JEREZ TEST: KTM Close 2018 MotoGP Year With Productive Test

In contrast to the autumnal conditions and rain that affected the final round of 2018 MotoGP and stretched into the first testing days of 2019 work, the second MotoGP IRTA session at the Circuito de Jerez was blessed with sunshine and an important opportunity to progress with tasks for next year.

Pol Espargaro ploughed through two days of trial and experimentation with new engine internals, chassis modifications and yet more feedback with a fresh electronics package. Despite the list of changes and components the Spaniard looked for key upgrades to the 2019 KTM RC16 package before the testing MotoGP ‘blackout’ comes into force through December and January.

Johann Zarco clocked just his third and fourth days on the new #5 race bike. The French star was satisfied with a discovery for his base set-up on Wednesday that allowed more comfort and speed with corner entry. On Thursday he established a comfortable and consistent pace and on finalising a direction for his RC16 with a view towards the next tests early in 2019.

Jerez was another crucial opportunity for the Tech 3 squad to adapt to the KTM machinery, and for Hafizh Syahrin to delve deeper into his first full MotoGP off-season of work while Miguel Oliveira continued his adaption to the KTM RC16 in what will be a measured term as a rookie in the premier class.

Pol Espargaro: “It has been a busy, busy test and we tried the bike from bottom to top. Yesterday we mainly did longer runs with a used tyre and our pace is not bad but we struggled a bit today in making a single fast lap. I had a big list of things to try and it is difficult to make fast lap-times and be consistent with pace when the bike is changing so much and is ‘live’! We were trying different parameters in the engine and something for turning when the tyre drops. In the chassis we made some modifications, which I think will be an improvement for the future, and the swing arm also. The WP guys have been working quite a lot with suspension and they also have some ideas. The team will work for Malaysia and we’ll have some meetings now to see in what areas Johann wants to go as well so we can improve this bike together.”

Johann Zarco: “So, some more days with the KTM and I’m happy because I made a step that I was looking for. It gave confirmation for the technicians for which direction we have to go. We began today on a better level and I was improving my lap-time. We then moved to test different things and could not do so many laps. We are still working on my base setting. We are not working to be the fastest one out there but the base is coming better and better every time I go out, and I can see that because the lap-time is there and I can repeat it relaxed. It means this is the direction we need. This engine is giving a good feeling to go out of the corner. Even if you miss it the bike will go and this is still one of our strong points and when we go faster we will be able to use it even better.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “To be honest, we expected to improve our lap time a bit more, but we still need more rear grip to find decent traction. At the moment, I feel very good with the front tyre, which is really stable, but at the same time the rear is spinning. We tried many things, but didn’t find the ideal solution yet. Now we need to think about it to find something for the next test. Overall, the two days of testing were very positive, but we are a bit far from the top. Anyway, we work hard and try to improve step by step in 2019.”

Miguel Oliveira: “On the last day of testing this year I was able to make a very big step compared to yesterday regarding the lap time, more than a second, so I’m happy for that. Again we understood more about the bike, about what is missing and I’m just glad that the team and me are going home with a clear idea of what we need to do.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “We came to Jerez to make a lot of base setting work so we started with the 2018 bike and brought many new items. We ‘loaded’ Pol a lot and he did a great job. We tried many aspects on the engine, chassis, aerodynamics and suspension. We have some good information now and will have to go home, work and bring the best mix to the next test in Sepang. Johann made a big step with his understanding of the bike and went into the ’39 lap-times with used tyres and that was positive. Also his feeling on the bike was getting better but for sure we still have a lot of work to do with him also. We’ll work during the winter now to be ready for Malaysia.”

Red Bull KTM cooled the engines on their second full MotoGP year as the sun set at Jerez today. 2018 has been a challenging but satisfying second campaign of further education at the highest level and witnessed significant reduction in the margin to the long-established leaders of the Grand Prix grid. 2019 gathers serious pace with the first pre-season test at Sepang, Malaysia on February 6th.

