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The Mission Winnow Ducati team concludes the first MotoGP tests of 2019

The Mission Winnow Ducati team archived the first official MotoGP tests of 2019 at Sepang (Malaysia). In the third and last session, all riders tried to set their fastest time in the morning – with cooler temperatures and, consequently, faster track conditions – and both Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso were able to break the previous, unofficial best lap (1:58.830) posted by Jorge Lorenzo one year ago as a factory Ducati rider.

Petrucci clocked 32 laps, posting a phenomenal 1:58.239, which put him in first position. Dovizioso finished in fourth position, with a personal best of 1:58.538, 0.299 seconds behind his teammate with 36 laps to his tally. The riders also tried a new fairing with a different aerodynamic profile, giving positive feedback.

The strong performances by Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, respectively second and third on Pramac Racing Team's Desmosedici GP bikes, further underscored Ducati's overall competitiveness during this test.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:58.239 (1st)
"Today we started off on the right foot: I was supposed to try two 'time attacks' but one attempt, done with a medium rear tyre, was enough. When I saw the lap time on the dashboard, I was really happy. After that, we resumed our work on some new items. Unfortunately, however, I crashed while I was trying a new fairing around midday. Given the fact that I was also experiencing some issues with blisters in my hands, we decided to stop a bit ahead of schedule to recover and make sure we're at our best in the next tests in Qatar. Overall, it's been a really positive test."

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:58.538 (4th)
"All in all, this test has been positive. It was important to push to the limit again today because we only have another test before the season starts, and we managed to post a competitive time even on a flying lap after being really consistent in yesterday's race simulation. Also, to see so many Ducati bikes at the front confirms that we have a good base. We also tried a new fairing, with positive feedback. It's still early to draw conclusions, but I'm happy with the work done here and now we'll look for more ways to improve ahead of Qatar."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Losail (Qatar) for the second and final pre-season MotoGP test, scheduled for February 23-25.

Friday, 08 February 2019 18:18 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Viñales obliterates the opposition on Day 2

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) got within just 0.067 of Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest ever lap of Sepang on Day 2 of testing, with the 1:58.830 set by Lorenzo last season – although not an official lap record – now surely under threat on Day 3. Viñales had been hovering in third for much of the latter part of the day and left his vie at record-breaking late as the final few minutes saw time attacks light up the timesheets. More than three tenths up before the final sector, the Spaniard eventually crossed the line 0.527 ahead of nearest rival Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), setting both a supreme lap and a serious benchmark.

That built on a positive first day on the timesheets for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP and Valentino Rossi in sixth added to the good vibes. The veteran Italian did 51 laps and was only two tenths off second, although the distance to his teammate stretched out from there. The Iwata marque confirmed they have a busy agenda, with different winglets and chassis items on the menu. Happy with progress since November, Team Director Massimo Meregalli says the biggest focus from Sepang is the last part of the corner and specifically, acceleration.

Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli ended the day in P14 and P15 respectively – and they both completed a valuable 58 laps.

Alex Rins was the man who lost his top spot to Viñales after seeming set to end the day fastest, but the Spaniard’s 1:59.424 was nevertheless an incredible lap time and he did 61 laps on Thursday. Team Manager Davide Brivio said it’s going well and they have different swingarms, new aerodynamics with both riders and some different combinations; engine mapping, clutch, “things like that” – as well as an exhaust to try on Day 2. The Italian said their focus is fitting together the “puzzle” correctly for the first race, and the timesheets seem to bode well for Rins despite the Hamamatsu factory losing their concessions in 2019. Rookie teammate Joan Mir ended the day in P21 after 64 laps.

