MotoGP Test Quotes
The MotoGP grid was on the track Tuesday for the first time of 2011, testing their prototype motorcycles at Sepang in Malaysia.
The fastest rider during the first of the three-day test was Respol Honda MotoGP rider Casey Stoner. The Australian was the only MotoGP rider to post a time below the 2:02 mark.
The second fastest rider was MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo on the factory Yamaha M1, with third fastest going to Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Following Pedrosa were another Honda and Yamaha, making for only two manufacturers in the top five: San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Marco Simoncelli and Lorenzo’s MotoGP teammate, Ben Spies.
As for Valentino Rossi, he piloted his Ducati GP 11 to a 12th fastest time on Tuesday; the Italian experimented with different riding positions to find a comfort level for his recovering shoulder.
Following is what the riders were saying after the first official MotoGP test at Sepang on Tuesday:
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team GP11 MotoGP) says: "Rarely have I been this happy with a twelfth place, because after the test at Misano, we were pretty pessimistic considering how bad I felt there. It went better here though, especially in the morning, and we were able to do 20, 25 laps at a decent speed.
"Although we still have a lot of work to do, but we did a lot today: we worked on the riding position, and we’re starting to understand, among the many details that we can adjust on this bike, what the best solutions are.
"The Ducati’s DNA doesn’t need to be changed; we have to take advantage of the positive aspects and improve the others. Unfortunately, it became more difficult when I lost a lot of strength in the afternoon, but in the end I was able to do about fifteen more laps. Let’s say that at the moment, I have quite a bit of pain and not much strength, whereas the opposite would be preferable!
"The hardest parts are the straights and on hard braking into right corners, like Turn 1 and Turn 4; there alone I lose about a second, whereas the rest of the lap is okay, because compared to Valencia, I’m able to ride much better.
"It will be important to be able to rest well tonight in order to regain some mobility so that I can do 30 or 40 laps tomorrow. I’ll have a relaxing massage and put ice on it."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team GP11 MotoGP) says: "Obviously, being off the pace isn’t how you want to start the first official test, but it’s good to be back out there. We had a lot of little things to try, including a new throttle that I liked a lot. The new anti-wheelie was working well, but this isn’t really a track where you notice that a lot.
"We’ve still got a lot more parts to evaluate before we can draw many conclusions. They did a lot over the winter-not just on the bikes, but they’ve really stepped the game up with new tools and equipment in the garage. Everyone is clearly working hard as usual. It was nice to be back on the track, and to be around the team again."
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "Very positive day. At the beginning it took some time to get used to the bike again, but I soon felt comfortable and we had a good day. We didn’t change the set-up too much compared to the one we had in Valencia and I am pleased to see that even if the circuit is different, it still works pretty well here in Sepang.
"We did some work later on with the engine braking to decrease some chattering and looks like we found a good solution. In the next few days we will start testing something new but, anyway, for me it was a very good way to come back on track after the winter break."
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "I’m pretty happy with how things went today. My priority was to see how I was on the bike after so long without riding and the feeling has been positive.
"Obviously I still have less strength under braking and lack of stability in the shoulder with the direction changes, but the cramps have gone and this is very positive for me. We have time to continue with my physical training and gain the strength that I need for when the season starts. I honestly didn’t expect to do so many laps today.
"I started with the Honda 2010 to get the feeling back and because in the second half of the season our bike was competitive and we wanted to begin improving from there. Then I tried a new swingarm and a new chassis in the last two runs, and my best lap time has been with the new parts, so it’s also positive. The plan for tomorrow is to test the new engine."
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "I’m happy because this year we are starting from a very good base. All Honda riders are very competitive so I’m confident and this is an extra boost for me. Today we tested the new engine, it has more power in the low revs and this helps me with the line.
"We also tested the new chassis and it has some positive and negative points so we need to understand it better. We did a comparison work with the 2010 and 2011 forks, the stability in the front has improved but we must rectify some vibrations in the middle of the corner, together with work on the suspension.
"I’m satisfied with the fact that it was easier to find the rhythm and with hard tyres I could lap consistently on 2.02.5. I lapped at 2 tenths from the first riders when they were using the same tyre. We decided not to use the soft tire in the end because we focused on understanding the new machine."
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha M1 MotoGP) says: "It’s been a good start today, we tried a few things and it seemed for everything we tried it was a little bit better, not big improvements but as I said in Valencia at the test last year, the 2011 bike seems to have less wheelie so we can open the throttle earlier in the corners and in some corners I have better corner speed as well.
"Today was my first ride wearing Alpinestars so there were a lot of things for me to get used to. We pushed a bit more towards the end of the session and got faster, we will continue to make the step tomorrow."
Ben Spies (Yamaha M1 MotoGP) says: "Today was good. The weather forecast wasn’t so great so to get as much time on the bike as we had was good. We set out to not do too many laps to avoid getting tired, it’s easy to overdo it on the first day.
"We did enough to get my head up to speed then relaxed as we have a lot to look at over the next two days for Yamaha and Bridgestone. It’s my first day with the new team and they were fantastic, everybody worked together really well.
"We ended up going faster than we did here last year in the race which shows my confidence in the bike and the team. There’s more to come from the bike and from me too, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow."
Toni Elias (LCR Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "Now I feel more comfortable compared with the first run out in Valencia. We still have a lot of things to improve but actually my position on the bike is good and I could lap with more stability.
"I lapped 30 runs on hard tyre and further 30 laps on softer compound with small improvements lap by lap. We knew that the adaption period to this new bike takes some time but we are positive and we are working hard to find the right chassis regulations to improve the pace."
Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP) says: "Well, it’s been a long time since Valencia and on my first laps I thought Suzuki made a mistake and fitted a 1000cc engine in the bike, it feels so fast after a long break!
"But, after some easy laps, I began to get my rhythm and to ride comfortably. We did some interesting testing, but to be honest the main thing today was just for me to get back to a normal level, and in the end the bike felt nice and we went quite quick, so I’m happy.
"I hope the weather stays dry, we have a big list of stuff to test and I know the guys will be working late tonight to prepare everything for tomorrow – thanks to them and I am looking forward to continuing our work."
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "I am really happy. My difficult first outing at this circuit last year is now a distant memory. I felt good straight away with the new RC212V and I was immediately able to push hard. I was consistent all day and that is very positive.
"We tried a new position for the rear brake lever on one of the two bikes and we will try a new system tomorrow. Obviously the goal is also to keep working on the setting to try and improve the feeling with the 2011 version, although the first impression is that it is fast, powerful and performing well. We couldn’t have started out any better!"
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Gresini Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "It is always difficult to get back on the bike after a two-month break but I have to say that today went well. The bike has shown good power, good acceleration and a character that allows you to be decisive.
"I have already got a good feeling with the guys and that is one of our main objectives for this test. Tomorrow we will continue to work on the set-up and try to improve it again. It has been a positive first day and it has made me optimistic for the season ahead because I want to make up for lost time in 2010, when I missed six races through injury."