Final 2016 MotoGP Test
The third and final 2016 MotoGP test begins Wednesday, March 2, at Losail International Circuit in Qatar – the same track that will host the season opener March 20 under the floodlights.
This is the third official test of 2016 MotoGP, which also included one at Sepang and Phillip Island. The biggest challenge for riders in the opening MotoGP tests were the adaptation of the new Michelin-spec tires and the new rules on electronics. The results of the opening tests were surprising, including Team Ecstar Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales leading the way in Australia.
During the Sepang test in early February, Michelin chose the profile of the tires, and this profile was finalized in Phillip Island. During this week’s Qatar test, all riders will be supplied with these finalized tires that feature a compound for the Losail Circuit. MotoGP says the new Michelin profile has “improved edge grip and have already shown great speed and potential in testing.”
Besides tires, the electronics will be the center of focus as not one rider completed a race emulation run with the new Magneti Marelli ECU and software. MotoGP says the new electronics will require much more work from the riders, especially towards the end of a race.
MotoGP says “Both Lorenzo and Rossi felt that MotoGP races will not only be much closer with the new rules, but also more physical and require more finesse from a rider’s wrist.”
In the Suzuki pits this week, Vinales and teammate Aleix Espargaro will continue testing the new GSX-RR’s seamless transmission, which the team was happy with in Australia.
The Repsol Honda team of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, a two-time MotoGP Champion, will continue tweaking the RC213V’s engine that was tested in Phillip Island. This engine’s acceleration is not as harsh as the one that caused problems throughout 2015 MotoGP. Both factory riders also will continue to work on frame developments.
Besides tweaking engine settings on their respective YZR-M1s, three-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi will also choose what frames they will run in 2016 MotoGP.
In the Ducati paddock, both factory riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso will ride the new 2016 Desmosedici GP (GP16) prototypes. Pramac Ducati rider Scott Redding will rider last year’s GP15 prototypes; as for his teammate, Danilo Petrucci broke three fingers during the Phillip Island test, and will sit out the Qatar MotoGP test.
MotoGP says Ducati is pleased with the tires, engine and the setting of the electronics and will focus on fully understanding the chassis on the 2016 bikes. Alongside frame assessment, the Bologna factory will also continue working on their fully seamless gearbox, now with a seamless shift from fifth to sixth.
Testing begins at 4 p.m. local time Wednesday, the riders heading out in the late afternoon to avoid the heat.
For more, visit: