Jerez Test reviewed: The riders’ reaction

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

It was a productive day of work for the premier class at the Official Test at Jerez, and here you can digest the feedback from the riders who registered the best times in the session.

The Official MotoGP Test at Jerez on Monday concluded a busy weekend for the premier class as the riders and teams went straight to work following an engrossing Gran Premio bwin de España on Sunday. Using the valuable day-long track time to undertake various workloads, the importance of progress was high with the next day of Testing not taking place until August 16th at Brno.

The fastest rider of the day was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who despite a minor fall was extremely satisfied with what he achieved on his factory RC212V. The Spaniard said: “This was a useful day of testing and we spent some time working in detail on suspension adjustments, some of the things we didn’t have the time to test in the pre-season because we were focusing on other issues.”

He continued: “We also tried a modified spec engine and collected some information for the development engineers, but it’s too early to say whether it’s a step forward yet because we only had two runs out of the pits with it. The crash was a little strange and I wasn’t expecting it, but the important thing is that I’m not hurt and I can look forward to Le Mans which is a circuit I’ve raced well at before.”

Pedrosa’s best time of 1’39.425 placed him 0.055s seconds ahead of Valentino Rossi, who was also the victim of a non-serious fall. The Italian was largely satisfied with what he and his Fiat Yamaha team achieved at the Andalusian circuit, and is anticipating a return to 100% fitness ahead of round three, the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France on May 23rd.

"We improved our race setting a bit and found better stability and grip, so we arrived at the right place finally, even if we were too late for the race! We tried a new front tyre for Bridgestone, which was good and also a slightly different engine from Japan, trying to improve the acceleration,” said Rossi. “The difference was small but important, although we don't know yet when we will be able to use it in a race. My lap times were fast and apart from the small crash, when I just put a bit too much lean on and lost the front, it was a good day. Now we have a long rest and I want to fully recover so I'm back to full strength in Le Mans."

Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo tested similar aspects on his M1 and also focused on starts, and left the track pleased with what he had achieved. He commented: "It was an interesting day. Most of all we worked on our starts; I think I did something like 25. I do find it quite difficult because the clutch and acceleration aren't always the best parts of our package, but today was good to understand how we can improve. We also tried some new electronics, including traction control, and chassis parts, as well as trying a slightly different engine. The difference wasn't big but I did notice it, so I think this is the right way. Tomorrow is my birthday and I am looking forward to finally celebrating my win!"

Also inside the top four times was LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet, who was the highest placed private team rider in the Test. The Frenchman stated: “I am happy about the further improvements we made today with the chassis and suspension adjustments we have developed. After two races we had a few things to fix but we did not have the time to do it during the race weekends. We have been working on starts because my race result was affected mainly by my bad start. We have ended this first Test with promising progress.”

Another Honda, the factory machine of Andrea Dovizioso, also registered consistent lap times and left the Italian more than happy with the new parts he tried out. “Our machine lacks a bit of stability so it’s not easy to be consistent but I’m really happy with the new parts Honda has brought here,” he said. “We tried the new chassis and swingarm which have improved the last part of the braking area and corner entry. The new specification engine has improved the acceleration slightly and we’ll look at the data and decide if we’ll use it in the upcoming races.”

Ducati Marlboro riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were closely matched in terms of times (just over a tenth separating the pair), and each rider was encouraged by what they achieved on their respective Desmosedici GP10 prototypes.

Stoner stated: “Today was quite productive because we found a race set-up for this track that was better than yesterday, with improved front feeling which is what we had been looking for all weekend. We went for quite a radical change and it did the trick but we'll have to wait and see if it works at other circuits because this place tends to put more pressure on front tyres than a lot of places and it requires a particular approach. We go to Le Mans with a lot of useful data and hopefully it can help us there too.”

Team-mate Hayden was also positive. “It has been a useful day even though we haven't found anything spectacular,” reviewed the American. “That's to be expected because we have taken huge steps forward to get to this point and it's always going to be trickier to find those last couple of tenths. We changed some things with the geometry, suspension settings and a few general areas that we hadn't had time to try over the weekend. We got a lot of data which will be useful because we don't have another chance to test until after Brno."

You can view the results of the Test by clicking here.

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