Sepang Tests, Day One (Feb.1, 2011)
The first official test of the 2011 MotoGP season got underway on 1st February, 2011 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were quick to get up to a good pace on track, both riding under last year's race times before the end of their first session despite not having ridden a motorcycle for two months over the winter break. With many parts and electronics to test over the three days, today's objective of familiarising themselves with their YZR-M1's again was a success. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo wrapped up his first session as the second fastest rider of the day, just four tenths from the top. Team mate Spies was just less than four tenths behind him in fifth.
Test Times (Feb. 1)
(Ambient temperature: 32 degrees Track temperature: 45 degrees)
Sepang Tests, Day Two (Feb. 2, 2011)
Day two of the first official MotoGP test at Sepang saw Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies again up to speed quickly. Both riders were on the pace from the outset as they took advantage of the good weather conditions. The cooler morning session provided an opportunity for the riders to set their fastest times of the day before the track temperatures increased from noon onwards. 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Spies was clearly at home on his 2011 YZR-M1, lapping the Sepang track as the second fastest rider for the majority of the day, only dropping to third in the last moments. Team mate Lorenzo was just 0.05 seconds behind him in seventh at the end of the session as he worked through some different chassis and engine settings.
Test Times (Feb. 2)
(Ambient temperature: 34 degrees Track temperature: 48 degrees)
Sepang Tests, Day Three (Feb. 3, 2011)
Today saw the final session of the first official MotoGP test of 2011 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the three days on track evaluating a number of development steps for the 2011 YZR-M1 ahead of the new race season which kicks off next month. Lorenzo's session focused on a series of shorter runs as he continued evaluating the various developments, impressing his team as he maintained a faster pace through the afternoon despite the increased track temperatures. The reigning World Champion finished the day in third position, just 0.088 seconds off the top of the time sheets. New factory rider Spies was again among the fastest riders on track for the majority of the day whilst working through various electronic settings on his bike. This test also marks the first time the Texan rider's complete crew have worked together.
Test Times (Feb. 3)
(Ambient temperature: 32 degrees Track temperature: 46 degrees)
Jorge Lorenzo (Day Three Position: 3rd, 2'00.811, Laps 46)
"I'm very happy after the three days, it has been one of the best winter tests, normally we have more issues to feel good. The bike feels better but we still need to improve some points. I think the next test will see us take the next step. This afternoon when it was really hot on the track I still managed to put in a few fast laps which has given me the confidence that we are heading in a good direction. Ben is doing a very good job, I spoke with him yesterday and we discussed many things about the bike, he's a good team mate."
Ben Spies (Day Three Position: 5th, 2'01.002, Laps 60)
"For the second and third day we did very consistent times so I'm very happy with it, it shows the consistency of the bike. There are some things we still need to work on. We tested two configurations of engine and we know which direction we want to go in now which is great. We also worked on some electronics for fuel consumption without compromising lap times and we found a good solution for that as well. We'll come back with some different goals in two weeks to look at being a bit faster and also test some different tyres. We've definitely done what we needed to do here. It's been good riding alongside Jorge, we've both worked hard to deliver important information which the team can now take away and work with."
"It was good to get back to work with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I am really happy with the development that Yamaha has done on the bike for 2011. It has improved in every area and it was great to get back up to speed so quickly and post consistent and competitive lap times on each day. The engine is a big improvement in terms of power and the chassis helps me turn much better than I could before, so in all aspects I am happy and confident that I can have a strong season. Looking at the field there is some unbelievable talent but I feel really motivated to repeat some of the strong results I had in 2009. It is not going to be an easy task but I am sure with the help of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team it is not unrealistic to fight for the top six. I'm looking forward to being back on the back again later this month so we can fine-tune the package ahead of the first race."
"I am happy with the test because I am still learning so much but I was able to run a consistent pace and drop my lap times on each day. I'm on a big learning curve and I wasn't looking for pure speed. I'd never ridden at this track before and it is certainly a tough place to learn quickly. All the other guys have done millions of laps around here and I just need to build up my experience. I've got to improve in every area but I'm happy and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team are happy too. My times are in the ballpark of those set in last year's race and that's pleasing considering everything is still so new for me and I wasn't in peak physical condition because of my shoulder. I need to improve in the braking area and also step up my pace on the hard Bridgestone tyre, but I feel I'm getting more comfortable with the bike. I've been looking at loads of data and when we return later this month I'll continue trying to adapt my style. I'm still riding the bike too much like a superbike, but I'm pleased that I'm progressing and getting faster."