New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Test riders reflect on Barcelona outing

Test riders reflect on Barcelona outing

Test riders reflect on Barcelona outing

Considering its importance in the pre-season schedule, the Catalunya official test saw several teams deploying considerable man-power as the start of the Championship draws ever closer.

In addition to the 21 MotoGP entries, 4 test riders were lapping at Catalunya. Amongst them, Nobuatsu Aoki, who is back at Suzuki this year after spending three seasons at Proton KR. Already a test rider for Bridgestone in 2001 under the guidance of Erv Kanemoto, Aoki explained the difficulties he had last weekend.

"During this test, I mainly worked on the Bridgestone tyres, and also on the engine mapping of the Suzuki V4," said the Japanese. "Unfortunately, the engine broke twice and we also had a problem with the chassis, so we couldn't do as many laps as we wanted."

"On the tyres development side, things are promising. I have to say that Bridgestone made serious progress since they started in MotoGP, when I was a test rider for them. However, this test wasn't too successful for Bridgestone, as the data they had was no longer relevant due to the new surface. The track isn't as bumpy as it was in the past, but there isn't much grip at the moment," stressed Aoki.

This test also gave the opportunity to see the new Ducati Bridgestone Tyre Test Team in action for the first time on European soil. As denoted by its name, the squad was set-up jointly by the Italian brand and the Japanese tyre manufacturer to focus on tyres. The structure relies on Shinichi Itoh, a former HRC rider who also teamed up with Aoki in 2001 when Bridgestone started their MotoGP project.

At Catalunya, Itoh was one of the riders who clocked the most laps with 199; more than 940 km. Ducati also fielded a second test rider, Vittoriano Guareschi, who has been taking part in the Desmosedici development since 2002 and the early days of Ducati's MotoGP effort. The Italian was validating new technical solutions, which are then submitted to the Ducati Marlboro riders later on, as seen with the new engine braking system of the GP5.

Japanese Kazuki Shimizu, a Kawasaki stalwart in the All Japan Championship, joined the MotoGP effort of the Akashi-based company in order to help the development of the new ‘big bang' engine.

"I have been testing and learning the track at the same time," explained Shimizu. "This is a high-speed circuit, but I'm enjoying my first visit to Barcelona. My job is to support Shinya's engine test programme, to collect as much data as possible, and to ride fast without crashing!"

The test riders will resume their duties this week at Jerez, joining the rest of the MotoGP field for the final pre-season session.

MotoGP, 2005

Other updates you may be interested in ›