Friday, February 28, 2014

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Hayden & Aoyama End MotoGP Sepang Test 2 Day 3 with Improved Performance & Consistency



Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama post faster lap times on final day of Malaysian test, improving both performance and consistency

The last of three days of testing at Sepang took place today, bringing an end to the Malaysian preseason leg. Only three more days of tests now remain before the season starts, with the factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders heading to Australia next week and the remainder scheduled to ride in Qatar. Today was the hottest of the six days at Sepang, with the thermometers registering an incredible 64 degrees. It was a gruelling day for the riders, many of whom had full race runs to complete, and probably explains why the pace wasn't quite as quick as yesterday, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa topping the timesheet with an identical best lap of 1.59.999.

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama both picked up their pace on the final day, the Japanese rider clocking his best time of the entire six days here (2.02.070), although the American was unable to match his fastest effort from the first session, when the conditions were more favourable. Despite the tortuous heat both riders managed to improve the consistency of their lap times and are looking forward to making more progress in the next test. 

15th Nicky Hayden 2.01.924 (59 laps): “We have worked really hard over the last three days here and we have gathered a lot of information that has given us a better understanding of the bike, although we still haven't made the major step we are looking for.  We still don't know why we're struggling so much to get the bike stopped into the corners so we need to work more with the electronics. It has been a strange day and we lost some time making alterations to the set-up to adapt to the heat. We know our potential is much higher than we have been able to show here so we can be optimistic and go to Qatar next week ready to put some more hard work in. It will be interesting to see how the bike performs at a different track but we have a lot to do there to make sure we are ready for the first race." 

17th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.02.070 (61 laps): “We had a little setback today and had to put everything on hold at around midday but in the end we fixed it and got back out on track. Our objective today was to continue working on the set-up and we managed to improve the feeling by the end of the day. As well as improving the feeling we also improved the lap times but we still have plenty to test next week in Qatar. We need to have a meeting and work out how we can improve the suspension but in general the feeling is that the bike is good and has plenty of room for improvement - it just needs more laps." 

MotoGP Sepang Test 2 Day 3 Wraps with Yamaha Factory Racing's Rossi Tied for Fast Time, Lorenzo in 7th

Sepang MotoGP Test (2) - Day 3

Rossi Wraps Up Second Sepang Test on Top

Sepang (Malaysia), 28th February 2014

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi has completed the second official test of the 2014 MotoGP season as the fastest rider. Rossi wrapped up the three days of riding at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia with a fastest time of 1’59.999, one of only two riders to drop under the two minute mark after an impressive fastest lap today.

Whilst still struggling to find a perfect solution to the new Bridgestone tyres, Jorge Lorenzo was able to find a change to make some improvement to set up today. The Mallorcan was still less than satisfied overall with the grip levels on offer from the 2014 rubber. Lorenzo was able to step a little closer to the front than yesterday, wrapping up in seventh, just over 0.6 of a second from his teammate in first.

The Team now move directly to Phillip Island in Australia for a further test before the season kicks off under the floodlights of Qatar on the 23rd March.

Valentino Rossi 1st / 1'59.999 / 41 laps

“First of all I am very happy because I am in first position and I did a good lap. I was one of the only ones in the 1’59s which is positive, especially because with the 2014 tyres in the first test we tried a time attack and I was more than one second slower than today. This test we have always been at the top and fighting for the first position so it’s positive. We still have some problems when it’s very hot over long distance with the new tyres, so we still have to work, but we made a good step from the first test. The next test in Philip Island will be very important to understand if also there we improved a lot like here because I am more than one second faster than the second test of last year so we have been working well.”

Jorge Lorenzo
 7th / 2'00.619 / 70 laps

“We found a better solution today to improve our situation and adapt these tyres at this track. The tyres are much harder in the sidewalls. At this track, with this tarmac that is very slippery, it’s not the same as Phillip Island or Mugello for example, it’s impossible for us to be competitive. This tyre is much worse for Yamaha and better for Honda. Our bike is competitive, at a similar level to the competitors but with the tyre we have problems. We tried a simulation today and it was worse and worse every lap. In the edge there is a problem with no grip but also when you pick up the bike it spins. You can improve the feeling a little to get more grip but when the tyre starts to drop the problems get worse and worse.”

Massimo Meregalli Team Director

“We finished this three day test with some good improvements and were able to make the bike better every day. At the end Valentino was able to make the fastest lap of the day. Jorge continued to have some difficulties, especially because of his riding style. It looks like the new tyre doesn't work very well on our bike, especially at this track. Here at Sepang the problem was increased because of the lack of grip on the tarmac and also the high temperatures. We made some improvements but we are not satisfied 100% and we have to improve over race distance. We look forward to the Phillip Island test now to see what Bridgestone has prepared to solve the issues we had last year and then we are ready for Qatar.”

Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager

“It’s been a difficult test and really we are not very happy with the result. For the last day Jorge has found some confidence back in the bike. Of course it’s not how we want it but at least he could do a decent long run and be quite consistent. It was very hot today and we got a lot of new information with the new tyres. We are very curious to see how we get on in two days in Phillip Island.”

Test Times

1.Valentino Rossi (ITA)Yamaha Factory Racing1'59.999
2.Dani Pedrosa (SPA)Repsol Honda Team1'59.999
3.Andrea Dovizioso (ITA)Ducati Team2'00.067
4.Aleix Espargaro (SPA)NGM Mobile Forward Racing2'00.101
5.Stefan Bradl (GER)LCR Honda MotoGP2'00.164
6.Alvaro Bautista (SPA)Go&Fun Honda Gresini2'00.506
7.Jorge Lorenzo (SPA)Yamaha Factory Racing2'00.619
8.Cal Crutchlow (GBR)Ducati Team2'00.790
9.Bradley Smith (GBR)Monster Yamaha Tech32'00.804
10.Pol Espargarò (SPA)Monster Yamaha Tech32'01.032
11.Andrea Iannone (ITA)Pramac Racing2'01.198
12.Randy De Puniet (FRA)Team Suzuki MotoGP2'01.430
13.Yonny Hernandez (COL)Energy T.I. Pramac Racing2'01.497
14.Colin Edwards (USA)NGM Mobile Forward Racing2'01.748
15.Nicky Hayden (USA)Drive M7 Aspar2'01.924
16.Michele Pirro (ITA)Ducati Test Team2'02.029
17.Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN)Drive M7 Aspar2'02.070
18.Scott Redding (GBR)Go&Fun Honda Gresini2'02.228
19.Hector Barbera (SPA)Avintia Racing2'02.341
20.Katsuyuki Nakasuga (JPN)Yamaha Factory Test Team2'03.115
21.Mike Di Meglio (FRA)Avintia Racing2'03.499
22.Karel Abraham (CZE)Cardion AB Motoracing2'04.304
23.Nobuatsu Aoki (JPN)Team Suzuki MotoGP2'06.482

Technical Informations
LocationSepang, Malaysia
Length (m)5548
Width (m)25
Turns righ10
Turns left5
Pole positionleft

Record Lap
Time 2'01.415
Best Lap
Time 2'00.011
2013 Results
1st D.Pedrosa (Honda): 40'45"191
2ndM.Marquez (Honda): +2.757
3rdJ.Lorenzo (Yamaha): +6.669