Yamaha Factory Racing colleagues Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo completed the third and final day of the first official test of the 2014 MotoGP preseason second and third respectively on the Sepang timesheets.
The test proved to be successful for both riders, with Rossi especially happy at the end of the workout. The nine-time World Champion was able to record his best ever time at the Sepang circuit, dropping under the two-minute mark to finish in second place less than two tenths from front man Marc Marquez.
Rossi and Lorenzo both undertook a race simulation in the stifling Malaysian heat on the final day to shake the 2014 M1 down over race distance.
Rossi enthused, “The test has been very good, I’m very happy, especially for the second position and more than that for the lap time which is the best of my career in Sepang. It’s the first time under 2:00 for me and just one tenth from Marc and the overall record of the track.”
“I found a good feeling with the bike, we found some good solutions and it’s been very positive,” he added. “We tried a simulation in the afternoon that was very good to understand any problems. We suffered a bit to keep a good pace but it wasn’t so bad. For the first test the balance was good.”
Four–time World Champion Lorenzo was also happy having completed the three days, even if he felt there was a missed opportunity to go faster.
The Mallorcan made good progress during the sessions, managing to closely replicate the feeling of the 2013 bike whilst making the big reductions in fuel required for the 2014 season. Lorenzo completed the final day in third position, just 0.333 seconds from the front.
“I think we improved a lot the lap time from yesterday but I didn’t make a perfect lap. Maybe with softer tires we could make a 1:59.5 or a 1:59.6,” he commented. “The goal was not to improve the one lap time but to improve the race pace which we did. When we tried a race simulation in hot conditions we found some problems where we didn’t expect it, so the pace wasn’t as good as we wanted.”
“We’ve only practiced in one track though which isn’t a Yamaha track historically, so let’s see what happens at the next Malaysia test and the other tracks. The evolution and the improvement is big so I’m quite satisfied. To have a similar feeling to last year with less fuel is a big thing.”