On Rins’ tail was the fastest Ducati on Day 2 and once again it was an Independent Team rider – this time Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing). The Australian was a late mover like those above him and was only a tenth off Rins by the end of play, putting in 49 laps. Just behind him came Andrea Dovizioso, who was the fastest Mission Winnow Ducati and looked set to top the day’s action until the late flurry of fast laps saw him pushed down to fourth. Initially, the number 04 was working on frames and Team Manager Davide Tardozzi confirmed that teammate Danilo Petrucci was focused on finding a better connection between the throttle and the rear tyre – working on the electronics and engine. Roles were then reversed, and Tardozzi also confirmed the Borgo Panigale factory also had some work on aero planned. That’s expected tomorrow. Today, it was two red machines in tandem as the two were on track together on some longer runs in the afternoon, with Petrucci saying he has “more to learn” than his teammate and ending the day in ninth. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) pipped him on his GP18 to end Thursday in P7, with Francesco Bagnaia fastest rookie in P12 for Alma Pramac Racing.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) put in a good showing on Thursday to take fifth overall and end the day as fastest Honda. The Brit is returning from a badly broken ankle sustained at Phillip Island last season but managed 53 laps to end the session within just 0.004 of Dovizioso. He also suffered a crash; Rider OK. Next up for Honda was eighth-placed Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who downed tools early once again and put in 37 laps on Day 2 – although some of those were a longer run in the afternoon. The team confirmed they’re on schedule despite the lighter lap load for the reigning Champion, too – with Marquez routinely having done over 90 laps per test day last season – and were working on the new bike, new engine and electronics, with a lot to get through including some different fairings. Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) took P10 after 60 laps, with Stefan Bradl (Honda Test Team) taking P16 after 59 laps.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing saw some tables turned on Day 2 as Johann Zarco ended the day as fastest Austrian machine for the first time since his switch to the marque. He said he outstripped his expected progress for the day and it made him smile to dip below the 2 minute mark for the first time, and he ended the day in P11 after 58 laps. Teammate Pol Espargaro was P17 and just over three tenths off. KTM test rider Mika Kallio was a couple of places back, and just pipped Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rookie Miguel Oliveira. Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin had a tougher day, outside the top twenty.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, meanwhile, had a race simulation fairly early on Day 2 for Aleix Espargaro as Andrea Iannone remained focused on adaptation. Bike balance, electronics and torque control were a focus for the Noale factory. Espargaro ended the day in P13 after 54 laps, Iannone in P18 after 39. Romano Albesiano, Technical Manager, also confirmed that it’s not just the immediate future the marque are working towards, with plans made to make some big changes in testing in order to set up some more radical development later in the season.

Thursday, 07 February 2019 13:13 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Official MotoGP testing comes to an end at Jerez de la Frontera, with Danilo Petrucci fifth and Andrea Dovizioso eighth on second and final day

With the second and final day of official MotoGP testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain, track activity for teams and riders in 2018 has now drawn to a close.

Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases


KTM CLOSE 2018 MOTOGP YEAR WITH PRODUCTIVE JEREZ TEST

Two more days of essential set-up work and data gathering for the 2019 FIM MotoGP season took place at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain yesterday and today. The final test of 2018 saw Red Bull KTM flanked by the new Red Bull Tech 3 KTM RC16s of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin once more.

Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:31 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Repsol Honda Team enjoy a productive final day at Valencia test

The Repsol Honda Team’s second and final day of testing at Valencia was finally completely dry. As was the case yesterday though, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo took to the circuit around 1 pm, when air temperature and track conditions improved enough for the riders to collect valuable information for the HRC engineers to analyse.

Marc’s fastest time of 1’30.911” on lap 39 of 53 placed him third-fastest on this final day. Jorge turned 46 laps and finished in 12th place at 1’31.584” (lap 40).

Marquez and Lorenzo will take part in a two-day test in Jerez, Spain 28-29 November before the winter testing ban kicks in at the end of the month.

Marc Marquez
3rd 1'30.911 (53 laps)
“It was a good day for us, as we tried many things and got a lot of information. Today we mainly worked on the new bike and the engine setup, but not only on that. We had many things to try and to understand, as the feeling is quite different. In the morning I was really comfortable and I was already able to be fast. Then I stayed there, remained calm and kept the rhythm, because to be honest, it was a must-not-crash situation today. We tried different combinations, spending a lot of time in the garage in the morning, but I was able to make a few consistent runs in the afternoon.”

Thursday, 22 November 2018 09:24 Published in Rider and Team Releases


MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP CONCLUDE POSITIVE VALENCIA TEST

VALENCIA (SPAIN), 21ST NOVEMBER 2018 Despite having to sit out the first three hours of available track time in the pit box again, waiting for the riding conditions to improve, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were able to complete most of their testing programme on the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo.

Similar to yesterday, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi both spent all their testing time getting familiar with the new engine evolution.

Following the same procedure as yesterday, Viñales made his way out on track with more than four hours on the clock. The Spaniard picked up his work on the 2019 engine spec where he had left off and, despite a small crash, proceeded to gradually better his time throughout the day. He rode a total of 57 laps and improved on his personal best from the first day by 0.659s, setting a 1'30.757s lap on his 50th try. He ended the session leading the rankings with a 0.133s advantage over his closest rival. This result puts him in first position in the combined test timesheets.

Rossi arrived at the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pit box around the same time as his teammate, heading out on track in the afternoon. The Doctor was very focused on getting his YZR-M1’s new engine in perfect shape ahead of the 2019 season. He completed 63 laps in total and set a 1'31.371s after completing two-thirds of his testing programme, which was enough to keep him in ninth position in the rankings, 0.614s from today's best time. The lap also earned him ninth place in the overall Valencia test results, as almost all MotoGP riders improved on their best effort on the second day.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI TEAM DIRECTOR: "We’ve made a very productive start to the 2019 pre-season, and we have quite a few things to be positive about. Our wish for some dry testing time was granted, though we had to wait until the afternoon on both days. Still, the hours on track allowed us to get a lot of work done. As announced during the Valencia GP weekend, Maverick and Valentino focused mainly on comparing the new engine evolution to the 2018 engine. The new engines improve the engine braking, and the acceleration is smoother. Both riders really only concentrated on comparing the engines, without touching the chassis setting. They both gave positive and similar feedback on what we tried during this test. We managed to do 60% of what we had scheduled. So far we’re on the right path. Next up is the two-day test at Jerez that will be crucial in preparing for the 2019 season. We're heading in the right direction, so that's our motivation to keep working hard."

MAVERICK VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER: "It has been a positive test. We've been working a lot on improving for the first lap of the race. I'm actually really happy because from the first lap I felt good grip and I could push. There's still work to do to further improve the engine braking and the smoothness of the power, so that's what we will work on in Jerez. It was unlucky that we couldn't ride all day, like we had planned. We couldn't test the engines very well, so we're going to decide after Jerez which of the two we choose. As I said, we need to try more, to be more convinced about the engine decision, but I think we're on the right track. We need to focus on the riding style and getting a smoother bike will be very important, especially when there's no grip during the race, but there is an upgrade coming that will help a lot. In these last two days I only focused on the engine and didn't touch anything concerning the setting. I think we could have improved the set-up for Valencia a lot, but I'm happy that just focusing on the engine we improved by some tenths."

VALENTINO ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER: "We were able to improve compared to yesterday, but unfornately our opponents were able to improve more. Today was a bit more difficult. We tried a different engine and a different spec, but it was similar to the one we tried yesterday so they have more or less the same performance. For now we keep the same material, and next week we will try it again at another track, in Jerez, so there we'll try to understand it in a better way. After that we have to wait for next year. The test in Jerez is important because in the GP there in May we weren't very fast. We need to understand if we're stronger now."

Thursday, 22 November 2018 08:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Two days of official MotoGP testing draw to a close at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit

Two days of official MotoGP testing marking the start of the 2019 championship season have come to a close at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste (Valencia).

Once again the field of riders could only go out late in the morning, after the track had completely dried out following another night of rain in Valencia.

The two factory Ducati Team riders focussed their work load on the 2019 version of the Desmosedici GP, obtaining positive feedback, and at the end of the session Andrea Dovizioso was second quickest with a time of 1’30.890, while Danilo Petrucci ended the day in fifth place with a best lap of 1’30.959.

