On the third day of testing at Sepang, the times were particularly close, so much that no less than fifteen riders were all within a second of one another. Included in this number is also Aleix Espargarò, who made the thirteenth best time behind Suzuki’s Iannone-Rins duo.
“I am satisfied with the three days. I liked the 2017 bike and it has some improvements compared with the one I tested in Valencia and Jerez. In any case, we still need to gain something with respect to the fastest bikes, although the frame has maintained its strong points.”
You did some long runs.
“That’s right. In the afternoon I did a race simulation and the pace was good. It was too bad about the crash. We obviously need to improve in many areas, especially in terms of power distribution and stability in acceleration.”
The new rules prohibit winglets.
“In the Perugia Wind Tunnel we are working on a rather strange fairing that we will use in Australia. It should simulate the use of winglets by about 60%.”
You mentioned the engine earlier.
“From that point of view, we need to improve, especially in terms of acceleration. The frame and the electronics package are definitely fine.”
On the other side of the garage, on the other hand, the apprenticeship continues for the rookie, Sam Lowes. The British rider prefers not to look at the times.
“I was able to reduce the gap behind the leaders significantly and that is important. We are working in the right direction. Everything is new for me, so I learn something new every lap.”
You also did a race simulation.
“Yes, I did. I discovered how mentally and physically demanding it is to ride a MotoGP bike here at Sepang, but I am pleased with how it went. The standings are not our goal for the moment. We still have six days of testing before the race in Qatar and I am confident that we’ll be ready.”