Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >   |   Win Cool Prizes: Take Our Reader Survey >
Roadracing World.com - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
SHARE:
Mar 23, 2013

MotoGP: Lorenzo Quickest On Rain-Affected First Day Of Testing At Jerez

MotoGP: Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo (99).
Lorenzo Leads the Way as Final Pre-Season Test Begins at Jerez

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 23rd March 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo kicked off day one of three of the final pre-season test of 2013 at the front, leading the MotoGP field by over a second in the time sheets.

Following a successful team launch yesterday, today’s first day of action was a disappointing affair for the MotoGP riders with black clouds, heavy rains and a waterlogged track hampering testing efforts.

Despite the adverse weather Lorenzo managed to achieve 39 laps whilst working on the wet set up of his YZR-M1, achieving a competitive set up fairly quickly.

Valentino Rossi’s first day in the official 2013 colours of the Factory Team were similar to Lorenzo’s, the Italian working on his wet set up. Rossi was able to find a good pace but ended the session needing to reduce rear tyre wear in the wet to last race distance at a fats pace.


Jorge Lorenzo
1st / 1.47.423 / 39 laps
“We stayed on the track the whole day in the wet conditions and it was good to see how the bike performed. We improved a little bit but then the rear tyre dropped so we have to calm the bike down a little bit in the acceleration.

We are quite good in the wet here in Jerez. It’s the first time we are in these conditions so it's important to understand what our levels are. It’s important to be competitive in this situation.

We proved when the track was drying up that we could keep the performance of the rear tyre over distance. It doesn't matter how fast you are in one lap, if you can’t keep the level over the whole race you cannot win.”


Valentino Rossi
6th / 1.49.443 / 36 laps
“The conditions today were very bad so we had to work on the wet. The feeling with the bike was not so bad but we had some problems with the life of the tyre, after some laps we started to spin a lot. It will be hard in a wet race to do 27 laps in a row.

We also have an issue with the quantity of wet tyres as we have only two today, we have four in total so we keep two for tomorrow but we hope tomorrow will be dry!”


Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“A very wet day start but still an important day’s testing. The conditions were quite similar all the time so it was a good moment to test the wet set up and try to find the best solutions for when it gets wet somewhere over the season, especially as last year it rained a lot.

We tried quite a few different things, it can be a risk to try stuff in the wet but it was quite good today. We didn't try all the things we wanted to, but definitely the wet stuff.

It’s not easy to get the feeling in the wet, especially after a long winter off so Jorge did well. It also wasn’t easy to keep him calm in the morning as he wanted to go out and ride but we were able to go out in the afternoon and do nearly 40 laps; that is a lot on the wet.”


Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“Our original program was different so we had to adjust it due to the weather conditions. The rain didn’t allow us to verify the items we wanted to. Anyway, we worked on improving the wet set up to help the feeling with the riders and so far we have done a great job.

We hope for good weather for the next two days as this test is very important to find the best set up to start the season.”

For further information about Yamaha Factory Racing, meet us on www.yamahamotogp.com.


Test Times

1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'47.423
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1'48.474
3. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1'48.524
4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing Team 1'48.984
5. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Test Team 1'49.292
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'49.443
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 1'49.643
8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1'49.692
9. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'49.790
10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1'50.266
11. Ben Spies (USA) Pramac Racing Team 1'50.957
12. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Paul Bird Motorsport 1'51.269
13. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1'51.277
14. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1'51.333
15. Claudio Corti (ITA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1'52.034
16. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1'52.047
17. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 1'52.180
18. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Blusens 1'52.291
19. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Avintia Blusens 1'52.676
20. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1'53.992
21. Bryan Staring (AUS) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1'56.119
22. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Came IodaRacing Project 1'56.413
23. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 1'56.931




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Heavy rain upsets testing on first day in Jerez

The final pre-season test of 2013 has begun in very wet conditions in Jerez, Spain.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez waited until lunchtime to take to the 4.4km track in the South of Spain with lap times over ten seconds slower than the pole time from 2008 (1'38.189) as rain showers continued throughout the day.

