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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 looking 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 team mate 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.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position: 2nd Time: 1’39.419 Laps: 76

“Today was a very long day because we started at 10am and finished at 6pm. We did a lot of laps and it was very interesting to see how different the bike was compared to Sepang because it’s a different track. Here it is much slower and more corners, not so many straights. The 1000cc is not so easy compared to the 800cc here. At the end of the day we were able to be very fast and stay in the first three positions so we are satisfied.”

Ben Spies

Position: 4th Time: 1’39.984 Laps: 71

“Today was a positive day; we actually got more than we thought accomplished. We were able to look at the two tyres Bridgestone wanted us to test and also went through a couple of different settings on the bike. We did a race simulation to get one out of the way and we might do one more before the end of the test just get me and the bike in tune for that many laps. Today’s was to test the fuel consumption and we were happy with that. We can now focus pretty much on going fast and trying to improve the bike lap time wise and also improve me around the track! This isn’t a strong track for me so I’m quite happy that we’ve shown some decent pace around here. We’ve got a lot done and it’s been a good day.”

Crutchlow and Dovizioso begin final preparations in Jerez

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 set-up 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 of 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 of riding Yamaha’s YZR-M1 machine. A quickest time of 1.40.665 put him eighth on the time sheets 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.

Cal Crutchlow

Position: 5th Time: 1’40.130 Laps: 74

“Today was a positive start to the test and important for me to carry on the momentum we gained in Sepang. I did a lot of laps but I have to do that because this is only my second time at this track and I need to gain some experience so I am in the best shape possible when we return for the race next month. We have made really good progress with the set-up of the bike today and it is good that we have come to a completely different style track compared to Sepang and the bike is working well. We are always looking to improve and the bike is still a bit of a handful to manage exiting the corner, but a real positiv e is that I did my best time today on the hard rear tyre. Last year on the 800 I could never really use the hard tyre, so I’m pleased about that because today I only did five laps on the soft tyre. Another big plus is my consistency. We talked about improving that over the winter and I’ve definitely improved in doing more constant times, so it has been a really productive start to the test.”

Andrea Dovizioso

Position: 8th Time: 1’40.665 Laps: 46

“I was really looking forward to starting this test today because it is a very important three days for me. It is my birthday too and I was looking forward to gaining more experience with the Yamaha. This morning though was not easy because I didn’t have the same good feeling with the bike as I did at the last test in Sepang. Thanks to my Tech 3 crew we found a much better setting but unf ortunately I wasn’t able to exploit it because of my physical condition. I had some problem with my stomach and I had zero energy and I am sorry I could only make 46-laps. The most positive point of the day was some new electronics I tried which helped stability exiting the corner. But we can still improve more in this area. I am not worried about the gap to the front because I didn’t feel in a good enough physical condition to push hard.”

Test Times

1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team 1’39.146
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’39.419
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’39.579
4. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’39.984
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 1’40.130
6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 1’40.512
7. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda Gresini 1’40.545
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 1’40.665
9. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team 1’40.920
10. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda 1’40.983
11. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar 1’41.015
12. Hector Barbera (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 1’41.388
13. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1’41.603
14. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar 1’42.293
15. Franco Battaini (ITA) Ducati Team 1’42.403
16. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’42.462
17. Michele Pirro (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’42.655
18. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 1’42.750
19. Mattia Pasini (ITA) Speed Master 1’43.006
20. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Avintia Racing 1’43.437
21. James Ellison (UK) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’43.477
22. Ivan Silva (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’44.025

Jerez Record Lap
V.Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1’39.818

Jerez Best Lap
J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1’38.189