Results MotoGP IRTA Test Jerez 2018 Day 1

KTM
15. Pol Espargaro – 1:39.241
19. Johann Zarco – 1:40.192
21. Hafizh Syahrin – 1:40.630
23. Miguel Oliveira – 1:41.699

Results MotoGP IRTA Test Jerez 2018 Day 2

KTM
15. Pol Espargaro – 1:39.144
19. Johann Zarco – 1:39.864
23. Hafizh Syahrin – 1:40.520
24. Miguel Oliveira – 1:40.577

JEREZ TEST DAY 2: Team Suzuki Ecstar Make Final 2019 Preparations

From Team Suzuki press office:

Alex Rins: 10th – 1:38.522 (+0.577s)
Joan Mir: 15th – 1:38.931 (+0.986s)
Sylvain Guintoli: 22nd – 1:40.498 (+2.553s)

• Alex Rins builds on Day 1’s hard work.
• Joan Mir continues excellent adaptation process.
• The Team end on a high as important settings found.

The second day of testing in Jerez de la Frontera also marked the final day of MotoGP track action in 2018. The ‘winter test ban’ will now come into place for December, and the next official test will see the teams head to Sepang in February.

With the pressure on to finalise settings and seal the engines for 2019, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR put in another day of hard work which saw Rins, Mir and Guintoli all trying different aspects of the 2019 package.

On Day 1 Alex Rins was the rider who completed the most laps (87) and the Spaniard was keen to continue the progress made. Testing the new chassis and engine spec., he was able to make comparisons and try many different settings, and felt comfortable and confident. He also spent time working on electronics and the swingarm. He completed 63 laps and finished 10th.

Meanwhile Mallorcan rookie Joan Mir switched his focus towards understanding how the changes affect the bike. But he was also able to try lots of useful parts as well as the new chassis and engine. He was 14th, without pushing for a fast lap. And clocked 55 laps in total.

And Test Rider Sylvain Guintoli helped the team in working towards finding the final settings. The Frenchman felt very positive about the work carried out, and believes it will pay off well coming into 2019.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“During these two days of testing we could try many things. Alex tried the new engine spec. and new chassis spec. and we collected a lot of data and found some positive points. Also Joan tried the new engine and chassis and shared his input too. So thanks to them, and also thanks to Sylvain because he’s also done an important job. We feel prepared for the winter and we’ll be working very hard.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Today was another good day of testing, very intense and useful. Here we had different options of chassis and engine, together with some other items like the swingarm and some electronics, so we had to work hard to define which works better. It’s a tough job, pretty boring for the riders but absolutely crucial. We have to put together all the best pieces and compose the puzzle, especially for the engine we have to take a decision now that will affect the winter work and the whole new season. We have some pressure on for this, but that’s racing and the pressure is also our motivation. All Alex, Joan and Sylvain carried out this hard work, putting together lot of information that will now be useful for the engineers, and I’m happy that Alex could also put together a positive lap time. So we can go into this winter break feeling happy and hoping for a positive restart again in February in Sepang.”

Alex Rins
“These two days have been very positive because we tried everything – new chassis, new engine, and lots of comparisons. Yesterday I was more focused on the chassis, and today more focused on the engine. This morning we started with the 2018 chassis and the new engine spec. and we tried all the suggestions that the engineers made, it was very positive. We haven’t finalised yet, but the engineers will be working on this. We’ve been working very hard and we feel like we can have a very competitive bike.”

Joan Mir
“It was a really tough day today. We were really focused on trying the new parts because we need to prepare everything for the winter so the guys in Japan can continue their work there. It’s been a pretty positive day, we tried a little bit of everything and did some comparisons and that was useful. We weren’t focused on lap times today, it was more for me to try the engine. We have a lot of good information to send to Japan. I feel that I’m improving with every session, I still need to get more used to riding the big bike but it’s gone well.”

