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GP Week : Issue 182
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS Before the season, nobody would have predicted that Marquez would dominate the post-race tests at Jerez. After three races however nobody was very surprised that the rookie factory Honda rider took to the top of the time sheets early in the day, and stayed there. Bragging rights aside, times were not only slower than Lorenzo’s pole position of the previous Saturday, but were also close. Cal Crutchlow was less than a tenth slower; Lorenzo and Pedrosa were as close behind, although Rossi was another four tenths away in fifth. Neither Honda nor Yamaha riders had much new to test. Pedrosa spoke of small suspension refinements and setting experiments, Crutchlow likewise; while the Yamaha factory riders ran back-to-back chassis comparisons to gather data ... a chore deferred until now because of unsuitable conditions at previous tracks. Ducati did have something: both factory riders had the chance to try the latest version of the “lab bike” , raced the day before by tester Michele Pirro. Both Dovizioso and Hayden reported a minor improvement in corner entry, which was at least in the right direction, although far from a breakthrough. Hayden was the slower, battling troublesome right-hand pain, swelling and tendonitis that struck after Austin and has so far defied accurate diagnosis. Nonetheless, he continued for two more days of private testing at Mugello on Tuesday and Wednesday, where progress was similar. Bautista headed the two Ducatis were next, with Stefan Bradl struggling somewhat in ninth. The German has crashed twice in three races, and is struggling to find settings that will give him the confidence to push the front wheel without doing so again. Bradley Smith was tenth as he continues his steady progress in learning his way round the Yamaha M1. Magneti Marelli, official suppliers of Dorna’s control ECU unit undergoing race-development in its first year, have given the initially troublesome system its first upgrade, at post-Jerez tests. At early rounds several riders – especially Colin Edwards – raised the alarm at unpredictable performance and difficult settings of the new system, which is supplied free of charge by Dorna to CRT teams, on a voluntary basis. Matters had improved by round three as technicians got to grips with the system. At the same time, engineers were fielding complaints and suggestions from riders and from Dorna’s technical staff. The company’s head of motor sport, Marco Venturi, told the official web-site motogp.com that wheelie control and ‘anti-jerk’ strategy had been addressed. The latter refers to initial engine response when opening the throttle. “The first step this year was to make sure the system was running properly and being used by everybody in the best way possible, using all of the performance available,” he said. It was complex, “so it needs to be understood step-by-step.” Colin Edwards welcomed the upgrade. laps. “Step-by-step, hundredth by hundredth and tenth by tenth; not that it’s a whole lot faster, but it’s getting better,” he said. “W ith the first system, we wanted to do things but just didn’t have those parameters in the software. They have listened to some of the things that we need and we’ve got them on there now, so that’s a good sign.” The majority of CRT teams use the system except those on the class-leading Aprilia ART machines, with in-house hardware and software. Next year, the control ECU will be compulsory for all, although factory teams will be allowed to write their own software, at a cost of four litres of fuel (20:24) and five engines per season against 12 for CRT teams. MARQUEZ DOMINATES JEREZ TESTS CRT ELECTRONICS UPGRADE AFTER SLOW START Control ECU compulsory next year 6 GPWEEK.com // 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: