Rossi ahead as Lorenzo tyre worries continue

Friday, 28 February 2014

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi completed the second official test of the 2014 MotoGP™ preseason as the joint fastest rider, whilst Jorge Lorenzo was seventh overall.

Rossi wrapped up the three days of riding at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia with a shared fastest time of 1’59.999, alongside Dani Pedrosa.

The Italian stated, “First of all I am very happy because I am in first position and I did a good lap. I was one of the only ones in the 1’59s which is positive, especially because with the 2014 tyres in the first test we tried a time attack and I was more than one second slower than today. This test we have always been at the top and fighting for the first position so it’s positive.”

“We still have some problems when it’s very hot over long distance with the new tyres, so we still have to work, but we made a good step from the first test. The next test in Philip Island will be very important to understand if also there we improved a lot like here because I am more than one second faster than the second test of last year so we have been working well.”

Whilst still struggling to find a perfect solution to the new Bridgestone tyres, Lorenzo was able to find a change to make some improvement to set up today.

The Mallorcan was still less than satisfied overall with the grip levels on offer from the 2014 rubber. Lorenzo was able to step a little closer to the front than yesterday, wrapping up in seventh, just over 0.6 of a second from his teammate in first.

“We found a better solution today to improve our situation and adapt these tyres at this track,” said Lorenzo. “The tyres are much harder in the sidewalls. At this track, with this tarmac that is very slippery, it’s not the same as Phillip Island or Mugello for example, it’s impossible for us to be competitive. This tyre is much worse for Yamaha and better for Honda. Our bike is competitive, at a similar level to the competitors but with the tyre we have problems.”

“We tried a simulation today and it was worse and worse every lap. In the edge there is a problem with no grip but also when you pick up the bike it spins. You can improve the feeling a little to get more grip but when the tyre starts to drop the problems get worse and worse.”

Yamaha Factory Racing now move directly to Phillip Island in Australia for a further test before the season kicks off under the floodlights of Qatar on 20th March.

TAGS 2014

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