2014 MotoGP Sepang 1 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez’ Consistency, Lorenzo’s…

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Ducati 250 Mark 3

2014 MotoGP Sepang 1 Day 3 Up: Marquez’ Consistency, Lorenzo’s And Ducati’s Open Dilemma

by David Emmett on Thu, 19:03

On Thursday, the riders almost unanimously to go out first in the morning. It was a wise choice, proving ideal to see the fastest lap around the circuit set, Casey Stoner’s time 2011. The name of the rider took Stoner’s record him?

Marc Marquez, the man in by Honda to replace the departing

Marquez’ time was impressive, but he was not the man to get under the two minute mark. Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and the surprising Aleix Espargaro cracked the barrier, though were quite capable of under Stoner’s old record. The 30 minutes of testing had produced a start to the day, whetting the of all in the paddock for more.

While time is without doubt a lap, perhaps the most time was set by Jorge Lorenzo. His time, and the fastest time of the up until that point, was set on his flying lap of the day. It was, if you a simulation of the start of the race: off the line from pit lane getting up to speed immediately, and going on to set a lap record. Normal for Lorenzo, whose flying have become something of a

What made it truly was the fact that this was on new tires, on his very first of the day. On race day, has the morning warm up to get up to speed, but not Fast straight out of the starting then following it up with 1’59.9.

If you ever needed proof of metronomic ability, this was it.

While Lorenzo excels at they were Marc weakest point last Marquez spent a lot of time his starts, firing out of pit lane at opportunity. His other weak was consistency, but that is something he to have conquered.

Towards the end of the the Repsol Honda rider a race simulation. He ran for 19 laps one lap shy of race distance 16 of which low two-minute laps, and one of which was a To put that into perspective, he was on over a second of a lap quicker last year’s race Dani Pedrosa, who took last October in convincing

It isn’t just compared to year that Marquez was His average lap time during the run was seven tenths faster the man with the second-fastest race Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda. was on average eight tenths than Valentino Rossi’s run, and a second quicker Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix the two men who were the surprise of the last day of

Was Jorge Lorenzo capable of Marquez’ pace? We will not after this test. went out to start his race but abandoned it after just laps. A vibration in the tire and lap times forced him to give up. His in the first three laps had around 2’00.8, the only man shouting distance of Marquez.

He was not to have run a race simulation, but confident of being close to when it counted.

It had been a tough day all round for the Spaniard encountering a series of all day. Lorenzo’s team Wilco Zeelenberg joked it had been a very good as they had found a bunch of they wouldn’t have to with at the next test in weeks time.

For Lorenzo’s Valentino Rossi, things had much better. He had worked with his new crew chief Galbusera, and the atmosphere in the team was He told reporters he had worked on his riding style on the winter, and it had paid off.

The idea was not to the edge of the tires, he said, and a year of experience back on the he was no longer at the limit and able to on adapting his style.

That had well in terms of the time but will it be just as successful in the Comparing his race simulation to Marquez, he is eight tenths of a slower. He did his race run in the heat of the though, not in the cooler late

Whether the temperature difference is eight tenths of a second is to say.

A surprising name at the was that of Andrea Dovizioso on the Both Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow that the changes made to the had made a much bigger than they at first Crutchlow said it was easier to the bike into the corners risking the front end folding.

In his on the GP13, Crutchlow had crashed the twice. Despite going on the GP14, he had not had a single crash. was quick to add that the bike has understeer and is too aggressive on corner but the series of mystery front-end which plagued all Ducati since 2009 appears to be at an

Dovizioso’s fast lap in the morning had noteworthy in itself. His lap of 2’00.370 is the a Ducati has ever been the Sepang circuit, and he had set the lap on his own, he reporters. More significant is his run, though, his pace just a couple of tenths of of Rossi.

Last year, the were three quarters of a off the pace of the Yamahas, so cutting it to a couple of tenths is a sign of progress.

The star of the show and an influence on the future direction of in MotoGP was Aleix Espargaro. The NGM rider was consistently fast, in outright terms and in his race though he did not manage to do a full Espargaro had expected to run into in the last seven laps or so of a but his race run had lasted only ten

The elder Espargaro brother that the softer rear would start to have towards the end of the race, though mechanics disagreed. We will to wait until the second test to see, where will take another at a race simulation.

So where is the class Yamaha FTR making up for the of the custom software which the Option entries can run? The rear tire helps, and is worth three or four of a second. Having more also helps, as the bike can be run to give a better throttle at partial openings. But clearly, a lot of the is in Aleix Espargaro himself.

When asked whether the of the Open class Yamaha had their judgment about the Honda team boss Suppo, Ducati Corse Gigi Dall’Igna and Suzuki manager Davide Brivio all to the rider. A lot of the performance comes the talent of Aleix Espargaro they agreed.

In a press with Shuhei Nakamoto, Suppo was quick to leap to the of Honda’s RCV1000R Open racer by pointing to the position of the Yamaha FTR. Only bike was quicker than machine, he emphasized, with Edwards ending the day behind Hayden on the Aspar RCV1000R. test has dramatically raised the of Aleix Espargaro.

With all up for negotiation this summer, the Spaniard’s telephone is likely to be busy indeed.

Espargaro got everyone talking about the class machines. Their is clearly much higher expected, helped no doubt by fuel, and especially by the soft tire. This is an advantage will keep for the rest of the as Bridgestone confirmed directly the test that they continue to supply a softer for the Open entries.

The question is, of will the success of Aleix the decisions of other factories. Corse boss Gigi would not be drawn, saying he needed time to go through the of the test and analyze the data making a decision. Though he that the rules made it to make the progress needed as a Option entry, he insisted no had been made.

The problem, he was that the freeze on engine for the Factory Option bikes that even minor such as relocating engine points to modify frame were not possible. Without looking at the data of the tests and the three races, he believed he not have sufficient data to what he needs to change on the The trouble is, there is a deadline of February by which time the must be communicated to IRTA.

Dall’Igna did say that he may consider just one of the factory riders to the category, rather than

He faced questioning over the problem of the Desmosedici. Here, he said he needed more to study the data. He denied the was the engine, saying that it was far complex. ‘It is not one problem, it is twenty, thirty problems,’ said.

Fixing them take time, and careful

He had already got to work on the organization, he Sweeping changes had been the most significant involving the communication between the race and the engineers in the factory. He would to put a system of rotating engineers in and out of the team in place, he said, them spend one weekend at the track, then a week at the

More changes would be in that respect, as he got to know the involved. Communication, the Italian was absolutely key, and the first in improving the bike. No staff had fired, and only one new engineer Dall’Igna confident that the already in Ducati Corse up to the task of tackling the problems, the organization problems had been with.

Will Ducati go From an outside perspective, it like a no-brainer, but there may be factors at play which observers are not aware of. If Dall’Igna any hint at all, it was when he that ‘we need to the bike, this is what influence the decision.’ A decision be made ahead of the second test at the end of February.

But not before then.

Suzuki, on the hand, have no current to enter the Open class. For the they are testing with the Marelli hardware, and their own The problem was, team Davide Brivio explained, the job of porting the software to the new system was about half done, the complete package expected to be by the start of the second test.

left test riders De Puniet and Nobu Aoki with poor engine making it difficult to test It had been a calculated risk, the boss said, but one worth nonetheless.

Clearly, the Open is a big deal, and there will be to come at Sepang 2. The situation is fast, and news is likely to emerging all the way to the beginning of the season. To explain the precise differences the two classes, we will be publishing an of the new rules package in the next few Keep your eyes

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