Monday, March 16, 2015

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Hayden & Laverty Wrap-Up 2nd Day of Final MotoGP Pre-Season Tests in Qatar

15/03/2015. MOTOGP TEST LOSAIL                                                                                                     

DRIVE M7 Aspar pair make strong progress on second day of Losail test

Nicky Hayden improves by almost a second from yesterday, Eugene Laverty by more than a second, as both riders cut the gap to the top

The second night of testing at Losail took place today, with just one more night tomorrow evening for the MotoGP teams and riders to complete their preparations for the 2015 season. Similar conditions continued from yesterday, with the track again open from four to eleven, althoughmost riders waited until sunset before heading out onto the track. The Ducati riders continue to surprise in Qatar and whilst Andrea  Iannone was fastest yesterday, today was the turn of his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso with a time just inside the circuit record (1.55.153, Casey Stoner, 2008). After a Honda / Yamaha duopoly in recent seasons, it looks like the Italian factory will have a say in some races this year. Equally positive is the fact that the first fourteen riders were separated by less than a second, showing how close the premier class promises to be in 2015.

This second day in Qatar has been tremendously positive for DRIVE M7 Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty, who have gained confidence and significantly lowered their lap times. Both Hayden and Laverty have worked on the geometry of their Honda for stability, and have also done some electronics testing. The American improved by almost a second from yesterday, lapping a little more than a second off the best time of the day, which is a narrow margin considering the length of the Losail circuit. Similarly Eugene improved by over a second from yesterday, also with excellent feeling on board his machine. Tomorrow they will continue working in the same direction in order to be completely ready for the first race of the new season.

Nicky Hayden 1.56.104 (44 laps) "The conditions were quite stable today and we could find a couple of improvements. Our times have dropped considerably. Our consistency, feeling... everything has been noticeably better, the team has done a great job. In some areas the feeling with the bike has really improved. We varied the geometry and the changes have been successful. We are preparing for the first race and today we have taken a big step forward. To finish 1.1 seconds back at a circuit where you need about two minutes a lap, is not a big difference, so it is a good result. We're seeing that this year in MotoGP it's going to be very tight and interesting. I hope we can take another big step tomorrow and finish strong. Tomorrow we will try to eliminate some chatter in the fast corners. We have a lot of data, so try to learn from that and keep improving."

Eugene Laverty 1.56.342 (54 laps): "The bike works much better here than in Sepang, so yesterday I only had to adapt myself to the circuit without making major changes. Our work, both yesterday and today, has focused on the chassis to find the best possible balance. We have also done some electronics testing, but we still have things to do tomorrow. I'm happy with my feeling and also because today we could go faster than yesterday and set some positive lap times. I'm happy with this bike, it is stable and the tyre gives me confidence and allows me to brake hard. I hope tomorrow we can still improve a little more to finish the test on a high.”

Photos courtesy of for media use only.

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