Fresh from yesterday’s GP Monster Energy de Catalunya, the Movistar Yamaha riders were back on track today to complete a test at the Montmelò circuit.
Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi took time to test a new Akrapovic exhaust and a new Bridgestone hard front tyre for use in Sepang. There was also an opportunity to test a new engine spec for 2015 M1 and work on some small set up changes to overcome acceleration issues suffered by Jorge in yesterday’s race.
The team will now move to Aragon for a further one day private test on Wednesday.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro undertook a detailed test programme to both finish inside the top 4 today at the Catalunya circuit and achieved highly confidence boosting results for future MotoGP races.
Bradley Smith performed a colossal 75 laps around the 4727 metre Catalunya circuit to clearly illustrate his competitive intentions for the rest of the season by snaring a superb 2nd place. The British rider meticulously investigated various aspects of his Yamaha YZR-M1 and devoted his testing time to thoroughly explore suspension, geometry as well as engine braking settings during the test. Smith completed the session with an impressive time of 1.41,224 set on lap 74 which left him a blink of an eye behind the leading bike of Marc Marquez with a gap of only 0.040. Additionally his lap was quicker than his qualifying time by almost three tenths of a second. The 23-year-old rider’s rigid test programme which concluded positively, allowed him and his Monster Yamaha Tech3 to obtain valuable information as well as set him in a good light for the next GP at Assen where he intends to confidently battle for a 5th placed finish.
Furthermore, Pol Espargaro completed the test day in a superb 4th position. The Spaniard embarked on testing various aspects of his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he proceeded to further strengthen his knowledge during his impressive rookie season. He set about thoroughly testing electronics, traction control and engine braking as well as experimenting with the setting of the bike in order to improve grip, specifically in fast corners and under hot conditions akin to those at the circuit today. The reigning Moto2 World Champion’s tireless efforts saw him setting a best time of 1.41,640, set on lap 45 out of 60 which was quicker than his qualifying time by 0.037 of a second and only one tenth of a second behind multiple world champion Jorge Lorenzo in 3rd place. His successful day sees him poised to competitively compete at the top of his game for round 8 of the 2014 MotoGP world championship at the Iveco Daily Dutch TT.
3rd / 1’41.515 / 67 laps
“I expected to stay more tired because we had three days of riding, but I didn’t feel it today and I was able to make a lot of runs of more than six laps. We’ve tried some things to make the bike more stable on the throttle and to pick up the bike a little earlier we were able to improve it and make quite big steps so I’m happy as it’s not so easy to find some really important things in a test. We tried a front tyre, the feeling is a little better, even if we are just going to use it in Sepang, it’s better for stopping.”
10th / 1’42.174 / 58 laps
“We had some interesting stuff to try, some different exhausts for during the season and also we worked for next season. We had a different engine to try for 2015 and then after something to try for Bridgestone, a front tyre which was an important test. It was ok, I felt good with the bike and we found something new. Now we have to continue like this.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“Both Jorge and Vale have worked hard today on their fourth consecutive day of riding and it has been a successful first test of the week. The schedule went well and we were able to test and compare all the required materials for the day. The most important items were one exhaust and an engine spec for the 2015 M1. We will make a final comparison of the exhaust in Aragon on Wednesday to make a final decision. If the result is positive we will start to use the exhaust from Assen.”
2nd / 1’41.224 / 75 laps
“All in all today’s test was really positive, as we achieved everything we set out to as well as clarifying a few mysterious problems from yesterday. I felt a lot more comfortable on the bike today plus I did 75 laps with my fastest time at the end which was even quicker than what I was able to achieve in the GP. In general we tested a lot of different things such as geometry settings, electronics, engine braking plus a new tyre from Bridgestone so it was a busy but productive schedule. Our main focus of the day was to improve braking stability and the engine-braking situation, we certainly achieved both of these factors. For me to be able to do a 41.2 lap time is really encouraging and I am definitely happy with the results. Now, I am looking forward to going to Assen to see how this new information we have gathered can be of benefit.”
4th / 1’41.640 / 60 laps
“I am very pleased with what we have accomplished today. At the first test in Jerez in May we made some really good improvements that have clearly helped me to understand my Yamaha in a better way and I am convinced that we can safely say the same here. After a tricky weekend the team and I tested a lot of different settings on the bike which will be very interesting for the future races plus the lap times and the rhythm were very positive. The Yamaha felt great and the team worked really hard as always so we have definitely made a step forward in the areas which we were working on and for sure we have improved the bike a lot when compared to yesterday. On a Monday, it’s a bit late to say but the lack of experience in setting up the bike seems to be my biggest struggle at the moment and I am sure it is the reason for our performance this weekend. However, I now look forward to the next race at Assen as I am keen to see the value of the testing results.”