Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Qatar Test: Lorenzo & Spies Top 5

MotoGP Qatar Test: Lorenzo & Spies Top 5

Qatar MotoGP Test, Day 1 Results

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were in the top five at the first day of testing at Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Sunday, but couldn’t get their M1 prototypes up to speed with the Honda riders.

Last year’s MotoGP Rookie of the Year topped the MotoGP Champion Lorenzo, posting the best of 1:56.563 during 38 laps during the night test under the floodlights. Spies was fourth fastest, 0.292 of a second behind the fastest rider, Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda RC212V.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: "We made the bike go in a pretty good direction today and hopefully we can get a little bit more out of it. We want to try another tyre tomorrow that we haven’t used yet, all in all it’s been a good first session.

"The Yamaha seems to be closer to the front than Malaysia and I’ve got pretty good expectations after the first day. The track is a lot more flowing here which suits our bike well; I think this should be a good track for us."

Lorenzo was on the track for 60 laps Sunday night, posting the fourth fastest time of 1:56.682. The Spaniard worked on improving stability on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine. He was 0.411 of a second from Pedrosa.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: "We tried a few different things on some corners today to try to make the bike more stable when I open the throttle; in almost all the gears we have done a good job.

"It seems we are closer to the Honda guys than in Sepang so I’m happy. We are going to continue and try a few different things tomorrow to try and find some more grip as well."

During the Qatar MotoGP test, both Spies and Lorenzo spent the bulk of their time setting up the chassis and electronics.

Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager) says: "Our first test day and I’m satisfied with the results. Jorge did 60 laps and made the difference much smaller than Sepang. As we suspected when the temperatures are a bit colder we get a benefit. We did a small long run and the pace was good, a little bit slower than last year’s race pace so the track needs to be a bit cleaner. We confirmed everything we needed to test so everything is under control so far."

Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director) says:
"A good day, we tested two different set ups with Ben, both of which were working quite well. We will re-confirm them tomorrow then start with some other items. As a starting day as a MotoGP team we can be satisfied, everything has worked well and smoothly on both sides of the garage."

MotoGP Pre-Season Test: Qatar Day One Results (March 13, 2011):
1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team 1m 56.271s (41)
2. Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda Team 1m 56.414s (32)
3. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m 56.444s (59)
4. Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing 1m 56.563s (38)
5. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing 1m 56.682s (60)
6. Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 56.742s (42)
7. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team 1m 56.780s (56)
8. Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1m 57.038s (57)
9. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Marlboro Team 1m 57.137s (57)
10. Randy de Puniet FRA Pramac Racing Team 1m 57.143s (39)
11. Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m 57.226s (57)
12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1m 57.302s (61)
13. Hector Barbera ESP Mapfre Aspar Team 1m 57.325s (69)
14. Loris Capirossi ITA Pramac Racing Team 1m 57.437s (56)
15. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing 1m 57.499s (49)
16. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 57.737s (51)
17. Toni Elias ESP LCR Honda MotoGP 1m 58.250s (65)

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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