New to motogp.com?Register here
MotoGP™ and WorldSBK’s final test day at the Circuito de Jerez was affected by heavy rain on Friday, with laptimes remaining 10-12 seconds down on the best posted throughout other days this week. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, testing in place of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, was the fastest man on Friday with a 1:51.651 – 1.9 seconds faster than the rider in second and completing 28 laps. Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) were constants at the top of the timesheets on Wednesday and Thursday in dry conditions before concluding their test program for the year, with Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) quickest on Thursday ahead of the winter test break - and putting in the fastest overall MotoGP™ lap of the test.
Highlights: Ducatis lead the way in Jerez
Takuya Tsuda was P2, testing for Suzuki on the final day of 2017 preparation before the first test of the new year in Sepang, putting in 49 laps as again one of those to circulate most as the Japanese rider worked through a long plan of track activity.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test rider Mika Kallio did 41 laps gathering more data for the Austrian factory ahead of their full-time debut in 2017, ending the day third fastest with a 1:53.814. Bradley Smith was also on duty with the team, earlier in the week.
Smith: "Overall performance isn't important right now"
Bradley Smith: “One thing we’ve been trying to do here is improve the front end. So I concentrated on getting the bike to turn, and Jerez is a brilliant track to be able to do that. I’m really happy. What we’ve been doing has all been good work, and we need to give the engineers as much information as we can so they can start developing what we’re going to bring to Sepang. Overall performance isn’t important for us right now – it’s about getting the bike comfortable and giving the engineers the right direction for the future.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, testing for HRC, was the only other MotoGP™ machine on track, putting in 34 laps on Friday with a best of 1:54.326 - with Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller the other on duty for the Japanese factory.
Miller: "Really positive with the direction they're taking"
Jack Miller: “I’m happy with the chassis I rode in Valencia for the test, we just need to keep going. It was an improvement and I’m really enjoying riding that bike. We’ve been working on the new engine the whole test. We’ve got a lot of work to do with it but I’m really positive with the direction they’re taking with the new engine. I’m looking forward to what they’re going to bring to Sepang after all the development in the off season.”
From MotoGP™, those present throughout the test included Bautista and teammate Karel Abraham, Barbera and teammate Loris Baz, Pirro, Miller, Andrea Iannone riding the Team Suzuki Ecstar machine and Octo Pramac Yakhnich pairing Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 did not attend the Jerez test, instead electing to test privately at Sepang International Circuit, and Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez also sat Jerez out. Honda tested instead with Miller and Aoyama.
Espargaro: "Overall I'm very satisfied with the bike"
Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes were also present for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini as they settle into their new paddock home, with Espargaro completing a longer program of work after Lowes suffered a crash in the Valencia test; the Brit managing 20 laps on the second day in Jerez.
Next up is the first test of the new year at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia at the end of January. During the winter test ban there will still be plenty of racing, however – with events including the Monza Rally Show and Superprestigio, in Barcelona, whetting appetites as 2017 draws closer.