Sylvain Guintoli
“The test was very useful for us when it comes to defining the way forward for next year. Losing the concessions has made our work during these test days even more relevant because obviously once the engine choice is settled, that will be it. We’ve all worked a lot during this Jerez test, and we’re really happy about the job we’ve done. I’ll miss riding my bike for the next two months! But we’ve accomplished a lot with the testing and as we saw during 2018, the work in the tests really pays off on track.”

JEREZ TEST DAY 2: PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Sign Off 2018 in Style

From PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team:

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team enjoyed a successful final test of the year as they continued their preparations for 2019 with a two-day session at the Jerez Circuit – Angel Nieto. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo today took further steps forward in their adaptation to the Yamaha, each showing great potential as they ended the test in 6th and 12th place respectively.

The pair spent this morning working on race pace before pushing for a fast lap in the afternoon, enjoying positive results in both aspects. Morbidelli again showed his high level as he rose into the top three positions with an hour remaining, thanks to his lap of 1’38.118. Eventually dropping to 6th position after a total of 68 laps, Franco remained within two tenths of the fastest lap of the day. Quartararo enjoyed his best day so far on the Yamaha since his debut last week. Gaining confidence in acceleration and in corner entry, the French rookie made his first appearance in the top ten with a best effort of 1’38.761 out of his 58 laps, before ending the day in twelfth.

Both riders will now enjoy a two-month winter break before MotoGP returns to action with more preseason tests in February 2019, starting at the team’s home track of Sepang.

Franco Morbidelli
Position: 6th – Time: 1’38.118
“Today has been a very productive day. We have tried some different set-up configurations and managed to improve the race pace this morning and then the lap time this afternoon, so I am very happy about that. The two tests we have had with the team have been very positive and I feel very comfortable with the team and the people from Yamaha. We can say that we have started the preseason well, so over the winter we can study the information we have gathered and try to make the 2019 bike even better.”

Fabio Quartararo
Position: 12th – Time: 1’38.761
“On this last day of the test we have improved the feeling and the lap time. We have taken a step forward and managed to try some things with the electronics, which up until now we had hardly touched. The biggest gain has been on the first contact with the throttle, in acceleration and also in corner entry. Today I could feel that the lap times were coming down and I felt fast, it was a really nice feeling. We knew that the more laps we could do with the Yamaha, the more we were going to improve. My objective today was a 1’38 lap and we did three of them. We are working on our pace, little by little, and gradually closing the gap to the fastest guys. I am really happy with how these few days have gone here in Jerez and this first phase of the 2019 preseason, so my thanks to all the team for the work they have done. Now I’m just looking forward to February!”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“We can say that I am a happy Team Manager. After just two tests everything is going pretty well for the team and in terms of the lap times we are competing with the fastest guys. To have Franco [Morbidelli] finish sixth and Fabio [Quartararo] twelfth is much more than we could have hoped for. In general, we are very satisfied with the results. There has been no pressure and no problems, and our riders are happy and fast.

As far as this winter is concerned we have a lot to do to get ready for Sepang, because we are competing against teams with more than 25 years of experience in the paddock and we are still new. To be competitive you need a good bike and good riders and we have that, but we also need to grow as an organisation until we reach the maximum in every aspect.”

JEREZ TEST DAY 2: Movistar Yamaha Make Steps on Final Day

From Yamaha Racing press office:

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have completed the Jerez MotoGP Official Test, the last riding day of 2018. Continuing their testing schedule, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi spent the allotted time making a final assessment of the new engine specs, setting the 3rd and 11th fastest time of the day respectively.
Viñales used today’s session at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto to the full, as he was keen to make a final decision on the new engine spec. The Spaniard mainly focused on race pace again, riding a total of 78 laps, mostly with used tyres. As the session progressed, so did his efforts. When he decided to push hard on a flying lap, he set a 1’38.066s. This hot lap earned him third place in the Day 2 results and fourth place in the combined timesheets, 0.121s from first.

