Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
MotoGP Official Test Qatar – Losail International Circuit (Qatar), 14th March 2015
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team took to the Losail International Circuit today for the final official preseason three-day test of 2015. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi continued to work on perfecting the set-up of their Yamaha YZR-M1s before the first race to be held at the same track in two weeks time.
The first day of testing started off slowly, with most of the teams opting to wait out the afternoon until the temperatures cooled, so conditions were closer to those of the traditional night race of Losail.
Jorge Lorenzo had a challenging start to the test, with a lack of grip on the slippery track slowing him down. Having waited until after 6pm local time before heading out, he rode a 1’57.351s lap and moved up to seventh place in the provisional session standings. He improved his times throughout the session and finished the day in sixth place on the timing sheets with a best time of 1’55.828s, +0.563s off the front.
Teammate Rossi also experienced some difficulties. An unlucky crash at turn eight on his third lap lost him one of his three sets of tyres for today’s session. Despite this misfortune, the uninjured nine-time World Champion soon got back on his way and rode his YZR-M1 to provisional tenth place with a lap of 1’57.557s. He later improved his time to seventh quickest with a 1’55.938s lap. The two remaining sets of tyres were not enough for him to take part in the time attack at the end of today’s session and as the pace of the field quickened he dropped one place, ending the day in eighth place, + 0.673 off the front.
99 – Jorge Lorenzo 6th / 1’55.828 / laps
“It’s been very difficult to get onto the pace today. We don’t exactly know what happened, but it looks like we need much more grip on the rear when we enter the corners. I think we are still very far from our limit. The track is not very grippy, especially on the entry of the corners and also the curbs are very slippery and bumpy, so the track conditions are a bit strange compared to last year”
46 – Valentino Rossi 8th / 1’55.938 / laps/
“At the end today it was not so bad. I had a quite good pace, we worked a little bit on the bike and we improved the setting. Unfortunately I had a crash at the beginning of the session. Fortunately I was not injured, but I did have one less tyre so I had to work the whole day with two sets and I was not able to do the time attack at the end. The feeling is quite good for the first day, the lap times are not so bad and it looks like this year’s battle will be very hard because all the bikes and the riders are very strong. Tomorrow we have to continue to work on the bike. We don’t have a lot of new things, but we’ll work on the balance and the setting and will try to improve the lap time.”
Massimo Meregalli Team Director
“The plan today was to work on the settings for both Jorge and Vale and also to work on the braking to keep closing the gap to our competitors. Jorge worked hard with his crew from the beginning but was still looking for a comfortable pace and set up at the end of the session. Unfortunately Vale had a strange crash after just three laps going into turn eight and so we lost one set of tyres and some valuable time. Fortunately he was uninjured which is the most important thing. We are not completely satisfied at the end of today with our position but as always will work on solutions both tonight and in the morning to be ready to make improvements and step closer to the front.”