Yesterday was the final day of the last pre-season test at Jerez and now the opening round in Qatar is finally looming on us after four long, long months of waiting and all the riders are ready to hit the Losail circuit.
Expectations are on the rise to see who comes out on top and watch Marc Marquez actually racing and if Valentino Rossi will actually be a contender, if Ducati has actually found something to lessen the gap that they have against Honda and Yamaha, and who will be the best Ducati rider, and if the ART bikes will once again be the top dog in the CRT class.
Check out what the rest of the riders had to say following the third and last day of testing.
Stefan Bradl - 3rd
“Today we just had one and half hour of acceptable track conditions after this morning rain showers. We confirmed our bike set-up from yesterday, which made me more confident with the front tyre and we made a further step forward. Then for the remaining laps, we tested a new set of tyres to improve our lap time and we had a good result despite some traffic in the last part of the session. Although we had here tricky conditions in the last 3 days, I think we are ready for the first race in Qatar which is a race track that I like”.
Andrea Iannone – 6th
“I am satisfied with the work we are doing. I think that in this circuit our bike can be competitive. I felt much better than in the Sepang test and I found out a few different solutions compared to the first 2012 test. Anyway my goal is to learn more and more and to be as fast as possible.”
Nicky Hayden - 7th
“We started winter testing in Malaysia with a bigger gap than we had hoped, but since then I feel like we’ve worked well and recovered some of the gap, although part of that is down to this track being shorter. The test team is doing a good job with us, and I achieved my goal for this test, which was to be inside a second from the leader. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I was riding so well, but I went better this afternoon when it finally dried out. There wasn’t much time, but the team did a good job. My suspension guy had a few ideas, and they seemed promising; it’s a good sign that I was a second faster than yesterday on a patchy track. There’s still a lot of work to do, but everyone’s really motivated for Qatar.”
Andrea Dovizioso - 8th
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time today, so it wasn’t possible to learn anything regarding the race pace. Still, I didn’t expect to leave Jerez just eight tenths from the leader. I’m surprised and pleased at the same time, as this helps us to realize that we’re not so far from the others when we have a fresh tyre. The weather didn’t allow us to do a race simulation, so we’re not sure what to expect when the tyres are worn. These three days were important for me and for the development, even if we weren’t able to do a great lap time. We should be able to fight for a decent grid position in Qatar, and that’s important, but we’re not sure about the race.”
Randy de Puniet - 10th
“I am really happy because the test finished in the best possible way. We had to wait until 4:30 this afternoon before we could ride but it was worth the wait. The track wasn’t completely dry when I went out so I didn’t want to take too many risks but we made some slight adjustments to the front suspension and made some interesting conclusions. I was three tenths off my best lap from last year without pushing, which is a really good sign considering the conditions. We also managed to iron out the problems we had yesterday so we leave Jerez in very high spirits.”
Aleix Espargaro - 12th
We did about fifteen laps on the wet track this morning and I had a fantastic feeling with the bike. We did some tests with the electronics and the bike responded perfectly, so I was really happy with that. In the afternoon we only did an hour and a quarter on track and there were some damp patches out there so it was difficult to get a feeling, At least we were able to continue testing the electronics and try to eliminate the rebound I was experiencing in certain parts of the track but we didn’t completely manage to do that. We will keep working on it in Qatar but for now we can leave Jerez feeling happy that we have discovered a lot of options for our bike and look forward with optimism to the first race.”
Claudio Corti – 13th
“Today our lap times have improved even if the track conditions were not ideal, we still have a lot of work ahead of us and this is just the beginning. We have improved considerably since the Sepang test but we need to continue working on the development and we have several ideas in mind, we are working on the right direction. We still have to figure out a few things like the electronics and tires, which I haven’t been able to take to test to the limit. The FTR- Kawasaki package is strong even if we do lose a bit of time exiting the curved, but we have to keep in mind that we are not a factory team, we are a private team. We have to work and not let our guard down. The Aprilias are not as far ahead of us as we thought they would. Our job now is to keep our heads down and open gas.”
Lukas Pesek - 15th
“Today was a very usefull day for us, we have worked a lot on the new Ioda-Suter chassis testing also different eletronics solutions. We did many laps both on the wet and on the dry track and now we have many informations that will be very important for the incoming season. In the last minutes of the practice we decided to use a new set of tyres and I got a good lap time very close to the other CRTs and this is very good looking forward to Qatar race. I have to say thank you to my team for the great job that they have done”.
Karel Abraham - 16th
What can I say. We needed to push hard for three days on dry track and instead of this we could ride for two afternoons only, actually not even that. There was a lot of speeding up at the end of today, but we just tried settings, which wasn´t so good for me and rear tyre was slipping me a lot. Five riders ahead of me made their fastest times in last three laps and in that moment I couldn´t be faster. So I´m really not thrilled with result. Against the teams with the same bike from last year, we have a terrible shortage which we have to work on in practise session for Qatar.“
Danilo Petrucci - 18th
“Unfortunately, as happened in the others tests, on the third day we didn’t improve what we have done in the two days before. The bad weather has conditioned the track, and we have also lost some time for some little problems to my bikes with the dry track. I’m disappointed for that because yesterday everything was ok, but I’m also very confident for the first race in Qatar”.
Bryan Staring - 20th
I wasn’t particularly happy with today’s test. During the morning the rain conditioned our work and after being inactive in a garage for several hours when I went out for a race simulation I was particularly demotivated, and there were spots on the track with damp patches that didn’t give me confidence and thinking about the fact that I’ll be debuting in MotoGP I didn’t want to make any mistakes. Now my thoughts are on Qatar and my first MotoGP race which is particularly stimulating.
Colin Edwards - 21st
“All done with pre season testing and overall feeling happy. As far as the bike is concerned the bike, the chassis is fantastic. We have done a lot of work in a short amount of time to figure out a good balance. What worked in Malaysia we had to change a little bit here, Jerez always seems to be a bit particular on bike setting. In terms of the engine, we’ve come off from our first test, got a better unit and the exhaust as well, so we have added a little power. We have been mainly playing with electronics, really trying to figure out traction control and yesterday we ultimately found something that we can always improves but right now its comfortable, its consistent and comfortable and that’s what we have been lacking a little bit of. I’m happy, I’m ready to go to the first race.”