Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Get First Feel For Austrian Circuit
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team shaped up for the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich during today and yesterday's private test at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo took their YZR-M1 machines to the track for the first time to get a head start on preparing a well-balanced setting for the tenth race of the MotoGP season. The teammates tried various Michelin tyres and worked diligently on their settings at the circuit that lays the importance on top speed, acceleration and braking stability.
On August 14th, the circuit will host a MotoGP Grand Prix for the first time in nineteen years. Thanks to his long career in the MotoGP World Championship, Rossi is the only current premier class rider who has ever ridden at the circuit before. He has good memories of the venue as he secured his first ever podium at the Red Bull Ring for a third place in the 125cc class in 1996. The Italian had fun experiencing the track on a 1000cc bike over the last two days, as shown by the fifth fastest time he set today, a 1'24.169s.
As it was the first time for teammate Lorenzo to ride at the Austrian circuit, his main aim was to get a feel for the track's unique character and find a good balance for all aspects of his bike's set up. The track has only ten corners (three left and seven right), a 626m longest straight and many opportunities to fully open the throttle. The Mallorcan was impressed with the beauty of the circuit and looks forward to racing there in three weeks' time after booking progress with the set up of his bike today. His fastest time, a 1'24.194s, earned him sixth place in the second day time sheets.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We finished the first testing days at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg well and it has been a reasonably successful outing. It was very important we came here, so we could start preparing the race at a place for which we didn't have any kind of information. We made an improvement from yesterday to the end of today. We invested a lot of time in bettering the setting, the chassis and also the electronics and we did quite a lot of work for Michelin as well. This circuit doesn't look like it will be one of Yamaha's favourites, this kind of track lay out doesn't play into our strengths. It will be fundamental that our Japanese engineers at Yamaha Motor Company will study the data we got during these two days so we can come back here with some good solutions. There is still some work to do for the race, but we were able to collect good data. We are now midway through and we deserve some rest before we come back here in three weeks' time."
5th / 1'24.169
"It's a very particular circuit because it is really, really fast and you spend a lot of time with the throttle fully open. Compared to the other circuits it has a lot less corners, at the end of the lap you have done only nine or ten, normally there are around fifteen. It's very fast and the place is good and the corners are OK. For us, personally, it's not the best circuit because usually we suffer a bit on top speed, and in fact we are struggling, but it's just the first day and we collected a lot of data and made some kilometres.
"It were two good days, especially today we improved the performance and the balance of the bike a lot, but also the track was better, with more rubber where we needed it. We were able to improve the lap times and our position and we're a little bit closer to the top guys. I think racing here will be very difficult because it's a fast track, so for sure it's not the best circuit for us or for the YZR-M1. We have to work and give the maximum to get the maximum. Already today, we made a step and now we'll see. We'll get some rest and take a holiday and we will see what happens when we come back in August. It will be a very difficult race, especially with some of our factory rivals, they are faster than us. It will be very important to also understand the potential of the other competitors, because some are not here. It will be interesting to see if we are a little bit faster or slower than them, but we'll have to wait for the race weekend."
6th / 1'24.194
"The track is beautiful and very fast. The tarmac is good, there are just three or four corners where the wall is very close and that can be dangerous in case of a crash. It's difficult to change this track, but for sure for the future it would be good to try to improve the safety. The test of speed has been hard, because some of our rivals are fast, it looks like the track is giving them a big advantage, especially in braking stability, acceleration and top speed. They can put in all the power they have at this track and the difference is huge. Compared to other competitors we are not so far behind, but there are a lot of rivals, who are all very fast. We will reduce their advantage, but not close the whole margin, because they are so fast. With the bike we have - the balance and the electronics - we have to find the best setting for all the aspects and go as fast as possible.
"Compared to yesterday, today was better, because by riding all day the track was gaining grip and we were able to go a little bit faster. We also tried many things on the bike and some of them improved, so again I could go a little bit faster. Finally we were not 1.4s from the fastest one, but nine tenths. It's a little improvement and we are still far behind, but let's see if we can do another step in the race weekend. We will have to see what the weather does and which tyres Michelin will bring for the GP. Maybe they won't bring the tyres that we tried here. Let's see if they have less grip or suffer more graining. The one they keep may not be the best, but should be safer for a long race. Let's see how we feel in one month's time."
Results - Austria Private Test
1. A. Iannone, Ducati team, 1'23.240
2. A. Dovizioso, Ducati team, 1'23.680
3. C. Stoner, Pramac Ducati team, 1'23.865
4. H. Barbera, Avintia Racing, 1'24.091
5. V. Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1'24.169
6. J. Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1'24.194
7. M. Viñales, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1'24.208
8. A. Espargarò, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1'24.335
9. S. Redding, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1'24.375
10. C. Crutchlow, LCR Honda, 1'24.455
11. E. Laverty, Aspar Team MotoGP, 1'24.497
12. J. Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 MARC VDS, 1'24.555
13. T. Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 MARC VDS, 1'24.760
14. Y. Hernandez, Aspar Team MotoGP, 1'24.812
15. D. Petrucci, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1'25.090
16. M. Pirro, Avintia Racing, 1'25.139
17. M. Kallio, KTM Team, 1'25.191
18. T. Luthi, KTM Team, 1'25.705