MotoGP Riders and Team Managers reflect on Mandalika Test

Mandalika MotoGP Test 2022

Pol Espargaro – P1

“I’m feeling really pleased with how this pre-season has gone and especially here in Mandalika. It’s nice to get the fastest time but what’s more important is our pace and feeling with the bike, I’m able to ride how I want. I have to say congratulations to HRC and the Repsol Honda Team for all their work over winter, they’ve put in a lot of effort and the results are showing. Normally at hot tracks like here and Sepang I struggle a lot, but right now we leave having done two good tests and able to find somethings for long runs and on our one lap speed. Yesterday we solved a small issue we were having and it really helped us with the one lap speed. Now it’s time to rest a little and get ready for Qatar, my confidence is good and I can’t wait to race.”

Pol Espargaro
Fabio Quartararo – P2

“I‘m feeling good. We put in a lot of work and laps again. We had set out to improve our feeling with the soft and we did that: our pace with the soft was fast. I could feel myself being much better, the feeling with the bike improved a lot. I also did a long run with a medium rear tyre. The feeling wasn’t as good as it was with the soft tyre, but I‘m still really happy with what we managed to do today. I think we did a great job.”

Fabio Quartararo
Luca Marini – P3

“Today’s focus was mainly on the race simulation: we tried to work on the setting in these specific conditions with the M at the rear. I think it was a good choice for us, but I know that other riders were on track for the long run with the soft. We still don’t know which compounds Michelin will bring for the race, but in the tests done so far the results are good. I started behind Marco at the beginning, I was struggling to stay in the slipstream due to the temperatures and at the same time to overtake because the track, if we remove the three-day rubber strip, is very dirty and dangerous. The feedback is positive overall, I was a bit tired, but it was really hot today. I am satisfied with the whole Team, we are working hard and I am happy.”

Luca Marini
Aleix Espargaró – P4

“We can’t evaluate the worth of preseason tests so much based on times as on the confidence that we’ve done a good job. From this point of view, I think that both Aprilia and I are headed to Qatar with a good base. The new bike has demonstrated improvements in all areas. We can and must improve, that much is certain, also because my goal is to do better than last year. It will not be at all simple because, in my opinion, this will be the most competitive and demanding MotoGP season ever.”

Aleix Espargaro
Franco Morbidelli – P5

“It was a good day. We improved day by day during this pre-season with Patrick, my new crew chief. At the end of this day, we also tried a time attack and it was good. The speed is getting there. I’m happy about this pre-season.”

Franco Morbidelli
Francesco Bagnaia – P6

“I’m pretty satisfied with the work we have done during these three days of testing here in Mandalika. The track is very nice, and I really like the first sector, so I’m looking forward to racing here in a month. During these days, we have mainly followed our development programme. We tested new components and worked on the tyre management and the electronics of the new bike without worrying too much about the timesheets. Today we did a race simulation, and the feedback was positive. Now we will have two more weeks off before we finally start the new Championship in Qatar! I’m looking forward to it”.

Francesco Bagnaia
Alex Rins – P7

“We’re feeling quite ready to start the season now. I don’t want to make any big predictions like ‘we’re going to win in Qatar’ because everything is unknown, but we’re certainly well prepared to kick off the year. The bike works well, and we’ve done a good job in both Sepang and Mandalika. There are definite improvements to our GSX-RR compared with last year and, even though there are a few things still to fine-tune, this test has given us confidence and overall my feeling is good!”

Alex Rins
Maverick Viñales – P8

“I’m pleased with our tests. It’s still early to define our level with certainty, but the new RS-GP proved to be fast on two extremely different tracks like Sepang and Mandalika. My feeling also improved progressively, although I still can’t say it’s perfect, while Aprilia’s techs are getting better and better at meeting my needs. I still need time in the saddle, especially on race weekends, because I feel like I still have plenty of margin to be faster. In any case, I’m feeling positive ahead of the first race in Qatar – a track where I have always been comfortable.”