They were joined on track by Michele Pirro, who following a crash and a worsening of the pain in his right shoulder, only completed 14 laps with a best time of 1’32.376

The MotoGP teams and riders will be back in action next week at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain where the last two days of official testing this year are scheduled for 28 and 29 November.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd – 57 laps – 1’30.890
“Today went better than yesterday because we were able to do a lot of tests, including back-to-back ones, during which we found some interesting solutions. These were small details and now we want to try them in different conditions and on another track to get some more precise feedback. These two days of tests at Valencia have been very positive and now we will try and confirm the same sensations at Jerez.”

Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team #9) – 5th – 60 laps – 1’30.959
“I’m pleased with this second day of tests because we were able to try a lot of things and we were always pretty fast, up near the top of the timesheets. I was able to lap consistently with excellent times, even though we didn’t do many tests with different set-ups, and this means that the 2019 bike has a good base. In the end, I only missed out on a quick lap, but I’m very pleased with the way the team is working, with even more engineers helping me, and this made all the difference.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 19th – 14 laps – 1’32.376
“Today I didn’t do many laps, just 14 in total, when the track wasn’t very fast, but we still managed to do a test that gave us some very useful information. Unfortunately, the problem with my right shoulder, which has worsened since Sunday, didn’t allow me to work well and I crashed again. In ten days’ time I’ll finally be able to have an operation and then I want to turn over a new page.”

Thursday, 22 November 2018 08:53 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Ducati Team riders gear up for 2018 season finale at the Valencia Grand Prix

Eight months after the start of the 2018 championship season, which kicked off at the Losail circuit in Qatar in March, the MotoGP teams and riders have arrived in Spain for the nineteenth and final round of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, which is held every year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, on the outskirts of Valencia.

Thanks to the results obtained in the previous round at Sepang, Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati come to Valencia with second place in the Riders’ and Constructors’ standings firmly in the bag, while Jorge Lorenzo intends to conclude his partnership with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer in the best possible way, despite the aftermath of his recent injury. In any case 2018 has been another positive year for Ducati with six wins to its name – three for each rider – together with four seconds and two thirds.

Dovizioso has ten starts to his name at Valencia in MotoGP, with his best result being a third place in 2011, while last year the Italian rider crashed six laps from the end while in third place. Jorge Lorenzo has taken part in nine editions of the Valencia GP, winning four of them and demonstrating total supremacy in 2015 and 2016.

It will be the third race of the year on the Desmosedici GP for Michele Pirro, after Misano and the Sepang round, where he replaced Lorenzo. The Italian rider has taken part in five Valencia GPs in the MotoGP category, scoring a best result of fifth in 2012, while the year before Michele was able to win in Moto2.

Ducati has scored two MotoGP wins at Valencia, with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2008.

After 18 races, Dovizioso is second overall in the Riders’ standings with 220 points while Lorenzo lies in tenth with 130. Pirro, who has taken part in just two races this season, is in twenty-seventh place with 1 point.

The Valencia weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 09.55 CET, while the 27-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (220 points)
“Sixth place at Sepang meant that I finished second in the championship and we wanted to bring home this very important result at all costs. Now at Valencia we come up against a track where in the past we have struggled quite a bit: this year however I expect us to be fast and the race will also be an important test to understand in which areas we have to improve to be more competitive next year.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 10th (130 points)
“We have arrived at the last race of the season and even though I still won’t be 100% fit, I would really like to finish my adventure in Ducati with a good result. It’s difficult to know what condition my left wrist will be in, but luckily I feel much better than in Sepang and on Friday morning I’ll go out on track with the hope that I won’t have too much pain and that I can be competitive. My two years in Ducati have been very intense and I’d really like to say goodbye to my team with a good race. For sure our fans, who always come out in force at Cheste, will also help to make this weekend special.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 27th (1 point)
“I’m happy to be back on track for the last round of the season and be able to work all weekend with my squad and the guys in the test team. As always, we’ll try and do a good job and bring home as much information as possible. We recently went testing here at Valencia and so we’ve got a good starting base. Let’s hope we can enjoy ourselves and finish - with a good race - a season that after my crash at Mugello has seen me recover really well.”

