Phillip Island Preseason Test Day Three Round-Up

Dorna Communications

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha)

"It was a very positive test for us. We came here to try many items and now we got things clear and we already know which set-up we can start using in Qatar. We did a lot of work and I‘m happy about that. Today we concentrated mainly on the race pace and I‘m satisfied, but we‘re still able to improve. We didn't decide on the fairing yet, it‘s still totally open, you never know."

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)

"I’m very happy with how it went today because we improved a lot, especially in the afternoon, even if I did my best lap time in the morning. In the end I felt much more comfortable and it seems that yesterday’s long runs were useful for improving the electronics and getting closer to the level we wanted to reach. Overall, I think it has been three very positive days, and we did a good job. Of course we shouldn't forget that this circuit is quite particular, and in Qatar we’ll see where we really are. Today I had a funny present from my team, a magnifying glass; I know I’m quite persistent in asking to check the data to find the issues we had, and they told me to find it myself! I’m very thankful that HRC is putting in a lot of effort, and step-by-step we’re getting better. I’d like to wish all the best to my Crew Chief Santi [Hernandez], who wasn't able to be here at Philip Island because of some medical checks. We all missed him and we’re looking forward to seeing him with us again at the next test!"

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)

"Overall I think it’s been a very positive test, especially considering that this isn’t one of my favorite tracks. I was riding quite well and I think we improved day by day. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well but today I felt a bit better and we were able to do a good job on the track. The team has worked very well. We focused again on electronics and on the setup of the bike, and the only thing we missed was a long run, as we ran out of time. Michelin have also made some good steps forward with the tires. All in all, we can say we’re heading in the right direction, even if we still have some work to do."

Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech3)

"Today was another good day and we can head home feeling positive for the future and happy about what we accomplished at Phillip Island. This morning, I got straight to work and I was able to cut my lap time further, which was a strong start. After that, the team and I tried a lot of settings on the bike but I was never 100% sure about which direction was the best one to take, despite the rhythm being quite good. Then, I started a race simulation but after three or four laps, I crashed at turn six. I returned to the track on my second bike that had a different setting, and after completing eleven laps or so, my confidence came back and I became faster and faster, which was very important. Now we know which direction we have to head towards and we will try again in Qatar. However, for the moment, we can be fully satisfied about what we completed here because the rhythm was good, the lap time was strong, we tried many options and we sorted a lot of things out, so we can all be really content."

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)

"We were happy with today’s test, and even though we were unable to set a fast lap time this was just down to a couple of slight problems in the morning when the track was in the best shape. That was when the temperature was good and the faster laps went in for other riders. The priority for our day, however, was to do a long run and get some more information for Honda. We managed that in the end and we were quite pleased with how it all went considering we also had a small issue in the long run. Our big limitation of the day only seemed to be the new front tire, and not just for us, for many riders, when we found we were really on the limit and unable to push. Now we have to give all the information we have gathered in the past three days to HRC, and I think we can be positive ahead of the next test in Qatar. We look forward to going there now, and working well as a team once more."

Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)

"The truth is that I’m very satisfied with these three days of testing. Apart from the best lap, the most important thing is that our progress during the sessions has been consistent and significant, cutting more than 2.3 seconds since Day One. We are able to better understand the machine and also develop a finer sensitivity with the settings and the changes. With my team, we are working very intensively, and this pays us back in the end. We still have many areas to improve, both in the GSX-RR and in my riding, but our ideas are getting clearer after each session. I also had a little crash today, but this didn’t affect my performance. I’m satisfied with these days and confident that we will be able to further improve."

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)

"In these three days at Phillip Island we have managed to get through a lot of work, gathering lots of useful information. We worked hard on the set-up and on several aspects of the chassis, further improving the feeling. Overall it was a good test, above all I’m happy I managed to do my times when it was the right moment and this makes me feel good. However I’m not completely satisfied because we still haven’t managed to totally improve several characteristics of the bike and so we will have to put more effort into our work."

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team)

"Today we made an important step forward to better understanding the bike, just like we did on the final day of the test in Sepang, and my lap times improved a lot. It was a pity that we were not able to use the soft tire this morning, when the track conditions were ideal, because I think I could have got my time down by another three-tenths. But, as I said, for me at this moment the times are not as important as the feeling on the bike and understanding the most efficient way to ride it. For the moment we’ve still got a lot of work to do, especially to get the bike to turn in the corners. In any case, all things considered, I think that we finished this test in quite a positive way."

Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)

"These three days here at Phillip Island have been really positive for us. For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm in charge of the bike and not the other way round. We came here to confirm what we learnt in Sepang and we've done that, so we know our base set up works at two very different tracks and I'm confident it will be the same in Qatar at the final test. There is still some work to do before we get the season underway next month, but we've done much of the hard work and it's now just a case of refining what we have to find the final few tenths we're missing. Overall I'm pleased with our preparations for the new season and looking forward to the final test in Qatar next month."

