MotoGP: Final Test Recap – Jerez
So, that’s it; the Moto GP final test has been completed and that can only mean one thing guys… The MotoGP season of 2013 is two weeks off commencing! The boys will be back on our screens, the drama back in our lives and the dates firmly back in our calendars.
The test only allowed an afternoon session due to the track to wet weather, the afternoon seemed to dry up and leave a dry line which enabled the bikes to do some work. Lorenzo was the leader of the charts on day 1 followed by Repsol Hondas Dani Pedrosa, and chasing Dani’s tail in 3rd was our rookie Marc Marquez.
Lorenzo managed to do 39 laps on day one producing new & useable data for his M1, the track was wet most of the day but Lorenzo wanted to get a feel for the bike in wet conditions and see how competitive it could be. Day 1 proved to be very valuable for the Yamaha team.
Over in the Honda garage the guys were having the same idea and utilising the bad weather to run test on the RC213V. Though Dani’s team managed to get much data on the wet track, they still eagerly awaited the dry to test out some previous data changes. Marc Marquez shadowed the test and movement of Dani’s team, gaining data and improving what seemed to be the traction control.
Day 2 proved to be a lot dryer and most riders managed a 30 lap test just before more rains came towards the end of the session. It was Valentino Rossi who topped the charts today and though this is good, it also means that maybe the Yamaha isn’t as great in wet conditions. Yesterday Valentino pulled a 1:49:443 and was in 6th Position, today finished with a 1:39:525 and in 1st… So this suggests to me, they may still have a bit of work to do this season, especially to be able to keep up to Jorge in the wet!
Jorge mainly had a good run today but he suffered problems with his stability and lack of grip on the corners. With this said, his pace was consistent and wasn’t far off Rossi with a 1:39:540
British rider Cal Crutchlow came in 3rd, and Dani came in 4th after a day of testing the shock and electronics. Good news for Ducati, Dovizioso is inching forward and came in 5th, his team mate Nicky Hayden came in just about 2 seconds later with 10th position. The main concern on the Ducati is the weight distribution and corner handling, the team is working hard on both problems and the pre-season tests have proved to make a difference, cutting off a 7th off means that slowly and surely, the Ducati is creeping forwards
Today was a good day! Yes, we did it! Our very own British Cal Crutchlow managed to pull the fastest time on the last day of the test held in Jerez. On the latter part of the session Cal managed to pull two tenths of a second ahead of Valentino! And I was so pleased, this means that yet again this year, Cal will be a great competitor and with the hard work the team have done, the Tech 3 Yamaha is faster and more competitive than ever! Cal managed to keep constancy throughout the day but made comments on the lack of time they had on dry track and felt he could have been faster in better conditions!
Rossi ranked 2nd in the timings and did a total of 30 laps today, the team were mainly testing his new chassis, they set it through its paces on both new and old tyres, along with wet and dry conditions, and the feeling seemed to be good, no complaints from Valentino which is great news for the last day of testing.
In 3rd was Stephan Bradl, following on from a day of good times yesterday, he managed to improve his time from 1:40:783 to 1:391’39.975, with Bradl taking the 3rd position in the timings meant Lorenzo was now down to 4th with a time of 1’40, a less faster time than yesterday’s 1:39:540.
On Lorenzo’s tail was rookie Marc Marquez. Marc was on track testing in wet condition by 10.30am, Marc had issues with the slicks on day 1 of testing, so changed data needed to be tested and this provided the perfect conditions. As the day went on the track got cold which meant less grip but they had a good final hour and it seems that Marc is feeling more confident after making some improvements.
Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone ended the session in sixth, Nicky Hayden came in 7th with a 1’40.370, an improvement on yesterday’s time of 1.41.325. Nicky’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso was eighth-fastest with a time of 1:40:516 and behind the Ducati boys we has Randy De Puniet on the leading CRT bike, managing a time of 1:40:971
So there we have it, the main players to watch for in the first round of Moto GP 2013. The first race will take place Sunday the 7th April at the famous Losail circuit of Qatar were we will see a series of practice sessions and qualifying before the day itself. New rules apply this year and the qualifying will be a little different. We will have Q1 which will see the riders of 11th place and below go out, and Q2 which will have the fastest boys go out on track. The practice sessions will consist of 45 minutes each and of course, will determine what set of QP they will go out in.
Until then guys, try hold your excitement, keep counting down those days, I know it’s been a long winter but its nearly here!
Ciao for now
By Tracey Ann Daniels - MotoGP correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing In the pictures: Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso Pictures from the web