News 5 Feb 2010

MotoGP: Yamaha teams thrilled with 2010 M1 at Sepang


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. His time of 2’01.411, set this morning on his 15th of 54 laps, was half a second quicker than second-placed Casey Stoner.

Lorenzo found it a little harder to get back into the swing of things and took it gently this morning, but he felt much more comfortable on the new M1 this afternoon and gradually began to improve his time, setting his best time of 2’02.165 on the penultimate lap of the day, leaving him in fifth.

The Fiat Yamaha riders will take part in a press conference in Malaysia this evening, a transcript of which will be available on later tonight.

Valentino Rossi
Position: 1st Time: 2’01.411 Laps: 54

“Today was very important because this year we have just six days of testing in which to set the bike, so we can not waste any time. This first day was very positive, we tried the new bike for 2010, with a different chassis and a new engine, which can do more kilometres, and it is quite fast. Yamaha has worked very well over the winter. Now we need to spend time on setting some electronics and other things. This is only the start but it seems we’re already in good shape.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 5th Time: 2’02.165 Laps: 57

“After such a long break I found it quite hard to find my rhythm on the bike today – motocross bikes are not the same as the new M1! It was quite a difficult start to the day but little by little i started to feel more comfortable and to improve my pace. This afternoon, when it was a bit warmer, i began to improve my times even more and get closer to the first rider, so in the end I was quite happy with our work. Yamaha have brought some good things for us; the bike is not completely different to the old one but the small details make it easier to ride and this is important. Today was my first day of riding with my new team manager, Wilco Zeelenberg, and I feel good with him. He is an ex rider and so we were able to share a lot of information and he was able to give me some good advice.”

Refreshed after a long winter break and boosted by the impressive performance of Yamaha’s new 2010 YZR-M1 machine, Colin Edwards produced a stunning return to MotoGP action at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider ended the first day of 2010 pre-season testing with the third fastest time, a best lap of 2.01.932 only bettered by Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner as the MotoGP paddock reconvened after a three-month winter break.

Edwards completed 48 laps in typically demanding Sepang conditions as air temperatures reached close to 40 degrees and track temperatures hitting a searing 60 degrees. Edwards, who finished fifth in last y ear’s MotoGP world championship, was one of four riders who managed to lap under the existing lap record and he finished just 0.030s behind Stoner.

The Texan was thrilled with the performance of Yamaha’s new 2010 YZR-M1 machine, particularly with bottom end performance on the in-line four-cylinder motor.

Ben Spies kicked off his 2010 challenge with a fastest lap of 2.03.142 helping the reigning World Superbike champion secure 12th spot.

A chronic bout of jetlag after the long trip to Kuala Lumpur stopped Spies from displaying his true potential, with the Texan continuing to adjust to the prototype YZR-M1 machine while also trying to learn the long and technical Sepang circuit.

Colin Edwards 3rd 2.01.932 – 48 laps

“After I blew off a few cobwebs this morning I’ve got to say t he bike worked really great and I’ve got to say a big thanks to Yamaha. They have impressed me because we knew it was a big challenge to achieve a high level of performance while also getting more durability out of the engine for the new rules. And they have done that and I’m really happy, so I’m already excited about the new season. The engine seems much better off the bottom. Last year I’d open the throttle and nothing really happened, but this year there’s a response when you push. I never even touched the bike today, I just got on it and rode it and it felt really natural and I could do what I wanted with the bike. It accelerated how I wanted, I could hold a line how I wanted and I was riding round talking to myself inside my helmet saying ‘how much fun is this?’ When the bike does what you ask, it’s pretty easy. It was a great way to start what hopefully is going to be another successful year with Herve Poncharal and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”

Ben Spies 12th 2.03.142 – 55 laps

“I tried as hard as I could for the first day but I’ve got a little bit of jetlag and I wasn’t at 100 per cent. Despite that though the new bike is really good. I got behind a couple of people and the engine performance was really good and that is a real positive. I’m still working on my mid-corner speed and trusting the Bridgestone tyres and today was still a good day even if I’d like to have been a bit further up the timesheets. My times aren’t far off on a track that these guys know like the back of their hand, so I know there is plenty more to come from me. My guy’s asked me what I need to work on for tomorrow and right now it’s just me. There’s a good half-a-second just in myself. I’ve got a lot to learn and it takes time. I’ve already been getting a lot of help and advice from Colin about the track and that is great for me and for the Monster Yam aha Tech 3 Team that we are working together like that.”