First 2014 MotoGP Test Concludes

November 13, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Marc Marquez during the final day of testing at Valencia.
“We continued our testing and today we focused on just the one bike: the prototype with which we felt best yesterday,” said Marquez during the final day of testing at Valencia. “We tried out different electronic configurations and various setups, and we are pretty satisfied with the results.”

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez ends his test schedule at Valencia on top of the timesheet, nearing the pole record he set during the 2013 finale. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith finished second-fastest followed by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl in third.

Marquez chose the 2014 prototype that felt best during Tuesday’s test to dial-in during his final day on track, working through different electronics settings and setups to gather as much data as possible. Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, had worked through much of his schedule the day before and spent the bulk of his time “adapting as well as possible to the bike.” Pedrosa finished the day in fourth position.

Smith continued to show his improvement since receiving new parts for his M1 on Tuesday, trailing Marquez’s top time by three-tenths. Smith’s performance in the final day of testing would have put him on the front row during the recent 2013 season finale at the circuit. Bradl, too, was nearly one second quicker than his qualifying time for Sunday’s race aboard the 2014 Honda.

Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista ended in fifth followed by Smith’s teammate and MotoGP rookie Pol Espargaro in sixth. Since his first outing on the GP machine, Espargaro has cut nearly two seconds from his lap time at Valencia.

“I steadily improved my lap time compared to yesterday and this is what we are looking for,” said Espargaro. “Today we started to change a few electronic settings to give me an idea about how the bike behaves with more or less traction control or engine braking. I’m still trying to adjust my riding style to MotoGP but I think it will still take me a lot of time, as I did not even complete 150 laps. The positive thing is that we already know many areas where we can improve in and this makes me very excited for the next season.”

Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone paced seventh followed by NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro in eighth. The former Power Electronis rider was the sole member of his team on Day 3 as Colin Edwards began his journey back to Texas following his test on Day 2.

Nicky Hayden during testing at Valencia with Power Electronics Aspar.
Nicky Hayden continued work on his new Honda RCV1000R during the final day of testing at Valencia.

Ducati’ s Andrea Dovizioso finished ninth-fastest followed by his new teammate for 2014, Cal Crutchlow. The British rider put in a full day but was cautious and didn’t push for a top lap time, focusing instead on developing a strong relationship with his team and gaining more experience on the Desmosedici.

“I can’t really say we found any particular setting that was a big advantage or a big disadvantage,” explained Crutchlow. “I continue to give clear feedback and really reiterate what the other guys were saying, which is a key point that’s good; I’ve just come off another manufacturer’s motorcycle, so it’s good for Ducati that my feedback matches theirs.”

Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro trailed Crutchlow in 11th followed by Power Electronics Aspar’s Nicky Hayden in 12th. The American was joined by his new teammate Hiroshi Aoyama and the two riders logged 100 laps between them on the Honda RCV1000R. Paul Bird Motorsports’ Michael Laverty was the final rider on track for Day 3 and finished in 14th.