The factory Yamaha pairing of Champion Jorge Lorenzo and 2010 wonderkid Ben Spies got their chance to test the new YZR-M1 today, in the first day of the first official test in Malaysia. The team are currently running in naked carbon fibre, and will run a special Yamaha Blue scheme tomorrow, before the full 2011 livery is launched at the second Sepang test, as the team do not have a title sponsor this year.
With the task for today being the same as most of the grid, Lorenzo and Spies set about familiarizing themselves with the new bike, and also set about testing the many different parts the team has to offer.
Lorenzo was in familiar territory at the end of the session as he finished in 2nd, 0.4 away from the top of the timesheet. “It’s been a good start today, we tried a few things and it seemed for everything we tried it was a little bit better, not big improvements but as I said in Valencia at the test last year, the 2011 bike seems to have less wheelie so we can open the throttle earlier in the corners and in some corners I have better corner speed as well.” he said.
“Today was my first ride wearing Alpinestars (leathers) so there were a lot of things for me to get used to. We pushed a bit more towards the end of the session and got faster, we will continue to make the step tomorrow.” he added.
Ben Spies now has the backing of the factory squad after his move from the satellite team Monster Yamaha Tech3, and the young American wasted no time in making the M1 his, as he joined Lorenzo in beating last years race times, to finish 5th on the timesheet. “Today was good. The weather forecast wasn’t so great so to get as much time on the bike as we had was good. We set out to not do too many laps to avoid getting tired, it’s easy to overdo it on the first day. We did enough to get my head up to speed then relaxed as we have a lot to look at over the next two days for Yamaha and Bridgestone.” said Spies
He added “It’s my first day with the new team and they were fantastic, everybody worked together really well. We ended up going faster than we did here last year in the race which shows my confidence in the bike and the team. There’s more to come from the bike and from me too, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”