Jorge Lorenzo feels Yamaha have taken a step forward since the first Sepang pre-season test three weeks ago after he set the pace on Wednesday. The world champion had played second fiddle to Dani Pedrosa up to now but pulled three tenths clear today with Lorenzo also showing impressive consistency over the course of the day, something he will be looking to maintain tomorrow.

“A pretty good day, the track was much better than yesterday, I was surprised in the beginning it was so different. I could be strong from the start; a second and a half quicker and I think I beat my record time here in Malaysia. We improved the setting on the bike and I feel stronger than the first Sepang test so I’m quite satisfied. Tomorrow if the weather is good I would like to try a long run of maybe 24 laps to see what happens with the tyres.”

Teammate Valentino Rossi was fifth quickest as reliability niggles continued to set him back. The Italian concentrated on improving the YZR-M1’s performance on worn tyres and still thinks there is work to be done in that area.

“I’m happy, the feeling is quite good. Today was a very long day; I did more than sixty laps because we had a lot of work to do. We lost some time this morning with a small electrical problem that we fixed. We continued to work to increase the rear grip and traction, especially when the tyre has a lot of laps on it. We found something but we are still not 100% happy as we lose a little balance of the bike. Tomorrow the target is to improve the traction without losing the balance and then the bike will be very good.”