Maverick Vinales
Marc Marquez – P9

“I really enjoyed riding the bike a lot today, I was tired at the start of today like everyone but having fun and enjoying riding was the best way to work today. I have some pain in my shoulder today so that’s why we didn’t focus on a time attack, because pushing for a fast lap requires a lot of power and I worked on race pace and setup. I continued to improve my feeling on the bike and comparing now to Malaysia, it’s a big difference. We have made a big step with the new bike and the feeling is getting better with each lap. HRC and the Repsol Honda Team have done a great job to get us to where we are today and I am looking forward to starting the season. A few weeks to keep training more and then we race!”

Marc Marquez
Brad Binder – P11

“So far so good. The bike is working better and I’m working better. We have found some good things and we have improved our package from last year. We still need to work to increase that forward step that we’ve made over these five days in Malaysia and Indonesia. Now we can go home, evaluate and hopefully come back even stronger in Qatar. I think we can progress with our drive out of corner and with rear grip in general: those are my two main things. If we can sort them out then I think we’re going to be in good shape but I’m much happier. Hats-off to the team and thanks to everybody for their hard work. Qatar is a track that will really push us but I’m confident we’re in a better place than 2021.”

Brad Binder
Joan Mir – P12

“This morning when I woke up I felt something strange in my stomach, like everything was moving. After having some breakfast I went to the track, but once I was there I started to feel much worse and I started to throw up. Then the doctor came to my office to try and help me, but in the end I had to go back to the hotel because I was completely exhausted. My physical condition has stopped me today, I had no power to ride the bike and this also conditioned our plan. I felt very bad today but these things happen and in the end I have some good conclusions from the first and second day. I think we will arrive quite ready for the first race in Qatar despite all the inconveniences we found during the last two days here in Mandalika.”

Joan Mir
Enea Bastianini – P13

“It was a very positive test, and we’re ready for Qatar. I got to know the 2021 bike properly, even though I also liked it at Jerez. Today’s result is not very indicative… We only worked on the race pace and the feeling was excellent. Things are going great with the team and I think we made a step forward even compared to Sepang: the more time we spend on the bike, the more we can be competitive. We have a little more experience compared to last season and honestly speaking it is also easier to work with the team: now I know what to ask for and what to tell them. I just can’t wait now.”

Enea Bastianini
Álex Márquez – P14

“I’m happy today as we did an amazing job with the team. I need to congratulate my team as they’ve done a really good job throughout pre-season, being really focused, changing the bike a hundred times but never dropping the ball, so thanks to all the mechanics and the rest of my team. In the morning, we were able to make some time attacks, we weren’t perfect but not bad so I’m quite pleased about that. Later on, we did some long runs, my body was tired from these three days and the Sepang Test, but I had a good feeling, it was a good performance and we’re ready for Qatar which is the main thing. We’ll analyse the data now, but I think we have everything more or less under control for the Qatar race.”

Álex Márquez
Miguel Oliveira – P15

“Many laps again today and we did a race simulation with the medium tire in very hot conditions and it was very fast. Coming here we had quite a bit of work to do but, finally, I’m happy with the pace we managed and I think we can trust this will help us for qualification sessions and getting a better starting position at the GPs. We still have more room to improve the bike but I do know that we have good tools to do the job. We had five longs day of work and the team did a great job, a great effort. I want to thank them. I think we have good pace to start the season and I think this is the most important thing.”

Miguel Oliveira
Takaaki Nakagami – P17

“It was a long day, I completed 91 laps today. We did a race simulation in the morning which was pretty good, the pace was good, and then during the day we tried to find a set-up on the bike and improve the front feeling. By the end of the day, we were able to do that and I’m pleased with how we ended the tests here in Mandalika. I feel ready for the first race in Qatar and I’m really looking forward to going there. I want to say a big thanks to all my team for these three days, they worked really hard.”

Takaaki Nakagami
Jack Miller – P18

“It was a tough three days of testing because we had so many things to try, but we were able to complete most of our programme and gather a lot of data for the engineers to work on. I like the new circuit, and it reminds me a little of the track in Argentina. Unfortunately, the rain and the construction site nearby made the asphalt quite dirty. We had to be careful not to go off the lines, but this allowed us to work for Qatar, where we will certainly find similar conditions because of the sand. I’m satisfied and ready to get on track for the first race of the year!”

