Thailand test 2018

MotoGP –Pedrosa sets the fastest time in Buriram, Marquez shows the best pace

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The Repsol Honda team has wrapped up a positive final day of testing in Thailand, which saw Dani Pedrosa setting the fastest time of the day and the best overall with a 1’29.781” on lap 77 of 78.

The Spaniard said: “We leave Thailand with positive feelings. The test was quite tough as the temperatures were high, and we worked really hard over the three days. In the end we didn’t have many tyres left, so we had to carefully manage the planning of our work.

“We worked on many aspects of the bike’s setup, and step-by-step we improved our speed and pace. Among other things, today we tested a carbon swing arm that’s a new area for us to work on, so we’re still in the process of learning and of finding the feeling. I’m very happy with the job my team is doing at the track, and with what the engineers are doing back in Japan. They’re really helping us to improve, and this is good and gives us confidence. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue this trend at the final test in Qatar, which will be very interesting as conditions will be different.”

The session saw both factory riders working on the general development of their RC213V, carrying out tests on the latest engine configuration, chassis, aerodynamics, and Michelin tyres.

Over the three days of testing, Marquez completed a total of 271 laps, Pedrosa  224, and while Pedrosa topped the timesheet, Marquez managed a very impressive 20-lap race simulation in the afternoon, featuring a long string of high-1’30” laps. His quickest time on the final day was a 1’30.143” on lap 27 of 96, the fourth-fastest among all riders (yesterday’s best of 1’29.969” places him third in the combined classification).

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Moto GP – Crutchlow tops timesheet on day one of testing in Thailand

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Despite suffering an early crash, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow got his Thai testing off to a flier as he topped the timesheets on Friday.

He said: “I had a not too bad day considering we’ve not been to the circuit before, I think only a couple of guys have, but I think we’ve continued to ride well after Malaysia.

“I didn’t have a good day this morning and I’ve had jet lag. I didn’t feel great. I didn’t feel psychically tired but I wanted to sleep! But maybe if I did that on a race weekend I could go a lot quicker…!”

Joking aside, the Brit did crash in the morning – a minor tip off at the last corner with no damage to man or machine. He said:  “I crashed this morning on the fifth lap or something but I wasn’t concentrating so well. There are a few bumps on the last corner and it’s a tricky corner. But that’s why we’re here to test.”

On the specifics of testing, Crutchlow was positive – especially about the engine.

“I felt good in Malaysia and the HRC engineers over the winter have done a good job,” affirms the two-time Grand Prix winner.

“Last year we were lacking something but this year we’ve found it. We still have some of the same problems, but we’ve found something this year that’s helped us to be more competitive. I’m pleased with how the team’s working. And they’ve definitely improved the engine. Acceleration I’m not sure, we have to look at the data from Sepang. I’m pleased with the engine, but we need to continue working on the rest of the bike.”