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Day 1 at Sepang: Dovizioso Says GP15 Finally Cures Dreaded Desmosedici Understeer

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The first day of testing at Sepang has been completed with Valentino Rossi placing his Yamaha at the top of the timesheets. Rossi and teammate Jorge Lorenzo are sampling a new seamless gearbox.

More stories will follow on this interesting test, but Ducati factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone finally got to sample the all-new Desmosedici GP15 designed under Gigi Dall’Igna. Dovizioso said that the understeer problem that has plagued Ducati for roughly a decade is gone, and he could tell it was gone before he completed his first lap on the new bike. He indicated that he finally had a “normal” GP bike, and was anxious to develop it. For an all-new machine, the lap times posted by Dovizioso and Iannone on the GP15 were not so bad, but will obviously improve with further development.

The Espargaro brothers are another surprise on Day 1, particularly older brother Aleix, who was quick on the new Suzuki. The Suzuki is looking good, with rookie Maverick Viñales making it into the top ten. Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding, aboard their factory-spec Hondas, also noted improved feel versus the earlier Sepang test last month.

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2:00.414 25 / 54
2 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:00.543 0.129 0.129 20 / 52
3 ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.876 0.462 0.333 17 / 45
4 ESPARGARO, Aleix Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:01.055 0.641 0.179 17 / 39
5 LORENZO, Jorge Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2:01.162 0.748 0.107 37 / 51
6 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 2:01.190 0.776 0.028 24 / 43
7 CRUTCHLOW, Cal CWM LCR Honda 2:01.222 0.808 0.032 13 / 43
8 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.241 0.827 0.019 22 / 51
9 VIÑALES, Maverick Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:01.317 0.903 0.076 22 / 50
10 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:01.355 0.941 0.038 5 / 23
11 REDDING, Scott Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS 2:01.592 1.178 0.237 31 / 52
12 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:01.740 1.326 0.148 29 / 51
13 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 2:01.926 1.512 0.186 6 / 39
14 HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 2:02.062 1.648 0.136 26 / 41
15 IANNONE, Andrea Ducati Team 2:02.142 1.728 0.080 16 / 30
16 PETRUCCI, Danilo Pramac Racing 2:02.225 1.811 0.083 9 / 35
17 ABRAHAM, Karel AB Motoracing 2:02.394 1.980 0.169 26 / 28
18 BRADL, Stefan Forward Racing Team 2:02.410 1.996 0.016 19 / 42
19 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Pramac Racing 2:02.606 2.192 0.196 24 / 29
20 LAVERTY, Eugene Drive M7 Aspar 2:02.730 2.316 0.124 28 / 45
21 DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 2:02.941 2.527 0.211 23 / 33
22 MILLER, Jack CWM LCR Honda 2:03.006 2.592 0.065 23 / 35
23 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 2:03.105 2.691 0.099 33 / 35
24 BAZ, Loris Forward Racing Team 2:03.316 2.902 0.211 28 / 37
25 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Test Team 2:03.337 2.923 0.021 24 / 43
26 DE ANGELIS, Alex Octo Ioda Racing Team 2:03.966 3.552 0.629 8 / 45
27 MELANDRI, Marco Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:04.000 3.586 0.034 29 / 42

16 Comments

  1. Provologna says:

    Somebody please post with quicker access than me to the data. IOW, I’m lazy. On the same tracks, how do WSBK lap times compare to MotoGP?

    I bet the fastest WSBK beats the slowest MotoGP bike.

  2. Vrooom says:

    Suzuki is in the top 5, and has 2 bikes in the top 10, that’s pretty incredible for a new GP manufacturer, albeit this is only day 1 of testing. I’ll bet Aleix is incredibly motivated to beat his brother. And Marquez down .8 of a second on the leader board? I’m guessing that won’t last.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Suzuki is in the top 5, and has 2 bikes in the top 10, that’s pretty incredible for a new GP manufacturer”

      correct, that WOULD be incredible for a new GP manufacturer.

      (however, comma)

      those with fully developed moto-IQ’s armed with a knowledge of history, could argue they aren’t a “new” GP manufacturer at all considering they’ve been testing that thing on Bridgestones for the past 3 years, spent another 12 years before that lowering the standards in 4-stroke grandprix by coasting around 1/2 throttle, and even won one of the last titles in 2T 500’s at the turn of the Century.

      just sayin’, someone knowledgeable COULD argue that.

  3. Krisd says:

    Poor Marco. Gotta love his wife tho- kudos!
    What bike is Laverty. Prolly the best “flicker” of a bike I’ve ever seen- so smooth from side to side the bike never shakes or wobbles. Plus a great guy.

  4. Krisd says:

    Com’on Jack Miller!!!

  5. xLaYN says:

    aaaaaand there I go again… go for it Rossi 😛
    I would love to know if you could go back; what’s the actual reason they got the under-steering “in” it in first place, it’s said that in this conditions (gp, f1) if the computer says one thing and the driver another, they believed in the driver.

    • John says:

      I think the understeer issue was blamed on the weight balance – too much on the back, too little on the front. My understanding is that the engine is tilted up closer to a V-shape (versus an L) in the new bike and the engine/COG are farther forward.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: what’s the actual reason they got the under-steering “in” it in first place.

      A: well when’s the last time they actually built an ally twin spar…?

      other than blind stinking luck, the chances of them nailing their first crack at it was slim to none. and make no mistake, just because this chassis is giving good signs doesn’t mean it can’t be improved further still.

      (example)

      Honda’s rumored to have brought 4 different bikes for Marcus to the gunfight of Sepang II. that eludes to possibly 4 different chassis revisions. we’re talkin’ about Honda here, would you put it past them…?

  6. Martin says:

    Great picture; wow!

  7. Bob L says:

    Couldn’t help but think, it’d be cool to see a completed race with that leader board.

    • Dave says:

      The comments about the new Ducati’s handling are encouraging. They managed fast qualifying times and were competitive for ~10 laps max during races but always faded. If the bike has better traction balance then it should be more consistent over race distance.

      I did a little poking around, while the lap times above aren’t the fastest ever run at Sepang, Espargaro’s time on the Suzuki would’ve been good for ~7th on the grid at the 2013 race. That is VERY solid for a brand new bike.

      • Gordon says:

        Both Ducati and Suzuki’s power are dialed back a bit at this time.
        Hopefully their full power will be unleashed in day 2 or 3. Good to know more speed is attainable.
        Scoring 3 podiums to become full-factory status seems possible this year.

        Looks like Suzuki made an excelent choice by signing Aleix Espargaro.
        He is probably the fastest non-alien now.