2015 MotoGP Season Starts with Valencia Test

November 10, 2014
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.
What a difference a day makes. Following the 2014 season finale at Valencia, riders got little time to gather themselves up for the first test of 2015. Some stayed put, others moved to new garages and others still made their debuts in the big leagues. There were even some unexpected moments, such as Marc and Alex Marquez turning laps together on Marc’s two RC213V’s, a gesture of gratitude from HRC’s Shuhei Nakamoto for the excellent year the two brothers provided Honda in 2014. It was a 12 lap exhibition, and Marc is expected to get down to the real business of testing tomorrow.Amongst the serious testers on Day 1, Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo topped the timesheet with a 1’30.975, comparing different set-ups to try and drop weight. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro was second fastest followed by his teammate, Bradley Smith, in third.”I was very happy to do this test because the weather was very stable all day. There was no wind and this was good because we were able to do all the things we needed try. We tried a lot of things to reduce the weight, especially with the chassis, but it’s important to have the same feeling despite decreasing the weight. Other than that we worked on the setting and some other little things. I am satisfied because I rode the fastest lap time, even better than the times set this weekend during the Grand Prix. I didn’t ride a 1’30 before, so this means the bike is working well.”For many this was a time to get acquainted with new machinery all together. CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow leaves his Desmosedici behind to pilot a Honda RC213V. In all he laid down 53 laps, placed eighth overall and expressed a positive feeling with his new situation.““It’s been a good first day with the CWM LCR Honda Team, and I’m pleased to say that we all worked well together,” said Crutchlow. “We made some small settings adjustments throughout the day that I thought were positive, but ultimately I’m learning to ride the Honda for the first time; it was a different experience, but enjoyable nonetheless. Today is just a familiarization day and we made some shorter runs because I didn’t really understand some things in some corners, but we are quite pleased with the initial pace of me riding the Honda.”Crutchlow’s new teammate, Jack Miller, whoe narrowly missed winning the Moto3 title the day before, set to work on his new production Honda, now called the RC213V-RS Open machine. He logged 61 laps, finished 22nd fastest and was thoroughly pleased with his first GP experience.

“I enjoyed it so much though, and I think it might be one of the greatest days of my riding career. I have never had so much fun on a bike; the power was incredible, the brakes were great and it’s amazing how much grip you get from the tires. It just means that I’m looking forward even more to the upcoming days of testing with the CWM LCR Honda Team.”

Former LCR rider Stefan Bradl went out in NGM Mobile Forward Racing colors for the first time and finished 12th on the timesheet, while his new teammate, former World Superbike rider Loris Baz, finished 20th.

Drive M7 Aspar welcomed new rider Eugene Laverty, the former World Superbike rider finishing 21st on the timesheet after Day 1.

Team Suzuki MotoGP also got its start with Aleix Espargaro and Mavrick Vinales, with Espargaro finishing 14th and Vinales placing 17th.

“It was really fantastic,” said Espargaro of his first impression of the GSX-RR. “I feel the riding-position is much better compared to the one that I rode this year, and it turns very well so that braking and turning into the corners is really comfortable for me.

“We are still missing some top-end power but I was previously informed this by the Suzuki engineers and I believe that they are working on-it, but the electronic control is not too bad, obviously.

“The machine feels quite compact for me as I am quite tall, but I really enjoyed riding it and had a very positive start: I’m so excited to continue riding it tomorrow.”

Official word was also released by the Factory Aprilia Gresini team that Marco Melandri would join as a full rider for 2015. The Italian went out late in the day, logging nine laps and finishing 25th overall.

2015 MotoGP Valencia Test Session 1 Results
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’30.975
2. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 1’31.118
3. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’31.204
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’31.250
5. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’31.465
6. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’31.602
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’31.644
8. Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1’31.847
9. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1’32.054
10. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 1’32.146
11. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’32.190
12. Stefan Bradl (Forward Yamaha) 1’32.209
13. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 1’32.314
14. Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) 1’32.315
15. Scott Redding (Honda) 1’32.998
16. Alex De Angelis (Aprilia) 1’33.132
17. Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) 1’33.268
18. Karel Abraham (Honda) 1’33.446
19. Mike Di Meglio (Ducati) 1’33.594
20. Loris Baz (Forward-Yamaha) 1’33.834
21. Eugene Laverty (Honda) 1’34.320
22. Jack Miller (Honda) 1’34.633
23. Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) 1’34.919
24. Alex Hoffman (Aprilia) 1’35.646
25. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1’35.959
26. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’36.181
27. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1’36.658