Fiat Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo rounded off the first test of the 2009 season in strong style, with the Italian finishing second, less than one tenth off Casey Stoner. His Spanish team-mate was seventh and inside the lap...
Fiat Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo rounded off the first test of the 2009 season in strong style, with the Italian finishing second, less than one tenth off Casey Stoner. His Spanish team-mate was seventh and inside the lap record pace for the first time this week.
Rossi continued to focus mainly on electronics on the last day as he looked to fine-tune the 2009 M1 step-by-step. With the stitches in his hand and foot he decided not to attempt a long-run, but was able to improve on his time from previous days by half a second and recorded a best lap of 2'01.137.
Lorenzo had struggled to find confidence on the first two days of tests but on the final day found his rhythm with the new Bridgestone tyres. He was delighted to complete a long-run of 22 laps and his best lap of the day, in a time of 2'01.907, was over a second quicker compared to previous times during this test.
The next stop for the team is a night test at Doha in Qatar on 1st, 2nd and 3rd February.
Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: 2'01.137 Laps: 43
"I am leaving this place feeling happy, because we've made a good start. Everything went well: my pain is less, the bike is good and I am feeling better and better. We finished everything we wanted to do on the bike and the setting and the rhythm is quite good. The lap time is fast so we have made a good start. We didn't do the long run, but actually we didn't need to. Without my injury maybe it would have been possible, but in this situation we decided to leave it. My injuries are getting better each day because they're only cuts and they're healing fast. I don't think that they made much difference to my speed here and by the Qatar test I will be back in perfect shape. I did the fastest lap today with the hard Bridgestone tyre, so it means that the bike is good. For sure we need to improve some more but since this year we have less testing, this performance has been very important. The first test of the year is always difficult, even if you trained a lot in the winter, so I am happy! Qatar will be interesting, because last year we weren't strong there, but then last year the bike was not yet ready when we went to the first race in Doha. I am really looking forward to the next text there."
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 7th Time: 2'01.907 Laps: 61
"I am very happy because I've seen how fast I can ride with the Bridgestone tyres. Today has definitely been the best day for me at this opening test of the year. Also, we have been able to do a long run in hot conditions with 32 degrees (36 in the afternoon!), and I was able to finish 22 laps without stopping.I was tired when I finished but it was incredible; the rhythm was good and my best lap was right at the end, when I did a 2'01.9. This means that I have improved over a second since yesterday and we have made a big step forward. We need kilometres under our belt and we've got some week! All the team worked hard up until the last minute and now they will keep going so we can try to go even better in Qatar next month. We have to continue in the same way as today, improving all the time, because we don't have that much time until the first race!"
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"The bike is going well and we have made a good start. We are just working hard, mainly on electronics, and the set-up process is going well. This bike was created to run with Bridgestone tyres, after the experience Valentino had with Bridgestone last year, so it should be better than the 2008 bike. Today we made a short run with both the hard and the soft tyres, in order to understand how they work. It is very important because you need to understand what tyre you need to make the best qualifying times, harder or softer. At the Qatar GP last year we had the most problems of the season, so I am looking forward to going there for the next test and seeing how much we have improved in the last year! It will be very interesting to see what level we have achieved."
Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
"Today Jorge made a big improvement compared to the first two days. He mainly concentrated on adapting his riding style to the Bridgestone tyres and finally found more confidence going into the turns. Then the team tried some little changes to the chassis set-up and found some improvement and Jorge did a race simulation during which he showed a very good pace. He set the best time of the simulation, a 2.01.917, on the last lap. Now we are waiting to test in Qatar where last year we had a fantastic race; hopefully we will find ourselves in good shape there again!"