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Feb 04, 2014 - 04:37 PM
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MotoGP Test Sepang Day 1
Posted by: newsla on Feb 04, 2014 - 04:32 PM
MotoGP
MotoGP Test Sepang Day 1


Honda’s Marquez fastest on day one at Sepang, Pedrosa third

MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) started 2014 as he finished last season – at the front of the pack on the first day of preseason testing at Sepang, Malaysia. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) also made a fast start, with third quickest time of the day.

 

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It was a busy day at Sepang, with 26 riders testing their 2014 machinery, including the four men who will race Honda’s all-new RCV1000R production racer.

Marquez was in typically impressive form. His best lap was more than a second inside his own lap record, established at last October’s Malaysian GP, and less than three tenths outside his own pole position record, also from last October. The Spaniard set his fastest time towards the end of the day, when track temperatures had dropped slightly. After starting out with his 2013 machine he switched to his 2014 RC213V, which is a logical development of last year’s bike that won the riders’, constructors’ and teams’ world titles. The only easily visible difference between the two machines is a larger air scoop in the fairing nose, designed to improve top speed and offer better throttle response on corner exits.

It was on this bike that Marquez went fastest, after some careful set-up work on engine mapping, the clutch and Bridgestone’s new rear slick. His closest opponent was seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who was 0.518 seconds down.

Pedrosa also worked hard, completing more laps than anyone else. He too got on well with the 2014 RC213V, focusing his efforts on fine-tuning the rear shock and rear brake, the clutch and engine mapping. The former 125 and 250 World Champion moved ahead of former MotoGP champ Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) during the final stages of the day. His best lap was half a second faster than his best lap in last October’s Malaysian Grand Prix and only two tenths off his best qualifying lap at that event.

Honda satellite rider Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) ended the day full of confidence after going fifth fastest, less than a second off Marquez’s pace. The Spaniard quickly found a good rhythm and got to grips with his 2014 machine.

Sixth was fellow Honda satellite rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V), making it four RC213Vs in the top six, suggesting that the Honda Racing Corporation’s winter of toil will pay dividends in 2014. Like his fellow RC213V riders, Bautista got back into the groove on his 2013 machine, then switched to his new bike, enabling him to make direct comparisons.

Today was a historic day for Honda, with the company commencing its 2014 testing programme with the new RCV1000R, a limited-edition production machine designed to give non-factory riders a better chance of competing closer to the front of the MotoGP pack. Following some promising test outings last year with former World Champion Casey Stoner on board, the RCV1000R was fully in the hands of its four 2014 riders for the first time today.

Team-mates Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) were the best-placed RCV1000R riders in 17th and 18th positions. Hayden – who won the 2006 MotoGP title on a Honda RC211V – and former 250 World Champion Aoyama are happy with progress so far, though they know they have some work to do to get this brand-new machine working at peak performance for the season-opening Grand Prix in Qatar on March 23.

Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) is Honda’s only MotoGP rookie this year, graduating from the Moto2 class. The youngster is still hurting from a wrist injury suffered at the end of last season but was delighted with his first full day on the RCV1000R. Tomorrow the Briton will focus on electronics set-up and braking performance.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Honda RCV1000R) was 26th quickest, struggling with the shoulder injury that forced him to make an early end to his 2013 season.

Day two of this three-day test will commence tomorrow at 10am local time.

Honda rider quotes

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 1st, 2m 00.286s
“I’m happy with how this first day went and to have achieved my goal of regaining my feeling on the bike. Of course, at the start I was a little stiff, but gradually I was able to pick up the pace. Today I tested the new rear tyre from Bridgestone and it felt similar to last year. Tomorrow we will continue with our plan: testing out the set-up and beginning to draw conclusions from our findings. We put in a lot of laps today and I’m sure that tomorrow I will feel it; even though we train in the gym over the winter, here you work your muscles in a different way.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 3rd, 2m 00.906s
“It was a very long, hard day. We put in a lot of laps and despite us being fresh as it’s the first day, I’m sure that tomorrow I’ll be feeling it! It was fun, as I had not been on the bike for a long time and was curious to see how I would feel after my operation last year. In general things went well and we focused on trying out rear brakes, clutch and engine mapping. Tomorrow we will work on the chassis and the new tyres. The bike seems very similar to last year’s model; we still need more time to work on things, but it appears as if there are no huge differences required in terms of riding style.”

Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 5th, 2m 01.240s
“It’s been a very positive first day of testing! It was nice to be back on a MotoGP bike after nearly three months of winter break. In the first laps I had to regain confidence with the bike, re-activate the mechanisms and find the right references, but to be honest it took me not too long, because I immediately found myself at ease with the new RC213V. Today I focused basically on regaining the right rhythm, without working on bike set-up. Tomorrow we will begin to work on the suspension together with Showa, who have brought some new parts, and also on the Nissin brakes, testing different kind of brakes to improve the braking. Speaking about the new RC213V, I loved it: I think the package of chassis, engine and suspension is already very good, an excellent base on which to work ahead of the first race.”

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda): 6th, 2m 01.320s
“I always feel very excited to jump back on my bike after the winter break. The result of this first day is quite positive: I like the 2014 machine and we gained a lot of data to adjust the bike and to come up with the speed. The sixth place is not impressive but we focused in every single aspect of this new bike to improve in some areas like traction control and braking stability. We have found the base set-up and now we start to fine-tune the bike to get a better pace.”

Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda): 17th, 2m 03.319s
“We’d like to be quicker and closer to the front but it’s early days yet. The guys are working hard and we have improved the electronics a lot since Valencia – we’ve smoothed out a few flat spots which has helped a lot, but we still need to improve the acceleration – that’s our focus. Tomorrow we’ve also got some stuff to try on the chassis.”

Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 21st, 2m 04.431
“This first day of testing was good, I was really happy to ride again at full strength, without physical problems, although it was hard for me to ride all day because of the weather conditions. The bike was working well, I like riding it, but we need to improve on the electronic and braking. Tomorrow we will focus on chassis set-up, in order to make the bike turn better.”

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Honda RCV1000R): 26th, 2m 06.755s
“It is simple: the shoulder still remains a problem. I’m very disappointed, because during working out and even in motocross training it was fine, but now the injury reappears. Honestly, it hurts like hell, especially in extreme positions and under strain. Those 40 laps that I made were on limit that I could manage. So I go back to the Clinica Mobile and pray that it will get better during the night. I cannot do more now. But it is clear I will end up at doctors after this testing session. It’s a shame because the new Honda RCV1000R bike is perfect and we could do a lot of work today. I’m disappointed.”

Results Sepang Test day 1:
Pos / No. / Name / Nat / Team / Make / Best Tm / Lap / Laps / Diff / Gap
1 / 93 / Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 2:00.286 / 52 / 62 / /
2 / 46 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Yamaha Factory Racing / YAMAHA / 2:00.804 / 58 / 61 / 0.518 / 0.518
3 / 26 / Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 2:00.906 / 73 / 75 / 0.620 / 0.102
4 / 99 / Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Yamaha Factory Racing / YAMAHA / 2:01.082 / 26 / 47 / 0.796 / 0.176
5 / 19 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / GO&FUN Honda Gresini / HONDA / 2:01.240 / 48 / 52 / 0.954 / 0.158
6 / 6 / Stefan BRADL / GER / LCR Honda MotoGP / HONDA / 2:01.320 / 31 / 61 / 1.034 / 0.080
7 / 41 / Aleix ESPARGARO / SPA / NGM Mobile Forward Racing / FTR YAMAHA / 2:01.419 / 19 / 26 / 1.133 / 0.099
8 / 29 / Andrea IANNONE / ITA / Pramac Racing / DUCATI / 2:01.538 / 38 / 44 / 1.252 / 0.119
9 / 44 / Pol ESPARGARO / SPA / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 2:01.634 / 42 / 48 / 1.348 / 0.096
10 / 38 / Bradley SMITH / GBR / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 2:01.876 / 54 / 55 / 1.590 / 0.242
11 / 5 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / NGM Mobile Forward Racing / FTR YAMAHA / 2:02.483 / 25 / 26 / 2.197 / 0.607
12 / 4 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / DUCATI / 2:02.497 / 21 / 27 / 2.211 / 0.014
13 / 51 / Michele PIRRO / ITA / Ducati Test Team / DUCATI / 2:02.552 / 47 / 48 / 2.266 / 0.055
14 / 35 / Cal CRUTCHLOW / GBR / Ducati Team / DUCATI / 2:02.860 / 16 / 38 / 2.574 / 0.308
15 / 68 / Yonny HERNANDEZ / COL / Energy T.I. Pramac Racing / DUCATI / 2:02.891 / 28 / 49 / 2.605 / 0.031
16 / T1 / Katsuyuki NAKASUGA / JPN / Yamaha Factory Test Team / YAMAHA / 2:03.126 / 14 / 35 / 2.840 / 0.235
17 / 69 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Drive M7 Aspar / HONDA / 2:03.319 / 53 / 56 / 3.033 / 0.193
18 / 7 / Hiroshi AOYAMA / JPN / Drive M7 Aspar / HONDA / 2:03.328 / 49 / 51 / 3.042 / 0.009
19 / 14 / Randy DE PUNIET / FRA / Suzuki Test Team / SUZUKI / 2:03.893 / 47 / 75 / 3.607 / 0.565
20 / 72 / Kosuke AKIYOSHI / JPN / HRC Test Team / HONDA / 2:04.267 / 27 / 64 / 3.981 / 0.374
21 / 45 / Scott REDDING / GBR / GO&FUN Honda Gresini / HONDA / 2:04.431 / 41 / 48 / 4.145 / 0.164
22 / 8 / Hector BARBERA / SPA / Avintia Racing / AVINTIA / 2:04.922 / 34 / 44 / 4.636 / 0.491
23 / 63 / Mike DI MEGLIO / FRA / Avintia Racing / AVINTIA / 2:05.825 / 50 / 51 / 5.539 / 0.903
24 / 23 / Broc PARKES / AUS / Paul Bird Motorport / PBM / 2:05.889 / 32 / 40 / 5.603 / 0.064
25 / 70 / Michael LAVERTY / GBR / Paul Bird Motorsport / PBM / 2:06.070 / 14 / 14 / 5.784 / 0.181
26 / 17 / Karel ABRAHAM / CZE / Cardion AB Motoracing / HONDA / 2:06.755 / 21 / 41 / 6.469 / 0.685


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