Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
MotoGP Official Test Qatar – Moviestar Yamaha – Losail International Circuit (Qatar), 16th March 2015
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team was disappointed to conclude the final day of preseason testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar today without being able to ride due to a sudden rainstorm.
Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were looking forward to testing some new settings they found in the previous days, but were unable to do so as the rain caused the wet track to reflect the glaring floodlights, making for unrideable conditions. As there were also no wet weather tyres available the session was red flagged and the teammates had no other option than to wait for the weather to clear up and a dry race line to form on track. When there was still no sign of improvement in the weather conditions after 7pm the team was forced to call it quits.
With no track-action being done today by any of the MotoGP riders, Lorenzo and Rossi remain fourth and fifth place respectively in the combined session times. They now look forward to return to the Losail International Circuit on Thursday the 26th of March for the first Grand Prix weekend of the season under the floodlights in Qatar.
99 – Jorge Lorenzo
“We couldn’t ride today because of the bad weather conditions at Losail. It was raining all the day and because of these circumstances we were not able to profit from a final day of testing. It’s a pity because we planned to check out different settings, but it’s the same for everybody. Overall the preseason was good for us. We have a good bike, especially compared to last year and we gained something with the new gearbox. The bike has a good basis and we think we have a big margin to improve while developing. We are quite confident even if our rivals have also improved a lot. After Sepang we had some good feelings and Qatar was a bit more difficult. The track was so slippery, especially the first day. The second day we could manage in a better way and we felt more comfortable on the bike but at this track it’s always tough because of the track conditions. The grip is not perfect and we struggle a bit with the rear, but in general the bike’s behaviour is quite good. Hopefully we can improve for the race weekend and be ready for the first fight of the season. We’re eager to kick off this exciting season we have ahead.”
46 – Valentino Rossi
“It was a real shame not to be able to ride at the last day of testing. The day was very important to fix the last things and to improve the bike before the race. The rain unfortunately did not allow us to complete these tests. However we can make a positive balance of these tests. The pre-season tests were positive. The bike has improved from last year and this is the most important thing. It will be a good season. There are many riders that will be fast and close. To stay ahead we must be 100%. The new gearbox will help us. It works well and this helps a lot in braking. This is not a huge advantage but it is an advantage. I really want to start this season. The guys are excited. We are all impatient to start this championship. Just a few days left and I can tell you that, in spite of this day, we are ready to go!”
Massimo Meregalli – Team Director
“For us it’s a pity that it started raining here in Qatar. We had some difficulties during the first race last year and prepared some different settings to test today but unfortunately we couldn’t. We will start next Thursday with these new settings, but until then we live in doubt and that’s never a good thing. In Sepang we made some good improvements while it’s not one of our best circuits. Here at the Losail International Circuit I’m less positive, because usually this track is good on a Yamaha, so the expectations before we started testing were different. We know that when there’s a lack of grip we suffer a bit more than our competitors, but for me that’s normal. We know we have to work and we will be ready in a week. A race is a race and both riders are used to doing their best during a race. I spoke with the technicians this afternoon and they are both quite optimistic. From what they’ve seen yesterday and also from what the riders have said, they will probably be able to prepare something that will work. The only matter is that we have to wait. The competition is growing. Yesterday there were more than ten people within less than a second, so for me, in terms of spectacle, we will add to a nice championship this year.”