Rossi also had a productive day at the office, finding a better feeling and pace than he had the day before. The Italian had already shared that he would be taking an in-depth look at the data to make a decision on the engine spec. After a total of 67 laps today, he has come to a clear decision on which direction to work in. His best lap, a 1’38.596s put him in 11th position in both the Day 2 and the combined results, 0.651s from the top.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have now completed all 2018 riding action. The next test will be held after the winter break, at the Sepang International Circuit, early February.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 3rd – Time: 1’38.066
“So far, I think we’ve kept a really good rhythm, because we always got a lot out of used tyres, and I’m actually really happy because when I finally pushed for one lap, the bike responded quite well. I know we could improve the chassis quite a lot, now we’ve focused a lot on the engines, so for me it’s quite clear. Let’s see after the meeting what we decide to do. For sure, we always have to improve, but the important thing was to find the base, and now I think for Malaysia we have to improve the top speed, this will be important for the long tracks. I think over all we have a competitive bike.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 11th – Time: 1’38.596
“Today was a good day because we worked more in detail and we improved. My pace was not so bad and the feeling with the bike was quite good. From the start we knew we had to decide on the engine spec and we have already decided. I think the situation is quite clear.”

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“Though we weren’t able to use all of the available track time due to the cold temperatures in the morning on both days, the test proceeded well. After completing 60% of the programme earlier in Valencia, we had quite a full-on programme here in Jerez, because we intended to make a decision on the engine specs at the end of these two days. Both Maverick and Vale have given clear feedback and have agreed on a direction, so I think we’re close to making a decision. There do remain some different points of view on certain aspects, which we will work on clarifying during the 2019 pre-season tests, but for now we have a sense of which base we should work with. We were looking for smooth power delivery and engine brake, which is especially something Maverick was asking for, because it suits his riding style. We also worked on improving the tyre life, which was a concern during the 2018 season. We’ve made progress, but we need to keep working. The engineers in Italy and Japan will go over the data thoroughly to come up with further steps to try at the first upcoming test in Sepang, at the start of February, next year.”

JEREZ TEST DAY 1: Movistar Yamaha Continue Development

From Yamaha Racing press office:

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back in action today at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto for the first day of the Jerez MotoGP Official Test. They continued to compare the new engine evolution, taking 4th and 17th place respectively in today’s rankings.
The riders had to be patient at the start of the eight-hour session. The cool track conditions made for a two-and-a-half hour wait before they could put their YZR-M1s to work.

Viñales was joined in the pit box by new crew chief Esteban García for the first time today. Once the track was sufficiently warm, they decided to work on race pace and making a lot of kilometres as preparation for the 2019 season. The Spaniard soon found a good rhythm and he comfortably began chipping away at his time, while leaving the base setting the same. With a bit more than an hour left on the clock, he decided to pick up the pace. He soon posted a best lap of 1’38.376s to temporarily take over the top of the standings.

At the end of the session the times dropped and the number 12 rider was pushed back to third. He couldn’t resist to make a last push on his final three-lap stint, bringing his total to 58 laps, but he still ended the day in fourth position, 0.408s from the front.

Rossi joined the track just before 1pm today, eager to further improve the acceleration, the smooth power delivery of the engine, and the overall performance of his Yamaha. The Doctor had set himself the objective to only focus on the testing and got straight to work. He completed 50 laps in total, which he solely used to compare the new engine specs and new Michelin tyres.

