Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri completed their three day test at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia today. The two new signings for the 2011 season spent the three days testing out various parts including new Ohlins (TRVP25) front forks on both the 2010 and 2011 racebike. A large part of the test for both riders, particularly Melandri, included ongoing physical modifications to the YZF-R1 racebike to fit their riding style, adjusting foot pegs, handlebars and other geometry settings.
The team enjoyed good weather, sunshine and a dry track for the first two days of the test with rain only appearing in the last minutes of day two. The third and final day saw more sunshine with rain only at lunchtime and towards the end of the day’s sessions. The 2011 bike tested by the riders featured a revised weight balance, the new Ohlins forks, new engine performance parts and a different seat and fuel tank design. The bike also features standard fuel injectors and fuel pump in line with the 2011 racing regulations.
Eugene Laverty was clearly enjoying his third outing on the R1, having been impressively quick in the first two tests, he was again fast from the off, leaving Australia as the fastest rider of the test with a blistering 1’31.5 lap on soft race tyres at the end of day three, over half a second faster than closest rider Max Biaggi. He also spent some time on race simulation, putting in consistently fast race pace laps. Following his one day test in Valencia last month this was Marco Melandri’s first proper opportunity to work through some set up developments on his new R1 racebike. The Italian rider improved steadily over the test days, making steps each day as the team continued to modify the physical set up of the bike to suit him. Day three saw him record a 1’32.4 lap on race tyres. Melandri also took the opportunity in the rain to experience his bike on Pirelli wet tyres. The team now have valuable data to take away to work over the winter to make further changes to suit the new riders in advance of the first test of 2011 next year.