However, both riders used the opportunity to work on wet set up. Dani, second fastest of the day, decided to finish at 16h00 after completing 30 laps with a fastest lap of 1'48.474 set on lap 23. He focused mainly on chassis stiffness and various set ups hoping the weather would dry up so the team could commence their testing programme.

For his teammate Marc, it was the first real opportunity to ride in fully wet conditions to understand tyre degradation and also traction control on the MotoGP machines in the rain. He also finished early, at 17h00, with the third fastest lap of the day, 1'48.524 - just five hundredths off Dani, set on lap 29 of 38.

Testing will resume tomorrow at 10am local time.

Dani Pedrosa 2nd 1'48.474
“Today was the first day of testing here in Jerez and we were able to try various things in the wet. We had some very productive laps, as the asphalt was very wet. Sometimes there isn't enough water on the track and the conditions aren't adequate. The feeling with the bike is very positive, because after so many days riding in the dry it was good to go out in the wet. Let's see if in the coming days we have more luck and can ride more in the dry, in order to try out the last few things before the season starts"

Marc Marquez 3rd 1'48.524
"Today was a very important day for us, because we tried out the bike in the wet. In Malaysia we only did four laps in the wet and it wasn't as wet as it was here. We've made steady improvement in these conditions. I was very rigid on the bike at the start, but improved and realised it is very important to be smooth. Also, I notice wet tyres wear quite quickly at this track. This is something I have to learn how to manage, because they can catch you out. I also learnt that traction control in the wet is much more important than in the dry. We still have a lot to improve. We have a good fast lap, but need to improve on used tyres and on our own consistency"




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL 9th AT RAIN SOAKED JEREZ TRACK

Jerez, 23 March: final pre-season 3-day test session at Jerez d la Frontera circuit started today with rain showers hampering premier class riders job. LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl took the wet track at 2pm completing 33 laps in tricky conditions and finishing 9th (1’49.790) despite a crash later in the afternoon. The German escaped unhurt from the accident and hopes to get better track conditions tomorrow for fine-tuning his RC213V overall package.

Stefan: “Unfortunately it was raining the whole day but we tried to proceed with our job anyway. We made 33 laps in total but, at the beginning of the day, we struggled a bit with the base set-up but we fixed after two runs. I felt comfortable in the wet and, on new tyres, we made a 14-lap long run with acceptable lap times considering the slippery surface. But, at the end of that long run, I touched the white line and had a big slide crashing in the gravel. It was basically my mistake but on these conditions it can happen. Luckily I am unhurt and hope to have track time in the dry tomorrow”.




More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Weather affects opening day of IRTA test at Jerez

Day one of three at the final pre-season MotoGP test of the year got off to a wet and chilly start in Jerez de la Frontera, with off-and-on rainfall limiting the amount of useful track time for the MotoGP teams and riders.

Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso arrived in Spain with their Desmosedici GP13 configurations essentially the same as what they had tried in Sepang, Malaysia, at the end of last month, and they aimed to confirm their findings on the much different Circuito de Jerez while also testing various updates to electronics and setup.

Dovizioso made exits throughout the day to augment his still-limited wet time aboard the Desmosedici GP13. Hayden sat out the morning hours, but he too ventured out on the damp asphalt following the lunch break, partly to test his right wrist following a small procedure he had performed on it earlier this month.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th, 1:49.643 (20 laps)
“Of course the rain was a big factor, especially this morning, but I was able to get on the track this afternoon. I wanted to check a few things with the electronics and get some track time here on the bike that has the revised weight distribution. I didn’t want to do many exits today because we only have four sets of rain tyres for the three days, and this track uses them up quickly. We made a few small changes, and each time the feeling was a little better. My wrist was a bit stiff when I first went out, but I had no numbness or pain, at least in the wet. Hopefully we’ll get some dry track time over the next two days, because we’d also like to work on a setup for the race when we come back here in May.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 10th, 1:50.266 (22 laps)
“I went out this morning in order to get a better feeling in the rain, and there was really a lot of it at first. I wasn’t worried about the lap times because it was my first time in the wet with the GP13. We only have four sets of rain tyres to try in three days, so we couldn’t do all the testing we wanted or even try and go for a quick time. Because I rode this morning, I only had one tyre for this afternoon, and when the conditions were faster, I did my best time with a used tyre. Anyway, today’s times aren’t really a reference. We also did some tests to improve with the electronics, but unfortunately today we couldn’t do a real evaluation because of the weather conditions.”

