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MotoGP, Test: Lorenzo promotes the frame, Marquez doesn't

THE TIMES. Crutchlow fastest ahead of Jorge. Marc's doubts: "to be honest I expected more"

Test: Lorenzo promotes the frame, Marquez doesn't

Cal Crutchlow can leave the test with a smile, having completed the Barcelona session in first place. The British LCR rider waited until the final stages to duck under the 1’44” barrier and set a best of 1’43”963. After so many difficulties, Cal seems to have find a way to start over.

It's great to be back at the front, even if doing so on a Monday doesn't count for anything - he commented - We've worked well today and I'll head to Assen in a positive mood. I tested the new Michelin front tyre during the morning and two rears towards the end: the times show that they work well. I also tried the wings, the bike seems to go a little better”.

Two full tenths behind him is Jorge Lorenzo, who's nevertheless pleased. “This morning I had a painful ankle but some anti-inflammatories helped”  he says. He will stay on at Barcelona with Rossi for another day of testing tomorrow, but has already tested the new frame: “I like it and am happy. I think it gives us a couple of tenths, I lapped slower than in qualifying but am quite fast and the time came easily. I'll use it at Assen too”.

Also using a new frame (though he already tested it at Valencia) is Maverick Vinales, 3rd and 0”347 from Crutchlow. “It ensures greater grip and I can hold the corners better, I've improved my pace”, he too will use it in Holland.

In 4th place is Andrea Iannone, the first rider to leave the track at around 3pm. The Ducati rider finished ahead of Aleix Espargarò, Hector Barbera and Andrea Dovizioso.  The latter confirmed the tyre anomaly suffered yesterday, “Michelin will continue to analyse the tyre but basically the pressure didn't increase as it should have done”.

There was no new parts on his Desmosedici but the tests were nevertheless useful. “We needed to work on the set-up because I'm finding it harder to get into Q2 than to complete the race - he laughs - We've managed to reduce the vibration at the front that was limiting us. Here at Barcelona we realised that we're not quick enough, we struggle at those tracks with corners to link together and little grip. Our priority is to improve in those areas”.

Dovi closed in front of Marquez, only 9th. The Spaniard also crashed at Turn 5 at about 5pm.“I was trying some new things, I felt good but pushed a little too hard”, he explains. Expectations were high for these tests but “to be honest I hoped for more”. Marc dismissed both the new exhaust and new frame. “It has interesting aspects but overall I prefer the old one. We need to find a compromise between the two”,  he analyses.

Pedrosa (10th behind Redding) had already used the new chassis in yesterday's race and is, overall, happier than his teammate. “Some of our tests were positive, others less so. Some things will be useful right away, others in the future”, he sums up.

Valentino Rossi places behind Pedrosa, having only taken to the track in the early afternoon. Behind the Doctor: Smith, Pol Espargarò, Bautista, Petrucci, Bradl, Miller and Rabat.

In terms of the tyres, the riders' opinions were mainly positive. The new rear solutions in particular provide better traction, though some riders complained about a rapid drop in performance.

THE TIMES

Translated by Heather Watson

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