Jack Miller
Andrea Dovizioso – P19

“Today was a bit better. In terms of lap time, I felt more comfortable and I could do a bit better overall. Regarding my pace for the race I’m not very satisfied, but it was very important to do the long run, where you always realize a lot of things. It was really nice to compare my long run with the one of Fabio (Quartararo) in the same tyres. At the beginning, he was very fast, so it will be incredibly important for me for Qatar to continue to adapt to the bike. Overall, it’s not enough yet, but we improved in these three days and I’m happy about that fact.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Marco Bezzecchi – P20

“I am happy to have closed in crescendo: a positive day, I did fewer laps than yesterday and I worked on the time attack before the simulation. On the flying lap I made a step and the 25 laps race simulation with Luca went well, especially the first part. I started first and I was in front for half of the laps. I felt at ease, then Luca overtook me and I struggled more, but I can’t complain. The whole Team has done a great job in this pre-season, every session I have made steps forward and I can’t wait to get back into the garage in Qatar for my first GP in the Top class. It will be amazing!”

Marco Bezzecchi
Fabio Di Giannantonio – P21

“It has been a positive preseason for us. We improved a lot aboard the Ducati and we managed to do so day after day. Today we also did a race simulation and we’re very happy. We are still in our early ‘school’ days but there’s plenty of motivation to do well. Compared to Sepang – where we lost a few days – we made an important step forward and now we need to keep both feet on the ground and think one step at the time. Qatar is around the corner so now it will be about anxiously waiting for another three weeks.”

Fabio Di Giannantonio
Raul Fernandez – P23

“Yesterday I crashed and everything seemed good after my medical check. However when I got on the bike this morning, I didn’t feel well. I crashed again this morning and so I went for another medical check and my speed reflexes were not perfect. The doctors decided that the safest option was to stop for the day.Anyway, we did a good job here in Mandalika. Day after day, my feeling with the bike gets better and I feel competitive because yesterday I was in the top 15 most of the time.Now I need to rest and focus on recovery because it has been a very intense preseason from a physical perspective. The process since the Jerez test in November has been positive and I have improved a lot. I feel happy with the work done, my team, and I am really motivated to go racing in Qatar.”

Raul Fernandez
Remy Gardner – P23

“Today was the eighth day of riding in two weeks. This morning we did a race simulation. We found a few issues that we need to iron out but the pace was better. After that I felt tired and my wrist was hurting so we decided to stop at lunch time.I have learned a lot during these winter tests. We will compare the data with the other three KTM riders to try to understand where we can improve but I also still need to feel more comfortable with the machine, and it will come with races and experiences.It has been tough physically and I look forward to going home now, taking some time to relax, recover and get ready for Qatar.”

Remy Gardner
Darryn Binder – P24

“It’s been really good. I’m very glad that the weather was stable and we had many great long days to test and try everything. I wish I could have done more laps myself, but in these hot conditions every day you arrive to a point where you have to stop, because otherwise you’re just destroyed the next day. It’s been very good. We’ve made steady progress throughout every day. I wish I made a few more steps forward, but at the end of the day, I have to accept this. It’s a really big step coming from Moto3, so I know it’s going to take a couple more days to find the step I’m looking for. Otherwise, it’s been very good. I’ve learned so much over these days and I feel like I’m a bit more ready to go to Qatar.”

Darryn Binder

MotoGP Team Managers

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“This test was very important. We had to start from zero because this is a completely new track. Overall, our findings are very positive. The track conditions got better day by day and that allowed our riders to be able to push their bikes closer to the limit and find areas of improvement. Over the last three days we have been able to evaluate all the testing material that we prepared during the winter break and first tried in Sepang. The progress made throughout the entire test is significant for us. Our mission is to improve the bike in all areas whilst maintaining the bike‘s strong points. We are impressed with Fabio‘s race pace and his time attack today. We’re also pleased with Franco‘s improved feeling with the bike. He was able to do a really nice lap at the end of the session. But with 21 riders covered by just one second, we can expect a very closely contested 2022 season. We will now analyse the data and make sure we are fully prepared for the first GP weekend in Qatar at the start of March.”

