Marquez heads test as Hernandez joins Pramac

test misano motogp
Monday, 16 September 2013

Marc Marquez was quickest in Monday’s post-race test at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. As the championship leader moved ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Suzuki continued its programme ahead of a MotoGP™ return and Yonny Hernandez made his first appearance in Ignite Pramac Racing colours.

The full day of testing gave those present a perfect opportunity to put right what had not worked over the San Marino Grand Prix race weekend, as well as trialing new and updated components both for the rest of this season and for 2014. For the record, Marquez’s last-gasp lap of 1’33.264 demoted Lorenzo by two tenths of a second, with Valentino Rossi completing the top three on the second Yamaha Factory Racing bike.

For Repsol Honda Team, the programme revolved around a non-liveried evolution bike of the one first sampled in the Aragon test that followed the Catalan GP in June; this was the first time that particular version of the machine had been ridden, as rain had prevented Casey Stoner from doing so at his last Motegi test. Marquez and Dani Pedrosa also worked with the current bike, focusing on a new swingarm and new rear shocks.

While Yamaha Factory Racing looked into a 2014 configuration engine, Monster Yamaha Tech3 worked on braking improvements for Cal Crutchlow – whose confidence had been knocked over the weekend – and new suspension parts for Bradley Smith, who had struggled with balance and finding the ideal riding position over. They would end proceedings fourth and 11th quickest, respectively.

Suzuki stuck to their usual plan in terms of rider roles, with Randy de Puniet serving as the main tester alongside Nobuatsu Aoki. Ahead of the company’s return to the World Championship in 2015, running at Misano is likely to come as a great help in order to extract data from a new track in a bid to define chassis development to a greater level; the marque continues to test with Mitsubishi ECU software for the time being, but is working with the Magneti Marelli spec system back at base. Individually, Suzuki will continue testing at Misano across Tuesday and Wednesday.

There was a new challenge for Yonny Hernandez, as the Colombian is now riding for Pramac Racing Team to cover for the injured Ben Spies. He used the test as an opportunity to adapt to the bike ahead of the Aragon race, while teammate Andrea Iannone looked into Brembo brake discs and smaller components, experimenting with settings ahead of specific upcoming race events. Brakes was also the prime focus for Ducati Team, with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso then looking into both software development and clutch settings. Michele Pirro was back in Ducati Test Team colours, sharing his bike with Franco Battaini to analyse a 2014-spec engine plus new software, in order to share feedback with engineers who continue to work on the development of next year’s machine.

GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista made the top five, placing the emphasis on Showa front forks and his Nissin brakes, as he and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl sandwiched Pedrosa into sixth position. In Bradl’s case, the workload consisted of mapping and bike geometry, including suspension modifications. At Avintia Blusens, Hector Barbera resumed work with the new pneumatic valve engine, having suffered chatter during Sunday’s race, while teammate Hiroshi Aoyama began the day with his more conventional engine that had failed during Free Practice on Friday.

The timesheet was completed by Michele Magnoni, currently competing in the Superstock 1000 championship. The Italian rode Lukas Pesek’s Came IodaRacing Project machine and could soon become the team’s official reserve rider, while compatriot Claudio Corti was involved in trying out a Magneti Marelli ECU software upgrade at NGM Mobile Forward Racing; this was also run by Michael Laverty, who was otherwise kept highly occupied with back-to-back comparison runs between the PBM in-house bike and the ART machine previously ridden by Hernandez.

Although Marquez shook things up by posting the eventual quickest time with the 2014 prototype Honda right before the chequered flag signaled the end of an eight-hour day, activities had started very calmly as the circuit had been left drenched by a heavy rainstorm during the night.

TAGS San Marino

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