2016 Phillip Island MotoGP Test Day 2
Conditions were much different during the second day of official MotoGP testing at Phillip Island in Australia.
Compared to Wednesday’s rainy MotoGP test session, Thursday’s weather began rainy, but the sun arrived for the afternoon. These conditions allowed some serious testing with Michelin slicks, and each rider was able to quickly get up to speed while down under.
Day two of three was productive for all riders at the 2.76-mile circuit containing 12 corners. The top-10 riders posted under the 1:30 mark, with Team ECSTAR Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales earning the fastest time.
The Spaniard’s best time of 1:29.131 arrived during the end of the session, and was nearly a half-second faster than Vinale’s best time of 2015 Phillip Island MotoGP. When the day ended, Vinales was 0.161 of a second quicker than two-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda RC213V, and 0.226 of a second ahead of the reigning MotoGP Champion, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo.
“Today I felt very good with my GSX-RR, confirming the positive feeling I had already yesterday even though it was in mixed conditions,” Vinales says. “Today we worked well in two ways; the first is the fastest lap, which gave me the first place, and the second is the approach we had with the development, improving little-by-little but consistently in every run, applying little improvements to the machine without any major change.
“This consistency gave me not only the fastest lap but also a very comfortable feeling with the pace. Of course the track was a contribution, let’s say. Here in Phillip Island I feel always confident, I like the track and I can express myself as I want, in any conditions. I’m happy to see that the machine is supporting me in this enjoyment, allowing me to be so competitive, I’m improving a lot in my capability to transfer my feelings to the team and they on their side are doing a great job supporting me and giving me good solutions for what I ask for. It’s a learning process for all of us and today’s result gives us an injection of enthusiasm.”
2016 Phillip Island MotoGP Test Day 2, Recap
Only a few riders tested during the morning stages due to rain: Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, along with Lorenzo and Suzuki Test Team pilot Takuya Tsuda. The two-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo spent the morning on rain tires, as Iannone tested new Michelin intermediate tires.
As the track began to dry, all riders were on slicks, and quickly up to speed. Immediately showing strength at Phillip Island were Vinales, Marquez and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
A rain shower occurred during the afternoon, but the track quickly dried, allowing riders to get back to full speed. Vinales became the first rider under the 1:30 mark as he and teammate Aleix Espargaro tested the GSX-RR’s new fully seamless transmission.
Shortly after Vinales earned the top time of the day, Marquez posted his top time, which occurred on his penultimate lap. Marquez and teammate Repsol Honda continue to test new chassis setups and the 2016 “evo” engine that looks to cure the aggressive nature of the 2015 RC213V’s engine. As for Pedrosa, he finished eighth, 0.786 of a second off the top time.
Lorenzo finished third fastest after completing 80 laps; only Dovizioso and Marc VDS Racing Honda’s Tito Rabat completed more laps. Though he was quick, Lorenzo has yet to complete a full race simulation.
This is vital for the new ECUs from Magneti Marelli. MotoGP reports: “Magneti Marelli are keen for riders to do a full race run, including sighting lap and race start from pit lane, to assess the new electronics over race distance. One of the biggest changes to the ECU in 2016 is a removal of adaptive strategies over race distance; now requiring more input from the rider themselves.”
Rossi finished fourth, 0.273 of a second off the top pace, and was followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow. The Brit was also testing the new “evo” Honda engine, and was 0.540 of a second behind Vinales.
The top Ducati rider was Hector Barbera aboard the Avintia Racing GP14.2; the Spaniard was 0.726 of a second behind Vinales, and finished ahead of Iannone and Pedrosa. Rounding out the top 10 were Octo Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bardely Smith.
Australia’s Casey Stoner – the retired two-time MotoGP Champion who is now an official Ducati test rider – worked with the Ducati riders, but didn’t complete any testing.
The session was only red flagged twice due to seperate incidents at turn 4; Pedrosa was first to crash there, and next was Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez. Both riders walked away unharmed.
The 2016 Phillip Island MotoGP test concludes after Friday’s final session.
2016 Phillip Island MotoGP Test Day 2 Results:
1. Maverick Viñales, ESP, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1’29.131s [Lap 63/64]
2. Marc Marquez, ESP, Repsol Honda Team, 1’29.292s, +0.161s [78/79]
3. Jorge Lorenzo, ESP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’29.357s, +0.226s [65/80]
4. Valentino Rossi, ITA, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’29.404s, +0.273s [52/71]
5. Cal Crutchlow, GBR, LCR Honda, 1’29.671s, +0.540s [57/61]
6. Hector Barbera, ESP, Avintia Racing, 1’29.854s, +0.723s [35/54]
7. Andrea Iannone, ITA, Ducati Team, 1’29.857s, +0.726s [69/76]
8. Dani Pedrosa, ESP, Repsol Honda Team, 1’29.917s, +0.786s [38/55]
9. Scott Redding, GBR, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1’29.941s, +0.810s [59/60]
10. Bradley Smith, GBR, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1’29.992s, +0.861s [75/75]
11. Loris Baz, FRA, Avintia Racing, 1’30.134s, +1.003s [53/54]
12. Andrea Dovizioso, ITA, Ducati Team, 1’30.142s, +1.011s [73/88]
13. Pol Espargaro, ESP, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1’30.154s, +1.023s [63/65]
14. Danilo Petrucci, ITA, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1’30.156s, +1.025s [61/63]
15. Aleix Espargaro, ESP, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1’30.385s, +1.254s [39/53]
16. Yonny Hernandez, COL, Aspar MotoGP Team, 1’30.509s, +1.378s [41/56]
17. Jack Miller, AUS, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’30.514s, +1.383s [57/58]
18. Eugene Laverty, IRL, Aspar MotoGP Team, 1’30.617s, +1.486s [46/52]
19. Tito Rabat, ESP, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’30.650s, +1.519s [81/81]
20. Takuya Tsuda, JPN, Suzuki Test Rider, 1’32.599s, +3.468s [45/48]