Estoril MotoGP Post-Race Test 2011

May 3, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Marco Simoncelli fast in practice and qualifying - Estoril 2011
Fastest once again… Marco Simoncelli topped the timesheet in a post-race test at Estoril.

MotoGP teams hung around the Estoril MotoGP circuit post-race, with teams testing Monday. Marco Simoncelli topped the timesheet, the Italian having high-sided out of the Estoril Grand Prix the previous day. Following the Gresini Honda were Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.

Teams took advantage of the testing time to refine setups and test new parts on their GP machinery. The Factory Ducati team shook down updated versions of the GP11, the chassis reworked to improve the understeering woes noted by our GP insider (Estoril MotoGP Insider 2011: Ducati). Both Valentino Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden claimed improvement on the new chassis, the duo lapping fifth and ninth on the timesheet.

The Repsol Honda squad, which claimed three of the top four spots in the Estoril GP, focused on the RC212V clutch, as well as tire testing. Dani Pedrosa, who took the victory on Sunday and trails Lorenzo by only four points in the championship, turned only 17 laps. The Spaniard is still recovering from his surgery three weeks ago and was 10th-fastest on the day.

The Factory Yamaha duo evaluated a new swingarm and updated suspension components. While Lorenzo was second-fastest, Ben Spies was seventh – the American recovering from a disappointing race that was spoiled by a simple technical glitch when a fuel clamp was left on his M1. Spies claims to have found something at the test that will help at the upcoming French Grand Prix.

The next round of the MotoGP championship will run May 13-15 at Le Mans.

2011 MotoGP Estoril Test Results:
1. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’36.211
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’36.316
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’36.602
4. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’36.850
5. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)1’37.382
6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’37.410
7. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’37.421
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’37.460
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’37.463
10. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’37.679
11. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’38.032
12. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’38.087
13. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’38.412
14. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’38.633

MotoGP Rider Quotes Courtesy of Team Press Releases:

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1:37.382 (82 laps)
“It was a positive test because the new updates were immediately better. The bike was more sensitive to changes made to the front, which makes it easier to work on a setup that works better for me. I realized that as soon as I got on the bike and then, over the course of the following hours, we constantly progressed. We also had an engine with a slightly smoother power delivery that I liked a lot. We’ll start using it when the rotation plan allows it. I liked the tires that Bridgestone had us try, they seemed very good. Of course the other riders also made great progress, and the less positive about today is the gap to the front on my best lap. Anyway, everything that the Ducati technicians brought worked, and that means that we’re on the right path. We have to continue working, but today’s test gives us confidence.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1:37.463 (89 laps)
“We were lucky to get a really good day with the weather. We improved, because I consistently went a lot faster than in qualifying, but it looked like everybody else improved too. I did my best time on the 2012 tires, so Bridgestone made a nice step there. I got on the updated chassis after lunch, and it had a better feel over some of the bumps, and still good stability under braking. The updated engine made the bike a little smoother, and I liked it overall.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1:37.679 (17 laps)
“The shoulder is a bit better than last night thanks to some muscle relaxing tablets I took, but I’ve still got a lot of pain. I did a few laps with the bike I used yesterday for the race, but I saw immediately that I wouldn’t be able to do the full program today.

“I tried one modified clutch looking to reduce the hopping, the bumping on the rear we have when we release the clutch. It’s a shame not be able to profit from this test because we wanted to also try the new 2011 front fork and rear shock to get more traction, but I was unable to do it.

“Now, the plan before Le Mans race is to rest as much as I can for three or four days, trying to recover. Then I must check what is the best technique to relax the muscles, because it would be good to arrive in Le Mans in good shape and not so tense”.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) 1:37.460 (63 laps)
“Today we tested a new clutch that gave us positive feedback and we had less hopping. We also tested two different settings that gave me a better feeling under braking. In general I was riding more comfortable than during the race weekend. Bridgestone also brought two new rear tires but the feeling was not so good as I had some chattering on the front. Anyway, it has been a positive test and I’m looking forward to the next races”.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) 1:36.602 (49 laps)
“We haven’t had a lot to test, there aren’t really any new parts, we tried a different system on the clutch which was fine but not actually improving on what we have. We tried a few Bridgestone tires with a new construction and compound, they were definitely an improvement especially on the left side, so that went well.

“We tested the new 2011 fork and everything worked well with them, last time we tried them we had some issues with chattering but we seem to have fixed that now. This is a big improvement as these forks work better on the bumps and on the brakes so hopefully we can continue to use them in the future.

The beginning of the day my back was really sore and difficult to ride with but then it eased a little as the day progressed, so I hope it continues to get better”.

Jorge Lorenzo (Factory Yamaha) 1’36.316 (91 Laps)
“I’m very happy with the test we have done today. Before I was not feeling as safe and as comfortable going into corners as I did last year and in 2009. Now we have found something with the chassis set up that works much better so I feel comfortable again. I think we can be faster with the corners now so I am looking forward to going to France to keep fighting for more podiums.”

Ben Spies (Factory Yamaha) 1’37.421 (69 Laps)
“It’s been a decent day of testing for us after what happened yesterday. We started over today and I’ve been happy with the sessions. We learned something later on this afternoon which I think is really going to benefit us in Le Mans that we haven’t been able to try before now. There was a good lap time improvement today, I did the best I could with what I had so I’m looking forward to Le Mans to start fresh.”

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