The MotoGP paddock will return to Sepang on February 26th for the second official test of the year.
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo today completed the third and final day of the first official test of the 2014 MotoGP pre-season activity at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia.
The test proved to be a successful one for both riders, with Rossi especially happy at the end of today’s riding. The nine-time world champion was able to record his best ever time at the Sepang circuit, dropping under the 2’00 minute mark to finish in second place less than two tenths from front man Marc Marquez.
Rossi and Lorenzo both undertook a race simulation in the stifling Malaysian heat this afternoon to shake the 2014 M1 down over race distance.
Four–time world champion Lorenzo was also happy having completed the three days. The Mallorcan made good progress during the riding sessions, managing to closely replicate the feeling of the 2013 bike whilst making the big reductions in fuel required for the 2014 season. Lorenzo completed the final day in third position, just 0.333 seconds from the front.
2nd / 1'59.727
“The test has been very good, I’m very happy, especially for the second position and more than that for the lap time which is the best of my career in Sepang. It’s the first time under 2’00 for me and just one tenth from Marc and the overall record of the track. I found a good feeling with the bike, we found some good solutions and it’s been very positive. We tried a simulation in the afternoon that was very good to understand any problems. We suffered a bit to keep a good pace but it wasn't so bad. For the first test the balance was good.”
3rd / 1'59.866
“I think we improved a lot the lap time from yesterday but I didn't make a perfect lap. Maybe with softer tyres we could make a 1’59.5 or a 1’59.6. The goal was not to improve the one lap time but to improve the race pace which we did. When we tried a race simulation in hot conditions we found some problems where we didn't expect it, so the pace wasn't as good as we wanted. We’ve only practised in one track though which isn’t a Yamaha track historically, so let’s see what happens at the next Malaysia test and the other tracks. The evolution and the improvement is big so I’m quite satisfied. To have a similar feeling to last year with less fuel is a big thing.”
Positive Sepang test concludes for Monster Yamaha Tech3.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro made further improvements at the Sepang International circuit as the first test for the forthcoming 2014 MotoGP World Championship drew to a close.
The three day test at the 5.543km circuit, 50kms south of Kuala Lumpur had perfect conditions for all three days. This allowed the Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders to ride uninterrupted, in order to prepare for the 2014 MotoGP world championship season which begins under the floodlights at the Losail circuit in Qatar, on the 23rd of March.
Young British rider Bradley Smith completed the first test of the season in a positive manner, by exploring different set ups on the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike in preparation for his second full time season in MotoGP. Smith experimented especially with full fuel loads, new Bridgestone tyres and long distance runs in today’s session with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, and undertook 65 laps. He finished today with a best lap time of 2.00,896 min which puts him into 11th position but his time from yesterday ensures Smith an 8th place on the combined classification.
Pol Espargaro concluded a positive, first MotoGP test of 2014 to finish inside the top ten at the Sepang International circuit. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion familiarised himself further with his new Yamaha YZR-M1, the brakes and the tyres, with Sepang being only his second test on a MotoGP bike. The young Spaniard progressed well with his new Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and completed 65 laps. Espargaro finished the session with a best lap time of 2.00,655 min, which puts him in 8th place in today’s session, 9th in the combined times, and almost a second quicker than his initial best lap time set on the first day of testing on Tuesday.
8th / 2'00.603
“We did some really good work, today we were concentrating on the new Bridgestone tyres. I tried to gain as much information and data also doing a half race simulation at the end of the day with this new tyre, just to compare it with the one from last year. Yesterday’s simulation was quite similar to today, although I believe we can still improve with this new tyre. I think I’ve done nearly 180 laps this test and we know where we need to start at Sepang 2. All in all I am pleased, even if the position on the timesheet does not seem to be ideal, it was never my main aim to set fast lap times during these three days. We are looking at the big picture, and preparing for the Championship and we will try to be ready for Qatar."
9th / 2'00.655
“I’m really pleased with how this first test went. I could improve every day by at least four tenths and it’s exactly these small steps that we need to do to be prepared for the season. My Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team helps me a lot as the feeling with them is already perfect. Nevertheless, I know that there are still numerous things to work on such as my corner speed and my braking. I think the braking is one of the toughest things when coming from Moto2 because you don’t have any electronic help, like there is in acceleration for example. Anyway, I’m truly happy because after these three days, I know exactly where I need to improve also on my personal preparation and I’m already looking forward to come back to this track in a few weeks.”