First Official Test of 2014 | MotoGP
The 2014 season has finally arrived with the test ban over and bikes returning on track at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both spent time on the 2013 RC213V machine, to regain the feeling after the Winter break, before climbing aboard their 2014 bikes. It wasn’t long before the two Spanish riders were topping the time sheets with Marc setting the fastest time before lunch with a time of 2’00.767 set on lap 30 of 34. Dani was just 0.747 off him with 2:01.514 on lap 25 of 31, placing him 7th.
Dani went back on track to continue his testing programme which included working on the rear brake, shock, clutch and engine mappings. He completed a further 44 laps, taking his total to 75 (the most of any rider for the day) and set a fastest time of 2’00.906 placing him 3rd on the first day in Malaysia. Marc rejoined working on engine mappings, clutch and also the new spec Bridgestone rear tyre and remained fastest for the day with a time of 2’00.286 on lap 52 of 62, half a second faster than second place Rossi.
Team Yamaha had a great day of testing, Rossi lead the first session of the day with the fastest time and by the end of the finished second just behind Marquez. Jorge Lorenzo finished just half a second behind Marquez, ending the day with the 4th best time. Rossi said, ” “I’m happy about the first day, it’s a good start. I feel good and I’m in a good shape. I’m happy because we’ve been very fast and always stayed in the top three positions. We worked a lot on the bike and on the new stuff to try and improve my problems. We already found something. I’m happy because I feel good with the bike and was able to go into the 2’00 minute mark, that was my target. It’s a positive day.”
American Nicky Hayden tested for over 50 laps trying to work out the new bike. Nicky said, ” To say it’s only the first day the pace here is very fast. I was happy to get back on the bike today and even though we have a lot of work ahead I can say that the electronics package is improved from what we used at Valencia, certainly in terms of the power delivery. We have to work on acceleration out of the slow corners but I really like the way this bike handles. The chassis is really stable over the bumps here. After testing a bunch of stuff we got the lap time down at the end of the day but we know this is a completely new project and we have to work hard.”
Testing will continue later today, look for the times to drop for all the riders as they get to know their new machines.