The first tests before the start of the new MotoGP season took place at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia. Lorenzo came in second and Spies was fourth fastest.
While Europe was covered in snow, the MotoGP riders headed out on the rough asphalt track at the Sepang International Circuit for the first time this year. After three days of tests, the Yamaha factory team is satisfied with the progress of their liter race bike. They focused on finding an ideal setting for the frame and the electronics that will enable them to optimize the new engine’s power yield.
After 35 test laps, Jorge Lorenzo ended up as the second-fastest racer: “I’m really, really satisfied, I’ve improved on my best record here in Sepang. We tried a lot of things; some were a lot better, especially one major improvement. We also know where we still have to improve in the future. The electronics aren’t perfect yet, we still need to make it smoother, but the bike has so much potential we’re very optimistic. The Yamaha engineers have worked really hard so they’ve done a good job. I made my best time today at midday, which is the time with the hardest conditions, so it was pretty good. We’ll see what we can do when we come back.”
The other member of the Yamaha team, Ben Spies, came in only three-tenths of a second behind to finish the tests in fourth place: “It’s been a good test, we’ve got a lot of things accomplished, we’re definitely moving in the right direction with my bike. I tried the Yamaha test rider’s bike today, which had a slightly different setup, in order to make a fair comparison with mine. I made a small mistake, losing the front, but that’s testing; it can happen when you’re working out the good and bad! All in all it’s been great and I’m really happy and looking forward to coming back and seeing what’s new.”
The YZR-M1, sporting an Akrapovič exhaust system, is returning to Japan along with a huge collection of new data, where it’s going to be prepared for the next test round a month away.
Photo: Yamaha Racing