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.
The MotoGP World Championship 2009 runner-up Jorge Lorenzo was given a hero’s welcome by a huge crowd today on the first day of a visit to South East Asia. In a country where half a million motorcycles are sold but where the stars of the sport rarely visit, the Spaniard paid an early morning visit to the Yamaha Motor Thailand factory in Bangkok before spending the afternoon at the capital city’s most important dealership, the Yamaha Rider’s Club.
After Sunday’s ultimate round of the season premier class riders and team are having three additional days on-track work at Ricardo Tormo circuit. Second day of testing at the 4.005 km circuit concluded today with Lorenzo on the top of the timesheets with the best time of 1’31.939. Yesterday testing started after lunch and ended at 17:00 local time whilst today the 800cc riders have lapped from 10 am to 5 pm with ambience temperature of 21°C.
Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… 1st
Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies were all present at the official pre-event press conference in Valencia on Thursday, ahead of the 17th and final round of the 2009 MotoGP season; the FIM Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
While Rossi may have already wrapped up this year’s title with a race to spare, the Italian’s focus is still on winning the race as he looks to improve on what he believes was a difficult third place last year in Valencia.
Valentino Rossi Speaks…
Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… (1st, 2’02.180)
"I was riding quite aggressively today and I felt good on the bike right from the start, so I am very happy about this after what happened last weekend. It’s very hot and it’s really hard work to ride out there, but I feel okay. Unfortunately I have some pain in my finger where I hurt it on Sunday, it’s not too bad but the cut is right on the knuckle, so it’s a bit painful when I have to bend it to brake. Anyway, like I said on Sunday it could be a lot worse!
Valentino Rossi Speaks… Sepang MotoGP
"Phillip Island was like gold dust for us in terms of points and now we go to Sepang Malaysia, another of my favourite tracks, with our first ‘match point’," said Rossi, who has five premier-class GP wins at the circuit, including last year. "Of course anything can happen but it’s a great track for me and generally the Yamaha works well there so we have a good chance."
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo made a visit to the world famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur today, the tallest twin buildings in the world and home to Fiat Yamaha Team Premium Sponsor Petronas. The riders appeared in front of some 2000 fans at the Petronas MotoGP Marquee at the foot of the towers to sign autographs and chat about this weekend’s forthcoming race.
The victorious Fiat Yamaha Team make the long trip down under this week for the Australian round of the MotoGP World Championship, fresh from sealing the Teams’ title at the last race in Estoril. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have dominated the field this season and the moment of truth is fast approaching – one of the two is now guaranteed to win the title and with just 18 points lying between them this weekend’s action in Phillip Island promises to be exciting.
Lorenzo vs. Rossi
The MotoGP championship leaders are only 18 points apart. As Jorge Lorenzo was untouchable in Portugal last weekend and he took his stunning fourth win of the season. Now just 16-months on from his maiden MotoGP victory at this same track, Lorenzo seems to be finding his groove. Lorenzo seems to have given up on his high-side "Lunar Landings" in favorite of saving it for after the race.
Fresh from a break of nearly a month, the Fiat Yamaha Team regroups this weekend at the coastal town of Estoril for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Returning to its more traditional end of season slot after moving to May last season, the race marks the start of the final phase of the championship with just the overseas double-header and the Valencian season finale remaining after it.
Valentino Rossi may have had a donkey on his helmet today but it was ‘The Doctor’ riding the bike once again, as the Italian hero bounced back from his Indianapolis mistake with an emphatic home victory at Misano. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished a strong second, making this the fifth one-two finish for the team this season.
After the boiling heat of the last two days the temperature today was brought right down by a strong wind, which meant track conditions were quite different to how they had been so far.
Local hero Valentino Rossi took his sixth pole of the season at Misano in Italy this afternoon, meaning he has finished on top of the standings in all three sessions so far this weekend. Team-mate Lorenzo qualified third, edged out by Dani Pedrosa but continuing his 100% front-row qualifying record for the season.
A welcome sea breeze meant temperatures today were marginally cooler but it was still tough work as Rossi and Lorenzo pushed each other hard in the morning session, the Italian finishing two-tenths in front of the Spaniard.