Jorge Lorenzo has warned his rivals that Yamaha have improvements to make despite a strong start to the Qatar Grand Prix weekend. The Spaniard was second fastest after being pipped by Casey Stoner but admitted he was struggling early on with the low grip track surface and expects to quicker tomorrow.
“A quite good start, the track seems pretty dirty though, we are very far from the lap times of last year but that's the same for everybody. I feel good, we are in the top close to Casey and we have improvements to come tomorrow from the bike, the track and myself. At the end we made a small change to gain some rear grip on all the corners which helped drop the lap time.”
Teammate Ben Spies led for much of the session before eventually dropping back to fourth and was pleased with the early performance from the YZR-M1. The American also feels there is plenty of time to find before qualifying and is looking forward to building on today's showing.
“I was happy with tonight, we were generally pretty close to the top. The bike seemed to work pretty well; we made just two small changes to it and kept the same set of tyres on the whole time. We made our fastest lap when the tyre had dropped off with almost race distance on it. I'm quite pleased with how the bike performed. We've tested at Sepang, Jerez and here and the bike has been good at all three so I'm happy with the bike, the team and myself. We've just got to keep rolling and keep the momentum going.”
Team Director Massimo Meregalli was also optimistic after seeing his two riders in action today and thinks Yamaha have a good bike over a race distance.
“It's definitely a good start for us. I think everything we saw in the winter tests meant we were confident we could come here and do well. We led the practice for a while and we had a very consistent pace and were able to put in fast laps with a used tyre. What a promising start, the base of the bike is really good as you can see with four Yamaha's up there being competitive from the start.”