Yamaha Factory Racing Tests Phillip Island, Australia Wednesday, March 10, 2004 Yamaha Riders Make Steady Progress On 'The Island' Yamaha Factory Racing's MotoGP line-up made the most of the improved weather today on the second day of a three...
Yamaha Factory Racing Tests
Phillip Island, Australia
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Yamaha Riders Make Steady Progress On 'The Island'
Yamaha Factory Racing's MotoGP line-up made the most of the improved weather today on the second day of a three day test at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia. Despite overcast and cold conditions this morning, the four Yamaha riders made some worthwhile progress in this last private test before they face the full force of their MotoGP competitors at the Barcelona IRTA tests in just over two weeks time.
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha new recruit Valentino Rossi put in 60 laps with a best time of 1'30.72, while team-mate Carlos Checa made a race simulation this afternoon, concluding his session with a best time of 1'31.51 and 100 laps under his belt. Meanwhile in the Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 camp, Norick Abe made a significant improvement to his previous lap times at the antipodean circuit, with a best time of 1'32.98 after dramatically softening the front end of his YZR-M1 machine. Marco Melandri had a less fruitful day, struggling to feel as comfortable with his M1 as he did at his last outing here.
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) 60 laps, 1'30.72
"We're happy because we made the same lap time as the last time we were here but have found a better rhythm than before. We've just been focusing today mainly on consistency, as well as working with some different tyres and modified settings to the chassis. We also worked a bit on the engine but just to confirm the spec that we're using. Generally a good day and hopefully tomorrow the weather stays good and we can finish our job."
Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) 100 laps, 1'31.51
"We've changed the set-up a bit and tried different tyres, and today we made a step forwards. It's the first time I've had this much better feeling this winter, mostly by adjusting the spring balance and chassis, which works better with this combination of tyres. I'm also looking forward to testing one of the different engine specs soon. But I'm quite satisfied anyway with this set-up. I think with this chassis here we can go down to the 1'30s. We also have more tyres to test tomorrow."
Norick Abe (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3) 73 laps, 1'32.98
"Finally! It's now starting to come better. Until an hour or so ago I was still having trouble, but then we thought we'd try something different. and it worked. We tried a much softer front spring, softer than we've ever used before and the feeling during corner entry improved quite a bit. Then we took that one step further and it was better again. It's still only the first stage of what we have been looking for, we now need to balance the rear to suit the front, but at least things are heading in the right direction. Even the engine braking set-up is now more to my liking."
Marco Melandri (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3) 69 laps, 1'33.38
"Maybe I'm thinking too much, because I'm not enjoying to ride the bike at the moment. Not one corner feels right! I need to switch off my brain and let it flow rather than fight the situation. I hope, with a good nights sleep, I can do just that."