Marc Marquez leads Jerez MotoGP test
7 May 2013
Following a dramatic second place in front of his home fans in Sunday's Spanish MotoGP, rookie Marc Marquez led the timesheets during testing at Jerez on Monday.
The 20-year-old Moto2 champion, who grabbed headlines around the world by bumping past world champion Jorge Lorenzo at the final turn of the race, used the testing opportunity to make set-up improvements to the front-end of his Repsol Honda.
The world championship leader then spent some time on electronics - working with different mappings - and collected data with a different suspension setup. Marquez set the pace for much of the day, although his final margin over nearest rival Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) was just 0.092s.
"Today was a very positive day of testing for us. We started with the base from yesterday, to focus on some problems we had in the race and we managed to find solutions quickly," said Marquez, whose best lap time - slightly under his qualifying pace - was set on the 27th of 63 laps.
"We [also] tried some new settings with the front forks, rear suspension and electronics. Some things went better than others, but the important thing is that we were consistent, which is what matters in MotoGP. We hope that what we did today helps us over the next few races."
Crutchlow tried some new parts, including a new chassis, plus some engine braking work. Despite still being sore from his two heavy crashes of Saturday, the Englishman rode for 67 laps, the best of which was three tenths under his qualifying time.
Lorenzo was third fastest (+0.134s) for Yamaha, with Marquez's team-mate and Sunday's race winner Dani Pedrosa in fourth, but just 0.155s slower than Marquez. Like Marquez, Pedrosa also worked on suspension, electronics and chassis settings ahead of the French Grand Prix on May 17-19.
"In general today was a positive day," said Pedrosa. "We worked on various aspects of the setup in order to find a bit more rear grip and stability exiting the corners. Some things went well and others could still be improved.
"We also tried out some things with the suspension and the electronics, but didn't have any major new parts to work with. This is all good preparation for the next round of the World Championship."
Lorenzo and fifth fastest team-mate Valentino Rossi compared the two versions of the 2013 M1 chassis currently available with the goal to decide upon one solid base set-up. If achieved, this will allow them to avoid the time-consuming task of switching between chassis during race weekends.
Honda Gresini focused on the front and rear Showa suspension of Alvaro Bautista who finished sixth quickest, while on the team's CRT machine Bryan Staring ran with a new frame.
LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl had suffered a lack of front end grip for the entire race weekend, thus today the German hoped to modify the geometry of his bike in a bid to find a proper solution. He would end proceedings in ninth spot.
Filling the void in seventh and eighth were the Ducati Team pairing Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, who had been highly keen to sample the revised chassis of the GP13 Laboratory bike.
Both riders conducted back-to-back comparisons with the current GP13, although test rider Michele Pirro - who had competed with the new machine over the weekend - was not on-track today.
Bradley Smith rounded out the top ten on the second Tech 3 machine. Unlike Crutchlow, Smith felt a clear benefit from the new chassis.
A selection of CRT riders - such as those of NGM Mobile Forward Racing, Came IodaRacing Project and Avintia Blusens' Hector Barbera - experimented with the first significant upgrade to the Magneti Marelli MotoGP ECU kit.
This is aimed at providing a better interface for riders and teams when working on bike setup, while on the bike itself the main performance steps are wheelie control and an 'anti-jerk' strategy that cuts engine power when between off-throttle and on-throttle situations; this should allow for a more stable mid-corner ride.
In the case of Barbera who was the leading CRT runner in 11th place, the Spaniard also looked at several new chassis components, whereas Avintia teammate Hiroshi Aoyama tried out a new frame and swingarm combination.
At PBM, Michael Laverty - who on Sunday had scored his first points with the team's own-built bike - ran new parts as well as looking into the ECU update, whereas on the outfit's ART machine Yonny Hernandez was looking to solve several setup issues, having been one of five riders to crash out of Sunday's race.
Danilo Petrucci was 14th for Came IodaRacing Project, working on bike setting as teammate Lukas Pesek completed the 19-rider field.
Not in attendance were Pramac Racing or Power Electronics Aspar. For the Italian outfit, Ben Spies remains out of action because of his pectoral muscle problem, whereas Andrea Iannone will undergo arm pump surgery in Barcelona on Tuesday.