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Yamaha Factory Racing Ends Jerez Tests with a Strong Performance Mar. 26, 2012

Jerez Tests, Day One (Mar. 23, 2012)
Impressive Start in Jerez for Yamaha


Yamaha Factory Racing made a purposeful start to the final 2012 pre-season test today at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were out for the first time in the new racing livery and looked very comfortable on their 1000cc YZR-M1s. Today was the first opportunity to test this evolution of the 1000cc M1 at a different track to Sepang. Spies was the first rider to break under the 1'40 lap barrier with a 1'39.984, with teammate Lorenzo following quickly to take the lead with a 1'39.956. Lorenzo continued to pick up speed on one of his "home" tracks, completing the first of the three days as the second fastest rider with a time of 1'39.419, 0.273 seconds behind Casey Stoner in first. Spies wrapped up the day in fourth having completed a race simulation, 0.838 seconds from first.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso kicked off their final preparations for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with a positive and productive first day of testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Crutchlow continued his outstanding winter testing form to set the fifth fastest time on Yamaha's impressive new YZR-M1 1000cc machine. Evaluating different setup options to improve stability on acceleration, the British rider's best time of 1'40.130 ensured he was the quickest non-factory team rider and he was less than 0.2s behind factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. Having made only one previous visit to the Jerez track in his career, Crutchlow completed a marathon stint of 74-laps to build up his experience with the circuit. He also managed to gather vital information on Bridgestone's hard compound rear tyre option, improving his feeling and confidence throughout to continue the momentum gained in two morale-boosting test sessions at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Dovizioso, who celebrated his 26th birthday today, was eighth quickest but the Italian was unable to show his true potential having been struck down by a stomach bug overnight. The illness meant Dovizioso was forced to ride in considerable discomfort during the day but he was still able to complete 46-laps and gain more experience in riding Yamaha's YZR-M1 machine. A quickest time of 1'40.665 put him eighth on the timesheets and less than 0.2s away from the top six. He is confident with a good night's rest he will be in better physical shape to post a more competitive pace tomorrow.

Test Times (Mar. 23)
(Ambient temperature: 18 degrees Track temperature: 20 degrees)

Pos. Rider Team Machine Time
1 Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'39.146
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'39.419
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'39.579
4 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'39.984
5 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha 1'40.130
8 Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha 1'40.665

Jerez Record Lap: V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1'39.818
Jerez Best Lap: J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1'38.189

Jerez Tests, Day Two (Mar. 24, 2012)
Mixed Weather Provides Challenging Day Two in Jerez


Today's second of three days of testing at the Jerez circuit proved to be a frustrating one for Yamaha Factory Racing with wet and windy conditions reducing track time. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were forced to sit it out until the early afternoon before venturing out onto a wet track. As the wind dropped they were able to make use of the rain to evaluate wet setups on the 1000cc YZR-M1 for the Jerez circuit.

Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso continued their final preparations for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship by battling challenging weather conditions at the Jerez track in Spain today. Rain and gusting winds dominated the majority of the second day of the final pre-season test, but the adverse conditions didn't stop Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Crutchlow and Dovizioso from putting in vital laps on the wet weather settings of their YZR-M1 machines. Crutchlow, who was fifth fastest in breezy but dry conditions yesterday, was impressively fast and competitive too in the rain and his best lap of 1'51.127 had put him in fifth position. Crutchlow's performance was particularly impressive considering he had never previously ridden the YZR-M1 1000cc machine in wet conditions. He slipped down the rankings to 14th after several riders posted quick times on slick tyres in the final 30 minutes when the track had almost completely dried. Dovizioso took the opportunity to make his second appearance on the YZR-M1 in wet conditions this afternoon and he was as high as seventh on the leaderboard before he ended 15th. Close to 100% strength after being struck by a stomach bug on the first day, he completed 16-laps to get more of an understanding of the Yamaha's potential in wet conditions having tried the YZR-M1 in the rain during the second Sepang test in Malaysia earlier this month. Like Crutchlow, the 26-year-old decided not to ride when track conditions were at their best towards the end of the session and he finished with a best time of 1'51.702.

Test Times (Mar. 24)
(Ambient temperature: 20 degrees Track temperature: 18 degrees)

Pos. Rider Team Machine Time
1 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team Ducati 1'40.755
2 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 1'41.661
3 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'41.726
4 Alvaro Bautista Honda Gresini Honda 1'42.711
5 Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1'43.288
13 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'50.088
14 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha 1'51.127
15 Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha 1'51.702

Jerez Record Lap: V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1'39.818
Jerez Best Lap: J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1'38.189

Jerez Tests, Day Three (Mar. 25, 2012)
Yamaha Factory Racing Ready for Qatar


Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up the final pre-season test of 2012 today in Jerez with an impressive 84 laps covered. Lorenzo spent almost the entire day as the only rider to drop under the 1'39 mark, with rival Casey Stoner joining him to lead by 0.173 seconds in the last moments of the session. The Majorcan delivered an impressive race simulation, showing his trademark lap time consistency over the distance. Teammate Ben Spies also covered some distance, putting in 61 laps as he worked on final setup solutions for his 1000cc YZR-M1. The Texan ends the test as the fourth fastest rider, 0.715 seconds from the front. Spies also worked on a race simulation earlier in the test and was satisfied with a competitive pace. The MotoGP paddock now moves to Qatar where the first race will be played out under the floodlights in the desert on the 8th of April. With the gap to their rivals much closer than last year in testing, both Yamaha riders are keen to line up on the grid and get the season started.

Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso enjoyed a successful ending to the winter testing schedule in Jerez today with both Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders heading to the first race of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship in a confident mood. British rider Crutchlow once again excelled and he set the fifth quickest time after completing an incredible 83-laps. After yesterday's schedule was disrupted by rain and strong winds, Crutchlow was able to assess updated Yamaha electronics and two new Bridgestone front tyres in much more favourable conditions today, and he was able to clock a fastest time of 1'39.585. The former World Supersport Champion was again the leading non-factory rider and encouragingly his fast and consistent pace was less than 0.1s behind Ben Spies in the Yamaha Factory Racing Team. The sunny but breezy conditions today enabled Dovizioso to carry out an extensive testing schedule and helped him continue adapting his riding style to suit the Yamaha machine The Italian concentrated on improving stability under acceleration and he finished in seventh position, his fastest pace of 1'39.860 putting him just over 0.2s away from the top six. The next time Crutchlow and Dovizoso will be on track will be on April 5th when they commence practice for the opening round of the new 1000cc era under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Crutchlow and Dovizioso head to Doha full of confidence and boosted by the outstanding performance of Yamaha's new YZR-M1 machine in pre-season testing. The competitive level of the 1000cc bike was confirmed again this weekend, with four Yamaha machines inside the top seven places.

Test Times (Mar. 25)
(Ambient temperature: 25 degrees Track temperature: 26 degrees)

Pos. Rider Team Machine Time
1 Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'38.780
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'38.953
3 Davi Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'39.157
4 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1'39.495
5 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha 1'39.585
7 Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha 1'39.860

Jerez Record Lap: V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1'39.818
Jerez Best Lap: J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1'38.189

Jorge Lorenzo (Day Three Position: 2nd Time: 1'38.953 Laps: 84)


"I'm really happy because we tried to make some good lap times so we put new tyres on the rear this morning to make the 1'38.9 which is a good time. This afternoon we improved the bike for a race simulation which went really well. In general we are very happy, it's not just me, Ben is also very close to the competition as are Cal and Andrea. We need to improve our braking a little, if we can do that we could gain some more tenths of a second."

Ben Spies (Day Three Position: 4th Time: 1'39.495 Laps: 61)


"I'm happy with how the test went. Both Jorge and I worked really methodically on getting through a number of different things, I think we're quite happy with the bike going to Qatar, it's been good here and good in Sepang. A couple of the areas where we had problems last year seem to be a lot better. We can't say if they are completely fixed until we go to more tracks but we are happy with the balance of the bike and I think we have a very competitive bike for 2012."

Cal Crutchlow (Day Three Position: 5th Time: 1'39.585 Laps: 83)


"I'm really happy to finish this test in the top five with a very fast pace because we worked through a lot. Today I only used three sets of tyres in 83 laps, yet I was fast and consistent all day, so it shows we are getting good endurance from the soft and the hard options. The different electronics setup also helped in acceleration, so it was a very positive and productive day after the rain washed out yesterday. The good thing is we know the bike works very well on a completely different track. The tests in Sepang were crucial but we needed to come to a completely different circuit like Jerez to understand if the bike has a good base level for a tighter and shorter track. Yamaha has done a great job because the YZR-M1 works very well. Finishing behind Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Spies is obviously good for my confidence and now I'm looking forward to going to Qatar and racing. I feel ready and much better prepared than last year."

Andrea Dovizioso (Day Three Position: 7th Time: 1'39.860 Laps: 72)


"I'm really happy about the work we did today and thanks to my Tech 3 crew because they worked incredibly hard. After the stomach illness I had on the first day and the rain yesterday, I really needed to get in as many laps as possible to understand the potential of the Yamaha on a completely different track to Sepang. We did some very good work in improving the stability of the bike on the exit of the corner and this is so important at a slower track like Jerez. You can have a lot of sliding and wheelies on the exit but we have improved a lot in this area. I think I could have gone faster but I only used the soft rear tyre in the final 30 minutes, so with more time I'm sure I could have been inside the top six. Now I am looking forward to going to Qatar and racing the Yamaha for the first time. I'm convinced we will be fast and competitive but the four at the top of the timesheets are really strong. They are consistently fast, so it will not be easy to stay with them. But I will be giving it my maximum to start the new season in the best possible way."

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