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Dovizioso tops the timesheets in MotoGP™ test at Catalunya

Dovizioso tops the timesheets in MotoGP™ test at Catalunya

Following an action-packed race weekend at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, it was Andrea Dovizioso who topped the timesheets at the first in-season MotoGP™ test at the Catalan circuit on Monday, ahead of Ben Spies and Héctor Barberá.

After heavy downpours on Sunday night, the track proved too wet for the majority of teams early on, with only a few riders heading out for a sighting lap to test the conditions. However, as the sun came out and the track dried, riders started to filter out for the day. It was misery early on for Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, as the pair crashed out on their opening laps on a damp-patch on the track. While Abraham was unhurt, Crutchlow walked away from the crash slightly bruised, yet able to re-join later in the day.

There was no set theme for the day, as most teams worked on different areas to improve either their immediate, or future pace. The Ducati Team, which has been the most vocal about the need for testing predominantly worked with a new swingarm and the coinciding bike set-up. Nicky Hayden finished the test in tenth, while Valentino Rossi was behind him in 11th.

The Repsol Honda Team’s sole goal was to test the new specification Bridgestone front tyre, as they sought to tune their bike’s settings for Silverstone, after which the new compound will be available as a full allocation. Both Stoner and Pedrosa went quickest in the morning session, though were relegated down the order in the afternoon with Pedrosa fifth and Stoner sixth.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo, yesterday’s race winner, was targeted with establishing whether Yamaha’s future developments should focus more on traction or an increase in power. Ben Spies on the other hand was evaluating different engine specs, frame variations and some electronics settings. Lorenzo ended the day in eighth, while Spies put a positive note on his season finishing second.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s aim for the day was to also test a new-spec engine and its corresponding electronics. Despite Crutchlow’s early morning detour into the gravel, the team had a positive day as Andrea Dovizioso, who recorded his first Yamaha podium on Sunday, set the fastest time of the day with a 1.41’997. A slightly bruised Crutchlow grit his teeth to post the seventh quickest time.

San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista, who was working on new suspension settings, looked on form all day, and was rewarded with a fourth place on the final timesheet. Michele Pirro, on board the team’s CRT machine in the shape of an FTR-Honda, continued to search for the best settings on the still relatively new bike. He finished the day in 16th.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl used the morning session to work on front end feel, while in the afternoon the team worked on improving traction coming out of corners, focussing on both the suspension and the electronics. The German rookie set the ninth fastest time overall, and will no doubt be looking to improve further at the next text.

Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, whose team were keen to try some new set-up ideas, recovered from his morning disappointment, yet could not finish higher than 12th. Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, like Abraham, solely focussed on his Desmosedici’s set-up, and had a terrific day as he was third fastest of the bunch.

Paul Bird Motorsport were making use of their British Superbike rider Shane Byrne, who took it in turns with official rider James Ellison to work on the team’s ART machine. It was Byrne who rode most of the day, with Ellison only running five laps with a new swingarm. Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini also had no new parts to test for his ART bike, focussing solely on obtaining the best bike settings for the next round at Silverstone, while the Power Electronics Aspar pair of Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró tried out a new swingarm. De Puniet was quickest CRT in 13th in front of Espargaró, whilst Pasini finished in 19th.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing continued their work on dialling in the electronics package and evaluating two different spec engines, with Colin Edwards finishing the day in 15th. Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva worked with both the FTR and part-carbon Inmotec chassis, in the hope that the team can start deciding which one to use in the future. This will however not be decided until at least after the mid-week test in Aragón. Yonny Hernandez continued his work on reducing chatter on the FTR chassis.

The next official MotoGP test will be held in Aragón on Wednesday 6th June.


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