Also on hand for the test is Ducati Corse’s development team, with Michele Pirro gathering data on the “laboratory” version of the GP13. The Italian turned 48 laps over the course of the day, his 1:49.292 time putting him fifth on the time sheets.




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

WET START FOR THE FIRST DAY OF JEREZ TEST SESSION.

Final official 2013 pre-season test held in Jerez de la Frontera marked by bad weather.

Heavy rain ruins the first part of the day, a brief weather improvement in the early afternoon allows Andrea Iannone to complete 27 laps with a best time of 1:48.948 and 18 laps for Ben Spies recording his fastest on lap 18th.

Positive first of three-day for Andrea (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team) with his 4th place in the rank, and also for Ben Spies (Ignite Pramac Racing Team) who is getting acquainted with the bike after last year crash in Sepang.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
"I think we did a good job today, I have been able to try a little things to understand the electronics with these weather conditions, and also the differences between MotoGP and my old category. The bike and the tires have a lot of grip that I did not expect. I have a great feeling with the team and I am very happy. Today is just the first of three days and we hope in a dry track tomorrow in order to try more stuff on it."

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“First time for me on the bike in the rain and first time in the rain since I crashed but I just want to get back into it. Today was the first of three days and we didn’t want to do anything too crazy, tomorrow more or less we will have rain again so I will have more time with these weather conditions and we do need it to get used to the bike. I stopped a little early also because the track was starting to dry and it was kind of in between rain and dry. I think we did a good job today and we will see what the weather does tomorrow.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo topped the timesheets as the final Official Pre-Season Test commenced in Jerez on Saturday. The day was broken up by numerous heavy rain showers as the Yamaha Factory Racing rider led Repsol Honda Team duo Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez.

The first half of the day was all but a complete washout. As the session began, sunshine and dark clouds were vying for the circuit as they each covered half of it, but it was the latter which prevailed to bring several, heavy rainstorms. As the showers were intermittent, the field was never treated with either fully wet or dry conditions which resulted in most riders spending much time in their garages; as only four sets of Wet tyres are available for the duration of the test, using them in the transitional conditions posed too much of a threat and overheating was a real possibility. Four hours in, Pedrosa led the way but only nine runners had elected to post a lap time.

From the outset, Honda had never planned to run unless they believed it was completely meaningful, as the team was only intending to confirm information it had learned at the private test in Austin. Others had entirely different agendas, not least Hiroshi Aoyama who was highly keen to ride his Avintia Blusens CRT bike in the wet for the first time; he proved this by registering no less than 56 laps despite the greasy track; frustratingly for the team, new FTR components are arriving late due to the snow hassle which continues to affect the United Kingdom.

At the sharp end, Lorenzo’s leading effort was 1’47.423 to see off closest challenger Pedrosa by one second, as the varying weather and resulting modified test plans ensured that lap times were more spaced out than usual. Márquez, who had been quickest on all three days at Circuit of the Americas, was on this occasion third as he tackled Jerez with MotoGP machinery for the first time. Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team’s Andrea Iannone and the second Yamaha of Valentino Rossi were fourth and sixth, with 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden leading the way for Ducati Team until test rider Michele Pirro progressed up the order to a top five place while running new parts. This left the American in seventh position.

Cal Crutchlow jumped ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl with less than an hour to go, although the German had crashed a short time before; thankfully he was able to walk away from the scene unaided. The third Ducati Team bike of Andrea Dovizioso completed the top ten from Ben Spies’ Ignite Pramac Racing Team machine and PBM’s ART, ridden by Colombian Yonny Hernández who was the leading CRT representative.

Elsewhere in the CRT ranks, Power Electronics Aspar did not run for the entire day, not least as Aleix Espargaró was set to run a brand-new engine which neither he nor the team intended to risk damaging by going out in the wet. His continued research into a new chassis and swingarm, first used at Sepang, is now put on hold until Sunday. That left Karel Abraham’s Cardion AB Motoracing and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing of Claudio Corti 14th and 15th, the latter experimenting with chassis changes first suggested by teammate Colin Edwards during their previous outing in Malaysia. Between CRT riders and very much out of position was the prototype GO&FUN Honda Gresini of Álvaro Bautista.