The Valencia circuit
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit at Cheste, which was built in 1999, hosted its first Grand Prix the same year. The track has several different configurations, with varying lengths, and all of them lap in a counter-clockwise direction. Although the track itself is relatively tight and compact, the massive grandstands all around can contain more than 150,000 spectators. The circuit layout helps to create a unique atmosphere, both for the riders and the enthusiastic Spanish fans, who always fill the stadium for the last GP of the season.

Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’31.171 (158.1 km/h) - 2016
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati) 335.9 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.0 km
Race Distance: 27 laps (108.1 km)
Corners: 14 (9 left, 5 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases


MOVISTAR YAMAHA PUT UP FIERCE FIGHT IN THE MALAYSIAN GP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales pushed to the max during today’s Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, putting on a brave ride from 11th on the grid to 4th position over the finish line. Valentino Rossi had a heroic run at the Sepang International Circuit, but it ended in heartbreak on lap 17 when he crashed out of the lead. He was able to rejoin the race and took the chequered flag in 18th place.

Viñales started from 11th on the grid and soon found himself in 10th position. After warming up his tyres on the first two laps, he began his charge. His pace was as strong as the front group, meaning he had no problems cutting through the field, though there was a lot of ground to be made up.

With nine laps to go he took over sixth place from Andrea Dovizioso. The Spaniard didn’t waste any time to also pass Dani Pedrosa. He was trying to close the gap to Álex Rins but was unable to catch him. As his teammate at the front made a small mistake, Viñales crossed the line in fourth place, 4.667s from first.

Rossi had a perfect start from second, taking the hole shot and holding the lead superbly. He had a stunning consistent pace that allowed him to make a clean getaway from his pursuers.

Though his advantage went up and down over the first half of the race, there was no one who could really reach Rossi at the front, let alone make an attempt at passing the nine-time World Champion. However, in the final ten laps the heat and the tyre degradation meant Marc Márquez was closing in.

The Doctor responded by picking up the pace and defended his first place brilliantly, but a small mishap in Turn 1 on lap 17 caused him to slide down the tarmac. He was able to rejoin the race in 18th place and finished in the same position, 58.288s from first.

Today's results see Rossi hold on to third position in the championship standings with a 25-point gap to second. Viñales, in fourth place, reduced the gap to his teammate to 2 points. Yamaha is still in third place in the Constructor Championship after the race in Malaysia, with a 38-point margin to second, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team remain in second position in the team standings, with now a 39-point gap to first.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in two weeks' time for the final showdown of 2018, the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, held from November 16th - 18th.

Sunday, 04 November 2018 14:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Marc Marquez dominant 70th career win in Malaysia earns Honda the 2018 MotoGP Constructors Title

From seventh on the grid to the 70th win in his career: In Malaysia, Marc Marquez took his ninth win this season and his 44th in MotoGP, earning Honda its 24th Premier Class Constructors Title. Furthermore, thanks to today’s win of newly crowned Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin, Honda has achieved also the Moto3 Constructor Title bringing its tally to 69 over all classes, a record in the Championship’s history.

Such were the numbers, but today’s competition was also another master class race for the 2018 MotoGP World Champion, who recovered from the third row of the grid to second place within five laps of the start before beginning a long chase of erstwhile leader Valentino Rossi. Marc was preparing for what seemed certain would be a battle for the victory when the Italian slipped off four laps from the end.

On the other side of the garage, Dani Pedrosa matched his best result of this season, taking fifth place after displaying a strong pace during the race.

Now the Repsol Honda Team will pack up and fly back to Europe, where Marc will pay a visit to the Honda stand at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday before heading home to Spain.

Sunday, 04 November 2018 14:30 Published in Rider and Team Releases


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