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Successful Sepang Test for Yamaha Dream Team

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi today completed the third and final day of the first official MotoGP test of 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Despite the threat of bad weather both riders were able to enjoy a good amount of dry track time to work through a number of potential engine and chassis specifications for the 2013 YZR-M1. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo delivered his trademark consistency from day one, leading the time sheet at times and never straying far from the front. The Mallorcan was under the official race lap record of the Sepang circuit this morning and just a tenth of a second from the official pole record. He went on to complete a long run this afternoon to wrap up the test. Teammate Rossi continued to go from strength to strength having been reunited with the YZR-M1, the Italian again improving on his time from the day before by nearly half a second to finally dip under the 2’01 mark and finish in third place just over a tenth of a second from teammate Lorenzo in second.

The Japanese Yamaha engineers will now take the valuable data gained back to Japan to work towards the second Sepang test in a few weeks time.

Jorge Lorenzo – Laps 58, Time – 2’00.429
“I think these three days have been positive for us. We tried many things and some of them were good. We need to reconfirm again in another track but here we were able to improve a little bit. I was able to make a simulation this afternoon, the first one I’ve done in Sepang in my GP career. I felt strong physically, mentally and riding so it was good. The other riders are also really strong so it promises to be an interesting season.”

Valentino Rossi – Laps 55, Time – 2’00.542
“I’m very happy, all three days were very good. We worked hard on the bike and improved day by day. The third day was the best, we were able to stay less than half a second from pole position and the lap time is higher which is interesting. Today we finished third in the standings which is theoretically the front row so I’m very happy with this first test.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“The whole test has been quite positive and we finished today finding two directions for the rest of the season. Also Jorge’s long run this afternoon was quite consistent, I think that was one of our tasks we were aiming for, to be fast is one thing but to be consistently fast is what it takes to win in racing. Overall we are pretty satisfied, both Jorge and the team worked really hard in these hot conditions, we’re looking forward to coming back to see how we can improve even more.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“This has been a really important and positive test. We have been able to work really well and our Japanese engineers have a lot of data so they are really happy. We can go home pretty satisfied and the engineers can continue working on the project, we will see what we can do in a few weeks. Jorge has been very consistent and fast throughout the test in many different circumstances so we are very pleased with him. On Vale’s side he removed a lot of weight from his shoulders, I see him very happy because he is finally back riding a bike that he enjoys, which is what he was looking for. I can’t say more than that!”

Crutchlow and Smith conclude successful Sepang test

British duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith set the fifth and eighth fastest times at the Sepang International Circuit today to conclude a successful start to the MotoGP winter testing schedule for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. A best time of 2.00.734 ensured Crutchlow finished inside the top six on each day and after improving his pace by over a second throughout the test he finished in fifth position on the final timesheets. Having made improvements with corner entry rear grip yesterday, Crutchlow turned his focus to working on his pace an d consistency on worn tyres today, and he was satisfied with the progress to finish 0.634s away from Dani Pedrosa’s best time.

Rookie teammate Smith produced another fantastic performance and included in his 48-lap stint was an impressively fast and consistent full race simulation, which he completed in searing heat and humidity on the hottest day of the test. The 22-year-old has made a seamless transition from Moto2 to the heavier and more powerful YZR-M1 machine and his race simulation gave him priceless information on where he can improve when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team returns to Sepang for a further three-day test later this month. Smith ended with a best time of 2.02.093 today, which was within two seconds of the quickest pace set by Pedrosa and he was only a second away from the top six. His fastest time at the test was yesterday’s 2.01.931 that secured him the eighth quickest time overall.

Cal Crutchlow – Laps – 53, Time – 2’00.734
“It has been a very positive week and I am where I expected to be and that’s right behind the top four factory bikes. I can’t really ask for more than that and I’m pleased with my lap times because my bike is almost identical to the bike I rode last year. Today I was doing a lot of laps on old tyres and trying to stay consistent and I’ve improved. I also feel like I’ve made good progress in improving on the brakes, so it has been a productive test and good to be back on track after the winter break. I’ve built up my confidence each day but it is obvious that 2013 is going to be incredibly tough. There is some amazing talent on really good machinery but I am really looking forward to it. I’ll be ready to give it 100% as always and come the first race in Qatar I’ll be ready to challenge. Credit to Bradley as we ll because he has done a fantastic job this week. This was his first proper test in MotoGP and he has got faster and more confident each day. I have been very impressed with him and it is going to be good being his teammate this season.”

Bradley Smith – Laps – 48, Time – 2’02.093
“I am really happy with the way this test has gone and my lap times and final position have already given me a lot of confidence. I didn’t come here with any expectations but to be eighth is where this bike needs to be. I am still not getting all of the potential out of the YZR-M1 but I am gaining in confidence with every lap I complete and it has been mission accomplished in terms of coming here and understanding how the bike needs to be ridden. I still need to be a lot smoother but I am happy to be within two seconds of the fastest time. I knew that was possible but the hard work starts now to close that gap even more. The race simulation was amazing to build up my experience but it was seriously hard work. It was the hottest day and it is very physically and mentally demanding to ride a MotoGP bike at that pace over a long distance. It is hard to concentrate but the best thing was on the last lap I did a 2.02.9 and my best lap was a 2.02.5. So I was consistent and while I need to be faster, I’m really happy to be leaving this test having learned so much. I need a good sleep now to digest all the information I’ve taken on but already I can’t wait to be back on the bike here later this month.”

Sepang Test Times – Day Three:

1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.100s (Lap 4/44)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.429s (4/58)
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.542s (43/55)
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.636s (32/54)
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.734s (5/53)
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.003s (14/43)
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.502s (29/48)
8. Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 2.093s (43/48)
9. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.184s (19/49)
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.277s (37/38)
11. Katsayuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.616s (12/21)
12. Aleix Espargaro ESP Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 2.628s (37/47)
13. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 2.864s (17/32)
14. Kosuke Akiyoshi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 3.082s (14/28)
15. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 3.874s (40/47)
16. Randy De Puniet FRA Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 4.066s (38/38)
17. Wataru Yoshikawa JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 4.137s (5/18)
18. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.211s (31/37)
19. Takumi Takahashi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 4.288s (37/46)
20. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 4.531s (32/34)
21. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB (ART CRT) 2m 4.766s (57/61)
22. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.940s (43/45)
23. Claudio Corti ITA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 5.107s (13/37)
24. Lukas Pesek CZE IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 5.321s (39/40)
25. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.580s (14/43)
26. Bryan Staring AUS Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 2m 5.970s (38/41)
27. Colin Edwards USA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 6.141s (38/41)
* Control ECU.