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Putting in the miles

Putting in the miles

While a fast lap during testing may grab a lot of headlines, the off-season period is truly about gathering information.

Technicians and engineers can run near countless simulations and tests inside the factory, but the only true test of a pure racing machine such as a MotoGP™ prototype is on track with a Grand Prix racer on board. More laps means more data, more feedback from the rider and more information. With technical changes in 2016 such as the 22 litre fuel limit for all, a spec ECU and electronics package and new Michelin tyres, gathering data was more important than ever during the off-season.

Three tests at three different tracks offered riders and teams a wide variety of circuits to test on. With 449 laps completed across the three tests, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) put in the most laps of any rider, three more than Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS). Both riders had a lot to do during testing, Marquez was focused on attempting to resolve the RC213V’s issues, trying a variety of settings and parts in the process. There are no signs that Marquez is letting the difficulties of 2015 deter him as he does as much as possible to help Honda return to the front. Meanwhile Rabat, who already had a reputation for putting in lap after lap, had the task of learning a MotoGP™ bike and made the most of all the track time available.

Completing the hard working podium was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who proved that even as the oldest rider on the grid he still has the fitness and work ethic to rival any new up and comers. ‘The Doctor’ completed a total of 445 laps, his most coming during the second day of testing in Phillip Island where he completed 71 in a day.

The second day of testing in Phillip Island saw 1293 laps completed by the 21 riders present, the most of any single day of the off-season. Andrea Dovizioso completed 88 laps that day, the most laps in a single day by any rider over the three tests.

As a whole the Sepang Test saw the most laps completed across three days, 2716, as riders and teams were reunited for the first time after the long winter. Sepang was a critical test for understanding how the Michelin tyres and Magneti Marelli electronics would alter bikes, many factories also trying out new parts for the first time at the Malaysian track. During the Sepang Test Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completed 179 laps across the three days, the most of any riders over a single test.

Having missed the Sepang Test and being hindered by his injury in Qatar, Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) completed 198 laps with 101 of them set around Phillip Island.

Both Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders may have only had two tests, but the pairing of Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista put in the hard work when present at the track. Bautista’s 236 laps saw him average 118 laps per test while Bradl’s 231 had the German averaging 115.5 laps. Had the pair been able to maintain their averages they were at Phillip Island, they would have completed a similar number of laps to Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). With an all-new RS-GP for 2016, both Aprilia riders will need to keep their work ethic throughout the 2016 season to help the Noale based factory improve the bike.

Full lap times from the Sepang Test can be viewed here.

Full lap times from the Phillip Island Test can be viewed here.

Full lap times from the Qatar Test can be viewed here.

 

TOTAL LAPS

Marc Marquez

449

Tito Rabat

446

Valentino Rossi

445

Bradley Smith

440

Scott Redding

436

Cal Crutchlow

411

Andrea Iannone

410

Maverick Viñales

407

Andrea Dovizioso

407

Jorge Lorenzo

385

Pol Espargaro

360

Yonny Hernandez

337

Dani Pedrosa

329

Loris Baz

329

Hector Barbera

325

Aleix Espargaro

317

Eugene Laverty

285

Danilo Petrucci

239

Alvaro Bautista

236

Stefan Bradl

231

Jack Miller

198

Tags:
MotoGP, 2016

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