Yamaha Factory Racing’s Rossi & Lorenzo News/PhotosLast week, the first official preseason test of 2013 MotoGP finished at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the first of three sessions ahead of the season opener at Qatar April 4-7.
And as expected, much attention was directed towards the Yamaha Factory Racing team of the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo and the returning Valentino Rossi.Lorenzo was in immediate top, ending all three days of the Sepang test session in second place, finishing just behind the leader all three days, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I think these three days have been positive for us. We tried many things and some of them were good. We need to reconfirm again in another track but here we were able to improve a little bit.“I was able to make a simulation this afternoon, the first one I’ve done in Sepang in my GP career. I felt strong physically, mentally and riding so it was good. The other riders are also really strong so it promises to be an interesting season.”For Rossi, the nine-time world champion showed immediate comfort on the YZR-M1, something he couldn’t find in two years aboard the Ducati Desmosedici. Rossi would finish the first two days fourth fastest, but end up third quickest on the final day of practice, finishing just under a half of a second behind Pedrosa.Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m very happy, all three days were very good. We worked hard on the bike and improved day by day. The third day was the best, we were able to stay less than half a second from pole position and the lap time is higher which is interesting.Today (Thursday) we finished third in the standings which is theoretically the front row so I’m very happy with this first test.”Yamaha engineers will now take the valuable data gained from Rossi and Lorenzo back to Japan to work towards the second Sepang test, which gets underway Feb. 26.Speaking of the first Sepang MotoGP testing sessions, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg says “the whole test has been quite positive and we finished today finding two directions for the rest of the season. Also Jorge’s long run this afternoon was quite consistent, I think that was one of our tasks we were aiming for, to be fast is one thing but to be consistently fast is what it takes to win in racing. Overall we are pretty satisfied, both Jorge and the team worked really hard in these hot conditions, we’re looking forward to coming back to see how we can improve even more.”Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director) says: “This has been a really important and positive test. We have been able to work really well and our Japanese engineers have a lot of data so they are really happy. We can go home pretty satisfied and the engineers can continue working on the project, we will see what we can do in a few weeks. Jorge has been very consistent and fast throughout the test in many different circumstances so we are very pleased with him.“On Vale’s side he removed a lot of weight from his shoulders, I see him very happy because he is finally back riding a bike that he enjoys, which is what he was looking for. I can’t say more than that! The team has performed extremely well and both riders have worked very hard, it’s been a successful start to the year.”Attached above are photos highlighting Rossi and Lorenzo’s performance at Sepang I MotoGP testing. These pics also make for great wallpaper.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.