Rossi completes first day of testing with Bridgestone as Lorenzo's third Yamaha test gets underway in Jerez
Valentino Rossi, back in action for the first time since breaking his hand in Valencia, tested his Yamaha M1 on Bridgestone tyres for the first time today at the Spanish circuit of Jerez. The three-day test is the final test of 2007 and Rossi was joined in the garage by his new 2008 team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, as well as the majority of the MotoGP paddock.
Rossi, his team and his engineers used today as a chance to get to know the Bridgestone technicians, whom they will be working with next season, and to understand the initial adjustments they need to make to the bike to suit the new tyres. Rossi's comments were positive and, having started testing at midday on a sunny but cold day in Jerez, he completed 49 laps. Despite still suffering from some pain in his hand, the Italian's best time of 1'40.514 was good enough for third and was just 0.293 seconds off Casey Stoner, who topped the time sheets.
Valentino Rossi (3rd, 1'40.514, 49 laps)
"My first comment about the tyres is positive, and this has definitely been a positive day for us in terms of times and my feeling with the bike. My pace was not bad at all, even though my hand is still hurting, especially in braking. Let's say that I am at 90% fitness! I am happy with the choice I have made and I have great motivation for the task. Today it was also clear that there is a very high level of concentration from all the team members and this gives me even higher motivation, if possible. We have two more days, so it is not time for a final comment, but I am happy with the first day. Furthermore Furusawa-san is here, and this gives an idea of Yamaha's commitment to improve and to return to the top. Let's see how it goes tomorrow and let's hope it can be even better than it was today."
Davide Brivio --Team Manager
"Today was the day we have all been waiting for. It has been a very important day for us, because we've been looking forward to having the chance to confirm our decision. We also wanted to check Valentino's physical condition after the crash in Valencia. At the beginning of the test he suffered a bit, but he went better as the day went on, even if we know he is not at 100% yet. As far as the new work with Bridgestone is concerned, we made a good start. Today we used all the time to get to know each other and to allow our engineers to interact with their technicians. We also worked to understand what kind of modifications we need to make to the bike, in order to make it work properly with the new tyres. Technically, of course, we have concentrated entirely on tyres and on understanding Valentino's initial comments about them. It was a good day with good times and we look forward to continuing the work tomorrow and on Thursday."
Lorenzo's third Yamaha test gets underway in Jerez
Lorenzo began his third test with Yamaha today, his final test before he becomes an official Fiat Yamaha Team rider in January. Having tested recently in Malaysia, the 20-year-old Spaniard finds himself a little closer to home this time and in somewhat cooler temperatures, at the Andalucian circuit of Jerez.
Lorenzo and his team picked up from where they left off in Sepang, continuing to work on general set-up as the 250cc World Champion becomes better adapted to the demands of an 800cc MotoGP bike and his new Michelin tyres. Lorenzo's aim for this test is to get as many kilometres under his belt as possible and he started well today, completing 91 laps and setting the seventh best time of 1'41.230. The best time of the day was set by Casey Stoner, with a lap of 1'40.221 while Lorenzo's 2008 team-mate Valentino Rossi was third with a time of 1'40.514.
Jorge Lorenzo (7th, 1'41.230, 91 laps)
"Today I felt much better on the bike than I did in Sepang. I feel more comfortable with the bike every time I ride it and for sure it feels more like a part of me now. I am really looking forward to improving again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Today I rode 91 laps, so I really made the most of the day, and I will continue to work tomorrow to improve again. The more kilometres I ride, the better it is for me and for my team, and I want to give them all the information I can in order to improve as much as we can over these winter tests."
Daniele Romagnoli -- Team Manager
"Today with Jorge we confirmed the set-up we found in Sepang and we also confirmed the new bike geometry we tested there. This helps us to check that we are working in the correct direction. Today we also found a new riding position for Jorge; we put a new spacer on the tank and it seems to work perfect ly. He feels better and better on the bike all the time. He rode 91 laps, which is a huge effort, both from him and from our staff members (who I want to thank!) He kept a high level of concentration throughout the whole day, and he was therefore able to give us the maximum in terms of information, feeling and comment. Tomorrow we will work on the set-up again and hopefully we will be able to confirm today's modifications."