Fabio Quartararo
Razlan Razali – Team Principal WithU Yamaha RNF

“It has been great three days of very positive testing at the Mandalika Circuit. Our riders always improved our times, which is important, but the conditions on the track are not ideal, but improved every day. I’m sure come the Indonesian Grand Prix next month, the situation will already be better on the track and elsewhere. Both riders tried different things. Everything was positive, in terms of setup and feeling. Especially for Darryn, who still needs to learn the bike and tried to understand the circuit. Andrea was trying new things, trying to improve himself and got better with the feeling aboard the M1. After two weeks of tests in Sepang and Mandalika, we are ready for the Qatar GP. Of course, we have some more practice sessions before the race in Losail, but the team is ready and the riders are ready as well.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager WithU Yamaha RNF

“After three eventful days here in Mandalika, I’m quite pleased with the test we have been doing. Of course, we didn’t plan the two crashes of both boys yesterday, but luckily, they were unhurt. This also belongs to the sport. These guys are pushing, trying everything to get the best lap times, the best feelings and sometimes you slide off, especially on tracks like this, where you easily lose the front when you are just a bit apart from the line. But other than that, we have been testing everything and each time, they went out, they have improved and gathered a better feeling on the bike. So, overall, I think we are ready to go to Qatar and to see what the actual situation is for all the boys.”

Shinichi Sahara – Suzuki Project Leader & Team Director

“Today marks the end of all the winter testing, two days in Malaysia and three days here in Indonesia, and we’ve completed it without any big problems. It was pity for us not to have Joan for the last day of testing due to his stomach issue, but these things can happen and the rider’s health is important. From a technical point of view, it wasn’t a big problem for us because we already checked and confirmed all the test items yesterday. I’m feeling very positive about the step we’ve made from last year to this year, so I’d like to thank all the people involved in the team and factory. We’ll continue to work, and we’ll also have time to investigate the data from these tests to be as strong as possible for Round 1 in Losail next month.”

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Unfortunately Joan’s physical condition today was not good, so we cancelled testing for his side of the garage. This is a shame, of course, but we don’t feel that the loss of this final day will impact us too badly. The team have worked very hard over all five pre-season test days, they’ve done a great job, and we’ve learned a lot. We are very happy because we’ve found the base settings to start the season, and I can’t wait for Qatar now.”

Fonsi Nieto – Mooney VR46 Ducati Team Manager

“A demanding pre-season for the whole Team, we can only be satisfied even if there is still a lot to do. Today we closed with a race simulation: Luca and Marco were together on track and they did a good job. Luca is close to the strongest guys and Marco has made a nice step and is less than a second from the Top riders. We will continue like this to arrive in Qatar as ready as possible for our debut in the World Championship as a Team. We can’t wait to show you the new bikes on February 24th.”

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager

“We had a lot of comments to take into consideration, as well as the feedback from Dani [Pedrosa] and Mika [Kallio] from the shakedown test in Sepang and this meant we had a lot to get through here but we achieved our plan. We now need to go home, analyse the data and go deep into the details to be ready for the first race. The details will make the difference with our 2022 package. The team is great and have been pushing hard these days, so I want to thank them for that. We know Qatar could be very close but hopefully we are in the front group.”

Brad Binder
Sebastian Risse, Red Bull KTM Technical Manager MotoGP

“We had some productive and intense days. After Sepang we had a package that the riders seem to like and it was important for them to try it on another track and see how it reacts to the normal set-up changes that we make from circuit to circuit. I think we were quite successful because it worked right away even if the track conditions were not that great: we managed to react to that. We put the parts for homologation as a priority and they had to be checked again and I think this part of the test was also successful. The last area of the test was to go deeper into development. We always have a large crate of parts to try and see what can work better so we took the time to look at the next steps. I think we found something interesting there. For our work in 2022 we have changed two areas. Firstly, we did not bring a completely different bike to these tests. We did bring a lot of different parts so, in the end, we made a different bike out of those but we put a lot of effort into making those interchangeable so you can test them one-by-one and assess more easily what is positive and negative; then hopefully put everything together for the best mix. Secondly, we really took a lot of time to get the best out of those components. Not only in testing but in definition of targets for making them work and to understand the potential. A quality instead of quantity approach and I think that worked quite well.”

