Valentino Rossi rounded off his testing activity a little early in Jerez today (29th of November) after he began to feel an increased level of pain in his recovering right hand, which he broke at the final race of the season. Nonetheless the Italian managed to complete almost his entire schedule of testing activity and his first test on Bridgestone tyres was deemed to be a positive one by Yamaha and Bridgestone engineers alike.
Rossi had planned to complete a long run today but decided to stop early rather than put more stress on his hand, and he also decided not to test any more qualifying tyres following his work on soft rubber yesterday. With most of the rest of the riders choosing to test qualifiers however, Rossi's best lap on race tyres, a time of 1'41.538, put him 11th in the final standings, with the time sheets topped by Dani Pedrosa after a lap of 1'38.562.
2008 Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo signed off for 2007 in impressive style in Jerez today, finishing third overall and recording a best time of 1'39.464 on qualifying tyres, just 0.062 seconds off the 2007 race pole position.
Lorenzo completed 90 laps on the final day of testing in Spain, including a long run in which the MotoGP rookie recorded more impressive times. After eight days of testing since the end of the season, Lorenzo is looking increasingly comfortable on his new bike and he was also able to complete some tyre testing today with Michelin, finding some good rear-tyre rubber.
The Fiat Yamaha Team will now enjoy a well-earned winter break, reconvening at Sepang in Malaysia for the first test of 2008 on 22nd, 23rd and 24th January 2008.
Valentino Rossi (11th, 1'41.538, 32 laps)
"Today I tried to do my best but I wasn't able to ride fast due to my hand; it started hurting a lot today and I had no power to ride with it in such conditions. The fracture is still hurting and furthermore I have not ridden or trained for almost one month, so it is to be expected that today my hand would be tired. I knew I was not in perfect shape, and I also expected to have some problems at this first test back. Anyway, we were able to finish our programme and despite today I think it's been a positive first test with Bridgestone. Of course we still have work to do on the bike in general and with regards to adapting it to the new tyres but I can reconfirm my first feeling of two days ago, which was positive. Now we have a better idea where we need to work hard in order to improve further. I would like to take this chance to say a big thank you to all my team, my mechanics and to all the Yamaha staff for their great effort throughout the season. I know that I will find them again at the beginning of 2008 with the same motivation, if not even more than ever. Thanks to everyone!"
Davide Brivio -Team Manager
"Today we decided to finish early because Valentino was not able to ride at 100% due to pain in his hand. Anyway, it is quite normal, since he had a bad crash in Valencia and he has not ridden since. It is not a big problem for us because we were able to finish our working schedule and test program, so we preferred to stop the test early in order not to put unnecessary stress on his hand. It's been a very interesting test session here in Jerez; we had the chance to meet all the Bridgestone engineers and technicians who will work with us next season and we got very interesting information from them and from the new tyres. In return we were also able to give them important information to work on, and now we need to analyze all the data and work hard on it during the winter in order to be as ready as possible in January. Now Valentino and the team have some holiday time, which they deserve because they have worked hard all year, then we will be back at Sepang in January for the final preparation before the 2008 championship"
Jorge Lorenzo (3rd, 1'39.464, 90 laps)
"Today I felt even better than yesterday and I did a very good test session. Yesterday I had some pain because of the number of laps I had done the day before, but today I was fully recovered and everything went well. I felt very comfortable with the M1 and during the race simulation I had very positive impressions. The lap times are becoming faster and faster, and this means that we are working in the right direction. The traction on the rear is improving, thanks also to the new material from Michelin, so I am satisfied. Actually I didn't expect to be so fast in the race simulation; I went beyond my expectations. At the end of the third day we can say that this has been a very good test session and my overall feeling is, of course, better than after the Sepang test. We still have a lot of work to do, but the atmosphere inside the garage is concentrated, relaxed and very professional, so I am sure we will achieve our goals before the season starts. I am looking forward to being in Sepang, in January, to test new engine specifications and to try to be even faster."
Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
"Today was a positive day. We continued to improve the set-up of Jorge's bike and we found a good basis to work from. We also tested new tyres from Michelin and we found some good material, above all for the rear, that accepted the torque of the engine well and had good grip. Jorge keeps on improving his feeling with the bike and now we can say that he finally feels comfortable with it. Today we completed a long run that was definitely positive, especially since it's the first one for Jorge riding the M1. He was very fast, even faster than the 2007 race pace. Finally he tested two qualifying tyres that enabled him to lower his best time by one second, and we consider this to be a very good result. I would like to thank the rider, who rode a huge amount of laps, and the team, who performed a great job throughout the entire test session. Now let's take some well-deserved rest and then we will meet again in Sepang in January, to start the new challenge."
Masahiko Nakajima - Fiat Yamaha Team Director
"Today Valentino's physical condition did not allow him to ride as much or to be as fast as he wanted, so we decided to finish the session early. We expected this, because he rode quite hard for three days and we knew that he was not at 100%. This test session in Jerez has been very positive for us, for the team and for the rider, mainly because we have understood the performance of the new Bridgestone tyres. This test was enough to collect good data for the future that will also help us with the direction of our development for the next season. I do not want to go into details at this stage, because it is too early to do so at the very first test with Bridgestone, but let me say that this has been a very good test. As far as the bike is concerned, here in Jerez we tested some new improvements to our electronic control system and in this field too we collected some very interesting data. Now we will be able to implement this information at the first 2008 test".
"Today Jorge rode 90 laps, so first of all I would like to say that the amount of laps he did in three days has been very impressive, with an average of about 80 laps per day! There's no need to say that we are very happy with his attitude in all the tests held so far. At the end of this test session, Jorge is third overall and this is quite impressive for us. It means we are on the way to achieving the final goal, which is to adapt the bike to his riding style. Jorge showed us his talent and potential, and demonstrated that he has the ability to give us very good data and information to help in the work for next season. We are still on the way to defining the base set-up of his bike, but it is quite evident that his riding is becoming closer to that of the other MotoGP top riders. He is braking better and has better and better corner speed, and we have not found the final set-up yet! Now we know how to improve his bike further; we know the right direction and now we need to analyze the data we collected here in Jerez and then fix the final set-up at the next Sepang test in January".
Unofficial Lap Times:
||Alex de Angelis
||Randy de Puniet