Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi got his pre-season off to the best possible start today, finishing fastest on the first day of testing in Sepang. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate and last season’s runner-up Jorge Lorenzo also made a strong start, ending the day in fifth.
Both riders concentrated on completing as many laps as possible on the latest evolution of the 2010 YZR-M1 and, with the weather staying dry until just a few minutes before the end of the session, it was a productive day all round. Rossi led the way and was one of four riders to dip under the existing lap record. His time of 2’01.411, set this morning on his 15th of 54 laps, was half a second quicker than second-placed Casey Stoner.
Lorenzo found it a little harder to get back into the swing of things and took it gently this morning, but he felt much more comfortable on the new M1 this afternoon and gradually began to improve his time, setting his best time of 2’02.165 on the penultimate lap of the day, leaving him in fifth.
Valentino Rossi Speaks… Position: 1st Time: 2’01.411 Laps: 54
"Today was very important because this year we have just six days of testing in which to set the bike, so we can not waste any time. This first day was very positive, we tried the new bike for 2010, with a different chassis and a new engine, which can do more kilometres, and it is quite fast. Yamaha has worked very well over the winter. Now we need to spend time on setting some electronics and other things. This is only the start but it seems we’re already in good shape."
Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… Position: 5th Time: 2’02.165 Laps: 57
"After such a long break I found it quite hard to find my rhythm on the bike today – motocross bikes are not the same as the new M1! It was quite a difficult start to the day but little by little i started to feel more comfortable and to improve my pace. This afternoon, when it was a bit warmer, i began to improve my times even more and get closer to the first rider, so in the end I was quite happy with our work. Yamaha have brought some good things for us; the bike is not completely different to the old one but the small details make it easier to ride and this is important. Today was my first day of riding with my new team manager, Wilco Zeelenberg, and I feel good with him. He is an ex rider and so we were able to share a lot of information and he was able to give me some good advice."
MotoGP Sepang Test Times | Day 1
1. Rossi (Yamaha) 2:01.411 (54 laps)
2. Stoner (Ducati) 2:01.902 (42)
3. Edwards (Yamaha) 2:01.932 (48)
4. Capirossi (Suzuki) 2:02.102 (58)
5. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2:02.165 (57)
6. Dovizioso (Honda) 2:02.630 (51)
7. Hayden (Ducati) 2:02.792 (59)
8. Pedrosa (Honda) 2:02.866 (52)
9. Kallio (Ducati) 2:02.987 (70)
10. Barbera (Ducati) 2:03.030 (59)
11. Espargaro (Ducati) 2:03.133 (54)
12. Spies (Yamaha) 2:03.142 (55)
13. De Puniet (Honda) 2:03.456 (62)
14. Bautista (Suzuki) 2:03.558 (51)
15. Simoncelli (Honda) 2:03.563 (54)
16. Melandri (Honda) 2:03.609 (28)
17. Aoyama (Honda) 2:03.651 (66)