The second Fiat Yamaha Team test of 2008 began in Sepang, Malaysia today, with Valentino Rossi picking up just where he left off at the same track 12 days ago. After several teams opted to test at Phillip Island last week, it was a somewhat depleted MotoGP field on track today and Rossi and new team-mate Jorge Lorenzo shared the track with just seven other riders.
Rossi topped the time sheets today with a blistering best lap of 2'00.300, over 0.3 seconds faster than the existing best lap of Sepang, which the Italian set himself back in 2006. Rossi set today's time on a Bridgestone qualifying tyre on his 62nd of 64 laps, but he also recorded improvements in his times with race tyres as he continues development with his new tyre manufacturer. Team-mate Lorenzo chose to stick to race tyres today and posted the fourth fastest time with a lap of 2'02.654.
Valentino Rossi - Position: 1st Time: 2'00.300 Laps: 64, "Today was a positive day for us and I really enjoyed myself. We started to work more on the bike and to adjust the suspension and balance to suit our tyres. I have a very good feeling and the lap times have improved compared to last time, both with race tyres and with the qualifying tyre. It's a big deal changing tyres - not as big as changing bikes but all the same I have needed time to understand how to ride the bike differently and now I'm learning more and more how to get the best from the Bridgestones. My fitness has also improved compared to last time and this is also helping me to ride better, so I think that we're in good shape at the moment."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager, "It was a good day for us and the times show that we are on target. This morning the surface was quite dirty but it improved this afternoon and Valentino was quicker than at the last test both on race and qualifying tyres. His fitness is also better so this is enabling him to improve his overall performance. Tomorrow we will continue with our testing programme and hopefully we can improve further on this good start."
Lorenzo Working Hard To Improve Set-Up in Sepang, New Fiat Yamaha pilot Jorge Lorenzo resumed the task of getting to grips with his YZR-M1 in Sepang today, ahead of his inaugural MotoGP race in Qatar in one month's time. After a promising showing here last time out, Lorenzo and his team's clear focus for this test is to refine and improve set-up, and they began work today with the same bike they used at the last test.
The Spaniard's main issue to address is front-end feel going into the corners and he was disappointed not to make more progress in this area today. Nonetheless his engineers were able to gather some important information and they will continue with their task tomorrow, as well as resuming tyre testing with Michelin. Lorenzo posted the 4th best time of the day, his lap of 2'02.654 coming on the 24th of 57 laps.