Familiar faces Danilo Petrucci and Héctor Barberá were 17th and 18th for Came IodaRacing Project and Avintia Blusens respectively, but the weather encouraged a tough day for newcomers such as Bradley Smith and Crutchlow’s teammate in the all-British Monster Yamaha Tech 3 line-up. The 22-year-old from Oxford completed only 14 laps, which was the second least after compatriot Michael Laverty; still in the early days of development for the in-house PBM chassis, he circulated just 12 times and completed the 23-bike timesheet behind Gresini’s Bryan Staring – much happier with handling – and Czech Lukáš Pešek.

Just two days of pre-season action continue ahead of the curtain-raising Grand Prix, under lights in Qatar on 7th April. To the annoyance of the teams in Jerez, more rain is likely to hit the test across Sunday and Monday.




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Cold and wet start to final MotoGP test in Jerez

Wet, windy and cold weather dominated the opening day of the final MotoGP pre-season test session at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain today, the adverse conditions resulting in Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith completing less than 35 laps between them.

The forecast heavy rain started to fall shortly after the pit lane opened at 10am and it wasn't until more than five hours later when the worst of the rain had stopped that Crutchlow decided to venture out on his YZR-M1 machine.

The British rider quickly adapted to the tricky conditions and within five laps he had stormed into the top three with a lap of 1.49.963. He completed a further 14 laps evaluating Bridgestone's hard compound rear rain tyre and was able to improve his pace to a 1.49.692 to finish in eighth position.
With four sets of rain tyres available per rider and with further rain forecast, Crutchlow only used one set today to ensure he has plenty of new rubber to work on the rain set-up of his YZR-M1 machine tomorrow.

Eager to get in more vital dry track time ahead of his MotoGP debut in Qatar next month, the treacherous conditions were the worst imaginable for rookie Smith.

Smith did complete 14 laps in the wet today to gain some knowledge of the grip offered by Bridgestone's hard compound rear tyre, but like Crutchlow his strategy was to use only one set today, keeping a further three in anticipation of further wet weather tomorrow. Smith ended today with a best lap of 1.52.047 to finish 16th on the timesheets.

Cal Crutchlow 8th 1.49.692 – 19 laps:
“It's a shame about the weather today and I didn't decide to go out until the middle of the afternoon for a few laps. I ended up only doing 19 laps because I wanted to use only one set of tyres to keep some back for tomorrow when it looks like it will be raining again. The set I used today wore quite quickly but on the 800s we used a lot more lean angle and on the 1000 you have a lot more power going through the tyre and it is wearing faster. A lot of those in front of me put in a second set of tyres to go faster and I am sure if I'd done the same I'd have been much higher up. I was third after only five laps but I am not worried about the lap time. I tried a new setting for the rain that didn't work so we went back to last year's setting and I had a good fe eling again. We will see what the weather brings for tomorrow but I am hoping we can get a bit of time in the dry before we pack up for the first race in Qatar.”

Bradley Smith 16th 1.52.047 – 14 laps:
“When you need as much dry track time as possible to build up experience, the last thing I wanted to see was conditions like today. Of course it is still good to get some time in the rain because that is also good experience for me but I only did two runs this afternoon. I was able to understand the bike quite quickly but the plan was always to use just one set of tyres today and keep the rest for tomorrow. With the tyres we have kept back for tomorrow it will mean I can have a lot of time on track to understand more about riding in the wet. I didn't try and push too hard and I was quite cautious because the last thing I want to be doing is crashing. But I could understand the maximum lean grip, even with so much horsepower, was incredible. Tomorrow we will wait and see what happens with the weather but rain or sh ine I'll be out on track trying to learn as much as possible because it is the experience on the bike that I am lacking.”




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

WET WEATHER AT DAY ONE OF JEREZ TEST HAMPERS PROGRESS FOR MOTOGP RIDERS

The opening day of the three day MotoGP test at Jerez, Spain was almost a washout with 2.5 cm of rain falling on the 4.423 km circuit throughout the day. The four Honda RC213V riders present for the test achieved little in either development terms or lap times.

