Positive feelings all round for MotoGP riders in Sepang

Factory riders and rookies pleased with day one of testing

The first day of testing went well for the majority of the MotoGP field with both the leading riders and rookies satisfied with their first outing on their respective bikes. While the more experienced riders were inevitably at the front of the field, the rookies were working hard getting to grips with their machinery at the Sepang International Circuit.

Marquez and Rossi lead the way after day one

Marc Marquez had a packed schedule today and it wasn’t until his second last lap that the Repsol Honda rider leapfrogged Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi. Speaking afterwards Marquez said, “We tried three different bikes today, and this has been very important. I focused on testing them thoroughly and deciding which bike was the ideal one to continue working with at this test, and then this afternoon we focused more on one of the machines. I was able to start riding better and feel more comfortable on the bike.”

Rossi led for the majority of the day and was happy with his progress saying, “It’s a positive first day and I’m very excited to be back on the bike. Today has been really good because I was consistently fast in both the morning and afternoon. We worked a lot on trying to improve our pace with a used tire, but it’s already quite good. The bike is good and with the new tire we were able to attack and ride a good lap time. At the end I was in second place just behind Marquez, but not by far. It looks like the bike has improved in different areas. We still have a lot of work to do but the first day was ok.”

Lorenzo upbeat after positive first day

Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo was really happy with the development of the YZR-M1 throughout the winter. He said, “It’s a completely different story from last year, when we had a lot of problems, to now arrive here and feel comfortable on the bike and also with our position in the classification lap time-wise. This year we’ve been at the front from the beginning, in first three positions, and that means that the bike is working.

My physical condition is very good. I feel strong, but the first day is always difficult. You have to use different muscles that you don’t usually use at the gym or during your preparations, so you always get tired. However, compared to the normal pre-season I’m feeling well. Sepang is not our best track, but to have two Yamaha's in the top three is a good signal,” Lorenzo added.

Dani Pedrosa worked steadily on the raft of parts to be tested on a number of different bikes. He said, “I'm happy with the work we have done today on the first day of testing, because we were able to get back on the bike and we had a good pace. It went pretty well and I think we have improved the bike compared to the one we tested it at Valencia. We had a lot of work to do and it has been positive to have a good first day: it was important and we are happy with what we have achieved. There is still more to do, but we have taken a good first step. Tomorrow we'll see if we can continue moving things forward.”

Rookies on a high after first day out on MotoGP machinery

The MotoGP rookies of 2015 got their first taste of a hectic testing schedule in the premier class and leading the pack at the end of the day was CWM LCR Honda’s Jack Miller with the Australian rider finishing in 19th place. He said, “I’m very happy with the result today, we started off where we left things at the end of last year and I’m really happy with how the bike is working. The team is working great as always and today we tested many things.

Without electronics, I’m still trying to adjust my riding style to fit the MotoGP bike and tomorrow we might be able to start working with some electronics and start making some more steps forward. For today we are really happy. We are learning to conserve the tyres better and making a good job and looking forward to the rest of the test,” Miller added.

Maverick Viñales ended day one in 21st place for Team Suzuki MotoGP and he was upbeat about his progress. “It was a good day and I’m quite happy,” said Viñales who continued, “We still have many things to work-through on the bike and also myself as it was my first ride after three months, but as it was only the first day, it was important for me to get back my feeling on the bike first. The bike was quite similar compared to the one I tested in Valencia, although I felt a great improvement with anti-wheelie system; which was much smoother than before. The important target here is to get a good pace going and that I’ll keep trying to give my best.”

Eugene Laverty placed his Drive M7 Aspar machine in 22nd spot on the timing sheets with the transition from World Superbikes to MotoGP a tough but enjoyable task for the Irishman. He said, “I am coming from a completely different kind of bike and tyres so it is important to get the basics right before we start work. There are so many options with this bike and we need to explore them all. We are trying to make the transition from Superbikes to MotoGP as simple as possible.

This bike is much smaller and the tires allow for a lot more lean angle so I need to adapt. The new Honda is everything I thought it would be and more, it's a great bike. Now we just need to work on getting maximum performance out of it. Today was a good shakedown and I am happy with the first impressions,” Laverty added.

NGM Forward rider Loris Baz is also making the move from the World Superbike paddock and came away happy from his first day saying, “The feeling at the end of this first day is positive. I completed 66 laps and my work continues in a positive direction. I still need to find the right confidence and position on the bike but we are growing up quickly. We still have two days of work to find the right feeling.”

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Sepang February testing
Sub-event Day 1
Track Sepang International Circuit
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Eugene Laverty , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez , Loris Baz , Jack Miller , Maverick Viñales
Article type Testing report
Tags aspar, forward racing, lcr honda, movistar yamaha, repsol honda, suzuki motogp