Fiat Yamaha Team rookie Jorge Lorenzo proved he is more than ready for his MotoGP debut with an impressive display at the final pre-season test in Qatar. The 20-year-old topped the time sheets on the second night of floodlit testing at the desert circuit, lapping half a second under the existing pole record on Michelin qualifying tyres.
Lorenzo, who was victorious in the 250cc race here last year, was also fast throughout the day on race tyres as he worked on refining the setting of his M1 in preparation for his competitive entry into the premier-class. His race simulation towards the end of the night痴 work heralded impressive results before he tried out some qualifying tyres, setting his lap of 1・4.552 on his 73rd and final lap.
Jorge Lorenzo (1st, 1'54.552, 73 laps)
的 am very happy because we have done two days of testing with a very good rhythm throughout. Our performance has been consistent, which is very important after the trouble we had at the last test and this makes me confident for the first race. The race simulation today was really positive, although I think we still need to do some work on the rear of the bike which might allow us to be a bit faster. Despite all these positive signs we must keep our feet on the ground, because I have never raced with the other riders and the first race will be a new experience for me! Next week many things will be different so we must remain focused and hopefully maintain a good rhythm. I am happy because I think people understand now that I am ready for this, and this is very important for me and for my confidence. I do not have experience in MotoGP so I cannot say how this championship will turn out, but let痴 say that without experience the winter tests were good and with some experience the championship might be even better!・br>
Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
的t was definitely a positive test for us. We were able to improve the basic set-up of Jorge痴 bike and we were also able to finish the tyre testing program we had planned for this test. I am pleased to say that we have confirmed the improvements of the Michelin tyres and we have also collected a lot of important data for the first race here in Qatar. Now we have a couple of days to analyze and work on this information in order to come back here to Qatar in the best shape possible for the first race. We made a race simulation today and we were very satisfied with Jorge痴 performance and consistency. Now we are confident that we are approaching the first race in good shape and having made the most of our winter tests. We are looking forward to coming back here and seeing Jorge make his debut racing for Yamaha.・
The second night of the first ever MotoGP night test in Qatar saw Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi running into some unexpected problems, finishing the test tenth overall. Rossi and his crew spent the day working on Bridgestone tyre testing and set-up, but were unable to find time to complete a planned race simulation.
Despite a less than positive last day of preparation, Rossi remains confident that he will be in good shape for the first race, which will take place under the floodlights in ten day痴 time. His best lap 1・6.256 was set on his 69th of 83 laps.
Valentino Rossi (10th, 1'56.256, 83 laps)
的 cannot say I am happy with this test and speaking honestly I expected to be faster here. Unfortunately we wasted some time working on the set-up of the bike to try to adapt it to some tyres that we then decided to abandon. Once we壇 made this decision we worked with different tyres and things improved a bit, but the test was nearly over and we didn稚 have enough time to complete all the work we wanted to do. Because of this I did not do a race simulation, but I was able to make two good runs. Unfortunately however it wasn稚 enough time to improve as much as we could have and I am still lacking a couple of tenths. Generally speaking however all of the winter tests, barring this one, have been positive for us; I was fast in Sepang and fast in Jerez. It痴 a pity that I wasn稚 able to be fast here as well, but we have some good ideas for the next week and this does not dent my confidence.・
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"We expected to be faster here in Qatar, but we have collected a lot of useful information. We will have to exploit the next four hours of practice in the best way next week, in order to be able to fight at the front. Our engineers have some ideas to apply to the bike, so we will try to make things better. We must improve, this is obvious, but we know we still have one full weekend to work on our bike. Generally speaking, our winter testing was satisfactory and so, despite this last test, we maintain our confidence for the start of the season."
James Toseland and Colin Edwards proved they are ready for the start of the 2008 MotoGP season after the Tech 3 Yamaha team successfully concluded a long winter testing schedule in Qatar.
Toseland came tantalizingly close to topping the timesheets for the first time in his short MotoGP career after an inspired performance on the second night of testing under the Losail International Circuit痴 floodlights. Toseland led the way for three hours tonight after posting a best lap of 1.54.592, with the British rider taking full advantage of Michelin痴 dominant qualifying tyre. His time, which was 0.5s faster than Valentino Rossi痴 2007 pole position, was only bettered with just seven minutes remaining when fellow Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo went faster by the narrowest of margins.
Edwards was also on fine form to post the fourth fastest time, with the American delighted at significant improvements made by new Michelin race tyres. Edwards set his best time on a Michelin qualifier, but long distance runs on race tyres produced encouraging results.
The Tech 3 team now has a short break before the 2008 season gets underway with the historic first night race in Qatar on March 9.
James Toseland (2nd, 1.54.592, 52 laps)
的 know this track pretty well so it didn稚 take too long to get into the groove of the place even on this bike. But to do the time I did and finish second is pretty amazing. I don稚 think I did a 58 on my superbike, so to think I知 four seconds faster than a superpole lap is incredible. And I知 half-a-second under Valentino痴 pole and that is really encouraging. It just shows how much my confidence has grown with the Michelin qualifying tyre because you really have to trust how to get the best out of the extra grip. I knew it was a quick lap but it was a little bit faster than I expected. It was just great to see all those great names underneath mine. It would have been nice to finish fastest but I知 still happy. I wanted to come to MotoGP and be competitive and I知 showing I can. Now I can稚 wait for the first race. Luckily for me the experience of the Tech 3 team, and Michelin and Yamaha working so hard, it is all coming together very quickly. It is only because of the experience of the people around me that performances like this have come so quickly. My guys have brought me to this level much quicker than I expected, and hopefully we can convert the good testing performances into the season.・
Colin Edwards (4th, 1.55.464, 50 laps)
典oday we mainly tested tyres to try and find a good race tyre and give Michelin some good information. I found a race tyre I really liked. Yesterday in my long run my fastest lap was a 57.3, which isn稚 going to be fast enough. With the tyres I found today I did an eight-lap run and on that last lap I did a 56.4. And that was with 22 laps on the rear and 26 laps on the front. I don稚 know if a 56.4 on the 22nd lap is good enough to win the race but I知 sure Michelin will bring us something even better for next weekend. I know James liked a new Michelin front and I壇 tried it before him and I fell in love with it. We池e not talking five per cent better but it felt 25 per cent better. It works so well in the cold temperatures so Michelin has been working really hard. To come here and find a front tyre that I知 happy with and James is also happy with shows we are definitely moving in the right direction. This place you generally always have an issue with front tyre grip because it is such a hard track on the front. But now we don稚 have any issues and that痴 credit to Michelin. I知 excited for the first race. The Tech 3 team, Yamaha and Michelin have been working really hard and as whole team we have done a great job this winter.・/p>
Unofficial Lap Times:
|Randy De Puniet
|Alex De Angelis