Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Official MotoGP test – Sepang#3, 06th February 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo ended the third and final day of MotoGP testing in Sepang on a positive note, finishing fourth and fifth in today’s session times.
Rossi clearly enjoyed today’s perfect weather conditions and was able to successfully complete his testing schedule. The progress he made in terms of the setup and pinpointing the direction of the development for his YZR-M1 showed when he shattered his own record at the Sepang International Circuit with a 1’59.401s lap, moving him up to third on the leader board. The Doctor used the remaining time of the session to test some more parts for the bike and did a race simulation, before finishing the day in fourth place.
Teammate Lorenzo also made strides today. Continuing his good rhythm of yesterday, he was quick right from the start of today’s eight-hour session. Despite the crowdedness of having 27 riders on the track at the same time, he was able to focus on his pace and position himself as one of the key protagonists. As with his teammate, it only took him about half an hour into the session to beat his fastest ever lap at the Malaysian track when he posted a time of 1’59.624s. The Spaniard also concluded his testing schedule with a race simulation at the hottest time of the day and ended fifth in the standings.
This third day completes the first pre-season test in Sepang. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will analyse the gained data and come back to the Malaysian circuit for a second pre-season test in two weeks time.
46 – Valentino Rossi 4th / 1’59.401 / 49 laps
“Today I’m more satisfied. It was a good day and we did a good job, especially because we tested everything and we decided what we have to use to continue the development. I’m very happy because 1’59.4 is my best lap in Sepang in my whole career and I’m already 0.3 faster compared to last year. It’s true that the conditions today are good, but also compared to yesterday we improved the setting of the bike a lot and also my pace is not so bad. We also tried a race simulation, but not with our performance at a hundred per cent. We tried some different parts for the bike, something good and something I didn’t like. My pace in the simulation was quite good so the test was positive. The only negative thing was the speed of Marc and Dani. They are a little bit faster than us on a lap with a fresh tyre, but also in terms of pace. That means that, if we want to beat them, we have to keep working.”
99 – Jorge Lorenzo 5th / 1’59.624 / 55 laps
“In the morning we weren’t very explosive to make a good lap time because the bike didn’t stop so well on the brakes. We modified the set-up to improve the braking, but we didn’t have any new tyres left to do a good lap time. I think we might not have been able to ride a 1’58, but maybe a low 1’59. The race simulation was interesting. We did one at the time of day when the temperature was the highest and our pace was very consistent. I think that if there was a race tomorrow, we could fight for the win, so this is positive. The bike improved a little compared to how it was at the Valencia test. I think we have a big thing to try at the second test at Sepang. Let’s see if this is clearly better.”
“The bike has worked well here for the test and we now know the direction to develop for both riders, that was the main goal for this test. We conducted a race simulation with both riders which was not bad, even when the tyre dropped the performance was ok, better than last year’s race. We still need to close the gap a little to our main competitors but so far the team and riders have worked well and done a good job. We have the information we were looking for and we will be back here in two weeks ready to start working with the new plan. We are confident that the next development step in two weeks will help to close the gap.”