Rossi second in chilly Jerez
The Fiat Yamaha Team began a two-day test in Jerez, southern Spain yesterday and Valentino Rossi made a positive start to the second winter session, finishing the day second fastest behind Dani Pedrosa. With this being the final test for the team until February, these two days are especially important in order to gather as much information as possible for the Japanese engineers to work with over the next two months, as they continue to develop the 2009-spec M1.
Clear skies and a cold wind meant track temperatures were very cool in the morning and Rossi chose to wait until 1.30pm, when the newly-resurfaced track had warmed up slightly, to begin. As per the new single-tyre rule there are just two front and two rear specifications available for the test, with the riders supplied with two tyres of each specification, making eight in total. The world champion completed 20 laps on the 2008-spec bike and 20 on the new 2009 prototype M1, on which he set his fastest lap of the day in a time of 1'40.135.
As at the post-race test in Valencia one month ago Lorenzo has two bikes available to him here; the 2008 M1 and a test version of the bike, with some new prototype parts, but with the new single-tyre rule having now come into force he spent today on the 2008 bike, working on adapting his set-up to the new tyres. He completed 51 laps with a fastest time of 1'41.163, putting him third fastest behind Dani Pedrosa and his team-mate Rossi.
Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: 1'40.135 Laps: 40
"I am happy about this first day because my performance has been good from the beginning and I have been fast all day. Unfortunately it's been quite cold and there was only three hours when it was possible to go fast, but we were able to get quite a lot of work done in this short space of time. We have tried some different things on the old 2008 bike and we were able to make some improvements and then we also tested several new things on the prototype bike, and I am happy because I did my fastest lap with this bike. Bridgestone have brought good tyres here; so far I don't see any problems with the new rule and it seems they're doing a good job. They have resurfaced the track and it has made a big difference; they have got rid of all the bumps and like this it's great fun to ride around. I think we will be able to go faster now. Today was very cold, especially with the wind so now I hope it's a bit better tomorrow and that it doesn't rain because we have a lot more work to do and I would like to improve my lap time a bit more."
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 3rd Time: 1'41.163 Laps: 51
"Overall today has been a good day, even if the cold weather hasn't allowed us too much time on track. It's only my second day testing since the new tyre rule and I think we're doing a good job so far, but we still have to improve because we're not yet sure of the perfect configuration for our bike with the tyres. We are still using the 2008 bike with the old setting at the moment, I have a test bike with some new parts but we didn't use it today -- maybe tomorrow. Anyway I feel good because I can see that we have the potential to improve more. The new track surface is a lot better, there are fewer bumps and so you can go faster and ride more how you want to. This is a good improvement to the track. Tomorrow it seems there is a chance of rain but I really hope not because we have a lot to do and I would like to leave here having improved further. This is a very important test because it's the last one until February, when we will have a new bike, so we need to gather as much information as possible for the engineers."