The traditional post-season MotoGP test wrapped up Wednesday at Valencia Ricardo Tormo circuit, the grid getting a feel for the new spec-Michelin tires and some new 2016 setups.When the two-day test finished, every rider posted quicker times by the end of day two. Leading the times was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who posted a 1:31.060 around the Spanish circuit.
Marquez posted the time aboard his 2016 Repsol Honda RC213V. Despite two crashes throughout the Valencia MotoGP Post-Season Test, Marquez lapped under the 2015 MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo’s lap record set during qualifying on Saturday (1:31.111).Marc Marquez says: ”The times and the standings at this test are not important, because we have seen that there is plenty of room for improvement. I think we all have a lot of work ahead of us with the new electronics, because it is very different to what we had before. Today we spent the whole day analyzing the new Magneti Marelli software.“The area we must improve the most is exiting corners, rather than engine braking and the anti-wheelie which I didn’t feel was much different – although we are still using a very basic setup. We are trying out many things and the problem is that it is a very slow process to find a good base. After each five-lap stint, you spend a lot of time in the garage waiting to go back out. We also tried the new engine, although there are still many things to setup and we have to first focus on the electronics before studying that properly.”Finishing just 0.103 of a second behind Marquez was the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR piloted by Maverick Vinales. The 2015 MotoGP Rookie of the Year put in 57 laps to finish second. And the news only gets better; this was on the 2015 prototype; Suzuki will debut its 2016 GSX-RR with a seamless-shift transmission during the February Sepang testing.Claiming third just 0.017 of a second behind Vinales was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who finished ahead of the other GSX-RR piloted by Aleix Espagaro (-0.152 of a second).Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Lorenzo, who claimed his third MotoGP title Sunday at Valencia MotoGP by a mere five points ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi, finished fifth fastest, 0.222 of a second behind Marquez. He put in 48 laps Wednesday, and posted his quickest time on the penultimate lap.The top satellite rider was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who trailed Marquez by 0.434 seconds. He finished 0.004 of a second ahead of nine-time World Champion Rossi, who crashed at turn one on Wednesday.Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro aslo crashed (Turn 12), but finished the day in eight ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone and the other Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pilot Bradley Smith.The Avintia Racing duo of Loris Baz and Hector Barbera finished in 12th and 14th respectively on their GP14.2’s, with Scott Redding on the Octo Pramac Racing GP15 Ducati sandwiched between them in 13th. All three were quicker than the Factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in 15th, with the Italian completing 62 laps on Wednesday, MotoGP reports.Australian Jack Miller, who has switched to the Marc VDS Racing team for 2016, was 16th fastest, just ahead of Irishman Eugene Laverty on the Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati GP14.2 in 17th, MotoGP reports.Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who is the only new face in the MotoGP field for 2016, finished in 18th on the combined timesheets as he made his debut in the class after making the step up from Moto2. His new teammate Yonny Hernandez ended the test in 20th overall, sandwiched in-between the two Aprilia Racing Team Gresini bikes of Stefan Bradl (19th) and Alvaro Bautista (21st), MotoGP reports.
Over the course of the two-day test there were a number of front-end crashes for riders as they adjusted to the new demands of the Michelin tires and spec ECU systems, but no one was injured. The riders and teams will be back on track together at the next test in Sepang on the 1st February 2016.
2015 Valencia MotoGP Post-Season Test Results, Day 2:
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!