Saturday, February 7, 2015

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Hayden & Laverty Improve on Times in 1st MotoGP Pre-Season Test in Sepang

06/02/15. MOTOGP TEST SEPANG       

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders best previous times for third consecutive day

Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty end first test in Sepang with improvements

Today saw the final day of the first MotoGP test of the year, which took place this week at the Malaysian circuit of Sepang. Probably for the first time, the riders completed three days of work in Malaysia without a drop of rain -something almost inexplicable. This meant that, despite the heat, the track gained grip as the days passed. Today’s best time was a milestone in motorcycle racing: Marc Márquez was the first and only rider to break the 1’59 barrier, putting in an impressive 1’58.867 lap. Not only that, but the top five today were faster than the best lap official lap of Sepang so far (1’59.791). The riders will be in action next from February 23rd, when they convene again in Sepang for the second winter test.

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders made daily improvements at Sepang. Both Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty gradually lowered their times every day. On this third day, both continued to familiarise themselves with their new bikes. The American continued testing electronics but also carried out tests with bike geometry that allowed him turn his bike better at certain points. Shortly after starting the day he achieved his best time of the test (2.01.508), lowering his top time from yesterday by 7 tenths. Eugene Laverty’s final improvement was almost 8 tenths, with his best time set two laps before the end of the test. The Northern Irishman has continued to adapt to his new chassis, which he now understands much better thanks to the work done over these past three days.

18th Nicky Hayden 2.01.508 (52 laps): "At this test the whole team have encountered a completely new bike and lots of work ahead to try to resolve all the issues that have emerged. Gradually I will be adapting my riding style to this new bike. We have evolved throughout the test, but our times were not as fast as we wanted, so I'm a little upset. This morning I lowered the time from yesterday quite a lot, but we have to work to go faster. It’s mainly work with the electronics. We still have a lot of work ahead, but there is time. On some parts of the track the feeling was positive, however the acceleration on the slow corners was very strange. Importantly, we have gathered a lot of information. Thanks to some changes to the geometry, we have improved the handling of the bike and now it turns better, but we still we suffer when accelerating out of the slow corners."

24th Eugene Laverty 2.02.334 (57 laps): "The first day of the test was positive, yesterday we did not find a clear direction and this morning we did, but it was still hard for us to lower our times. The changes to the bike have remained focused on the chassis, and I'm still looking for my best riding position. I still have to learn, but luckily I have Gino and Jorge who have come to see me on track to advise and make my work easier. We continue to work on turning the bike, but the feeling on corner entry is progressively being better. We have improved the setup of the chassis and we are understanding how it works. However every time we put on a new tyre we were unable to get the most out of it.  We will have to find out about this too. Today I had the opportunity to follow a few riders on track, and that helped me understand some things."

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