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.
2010 Preseason Interview
Everyone expects that the rivalry between you and Valentino will be even stronger this year. How do you plan to manage it?
Jorge Lorenzo: I think our rivalry is not personal, but just limited to the sport area. For me it is normal: we both want to win and we are in the same team. Last year we had a very polite and good relationship with the media and I expect this year to be the same again.
Who is your biggest rival this year and why?
The Fiat Yamaha Team unveiled its new 2010 livery today, on the morning of the first MotoGP test of the pre-season in Sepang, Malaysia. The championship-winning team will field the same line-up as last year with World Champion Valentino Rossi and runner-up Jorge Lorenzo once again spearheading its attack.
The two-day test begins today, 4th February, the first of three pre-season tests before the first race at Qatar on 11th April.
Yamaha Motor Racing has announced the appointment of Wilco Zeelenberg as Team Manager for Jorge Lorenzo in the Fiat Yamaha Team. Dutchman Zeelenberg joins the team from Yamaha’s World Supersport Team, where he won the World Championship in 2009 with Cal Crutchlow.
Zeelenberg previously had a successful career as a rider, contesting 100 Grands Prix from 1986 to 1995, racing with three different manufacturers including Yamaha. From 1995 to 2000 he then raced in the World Super Sport championship.