Motorcycle Racing News Rossi & Lorenzo: MotoGP Qatar Test

Rossi & Lorenzo: MotoGP Qatar Test

Fiat Team Report

The Fiat Yamaha Team riders concluded their pre-season motorcycle racing preparation with another strong performance in the humid Qatar night, Valentino Rossi finishing second and Jorge Lorenzo sixth. This was the last time the MotoGP riders will be on track before the first race, back at the same circuit in three weeks time.

Rossi concentrated largely on finalising his race preparation today, also finding time to try a new tyre compound for Bridgestone. The Italian completed 20 laps in a long run late in the evening with the aim of gathering more information for the race, which will help the team during the practice sessions when they return here.

He set his best time of the day earlier in the evening, slightly slower than his time from yesterday, and finally had to settle for second behind Casey Stoner. The Italian has been fastest on five out of six test days this year however and he and his crew are now looking forward with confidence to the first MotoGP race on his Yamaha M1.

Lorenzo continued to make progress and to push as hard as his injured hand would allow, the Spaniard managing to test some new electronic settings amongst other things and improve on his time from yesterday.

He still felt some pain in the hard braking areas and needed to take a painkilling pill, but he was happy to finish sixth in the circumstances and is confident that he will be back to full strength in time for the first MotoGP race of 2010.

The first motorcycle race of the 2010 MotoGP season takes place at Losail, Qatar on 9th, 10th and 11th April.

Valentino Rossi Speaks… Position: 2nd Time: 1’55.860 Laps: 57

"This has been another good day. We’ve concentrated mostly on the race preparation and it feels like we’re now ready for the first race. We did a long run at the end of the session and we got some good information, which will help us in the race. Now that testing is over I am very excited about the season."

"We’ve been strong throughout the six days of practice and it feels good to have been fast here also, where we have struggled in the past. We have only tested at two tracks so we need to wait for another different one to fully understand the new bike, but we’re in good shape. My M1 feels great and I’m looking forward to racing!"

Jorge Lorezno Speaks… Position: 6th Time: 1’56.504 Laps: 44

"Today my hand felt okay, maybe a bit worse than yesterday. Of course it’s not as good as before the accident but this is to be expected! It’s hard for me in the braking areas and I can’t push any harder than I have been today at the moment, but I hope it will have improved a lot by the time of the first race."

"Our bike is great, Yamaha have done a fantastic job and you can see this from the strong performance of all the Yamaha riders. We’ve done a lot of work and tried many things, so I hope that these will help us when we come back here in three weeks. I will keep working to strengthen my hand and I hope to be in much better condition by then."

Davide Brivio Speaks… Rossi MotoGP Team Manager

"We’re really happy about this final test. Although we were fast in Sepang we didn’t know what to expect here but we found that we were quick here as well – more than a second faster than last year in fact and this is encouraging! We’ve done some more work on the setting during this test and then today concentrated on race preparation, including doing a long run and trying some different combinations of bike and tyres. The waiting is nearly over now and we’re ready!"

Wilco Zeelenberg Speaks… Lorenzo MotoGP Team Manager

"We have been happy here to see that Jorge feels better than expected, even if his thumb is still not perfect. To be able to finish in the top six when he’s not in the best shape is a great achievement. We know there is improvement to make but considering the situation we can be happy with this test."

"Jorge feels good on the bike and we have made some good steps forward in these two days; he can feel the difference already. At the moment these tiny steps are very important. Now we have almost three weeks until the race and this gives Jorge time to improve further, so hopefully we will be in good shape when we return."

Qatar MotoGP Test Times

1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team

2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team

3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team

4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team

5. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

6. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team

7. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP

8. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3

9. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team

10. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3

11. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team

12. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

13. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team

14. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini

15. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team

16. Hiroshi Aoyama (JAP) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP

17. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini

Losail: Record Lap
C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’55.153

Losail: Best Lap
J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1’53.927

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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