, during the time attack, Petrux has had some problems of grip with the rear tire.

Positive feelings also for Scott Redding. Following the difficulties experienced on the first day, the Briton seems to have found back a good feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2016 and was able to lap with good consistency on race pace as making up the gap with the Top 10. Scott completed 90 laps bringing back home a lot of data to work on tomorrow.

14th - Danilo Petrucci - 1'30.150 - 65 laps

"I am satisfied with the work we did today. I only regret not being able to make the most of the rear rubber in the time attack. What matters is that we have done so many tests and confirmed to have a good feeling with the bike. The position on the timesheets is not as good as it was yesterday but we will try again tomorrow."

18th - Scott Redding - 1'30.435 - 90 laps

I found back the confidence that I was missing in the first day. That’s why I am satisfied with what we have done and I thank the team for the good job they have done. The race pace is not bad while we are not working on time attack yet. I'm just glad to have found those riding sensations I knew.



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

MOVISTAR YAMAHA LEADS SECOND DAY OF PHILLIP ISLAND TESTING

After a successful first outing around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit yesterday, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on the track today to continue their preparations for the 2017 MotoGP season.

Phillip Island (Australia), 16th February 2017

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team seamlessly picked up where they left off yesterday in Australia. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made the most of the sunny weather conditions on the second day of the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test. The pair worked on their race pace and compared chassis, ending the day in first and eighth place respectively in the timesheets.

Viñales kept up his impressive form today, showing he is also a force to be reckoned with at the flowing and fast Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Just over an hour into the session he became the first rider to drop into the 1‘28s, setting a 1‘28.847s on lap 21.

With his time-attack out of the way, he used the remaining time of today‘s eight-hour session to work on the race pace. The young Spaniard posted several series of consecutive 1‘29s laps to underline his protagonist status. He completed a total of 80 laps, all the while remaining unchallenged at the top of the timesheets and left the track this evening as the fastest man, with a comfortable 0.462s lead over his closest rival.

Teammate Rossi also got his head down today to take the development of his YZR-M1 another step further. He spent the morning session getting a feel for the track and soon worked his way up to fifth place before he moved on to trying new Michelin tyres.

The Doctor completed 43 laps before lunch, but it wasn‘t all work and no play. After his morning stints, the Italian celebrated his 38th birthday at the Phillip Island track with his crew and a birthday cake.

Back on track in the afternoon, the Doctor completed another 27 laps as he crossed various items off his testing schedule. Whilst trying new bike modifications he was unable to improve on his time from this morning. His best lap, a 1‘29.674s, earned him eighth place in the timesheets, 0.827s behind his teammate.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

It was a positive second day of testing for us. We used this session to work mainly on the chassis to make comparisons and try different settings. We also tried a new front fork with both riders and two new tyres for Michelin. Even if we didn‘t do a race simulation, we completed a lot of laps on used tyres. Today Maverick was more comfortable on his bike compared to yesterday and he has been able to post laps under the 1‘29s mark and set the fastest lap of 1‘28.847s. He followed this up with an impressive pace that he kept going throughout the day. Valentino had a good start this morning and set his best lap. He continued this competitive pace in the morning, but in the afternoon he faced some difficulties, trying different settings that didn‘t give the expected results. We have been able to do almost everything on our scheduled testing programme, so tomorrow will be our race simulation day for both riders.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

Today we focused a lot on the race pace and honestly we did a great job, we made a big step compared to yesterday. I‘m feeling more comfortable on the track and I‘m getting more grip from the tyres. I think we did a good job today, but we still have some work to do. We need to choose which chassis we like and decide on a few other things. We still have a lot of laps ahead of us. For sure I was trying to go faster at the end of the session today, but in sector three and four there was a lot of wind so I couldn‘t beat the lap time I set this morning, but I‘m happy anyway. I‘ve been fast with both chassis and all the time I‘m riding 1‘29-low and 1‘29-medium. Like I said, we‘ve made a big step today and we‘ll try to make another step tomorrow.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It was a difficult day for us, especially in the afternoon. This morning was not so bad. We tried some different tyres but we especially focused on the pace and it was quite good. This afternoon we had some important tests to do, try a long run and modify something on the bike, but unfortunately it didn‘t work well and I wasn‘t fast enough. It looks like we followed the wrong direction, so after the interviews we‘ll go back to the box to try to understand better for tomorrow and we hope that we can improve. Being in Phillip Island with the good weather and riding the M1 all day is always difficult, because it‘s hard work, but it‘s also a great pleasure, so I think this is a good birthday gift.



More, from a press release issued by Avintia Racing:

Work in progress for Barbera and Baz in Australia

The second day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit has been difficult for Hector Barbera and Loris Baz. Both riders have improved their lap times from yesterday, but not enough to get closer to the front. The problem for both riders is the same, the lack of confidence with the front end, and this is a big problem in an ultra-fast circuit like Phillip Island.

