Am Wochenende steigt der Le Mans-GP in Frankreich, doch zuvor waren etliche MotoGP-Stars gestern (Mittwoch) in Portimao unterwegs, um sich auf den Portugal-GP am 20. November vorzubereiten. Das Besondere daran: Eingesetzt werden durften wegen der Testregularien nur Serienbikes. Also sehen wir hier Valentino Rossi und Maverick Vinales auf YZF-R1-Bikes (in Factory-Team-Farben) und Alex Marquez auf einer RC213V-S (im Repsol-Look). Offizielle Testfahrer setzten die üblichen MotoGP-Renner ein; so steuerte Stefan Bradl die Werks-RC213V, mit der er zuletzt Marc Marquez bei den Rennen vertrat, ebenso kam Jorge Lorenzo erstmals in diesem Jahr auf einer YZR-M1 zu einem Testeinsatz.
Ducati-Piloten steuerten V4-Panigales, auch RR-R-Fireblades waren unterwegs. Rundenzeiten wurden nicht kommuniziert, auch die Frage der verwendeten Reifentypen (MotoGP- oder normale Produktions-Rennreifen) bleibt vorerst offen. Die Strecke in Portimao (9 Rechts- und 6 Linkskurven) gilt als besonders schwierig und anspruchsvoll, wegen der Gefälle und Steigungen und etlicher blinder Kurveneingänge. Nachfolgend die Stimmen von Rossi, Vinales, A. Marquez, Bradl und Lorenzo im O-Ton:
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZF-R1: »Riding here is very interesting, because the track is beautiful and technically quite difficult. It‘s a very strange track because of the many elevation changes. But it‘s beautiful and the asphalt is good, it has good grip. You can enjoy it a lot when you‘re riding here. It looked more difficult on television, a bit more tricky, but in real life it‘s good. There are three or four points that are a bit scary, because you have big jumps. It will be difficult to keep a MotoGP bike in contact with the ground there, but in general it‘s a very sweet track to ride, so I like it. It was also a good day for a test here, because we had good conditions, which is important when you‘re getting familiar with a new track.«
Maverick Vinales, Yamaha YZF-R1: »The track is different from what we are used to, because of the changes in elevation, and most of the corners have blind entries. But overall I felt really good. It‘s the kind of track that I like, because you need a lot of flow and corner speed. I already had a good feeling with my standard street bike and I think it will be even better when I‘ll ride with the MotoGP bike, I’ll be even faster. The track looks amazing and it‘s a lot of fun to ride. The biggest challenge here are wheelies. We will have to work hard on this because there‘s a lot of changes in elevation and we need front contact, so we will have to change the bike a bit, for sure. The last corner here is amazing, I love it. I expected the track to be longer, it‘s actually quite short, but I like it.«
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Testfahrer, YZR-M1: »Of course it’s not easy to start riding a MotoGP bike again after a nine-month break. Tomorrow we are going to play with the settings some more to see if we can improve and make a big step. The track is wonderful. It’s unique, compared to other tracks it has a lot of elevation changes, and that’s a lot of fun to ride. Hopefully tomorrow I will have a good feeling, and we can get more work done.«
Alex Marquez, Honda RC213V-S: »It was a good day, good weather at a nice track with a good layout and new tarmac – it was nice to try. The Honda RC213V-S was really nice to ride, everything was nice! The layout is quite difficult, but I think the rider will be able to make a lot of difference here. I’m looking forward to returning here on the MotoGP bike at the end of the year, I think it will be an interesting race. But right now my attention is back fully on Le Mans.«
Stefan Bradl: »It was a great day today with the weather, pretty much perfect conditions. We followed our test plan after the track condition improved. This was an advantage to having a lot of riders there, the circuit was cleaned quite fast. The circuit is a great challenge, but you can really enjoy it with a MotoGP bike, the elevation changes are great. We were fast and completed our test plan for today and have a few runs tomorrow before heading to Le Mans.«
Fotos: Monster Yamaha MotoGP, Repsol Media