Yamaha complete second test day in Sepang

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Jorge Lorenzo continues to find the 2014 tyres challenging in the hunt for the perfect set up.

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have completed the second of the three days of testing today that mark the second official test of the 2014 MotoGP pre-season schedule.

The riders were again out at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia, putting their 2014 YZR-M1 machines to the test as they continue to look for the optimum set up using the new 2014 Bridgestone tyres.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Valentino Rossi was able to improve on his time of yesterday, taking nearly seven tenths of a second off to move up to fourth place in the overall timesheets for the day.

Jorge Lorenzo continues to find the 2014 tyres challenging in the hunt for the perfect set up.

The Mallorcan was unable to make a big step forward today and completed the second day in ninth, just over a second from the front man Dani Pedrosa.

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith carried on with their testing programmes in positive fashion today. Both riders lapped confidently with their Yamaha YZR-M1’s, as preparations for the MotoGP World Championship season opening race at the Losail Circuit proceeded.

With traction improving and the dirt gradually clearing from the track, the two riders sought comfort and confidence in the set ups of their Yamaha YZR- M1 MotoGP bikes, as opposed to posting quick lap times today.

The weather was once again very humid and hot at the iconic Malaysian circuit, which is located nearly 50 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur.

2013 Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro furthered his encouraging pre-season testing by completing 47 laps around the 5.543 km track, whilst continuing to learn his new MotoGP machine. Having sampled the seamless shift gearbox yesterday, and with a positive feeling for the Yamaha YZR-M1, the young Spaniard pushed on. Espargaro made as much use of the testing time as possible, and increased his experience and knowledge with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. He finished today’s session in 8th position with a best lap time of 2:01.027.

Young British rider Bradley Smith completed another solid day today with undertaking an abundance of laps and continuing with his testing programme. Having spent the preceding test day accustoming himself with the newly acquired seamless shift gearbox, today he continued to refine set up options on the Yamaha YZR-M1. Smith worked on the feeling of the bike with a full fuel load, and some front end and rear end settings. Once satisfied with the progress, the British rider expertly completed 60 laps in today’s session alone and finished the session in 10th place with a best time of 2:01.098.

It was another positive day for the NGM Forward Racing Team with Aleix Espargaró finishing second (2'00.320), only 0.281 behind Dani Pedrosa, the fastest rider today, after having been on top of the time sheets for almost the whole test session.

On board of his Forward Yamaha FTR, Aleix could improve his lap times already during the morning session, then in the afternoon he continued working on the set up of the first and second machine. Despite the torrid temperatures that obliged the riders to stay in the garage in the early hours of the afternoon, the Spaniard succeeded to lower his lap times, closing with a very positive 2’00.320.

It was a positive day also for his team mate Colin Edwards, who celebrated his 40th anniversary. In total Colin completed 45 laps, 2’01.996 was his best time.

Valentino Rossi (4th / 2'00.605 / 60 Laps): “The main issue for this test is to try and improve our M1 with the new 2014 tyre. We tried some things but at the end of the day we are not very happy. I am in fourth place, the lap time is quite good but we are half a second behind the other guys. We are suffering with this tyre; our bike becomes difficult to manage. Tomorrow we will try again but we have not so many options. Every track has a different story but we are quite worried because it looks like we are in trouble with this tyre. We hope that in other tracks we will have less problems but here in Sepang, especially compared to the first test, it is more difficult.”

Jorge Lorenzo (9th / 2'01.049 / 57 Laps): “Today I am very disappointed, especially in the tyre behaviour. Nothing has changed compared to yesterday. I still don't have the confidence to ride as I want to. Tomorrow is another day, we still have eight hours to find the right way so we will work hard and hopefully by the end of tomorrow we will have solutions.”

Pol Espargaro (8th / 2'01.027 / 47 laps): “Today was the day I have struggled the most since riding the Yamaha, and unfortunately it was the first time I did not improve my lap time. Plus the track did not improve a lot from yesterday. In the morning it took me a bit of time to find the rhythm. I had a small crash this afternoon, but it was nothing serious and I am not hurt. However, we lost a lot of track time because of this. After that, we changed a few details on the bike to improve the handling, but when I tried to improve my time this afternoon, I did not feel comfortable. However, all the Yamaha’s struggled a little bit so I am not too worried.”

Bradley Smith (10th / 2'01.098 / 60 laps): “It was another positive day, we tested many things and tried to learn as much as possible. We worked on the front end and found a few small details, before moving to the back of the bike. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a rear setting which worked without affecting something else, but it’s about trying to find the right compromise. I am really pleased that I did many 2.01 lap times. I felt confident and the bike is feeling good on the full fuel load, which is what we always targeted on improving. Track conditions today weren’t too bad, I know there is more potential but unless I make it happen, it won’t make any difference to the lap times. I’m still a bit off from where I would like to be. Looking at the factory riders, I would like to reduce the gap to them and become more consistent. I am really pleased with the work we have been doing. The team have worked extremely hard, so I want to say a big thanks to them. Hopefully, we can do a race simulation tomorrow and see how much we have improved since the first test.”

Aleix Espargaro (2nd / 2'00.320 / 41 laps): “Today we worked on the set up of the two machines and I’m very confident because last year I never succeeded to have the same confidence on both bikes. Here in less than 2 days I have found a good feeling and I’m very satisfied. In the afternoon I tested the new Magneti Marelli software, which is a step forward especially when the tyres start to drop. I hope we can do a long run tomorrow and check how the bike work on the race distance.”

Colin Edwards (13th / 2'01.996 / 45 laps): “I’m satisfied of the work done today. I could improve my feeling with the front and I could make the bike turn better, but there is still a lot of work to do. I think I need to adapt my riding style to the new bike and also to get closer to the style used nowadays by the youngest riders in order to enter and exit the corners as I like. Anyway in the middle of today’s test session I could do my best lap time and I want to thank the team for the great job."

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: “A very difficult second day. We are still trying to give Jorge the confidence he needs to go faster. The lack of grip that he is experiencing is not helping so we are dong everything we can to help solve that issue.”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “We are having some difficulties that we were not expecting that we are working hard to try and solve. We are trying to fit this new tyre to our bike but it’s not looking so simple. We are consistently collecting information but the grip we are looking for is still missing. Here in Sepang the circuit doesn't also offer the grip that we are used to which isn’t helping the situation. For sure we will continue to work as hard as possible to make it better and find a different setting to give us what is missing at the moment. It won't be easy but I am still confident we can find it. At the moment Vale is suffering a bit less in these conditions due to his riding style. Jorge is having much more difficulties. Jorge is quite often more aggressive on the throttle and this is not helping in these conditions with the tyres.”

Yamaha Racing

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Testing report
Tags aleix espargaro, bradley smith, colin edwards, jorge lorenzo, motogp, pol espargaro, sepang, valentino rossi, yamaha