Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
MotoGP Official News, Sepang (Malaysia), 2nd February 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Keep Up Pace at Second Day of Sepang Shake Down
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders returned to the Sepang International Circuit today for a second day of testing in Malaysia. Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi continued to successfully work through a number of different test items and secured second and sixth place respectively in today‘s standings.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team continued to book progress during the first three-day Official MotoGP Test of 2016. After yesterday‘s encouraging 1-2 finish, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were motivated to proceed with today‘s scheduled testing and both riders improved their times compared to yesterday by over half a second.
Lorenzo once again set the pace early in the session, taking over the top spot in the provisional rankings on his third lap. Despite not feeling a hundred per cent fit, he kept a strong pace going and even a small crash in turn five, which left him unhurt, could not slow him down. The five-time World Champion was able to make big strides as his team tried to find the right combination for the 2016 YZR-M1, the new electronics and the Michelin tyres. He concluded the day securing second place with a best lap of 2‘00.155, just 0.060s off today‘s best time, which was set on a hard rear tyre after Michelin withdrew the soft spec rear tyre option as a safety precaution following a crash from Loris Baz.
Teammate Rossi also had a positive second day at the Malaysian test. As the session was red flagged for the majority of the morning following Baz‘s crash, the Doctor was fully committed to making up for lost time. When he returned to the track he made a good step with his set-up and consistently improved his times, dropping under his best lap from yesterday by almost 0.7s. He spent the afternoon testing various tyre options and completed a total of 54 laps, setting a personal best of 2‘01.021s for sixth place.
I‘m quite happy, it was a good day. At first it was hard, because there was a lot of work to do, but I‘m quite satisfied, especially because we improved the setting of the bike a lot. My pace and my best lap improved quite significantly, so for this reason it‘s been a good day. We have a lot of important new data that will help us decide which way we should follow. It‘s sure that we will have a lot of things to do. I tried some tyres in afternoon, some were good, some things were bad, but I think also Michelin did a good job. At the moment I‘m more on the bike that‘s more similar to the 2015 model. Tomorrow we will try them both another time and maybe we will also try the other bike at another track, like Phillip Island, and after that we‘ll decide.
Today, after Baz‘s crash we couldn‘t use the soft rear anymore, so I had to adapt my riding. It‘s been a little bit difficult, but we still kept having a good feeling apart from the crash that I had with the hot track temperature and the hard front, which looks to be a little bit worse for me. In the afternoon, when we put in the softer tyre, I regained the feeling again that I had yesterday and was able to keep being the fastest rider on the track. Even with the hard tyre we could improve my time of yesterday by half a second, this is a good point. We keep having big margin over the rest and this is very encouraging.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
We were glad to hear that Baz was OK, but unfortunately today‘s testing has been influenced by his accident as we lost more than one hour due to the red flag on track. Then also Jorge‘s crash didn‘t allow him to finalise the plan we had in mind, but anyway Jorge managed to compare the two bikes he had available and to understand which way to proceed. On the other side of the garage Vale managed to complete his schedule working on the front tyres and his feeling at the end of the day was quite positive. Tomorrow he will only have to fine-tune the bike and then move forward with the race simulation. Jorge, once he will find the the good compromise with the balance of the bike in the morning, will also be able to prepare for the long run to get all the possible information we needed from this test.