Factory Yamaha’s Ben Spies managed to again break the Honda deadlock on the final day of the final pre-season test in Qatar. The young American, in his first season with the factory team, had to contend with a sandy circuit caused by strong winds around Losail.

With the aim of perfecting a setup for next weekends season opener, Spies was 2nd on the timesheets at the midway break, but was forced down into 3rd at the end of the session, 0.163s behind Casey Stoner.

Spies said after the session, “It’s been a good test, I’m happy with it. We tried a few different things today and improved the bike some more. We’ve now got a couple of days to look over the data ready for the four day weekend, there’ll be plenty more riding opportunities before Sunday. I was pretty confident coming here after Sepang, hopefully we can make the bike even better before the race. Last year we saw that the M1 worked well at every track, it’s Yamaha’s strong point and I think it’s the same this year.”

Teammate Jorge Lorenzo had a tougher time, with the winds hampering his efforts for perfection. With the champion struggling for grip, he concentrated on swing arm and electrical settings. After completing 48 laps, topped of with a long run to check fuel consumption, Lorenzo finished in 7th on the timesheet.

“Today wasn’t the best day for me.” said Lorenzo. “It was not because my riding is bad, I always admit when it is, we struggled with the set up of the bike during the session and unfortunately we didn’t make a step forward. The wind was tough but that was a problem for everyone. We also tried a different swing arm today but it didn’t make an improvement. We will work over the next few days to be ready to improve in the next sessions on Thursday.”