Though the Doctor put a halt to one of his late afternoon runs, he was able to finish today’s testing programme. His best lap, a 1’39.564s set on lap 28, put him in 17th place in today’s standings, 1.596s from first.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 4th – Time: 1’38.376
“We tried the same engine as we used in Valencia, to try to understand which way we should go. This track is even more difficult for us than Valencia, there it’s easier to make a good lap time, so I’m quite happy that today we were so consistent with many laps on the tyre. The track was a bit slippery for our bike today, but the M1 was working well, so I think the decision is more or less made, but we still have to check. I prefer riding with more engine brake, because for my riding style it helps a lot. I’m quite curious to see what happens tomorrow when we start modifying the set-up a little. Let’s see if we can be more competitive. I think we can still improve the electronics and the base set-up a lot, because the bike works a bit different now and it permits me to enter the corner faster, so we need to change the setting, because I can ride more naturally now. It was a good first day with Esteban. It was good to reconnect, he’s a really calm person, so we work well together. We were on top for a while today, so I’m happy.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 17th – Time: 1’39.564
“At the end my position in the timesheets is really bad, also because we had some problems with the new tyres, so I didn’t do a time-attack. My pace is a little bit better, but I have to check the data more thoroughly. We continued to test the engine, we made some comparisons. The direction to go in and the decision is quite clear. I started riding on new tyres, but at one point I heard a strange noise, so I stopped. I sincerely don’t know what happened yet.”

JEREZ TEST DAY 1: Tempat Keenam Untuk Morbidelli

Pasukan PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team memulakan sesi ujian selama dua hari di Jerez semalam, iaitu yang terakhir sebelum rehat musim sejuk bermula. Selepas penampilan sulung bersama jentera Yamaha YZR-M1 di Valencia, Franco Morbidelli dan Fabio Quartararo menyambung penyesuaian diri mereka di litar Jerez pula.

Morbidelli sekali lagi mempamerkan keputusan memberangsangkan di Jerez selepas menamatkan hari pertama di tempat keenam dengan masa 1’38.659 dan 70 pusingan. Quartararo pula menghasilkan 59 pusingan dalam usaha mencari tetapan yang sesuai. Beliau berjaya mencatat masa keenam belas terpantas dengan 1’39.414 dan yakin beliau mampu menjadi lebih laju hari ini.

#21 Franco Morbidelli
“Saya amat gembira sekali hari ini. Kami berjaya mengekalkan hasil ujian dari Valencia di litar yang berbeza dan sedikit tidak sesuai dengan jentera kami. Hari yang bagus dan mengenai kelajuan kami, kami perlu lebih konsisten tetapi perasaan saya dengan tayar baru agak baik. Kami perlu cari di mana kami boleh perbaiki jentera ini. Hari ini kami memberi lebih fokus kepada tetapan elektronik, terutamanya ketika keluar ke litar untuk kali pertama. Kami juga mengubah larasan jentera namun tidaklah sebanyak seperti di Valencia.”

#20 Fabio Quartararo
“Hari ini kami mengorak langkah berkenaan kelajuan di selekoh berbanding di Valencia. Kini kami perlu kaji di mana kami lebih perlahan – ada ketika masuk dan ketika keluar dari selekoh – dan lihat apa yang kami boleh ubah. Yang paling penting, kami bertambah baik terutamanya di litar yang agak sukar dan saya belum pernah menunggang jentera MotoGP di sini. Saya amat gembira dengan kerja kami hari ini dan berharap esok akan lebih baik. Kami telah menyimpan peruntukan tayar baru demi hari kedua esok.”

JEREZ TEST DAY 1: Team Suzuki Ecstar Complete Useful Day

From Team Suzuki press office:

Joan Mir: 10th – 1:38.956 (+ 0.988)
Alex Rins: 13th – 1:39.150 (+ 1.182)
Sylvain Guintoli: 22nd – 1:40.743 (+ 2.775)

• Joan Mir puts in impressive hot laps towards the end of a tough day.
• Alex Rins able to make useful progress with 2019 bike.
• Another day of testing at Jerez follows tomorrow.

One week after the Valencia test days which saw Joan Mir make his Team SUZUKI ECSTAR debut, the paddock headed swiftly on to Jerez de la Frontera for another two-day test.

Both GSX-RR riders had a useful and positive day under the Spanish sunshine, although a couple of hours were lost in the morning due to cold and damp track conditions. Alex Rins was able to try the new 2019 chassis and engine spec, which was particularly useful in the team’s quest for finalising base settings for next season. Alex closed the day in 13th place and completed a whopping 87 laps.