The team and Ducati are already thinking of different solutions to help Barbera and Baz improve their feeling with the bike, and tomorrow they plan to try different settings. Tomorrow will be the last of three days of testing in Australia, and both riders are expected to try the new tires Michelin has brought to these test. The news from Michelin ara three revised rear tyres designed to offer better traction and stability and two new front tyres designed to warm up faster.

Hector Barbera | 1'30.352 | P17

“We still at the same point as yesterday, we are not able to find a set-up that makes me feel more comfortable riding the bike and we have to keep working until we get it. The biggest problem is the front end and at this track If you don’t have confidence in the front tyre you can’t go fast. Phillip Island features many fast corners, which are usually my strong point, but every time I push, I feel I’m going to crash. Tomorrow we have another day and the goal will be finding a solution to our problem.”

Loris Baz | 1'30.852 | P20

“Today was a difficult day. In the morning we have problems with an engine and in the afternoon we have tried a lot of things but we lack a lot of confidence. Basically the problem is the same one as Hector and is the lack of confidence with the front. We have to continue working on the set-up of the bike to find a solution, because we are quite far from where we should be. With all these problems we could not test any tyres for Michelin, we’ll try to do it tomorrow.”



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Dovizioso fifth, Lorenzo fifteenth on second day of MotoGP tests at Phillip Island

The second day of MotoGP official testing at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia came to a close at a quarter to six today with Andrea Dovizioso lying in fifth place and Jorge Lorenzo in fifteenth. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider completed a total of 55 laps, setting his best time of 1’29.483 on lap 32, while his Spanish team-mate did a total of 64 laps, also setting his quickest time of 1’32.197 on the 32nd lap.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 55 laps – 1’29.483 (5th)

“Today was quite a positive day and I felt better on the bike than yesterday. We did several set-up tests, as scheduled, and we obtained some interesting results. There are some areas where we still need to work and we have to make the Desmosedici GP turn better, but today my times were quicker and we were all closer together. There wasn’t so much wind, the bike was a lot more stable and the set-up tests we did helped me to improve the feeling.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 64 laps – 1’30.197 (15th)

“Today we worked well, trying to lap with more consistency and we made some small steps forward, doing a lot of 1m30s laps. Tomorrow we’ll see if we can manage to improve our pace and constantly get under the 1m30s mark. We tried several different set-up solutions and in any case I’m optimistic even though we are still some way behind the leaders. This evening, together with my technicians, I’ll analyze the data and tomorrow we’ll try and get closer to the top of the timesheets.”



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

MOTOGP - APRILIA CONTINUES TO GROW IN AUSTRALIA

EXCELLENT SIXTH TIME FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÒ IN THE SECOND DAY OF TESTS AT PHILLIP ISLAND

ROMANO ALBESIANO: FAST BOTH ON THE FLYING LAP AND IN TERMS OF RACE PACE

The spectacular Australian circuit of Phillip Island is hosting the penultimate MotoGP preseason tests ahead of the official start of the 2017 season. A tough and important test bench for the Aprilia RS-GP machines ridden by Aleix Espargarò and Sam Lowes, who found ideal weather conditions today.

Aleix, astride his 2017 version RS-GP, took the new fairings (the result of aerodynamic studies) on their début ride for a few laps, gathering the first important information that must be further analysed. During the morning, the Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider put his best time on the sheets at 1'29.501, which earned him sixth place, just six tenths behind the leader and only two tenths behind world champion Marquez. Consistently fast, in the afternoon Aleix continued to explore the chassis and electronics setup options, ending his session with a simulation, doing 15 consecutive laps.

Sam Lowes was also satisfied, making his début in the premier class, increasing his feeling with the Aprilia prototype lap after lap, especially in terms of trajectories, braking points and riding style.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

“We are improving. Yesterday we had already started in the right direction. Today we did a lot of chassis tests. I am more than satisfied with both my flying lap and with our pace during the race simulation, which is very important. The bike has not changed much compared with Malaysia, but my feeling on it increases constantly, especially with the front tyre and that is very important for my riding style. Now we need to keep improving our package.”

SAM LOWES

“Today we worked well. I am happy. I continue discovering how these bikes need to be ridden and I m beginning to figure out what I need to get my times down. Riding the RS-GP here at Phillip Island is something special. I like the track and I am sure that tomorrow we will be able to take another step toward a good starting base for the 2017 season.”

ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER

“We are conducting some good tests, both from a technical standpoint and in terms of the riders' feelings. Aleix is continuing to work on the 2017 bike that he had already given us favourable feedback on in the Malaysia tests. He was very fast on his flying lap and in terms of pace. Sam simply needs to continue lapping without too much pressure. He is beginning to adapt his riding style to this bike and I am confident that he will be at a satisfactory level before Qatar. We took the 2017 front fairings on their maiden ride with Aleix. We will definitely be testing them again for further confirmation on the track of the encouraging results obtained in the computer simulations.”



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

IMPRESSIVE SECOND OF TESTING FOR CRUTCHLOW IN AUSTRALIA

Today marked the halfway point of the pre-season testing programme for the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, and it’s a case of so far, so good for the LCR Honda Team. With Cal Crutchlow having yet another productive day at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, things are already looking much rosier on board his Honda RC213V than one year ago.

Crutchlow put in several decent long runs on Thursday, and with his lap-times proving consistently quick he ended the day as third fastest on track overall. The British racer eventually stopped the clock in a best time of 1’29.325, nearly three-quarters of a second quicker than on Wednesday, and without pushing for an all-out fast lap.

Having already completed three days of tests in Malaysia, and now two more in Australia, there are now four more testing days left before the season proper, including tomorrow’s final session at the cliff-top venue in Victoria.

#35 Cal Crutchlow – 3rd (1’29.325 – lap 28 of 80)

“Today was a more productive day for the LCR Honda Team. Yesterday there were a few teething problems perhaps, but today we seemed to be able to keep a good pace throughout. We are happy with the pace because it is consistent. We tried lots of different things with the bike, some of which were good and some not so much. We need to work on those areas still, but I think that the Honda in general seems to be improving, and that’s good for us.”

“We need to continue to give the factory the right information to improve, but I didn’t even go out to set one ‘fast’ lap time today, but if we had I reckon we could have been very competitive. That’s something we can do another day however, because in the meantime I’m happy enough with our consistency. The tyre consistency was good and the bike is generally working well too, and even if the feeling isn’t perfect just yet, the speed is there, so that’s positive.”



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

SOLID PROGRESS FOR RINS IN AUSTRALIAN 2ND TEST DAY

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 16.

The second day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit saw Alex Rins making solid improvements in his riding style, with 1.6s cut-off from yesterday´s time, setting him in ninth position in today’s classification. The task proved more difficult for Andrea Iannone, who managed a lap time of 1:29.947 and placing 13th today.

The work of Rins’ crew focused on trying new specs of the chassis, providing different set-up configurations, and once again allowing the Spaniard to gain more and more confidence with the GSX-RR. His path of apprenticeship is progressing step-by-step and his feedback to the team is also improving, making the relationship better. This paid dividends in terms of performance on the track. Rins was also able to improve his riding style, finding better lines on the circuit, resulting in an improvement of 1.630s since yesterday.

Iannone, for his part, worked hard on his pace. He managed to improve on yesterday’s performance, although not on the single lap effectiveness. His crew introduced many variations in the setting and electronics, but could not find the perfect combination they were hoping for. The work done today will be analysed again in the evening to find better solutions for tomorrow.

The last runs of the day saw the debut of the new fairings on the GSX-RR. The laps done by Iannone and Rins with the modified layout were meant to get a first taste and collect some data to determine and prepare tomorrow’s plan.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“I’m happy to see that Alex made some very positive improvements. He could go into the 1’29 bracket which is a good sign. His crew worked hard the whole day taking advantage of yesterday’s outcome, and the direction taken seems to be effective. Of course, there is still a significant amount of work to do, but it is encouraging to see that he is feeling positive on the GSX-RR. Today with Andrea, we struggled a little more. We haven’t found a proper set-up that can suit his needs. We still have to explore some areas and come up with different ideas and make him feel more at ease in many areas of the circuit, trying to adapt to his riding style. We still have tonight and tomorrow to work. We will do our best to support his riding style. We also tried this new fairing. It was the very first time on track. We only did two runs as the purpose was only to get a first taste and collect preliminary data in order to check if it is truly effective. If this is the case, we will have quite a bit of time before Qatar to develop it further. It’s definitely too early to say if it’s race worthy or not. It will require some more in-depth testing and analysis.”

Alex Rins:

“Today we tried different things; some new specs of the chassis and also the new fairings. I feel comfortable. We took a big step since yesterday. Step-by-step, lap-by-lap, I can take better lines and so I can be more consistent. We could improve a lot in the third sector. We are more consistent than yesterday, we gained a lot of corner speed and I’m happy we are working in the right direction.”

Andrea Iannone:

“Today’s been hard because we could not find a way to improve the lap time. We are at a point where we still have work to do. Although, looking at the pace, I’m not that bad and it’s better than yesterday. I still don’t have 100% control of the machine; it’s only the second test, little-by-little. I need to understand how to attack the track to achieve a better lap time and how to best read the GSX-RR, but I believe this will come with time, after riding longer and longer. At the moment, we are focused on many aspects. We have many positives and we are working hard on our negatives.”