Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Team Drive M7 Aspar Riders Hayden & Aoyama Make Progress in Day Two MotoGP Testing at Sepang

05/02/2014. MOTOGP TEST SEPANG      


Nicky Hayden drops times by a second from day one as Hiroshi Aoyama finds three tenths 

Intense heat and humidity at Sepang did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the MotoGP riders present on the second day of a three-day session today as they continued to make the most of their first track action of 2014. The Malaysian circuit was a hive of activity again today as the engineers and riders worked relentlessly on setting up their new machines for the season ahead, with the majority improving their lap times from yesterday but nobody able to match the electric pace of Marc Márquez, who raised the bar again today with a fastest lap of 1'59.926. The World Champion's team-mate Dani Pedrosa was closest to him today with fellow Honda rider Stefan Bradl in third place.

Amongst those to make significant improvements on the second day were DRIVE M7 Aspar pair Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama, who are both tackling an entirely new project with great enthusiasm and effort. Nicky continued with the work he had started yesterday on the new machine's electronic package, specifically trying to improve it under engine braking. The 'Kentucky Kid' managed to improve on his best lap from yesterday by over a second, completing 39 laps in total. Hiroshi shaved three tenths of a second off his best effort from yesterday after 42 laps that saw him experimenting with different electronic settings as well as a variety of tyres.

14th Nicky Hayden 2.02.287 (39 laps): “I am happy because we have improved the lap time quite significantly from yesterday although the pace in general has been quicker. Once again we focused our work on the electronics and the engine braking, which gave us a bit more in corner entry. You could say that I am still adapting myself because I have spent a long time on a completely different kind of bike and now I have to readjust my riding style, the way I am braking and entering the corner. We are happy with the progress we made today but the gap to the top is still too big so we have to keep pushing to improve. We still have a lot of things to test from a chassis point of view as well as the electronics and also I need to fully adapt to this Honda.”

18th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.03.034 (42 laps): “At the start of the day the feeling with the bike wasn't what we were hoping for and we had to play around with a few things to improve it. In the end it turned out to be an issue with the tyres because as soon as we changed them I felt more comfortable. From that point, which was around midday, we started to build our rhythm and turned our focus to the electronic traction control system. It hasn't been easy to start with because we are only just getting to know the new system and today we tried something different to yesterday. Finally we did some work on chassis set-up and made some slight improvements to yesterday and then right at the end of the day Bridgestone gave us a new tyre to test, which gave me even more confidence.”

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