When Valentino Rossi crashed at Mugello on June 5 while competing with Fiat Yamaha, thousands of fans and colleagues were devastated that the nine-time World Champion would miss most of the 2010 MotoGP season.
Fiat Yamaha had their first official MotoGP test of 2011 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the three days on track evaluating a number of development steps for the 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1 ahead of the new race season.
The Fiat Yamaha Team unveiled its new 2010 livery today, on the morning of the first MotoGP test of the pre-season in Sepang, Malaysia. The championship-winning team will field the same line-up as last year with World Champion Valentino Rossi and runner-up Jorge Lorenzo once again spearheading its attack.
The two-day test begins today, 4th February, the first of three pre-season tests before the first race at Qatar on 11th April.
If Valentino Rossi wins his seventh MotoGP championship in the next three weeks, he might look back to a gravel trap in Australia as the place where he sealed the title.
Rossi extended his lead in the World Championship to 38 points over Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo by finishing second to Casey Stoner at the Australian Grand Prix on Oct. 18 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Lorenzo ran into the back of Nicky Hayden entering the first turn on the first lap, careened into the gravel trap and crashed out of the race.
Valentino Rossi was fastest in the opening MotoGP practice session on Friday afternoon as the Iveco Australian Grand Prix got off to an intriguing start, with his title rival Jorge Lorenzo having a disappointing first outing of the weekend.
In cool, calm conditions Rossi set the standard early on, with a pacy lap, as the Italian responded to Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo’s dominance at Estoril last time out.
MotoGP Title Fight
Click to see the video promo for the 2009 Rossi and Lorenzo MotoGP showdown. Jorge Lorenzo narrowed the gap on his Fiat Yamaha team-mate (reigning champion and current standings leader Valentino Rossi) with a victory at Estoril, where Rossi finished a distant fourth as his championship lead over the Spaniard (Jorge Lorenzo) was cut from 30 to 18 points with three races remaining. The Phillip Island round of MotoGP is up next.
In good conditions at Estoril, on the opening day of the bwin.com Grande Prmio de Portugal, it was Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo who set the pace in MotoGP free practice with a best time of 1’37.185s in the closing stages, after heading the timesheet for most of the session.
Lorenzo needs to pile as much pressure as possible on his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi this weekend to stay in the title hunt and the Spanish star will be happy to have started practice in first place, at a venue where he took his first MotoGP win last year.
The thirteenth round of the 2009 FIM MotoGP World Championship takes place this weekend as the riders and their teams visit Misano for the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha Motor Company have signed a one year extension to the current rider agreement that will see Lorenzo, presently second in the 2009 MotoGP World Championship standings, as team mate of reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi for another year.
Lin Jarvis Speaks… Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing
In a clear case of how statistics can deceive, Valentino Rossi won the Czech Republic Grand Prix by 11.766 seconds over Dani Pedrosa on Aug. 16 at the Automotodrom Brno.
There was nothing easy about this win for Rossi, who heads next to the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 28-30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a 50-point lead over Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.