DRIVE M7 ASPAR RIDERS TEST MORE UPDATES ON FINAL DAY AT SEPANG
Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama improve feeling and lap times after building crucial Sepang data ahead of next test
Sepang is well known for its hot and humid conditions but the first test of the MotoGP preseason has been particularly torrid, with the riders completing their test schedules today through the pain of blisters on their hands and feet and the exhaustion of three days in the saddle. Despite that the lap times were once again as hot as the asphalt and no fewer than four riders broke the two-minute barrier today, with Marc Márquez setting the pace for the third day running – his best lap of 1'59.533 almost a tenth inside the circuit record set by Casey Stoner in 2012 (1'59.607). The riders will now have three weeks to recover before their second preseason appointment, starting here in Malaysia on the 26th February.
DRIVE M7 Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama managed to drop their lap times once again today, the American finding another seven tenths of a second on his 21st and best lap of 59 in total. Hayden is delighted with the handling of his new machine but is hoping to find a little more power at the next test. Hiroshi was one of the most hard-working riders on track as he clocked up 66 laps, the Japanese rider improving by six tenths on his best from yesterday with his fastest lap coming almost at the end of the session.
13th Nicky Hayden 2.01.514 (59 laps): “It has been an interesting few days here and we have made progress each day. Even so I was hoping to be further up the timesheets and to be a bit more competitive. Looking at the positives we have improved our lap times and our feeling for the bike, especially in corner entry. I know the team is working hard on the things that we know we need to improve and what we need to learn about this bike. We tried the new softer compound tyre at the end of the day and it gave us a bit of help under acceleration. But the biggest improvements have been with the electronics and in corner entry. We clearly need a bit more power too but the strong point of this Honda is that it handles well and it's a smooth ride.”
16th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.02.383 (66 laps): “We had planned to do some work with the suspension today but opted to keep our focus on the electronics, which took up a lot of our time, possibly too much. The good thing is that we made some improvements and had some time to do some suspension tests at the very end of the day, which were positive. It has been quite a productive test for us because we have stored a lot of important information, the feeling has improved each day and so have the lap times so we leave Sepang in good spirits. The most important thing is that we have been consistent and we have marked out the path we need to follow in future. We are still a long way off the pace at the front though so the goal for the next test is to close the gap.”