Yamaha’s Lorenzo Dominates MotoGP Safety Tire Test in Australia

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo

2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Safety Tire Test Results

The three-day MotoGP tire safety test concluded Wednesday at Phillip Island, though the final day was affected by two accidents from Moto2 rider Tito Rabat, and a brief shower.

In the premier class, it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who dominated the time sheets throughout. This was the first time the two-time MotoGP was quickest throughout the preseason; at Sepang’s tests, the Spaniard struggled with grip.

But while testing new compounds for a safer Phillip Island MotoGP this October, Lorenzo was untouchable. During the test, only factory-supported teams from Yamaha, Honda and Ducati were present.

But lap times were not the focus at the tire test; rather, Bridgestone and Dorna scheduled the test to find a safer tire compound for the repaved Australian circuit. Last season, the MotoGP riders had a mandatory pit stop during Phillip Island MotoGP due to severe tire degradation.

Lorenzo’s best lap on day three arrived on his penultimate go around the 2.7-mile circuit that runs anti-clockwise. Lorenzo posted a best of 1:29.068 on the same race rubber that was used in last year’s race.

Besides narrowing down tire options for the MotoGP spec-tire manufacturer Bridgestone, like the other factory riders, Lorenzo put in a race simulation on the final day. He was able to carry out a succession of laps in the mid 1:30 range. H

The sole Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was second fastest overall at the test with a 1:29.381 he posted Tuesday, though his best Wednesday time was a 1:29.458.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso also set his quickest time on Tuesday; is 1:29.387 was the third fastest time overall. Unfortunately, the Italian only put in 23 laps Wednesday due to an ongoing sickness.

Taking the fourth fastest time was nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who finished a half-second down on his teammate. Rossi also tested a new fairing on the YZR-M1, and conducted a full-race simulation run of 13 laps.

The fifth-fastest and final rider in the test, Cal Crutchlow dealt with front-end issues aboard his Ducati Team GP14, which unlike the other factory-backed prototypes, is running under the new Open-class rules.

This was the final preseason testing session of 2014 MotoGP for the factory riders present. The next time they will pilot their bikes will be at the opening round of 2014 MotoGP, which runs March 20-23.

As for the rest of the premier class, the riders will participate in one last test at Sepang March 7-9.

The big story of the day for the Moto2 riders was the second of Rabat’s crashes, which resulted in the Spaniard destroying his Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex on the exit of the Southern Loop but fortunately escaping unhurt. On his 600cc machine, he ended the test impressively just 3.1 seconds off Lorenzo’s pace, MotoGP reports.

Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres was the only Moto2 rider to improve on the final day, though he ended up third best of the intermediate class riders, sandwiched between Marc VDS Racing’s Mika Kallio and his own Aspar team-mate Nico Terol on the combined timesheet, MotoGP reports.