The final pre-season MotoGP
test kicked-off at the Jerez circuit in Spain, with riders braving some seriously inclement weather to gain better feel for wet-condition set-ups. Running the new 2013 livery
, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo
claimed the top-spot for the day, beating out Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa
by little more than one second. Pedrosa’s teammate, Marc Marquez, posted the third-fastest time followed by Enerty T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone in fourth. Lorenzo was unfazed by the wet conditions, turning 39 total laps and gaining some valuable information on areas in which to improve the YZR-M1’s performance.
“We stayed on the track the whole day in the wet conditions and it was good to see how the bike performed,” said Lorenzo. “We improved a little bit but then the rear tire dropped so we have to calm the bike down a little bit in the acceleration.
“We are quite good in the wet here in Jerez. It’s the first time we are in these conditions so it's important to understand what our levels are. It’s important to be competitive in this situation.”
Pedrosa put in 30 laps of his own before ending the day and was pleased to have a fully drenched track in order to test the RC213V in unfavorable conditions.
“Today was the first day of testing here in Jerez and we were able to try various things in the wet,” said Pedrosa. “We had some very productive laps, as the asphalt was very wet. Sometimes there isn't enough water on the track and the conditions aren't adequate. The feeling with the bike is very positive, because after so many days riding in the dry it was good to go out in the wet. Let's see if in the coming days we have more luck and can ride more in the dry, in order to try out the last few things before the season starts."
Marc Marquez (above) came in third-fastest during Day 1 of testing at Jerez. Valentino Rossi (below) came in sixth.
Marquez echoed Pedrosa’s sentiments and gained some important information on how his new ride acts at the circuit and coming to a fuller appreciation of his traction control system in the wet.
“Today was a very important day for us, because we tried out the bike in the wet,” said Marquez. “In Malaysia we only did four laps in the wet and it wasn't as wet as it was here. We've made steady improvement in these conditions. I was very rigid on the bike at the start, but improved and realised it is very important to be smooth. Also, I notice wet tires wear quite quickly at this track. This is something I have to learn how to manage, because they can catch you out. I also learnt that traction control in the wet is much more important than in the dry. We still have a lot to improve.”
Ducati Test rider, Michele Pirro, came through in fifth and was followed by Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi
in sixth. The Doctor is no stranger to wet conditions on track, earning some of his best finishes in 2012 in downpours, and came away with some areas in which he can improve the performance of his machine, especially as regards the life of the tire.
“The conditions today were very bad so we had to work on the wet,” said Rossi. “The feeling with the bike was not so bad but we had some problems with the life of the tire, after some laps we started to spin a lot. It will be hard in a wet race to do 27 laps in a row.”
Rossi’s old teammate, Nicky Hayden of Factory Ducati, same in seventh-fastest, followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow in eighth. Crutchlow measured his use of the limited rain tires, putting only one set to work on Day 1 of testing, and he only finished 19 laps through the entire day.
“It's a shame about the weather today and I didn't decide to go out until the middle of the afternoon for a few laps,” lamented Crutchlow. “I ended up only doing 19 laps because I wanted to use only one set of tires to keep some back for tomorrow when it looks like it will be raining again. The set I used today wore quite quickly but on the 800s we used a lot more lean angle and on the 1000 you have a lot more power going through the tire and it is wearing faster. A lot of those in front of me put in a second set of tires to go faster and I am sure if I'd done the same I'd have been much higher up. I was third after only five laps but I am not worried about the lap time.”
Energy T.I. Pramac Racing's Andrea Iannone was fourth-fastest after Day 1 of testing at Jerez.
LCR Honda MotoGP rider, Stefan Bradl, was ninth-fastest followed by Hayden’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, in 10th. Dovi utilized the time on track to continue gaining feel for his GP13 and left unworried about his lap times because it was his first time riding the Ducati for a prolonged period in the wet. Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies trailed in 11th, but passed a personal milestone having turned laps in the rain for the first time since his big wreck in 2012 at Sepang.
“First time for me on the bike in the rain and first time in the rain since I crashed but I just want to get back into it,” said Spies. “Today was the first of three days and we didn’t want to do anything too crazy, tomorrow more or less we will have rain again so I will have more time with these weather conditions and we do need it to get used to the bike. I stopped a little early also because the track was starting to dry and it was kind of in between rain and dry. I think we did a good job today and we will see what the weather does tomorrow.”
Yonny Hernandez of Paul Bird Motorsport led the CRT charge in 12th, followed by Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista in 13th. Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham took 14th and was followed by NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti in 15th.
Testing resumes again on Sunday, in what promises to be another rain-filled session.
MotoGP Jerez Test Day 1 Results 2013:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’47.423
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’48.474
3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’48.524
4. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’48.984
5. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1’49.292
6. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’49.443
7. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’49.643
8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’49.692
9. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’49.790
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’50.266
11. Ben Spies (Ducati) 1’50.957
12. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 1’51.269
13. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’51.277
14. Karel Abraham (ART) 1’51.333
15. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’52.034
16. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’52.047
17. Danilo Petrucci (Suter-BMW) 1’52.180
18. Hector Barbera (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’52.291
19. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’52.676
20. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’53.992
21. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 1’56.119
22. Lukas Pesek (Suter-BMW) 1’56.413
23. Michael Laverty (ART) 1’56.931