Phillip Island Preseason Test Day One Round-Up

Yamaha Racing

Reigning champ Marc Marquez led the way on Wednesday in Australia as three days of official testing at Phillip Island got under way.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)

"We had a quite a busy day because we worked a lot on the engine, which of course is different from the one we used here at Phillip Island last year. That meant we had to readjust everything during the morning and spend a lot of time in the box. In the afternoon we found a base for the electronics, but we still need to work harder in this area. I’m fast, but like in Malaysia we want to double-check how it’s working in some areas. We also worked on the setup, and overall it has been a positive day. The weather was good, which is always important, so hopefully it will stay the same for the next two days."

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)

"It was a good day, I‘m quite satisfied. We started in a difficult way this morning. Before the break I wasn'‘t strong enough and because I couldn'‘t push at the maximum I didn'‘t have a lot of feeling. We worked well during the break and in the afternoon the situation changed, I was a bit better. At the end, with the new tire, I was able to do a good lap and second position is positive for the first day. For sure, we still have a lot to do, especially on the long distance and we hope to have good weather also in the next few days."

Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar)

"This morning was very difficult for us. The team couldn’t find the proper setting to feel confident. I struggled a lot. But then in the afternoon, we changed some settings and improved step by step. At the final stage I was happy because the machine improved, as well as the feeling of the bike and the pace. This is a very positive outcome, because it means we have the capability to overcome very hard situations and turn them into a positive. As of tomorrow, we have the chance to work on pace as well as single lap performance, and also introduce some more improvements. We are on a good path. My crew chief is as new as I am with the GSX-RR and it’s very important for us to learn and get to know it at its best."

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha)

"About today, I think I can be happy in one area. On the race pace and basic set-up we made a good step, I feel comfortable. We didn'‘t set a fast lap time at the end of the session, in the last ten minutes we went back in the box. We still have time until Qatar to be fast and try to improve the bike and I think our objective here is to be consistent and really fast."

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)

"It wasn’t too bad a day’s testing today. We had a lot of small things that we needed to fix on the bike, and that meant lots of short runs in and out of the pit complex, which cost us a bit of time, but overall I’m pleased with our pace. We are using the newer spec engine again in Australia, and it is taking a little bit of getting used to for all the riders at the moment, but we are happy with Honda’s work and I’m happy with the way the team worked today. We now have another two days of testing left, where we hope we can improve the package we have even further. We had some more things we wanted to try today but didn’t manage to get done, however I felt good riding the bike and felt at ease. We know what I and the team are capable of doing around this circuit, and I feel that if we had the race again tomorrow we would be in a similar position. I’m happy with that, but we still need to work hard because I still think we can have a better feeling with this bike."

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yaknich)

"I am very satisfied with this first day of testing. We worked with the right approach and with two bikes available we had the possibility to focus a lot on the race pace. In the end I managed to make even a good lap with the new rubber. To end an intense day of work with a god lap time is a reward for the team too."

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)

"I think we started this test in a positive way. Of course it has been a while since I’ve ridden at this track, as I missed the GP year and needed to do some laps to get reacquainted with it. Anyway, the first feeling was good enough. We didn’t work on the electronics too much today because we focused more on the fork’s setting as I looked to find a good feeling with the bike. Tomorrow we’ll focus on the electronics, as we need to find a good base setup. We hope to take another step forward because that will help us at every track."

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)

"Today we concentrated on doing some tests with the chassis because we had to define several aspects, and we used up the entire day for this work. The feeling is quite good, but here at Phillip Island you feel the difference between lapping with the wings and without more than in Malaysia. We still have to improve the bike’s balance and set-up, and that’s scheduled for tomorrow, so then we’ll see what sort of times we can lap in, as everyone will surely make a further step forward."

Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)

"We started today with a slightly different set up to Sepang because Phillip Island is a very different circuit, but the good feeling with the front remained. We managed to improve this further with new front forks from Öhlins and we tried a few things with the front to quicken up the steering, sacrificing a little bit of braking stability in the process, but that isn't so important here. The wind was a bit of a problem this afternoon, especially through the faster turns, but it had dropped just enough to allow me to put in my fastest lap right at the end of the session. Today we had the pace, but tomorrow we need to improve the consistency if we are to close the gap to the front. Overall, a good day and I'm looking forward to more of the same tomorrow."

Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech3)

"I am quite happy with the outcome of today and we collected some important information, even if it was a bit tricky because of the wind, but fortunately, the weather improved in the afternoon. I set a solid lap time in the morning and then after that, we started to experiment with the bike setting and the tyres. Towards the end of the session, the Yamaha started to feel a bit light at the front, so now we have to analyse why this is happening and see whether it is because of my riding or the setting. Nevertheless, the team and I took a lot of data and we feel positive which sets us up well for tomorrow and we will continue to do our best when we get back on the track."

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team)

"The tests here at Phillip Island have begun a lot better than in Sepang, and today we used the same base set-up that we had established at the end of the test in Malaysia. It was a shame that during the last one and a half hours we were unable to improve our lap times while other riders did. We struggled to lower our times because of the strong wind and in addition the last rear tire we fitted didn’t have the same sort of performance that we had expected. In any case it’s positive the fact that every day we are accumulating new information and that we are always making small steps forward."

Alvaro Bautista (Pull & Bear Aspar)

"On this first day here in Australia we haven't had the same feeling from the start that we had in Sepang. Whether it is because this track is a little different or because the tires are a bit harder, I felt like I had more difficulty. At the start I wasn't comfortable with the front in the turns but we slowly improved it and by working on the suspension we got it to turn better. I also felt that the rear was lacking contact with the track. The tire doesn't feel like it is working well, it doesn't grip. We tried different things to fix that and some of them gave me a better feeling. We are putting all the data together now to try and improve the feeling tomorrow and find what we had at Sepang or at Jerez last November. Once we find that we will be more competitive. The bike feels nervous, very reactive, but we will work hard to improve it tomorrow. I also had a little crash today, which was a choice between going down or hitting the wall. I saved a slide and ran wide and I was heading for the wall so I laid it down. It was slow and I wasn't hurt."

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing)

"We continue as in Sepang, I can not find the confidence with the front and I’m not able to push harder. We have tried many things with the geometries of the bike, but at the end, when I’m in the corner, I have no confidence and I have to release the brake. I crashed again for that reason, and as soon as I push a little bit more, I can feel that I’m going to crash. We have to keep working and we have several new things to try tomorrow, we have a different fork, that can help us find the way. One second gap is not too much, and we didn’t use a soft tire at the end. Right now the lap times are not important, the target is to get confidence with the bike, and this is something I’m missing from the first day with this bike."

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Gresini)

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3)

"The first day at Phillip Island went positively for me and I am looking forward to getting back on the Yamaha YZR-M1 tomorrow. The conditions were really good and the temperature was warm which meant that I could complete a lot of laps. I must admit that I was not fully confident at this circuit because I have fallen a few times in Moto2 in the previous years, so the main task for today was to keep riding in order to feel more comfortable. We did not adjust too many technical aspects because I just ran some distance but step by step I am improving and feeling more positive. So overall, today was encouraging but we have work to do on Thursday and Friday."

Karel Abraham (Pull & Bear Aspar)

"The day started very well, we set a quick lap time and I was happy with the lap and the position. However, then we started to try some modifications to the chassis and especially the electronics, some of which worked and others didn't. We stopped for lunch when the track was at its hottest because there were a few crashes. The temperature was high, around 50 degrees. We went back out on a new tyre and I was looking for a tow to improve my lap time but there was nobody on track. I pushed anyway and came close on three occasions but couldn't beat my previous best. That was a little frustrating although I think the positive part is that even riding alone I set some strong times. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow, but hopefully we can improve the lap time in the morning and then in the afternoon we want to do some longer runs."

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Loris Baz (Avintia Racing)

"Today was a normal day. In the morning we had an issue with the bike and we didn’t find the problem until lunch time. At this track the bike is quite difficult and we have been working hard to improve the set up. But it seems all Ducatis are struggling a little bit at this circuit. We have to keep working in the next two days because I think we have several good directions to try, and then we will see if we can find the right one. We need to make a big step that allows us to make the bike easier in a long run, because right now the bike is very demanding and complicated to ride."

Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)

"The program of first day mainly focused on doing as many laps as possible to get confident with the GSX-RR on a new circuit and find good lines for a MotoGP machine and try to be consistent. Here the wind plays an important role that can affect the riding style. From a technical point of view, we just tried the new 2017 suspensions with some different settings, collecting data to work on. Probably tomorrow we will introduce some more new things, but again the focus will be on my riding style. With my crew chief, I’ve already seen that there are many parts of the track where we can be more effective, like sector three, and this will come with experience and confidence."

Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yaknich)

"Unfortunately things did not go as hoped. I could not find the feeling on the rear and this hasn’t allowed me to have confidence in corner entry, especially in the fast corners. We need to improve in this and we have much work to do. But this is a normal thing during testing."

Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Gresini)

Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)