Miguel Oliveira
Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 KTM Team Manager

“The Official MotoGP Mandalika Test comes to an end for Tech3 KTM Factory Racing. It has been a very productive testing period in both Malaysia and Indonesia. Our two riders learned a lot about their respective KTM RC16 and they are already better MotoGP riders than they were two weeks ago. Having five days of testing in Sepang followed by another three here in Mandalika has been very intense and both riders and the crew are exhausted. The next few days at home before heading to Qatar will be key for everyone in order to get some well deserved rest, recharge batteries and come back in full form.

“I would like to thank both Raul and Remy for their dedication. For rookies, this tough testing period is never easy but they managed to get a lot of laps done and I really appreciate their never give-up attitude. They provided a lot of information that will be very useful to KTM in order to provide them with the best package possible. Now it is time for riders, mechanics and engineers to reflect on the two weeks of work in Asia and get ready for the first race in three weeks.”

Remy Gardner

MotoGP Mandalika Test
Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 P.Espargaro HONDA 1m31.060
2 F.Quartararo YAMAHA +0.014
3 L.Marini DUCATI +0.229
4 A.Espargaro APRILIA +0.325
5 F.Morbidelli YAMAHA +0.356
6 F.Bagnaia DUCATI +0.376
7 A.Rins SUZUKI +0.417
8 M.Viñales APRILIA +0.418
9 M.Marquez HONDA +0.421
10 J.Zarco DUCATI +0.428
11 B.Binder KTM +0.514
12 J.Mir SUZUKI +0.526
13 E.Bastianini DUCATI +0.539
14 A.Marquez HONDA +0.543
15 M.Oliveira KTM +0.560
16 J.Martin DUCATI +0.605
17 T.Nakagami HONDA +0.627
18 J.Miller DUCATI +0.810
19 A.Dovizioso YAMAHA +0.830
20 M.Bezzecchi DUCATI +0.841
21 F.Di Giannanto   DUCATI +0.855
22 R.Fernandez KTM +1.341
23 R.Gardner KTM +1.538
24 D.Binder YAMAHA +1.989

Day Three Top Speeds

  1. Johann Zarco – Ducati 314.8 km/h
  2. Enea Bastianini – Ducati 312.1 km/h
  3. Pecco Bagnaia – Ducati 312.1 km/h
  4. Jack Miller – Ducati 311.2 km/h
  5. Marco Bezzecchi – Ducati 311.2
  6. Luca Marini – Ducati 310.3 km/h
  7. Jorge Martin – Ducati 310.3 km/h
  8. Maverick Vinales – Aprilia 309.4 km/h
  9. Marc Marquez – Honda 309.4 km/h
  10. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia 308.5 km/h
  11. Alex Rins – Suzuki 308.5 km/h
  12. Pol Espargaro – Honda 308.5 km/h
  13. Alex Marquez – Honda 308.5 km/h
  14. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Ducati 306.8 km/h
  15. Miguel Oliveira – KTM 306.8 km/h
  16. Takaaki Nakagami – Honda 305.9 km/h
  17. Fabio Quartararo – Yamaha 305.0 km/h
  18. Brad Binder – KTM 305.0 km/h
  19. Darryn Binder – Yamaha 305.0 km/h
  20. Andrea Dovizioso – Yamaha 304.2 km/h
  21. Raul Fernandez – KTM 304.2 km/h
  22. Remy Gardner – KTM 303.3 km/h
  23. Franco Morbidelli – Yamaha 301.6 km/h

2022 MotoGP Entry List

2022 MotoGP Entry List
Rider………………………… Team……………………………………………….. Bike
49 Fabio Digiannantonio GRESINI RACING  DUCATI
72 Marco Bezzecchi VR46 RACING TEAM DUCATI

2022 Provisional MotoGP Calendar

Date Grand Prix Circuit
06 March Qatar Losail International Circuit
20 March Indonesia Mandalika International Street Circuit
03 April Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
10 April Americas Circuit of The Americas
24 April Portugal Algarve International Circuit
01 May Spain Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
15 May France Le Mans
29 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
05 June Catalunya Barcelona-Catalunya
19 June Germany Sachsenring
26 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
10 July Finland KymiRing
07 August Great Britain Silverstone Circuit
21 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
04 September San Marino Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
18 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
25 September Japan Twin Ring Motegi
02 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
16 October Australia Philip Island
23 October Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
06 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

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