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Valencia Moto3 Test: ‘I like Mahindra more every time’ - Bagnaia

“I like the bike more every time I ride it and the team is helping me to improve the way I work, so we are all very happy" - Francesco Bagnaia.
Francesco Bagnaia may come to view losing his VR46 team seat as a blessing in disguise.

Moving to Aspar and the team's new Mahindra machinery for 2015, the young Italian - just 16th in this year's championship - was second fastest to Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) during this week's Valencia Moto3 test.

Bagnaia's best lap time, of 1m 39.487s, was several tenths quicker than he had managed in the season-ending Grand Prix on a KTM - despite a stomach virus.

“We managed to complete a lot of laps today, the majority of them productive. It was a shame I couldn't ride yesterday because of the stomach virus and I still wasn't 100% today,” he said. “Even though I had a headache I was able to work all day and we gathered a lot of information.

“I like the bike more every time I ride it and the team is helping me to improve the way I work, so we are all very happy. We are gradually building a solid foundation and hopefully we can continue like this. I have felt comfortable with my technical staff from the very beginning and we are already starting to see the effect of that on track.”

Aspar regular Juanfran Guevara was three tenths off the pace of his new team-mate, the Spaniard still suffering from a sprain to his right ankle that he suffered in a Monday crash, but was at least able to complete 23 laps and try a chassis evolution.

“We went a little quicker today than we managed yesterday,” Guevara said. “It was a shame that we crashed yesterday and suffered the sprain because it affected our work today. The good thing is that we were able to test an evolution of the 2014 chassis, more in the direction of what the chassis will be like next year, and it responds well. I feel comfortable on it and it seems like it has a lot of potential. We couldn't ride much because of the injury to my right ankle but we were able to get an idea of what we will be working with next year in terms of the chassis. Even though we didn't manage many laps the feeling was good and now we have to focus on recovering as quickly as possible before the next test.”

Rookie Jorge Martín's final day got off to a slow start due to a problem with his engine but he was able to get out on track in the afternoon and make some steps forward with general set-up. Martin set a best time of 1m 40.191s.

“Today has been a bit of a strange day,” he said. “At first the engine wasn't working properly, it was down on power and we couldn't set the lap times we were aiming for. Then after a few laps we had another problem that set us back because we had to stop for a while. Luckily I was able to continue working with Juanfran's bike.

“I felt comfortable from the start but we only managed a few laps and didn't get too much work done. We made a change to the front to combat the chatter and the results were positive. Every day we are getting faster with this bike so I am happy.”

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Francesco Bagnaia tests new Aspar Mahindra (pic: Aspar)
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November 19, 2014 10:35 AM

Might be a revelation if Bagnaia can outperform both Fenati and Migno next year, on a Mahindra. In regards to the VR46 Team, wit hit being a new team this year they have a lot of things to learn from coming into next season so I think they may yield better, more consistent results if Crew Chiefs/Engineers aren't fired mid-season etc.

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