The fastest of the four was Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa who was second fastest man on the day his best time of 1m 48.474s was over 11 seconds slower than the circuit lap record he set in the 2010 grand prix at the circuit and 1.051s behind fastest man of today Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha.

Pedrosa testing a range of wet weather set up options for the RC213V and was satisfied with the data gained and after just 30 laps and with two hours remaining called a halt to the opening session of the three day test.

Marc Marquez, Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team mate was third fastest a mere 0.050s further adrift of the best time of the day. The wet conditions worked to the benefit of MotoGP Rookie Marquez who has just four wet weather laps at the slippery Sepang circuit on the RC213V as a guideline. Reigning Moto2 World Champion Marquez has much to learn about racing in the senior grand prix category, particularly controlling the massive power output of the 1000cc Honda RC213V factory machine. He worked on experimenting with traction control on a wet surface and the effect of tyre degradation in wet track conditions.

LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl ended the opening day in ninth place and relatively pleased with his days work having made progress on wet weather chassis settings. The young German ran a long simulation test but it lasted just 14 laps before a crash terminated the run. Stefan touched a lethally slippery white line triggering a long slide that ended with a crash in a gravel trap.

Alvaro Bautista, Fun&Go Honda Gresini, was 13th on his RC213V was disappointed at the end of the day spent trying to improve feeling from the RCV in wet conditions but tyre degradation was rapid and he was frustrated with the results.

Australian Bryan Staring, riding the Fun&Go Honda Gresini CRT machine was in 21st place but enjoyed a positive day. Staring is in the uneviable position of developing a new machine while testing at a track he has little experience of. On day one he improved his braking and general overall feeling with the new machine but needs dry track time to make really telling progress.


Honda rider quotes.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd. 1m 48.474s.
"Today was the first day of testing here in Jerez and we were able to try various things in the wet. We had some very productive laps, as the asphalt was very wet. Sometimes there isn't enough water on the track and the conditions aren't adequate. The feeling with the bike is very positive, because after so many days riding in the dry it was good to go out in the wet. Let's see if in the coming days we have more luck and can ride more in the dry, in order to try out the last few things before the season starts."

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 3rd. 1m 48.524s.
"Today was a very important day for us, because we tried out the bike in the wet. In Malaysia we only did four laps in the wet and it wasn't as wet as it was here. We've made steady improvement in these conditions. I was very rigid on the bike at the start, but improved and realised it is very important to be smooth. Also, I notice wet tyres wear quite quickly at this track. This is something I have to learn how to manage, because they can catch you out. I also learnt that traction control in the wet is much more important than in the dry. We still have a lot to improve. We have a good fast lap, but need to improve on used tyres and on our own consistency."

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda: 9th. 1m 49.790s.
"Unfortunately it was raining the whole day but we tried to proceed with our job. We made 33 laps but at the beginning of the day we struggled a bit with the chassis but fixed that after two runs. I felt comfortable in the wet, and on new tyres. We made a 14 lap long run with acceptable lap times considering the slippery surface. But at the end of the run I touched the white line and had a big slide crashing in the gravel. It was my basically mistake but in these conditions it can happen. Luckily I'm unhurt and hope to have dry track time tomorrow."

Alvaro Bautista, Fun&Go Honda Gresini: 13th. 1m 51.271s.
" Today has been a very strange day and we have hardly been able to get any work done. The rain was heavy at times and at other times not so much and it didn't help because the track conditions were not consistent. We tried some thing with the aim of improving our feeling in the wet but it wasn't easy and the tyre performance dropped off quite quickly. We just have to wait now and hope that the conditions are better tomorrow so that we can complete the programme we have for this test."

Bryan Staring, Fun&Go Honda Gresini: 21st. 1m 56.119s.
"The conditions weren't the best today but I am happy because the bike didn't feel too different to the dry. With every lap I was able to improve my braking and my overall feeling, so it has been a positive day for us because I have already said a few times we need laps on the bike in any condition. Obviously there are some things we need to test in dry conditions so hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow."