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 Mallorcan delivered an impressive race simulation, showing his trademark lap time consistency over the distance.
Team mate Ben Spies also covered some distance, putting in 61 laps as he worked on final set up 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 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.
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.”
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.”
Crutchlow and Dovizioso ready to race after successful Jerez test
Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso enjoyed a successful ending to the winter testing schedule in Jerez today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders heading to the first race of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship in confident mood.
British rider Crutchlow once again excelled with 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 1.39.613. 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 5 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 machine’s inside the top seven places.
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 electronic set-up 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.”
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 wheelie 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.”
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team 1’38.780
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’38.953
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’39.157
4. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’39.495
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 1’39.585
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team 1’39.733
7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 1’39.860
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 1’39.919
9. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda Gresini 1’40.017
10. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda 1’40.098
11. Hector Barbera (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 1’40.287
12. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1’40.579
13. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar 1’40.601
14. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar 1’41.645
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 1’41.926
16. Franco Battaini (ITA) Ducati Team 1’42.057
17. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’42.073
18. Mattia Pasini (ITA) Speed Master 1’42.184
19. Michele Pirro (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’42.212
20. James Ellison (UK) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’42.437
21. Ivan Silva (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’42.446
22. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Avintia Racing 1’42.906
Jerez Record Lap
V.Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1’39.818
Jerez Best Lap
J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1’38.189