Joan Mir suffered a heavy crash at Turn 7 which brought out the red flag. Thankfully, after a trip to the medical centre, the young rookie was not found to have any serious injuries. The Mallorcan didn’t let the scare hold him back and he continued to push for fast laps. In fact, his 52nd and final lap was his fastest, and he closed the session less than a second from the leader.

Test Rider Sylvain Guintoli is also present at Jerez and he was able to try some different parts to the two main factory riders, therefore gleaning further information.

The riders will be back on track tomorrow (Thursday) for a second day of testing.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Today was a good day, despite Joan’s crash. Fortunately he was OK and able to test again in the afternoon. He set some very good lap times and he tried a few different parts, he did a good job after the crash. Alex had a tricky day with a lot of hard work on testing; back-to-back comparisons with chassis in order to get as much information as possible. So we feel good about today and everything is on schedule. We’re looking forward to working again tomorrow.”

Joan Mir
“The important thing is that I’m feeling good. I have some bumps and bruises but nothing worse, despite it being a hard crash. After the crash I was able to get my good feeling back straight away and recover my lap times, and I continued to put in laps until the end of the day. I set a time in the 1:38 bracket and I’m very satisfied with that for the first day. I also worked a bit on the electronics and a few new parts. We’re happy with what we’ve achieved today and how it’s all been going, and we hope tomorrow will also be good.”

Alex Rins
“I tried the 2019 chassis today and I’m quite happy. The new chassis has some positives and some negatives at the moment, but we’ve only just started to test it so there’s plenty of time to make more comparisons and improvements. I also had the new engine to try, the one I already had in Valencia last week. I feel that the new spec. engine has more power than the old one. We’ve improved it since Valencia, because there it felt a bit aggressive, but now the power delivery has been made smoother thanks to the electronics. So now I feel really good with this engine, but we’ll continue working on it to get the perfect feeling. We got a lot done today and we’re happy.”

Ada Duit Lebih? Boleh Beli Jentera MotoGP KTM RC16

Pengeluar motosikal Austria, KTM Motorcycle AG mengumumkan mereka akan menjual dua unit jentera MotoGP buatan mereka iaitu KTM RC16 kepada orang ramai.

Jentera yang dibangunkan selama 2 tahun sebelum penampilan wildcard di Valencia pada tahun 2016 ini berjaya meraih podium pertama di pusingan akhir MotoGP 2018 yang juga diadakan di Valencia. Untuk 2019 pasukan KTM juga membekalkan jentera untuk pasukan Tech3 yang ditandingi pelumba negara, Hafizh Syahrin.

Dengan harga 250,000 euro (jika anda bayar RM1.2 juta tunai, anda boleh beli KTM Duke 200 dengan wang baki) pembeli akan memiliki satu unit jentera RC16 itu sendiri, satu set kelengkapan perlumbaan milik Pol Espargaro dan topi keledar yang juga ditandatangani oleh beliau. Pembeli juga berpeluang menjadi ahli Red Bull KTM Factory di mana dia akan menyertai lawatan paddock dan kotak pit, berjumpa dengan Espargaro dan Johann Zarco, pakaian rasmi pasukan KTM dan akses penuh ke Red Bull Energy Station di pusingan MotoGP pilihan pembeli.

Jika anda berminat dan mampu, apa tunggu lagi? Hubungi rc16@ktm.com sekarang dan jangan lupa pinjamkan kepada pihak iPantas!

JEREZ MOTO2 TEST DAY 1: Petronas Sprinta Racing and Khairul Idham Complete First Day

A new era for the Moto2 World Championship got underway today at the Jerez Circuit – Angel Nieto, as the Petronas Sprinta Racing team and its new rider Khairul Idham Pawi got to try the new Triumph engine for the first time. A first shakedown provided the first information about the new package and saw the Malaysian rider finish 20th fastest, feeling satisfied with his new team and bike.

Continue reading “JEREZ MOTO2 TEST DAY 1: Petronas Sprinta Racing and Khairul Idham Complete First Day”