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Gresini)

"We are leaving these tests at a good overall level. We really worked hard. Today we focused on consistent performance. The RS-GP did very well in race simulations but we know that there is still room for improvement on that front. Here at Phillip Island I found a bike that once again suits my riding style in braking, whereas we were able to improve in terms of grip compared with the Sepang tests. After talking with the others, I think that we should be able to gain something in the turns, especially the fast corners, speaking of which, we tried a few changes to the chassis architecture to see if we could find more speed in the center of the turns. In Qatar we will continue in this direction, trying both the new fairing and the evolved engine again to establish the base for the first race weekend."

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)

"Today we worked a lot on the pace for the second half of the race, because we suffered in that area last year. We tried something quite different, but in the end we didn't improve a lot, so we‘ll have to try something else. I think the bike has good aspects, especially the engine, but for sure this test was more difficult for me than the one in Sepang. I‘m not very happy and we need to try to do better."

Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar)

"We understand more-and-more the direction we need to take for the future. I managed a very constructive long run where we could put together all the information collected in these three days and I must say the result was not bad at all. Obviously, I couldn't take advantage of the new tires for a proper time attack. I ruined the front tires as I used them so much for the long run attempts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Therefore, my position in the classification is not the one I’d like, but looking overall, we did a good job. We are working on the electronics but not just there. We have many areas where we can make big or small improvements, and we are trying to fix everything. These kinds of tests require time and patience. It is like being a test rider more than a race rider. It is hard to be in the position of tapping the bike´s full potential, but I’m confident that in Qatar we will reap the benefits of this hard work."

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yaknich)

"I go home with the certainty we have done a great job of development. We had some little issues that did not allow us to be effective on lap-time, but this is not so important right now. I'm happy with race pace. Of course we are not close to the top yet, but we are improving."

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3)

"The third and final day at Phillip Island went smoothly for me and now I am looking forward to the next track appearance in Qatar. Once again, the conditions were clear and sunny, which was good for my confidence and it meant that we could ride uninterrupted. I improved on yesterday’s best time in the morning and then I just kept working and completing laps. In the end, I am pleased about the distance that we covered today. This circuit is not one of my favorites but because of the number of laps which I rode, I am now able to understand the bike better and we can adjust and improve more settings. This is important for the next test because I know that I will be stronger at other venues."

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing)

"The most positive after three days is that today we finally found the way. With two hours to go we touched the key and I began to feel good on the bike and I was faster, but the best is that my feeling is back. I have been very overwhelmed because this happened in Malaysia and every time since I got on this bike. We have finally found the solution! I started to feel good straight away, having fun riding the bike, but this was only for two hours and in the end we didn’t have any more tires to try a flying lap. At the end I was able to improve a lot with a seven-lap-tire, and I think that with fresh tires it was possible to lap in 29 lows. So in the end we are happy. Now it is time to prepare well before the next test in Qatar."

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Loris Baz (Avintia Racing)

"It has been a difficult three days but today we found something. We have improved little by little to lap in 29 and we are not so far, but I am happy because we have found the way, and it has not been easy. Overall I leave Phillip Island satisfied, because we tried a lot of things and the team did a great job. My crew chief, Paolo did the right things and in the end of the day we leave with a clear direction. I think that I could go even faster with a new tire at the end, so I’m happy, much more than I was until today at lunch time."

Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Alvaro Bautista (Pull & Bear Aspar)

"In general we have not found the best feeling over the last three days here. Today we went back to the set-up from the start of the test to compare the data we have gathered since then and the truth is we have made some steps forward to improve my confidence. We also had the intention of completing a long run today but on the first attempt we had a problem with the front tire and after fifteen laps it was virtually destroyed. I had to put a fresh front tire in, which had a longer life but I didn't have the same feeling. It was difficult because the tire was more aggressive and in the end the performance also dropped off with this one. At the end of the day we tried a quite different setting with the second bike and after just three laps I felt more comfortable than I have done over the last three days. We needed a little more time to work in this direction but we have gathered some data that could be useful in the future."

Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yaknich)

"In these three days of testing we made some improvements even if we didn’t manage to find consistency. We have to work still a lot on the set up to find the best feeling. The bike has a lot of room for improvement and I hope to explore it in Qatar, on a track more suited to the Ducati."

Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Gresini)

"There are many more positive aspects of our tests than it may seem. I started off with a few difficulties, but growth was constant. I managed to stay up with the group of riders ahead of me, despite a few uncertainties in my fast lap that cost me a couple of tenths. We obviously need to be faster, but I think that all the riders on the grid would say the same. The gaps are incredibly close. With the exception of the top two, practically all the other riders are within just over a second. To be honest, if we were to race tomorrow I think I could battle for the points zone, but I know that our potential is much higher, so the tests in Qatar will be our chance to look for another step forward. What Aleix demonstrated with the 2017 bike is an important sign. I know that I have a good technical package to start the season in the best possible way."

Karel Abraham (Pull & Bear Aspar)

"We are leaving Australia feeling a little frustrated after this final day because we were unable to improve on our lap time from yesterday, when I was able to set a bunch of low 1'30s. We tried different set-up variations but I just couldn't go any faster. The positive part is that we managed a long run, which was good, especially the first part when I was fast and consistent. I have spoken with the team about the next test in Qatar and we agree that it is a very specific track in terms of set-up so we will see what happens when we get there. I think I am capable of good results and I want to get back to the kind of position we were in yesterday."