Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will both leave Malaysia happy despite being outpaced by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa on all three days of the opening 2013 test. Lorenzo was second fastest on all three days but his consistency over longer runs today was particularly eye-catching and the world champion remains positive ahead of his title defence.
“I think these three days have been positive for us. We tried many things and some of them were good. We need to reconfirm again in another track but here we were able to improve a little bit. I was able to make a simulation this afternoon, the first one I’ve done in Sepang in my GP career. I felt strong physically, mentally and riding so it was good. The other riders are also really strong so it promises to be an interesting season.”
For Rossi, the test brought confirmation that he hadn’t lost any of his ability despite two chastening years at Ducati and is looking forward to building on his early performances back on the YZR-M1.
“I’m very happy, all three days were very good. We worked hard on the bike and improved day by day. The third day was the best, we were able to stay less than half a second from pole position and the lap time is higher which is interesting. Today we finished third in the standings which is theoretically the front row so I’m very happy with this first test.”
After the riders completed 120 laps between themselves, team director Massimo Meregalli was impressed by the reliability of the 2013 bike and hopes to make further steps forward when testing resumes on February 26th.
“This has been a really important and positive test. We have been able to work really well and our Japanese engineers have a lot of data so they are really happy. We can go home pretty satisfied and the engineers can continue working on the project, we will see what we can do in a few weeks. Jorge has been very consistent and fast throughout the test in many different circumstances so we are very pleased with him. On Vale’s side he removed a lot of weight from his shoulders, I see him very happy because he is finally back riding a bike that he enjoys, which is what he was looking for. I can’t say more than that! The team has performed extremely well and both riders have worked very hard, it’s been a successful start to the year.”