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Yamaha stay on the Pace in Qatar

Action resumed today at the Losail Circuit in Qatar for the opening round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship. As Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi got to work under the floodlights they had to cope with strong winds and a dirty track with sand blown across it. World Champion Lorenzo was quick to find a competitive pace despite the conditions as he evaluated a different chassis spec and set up. He ended both the first and second of the practice sessions in second position, the final one just 0.01seconds from the front having led for the majority of the heat.

Teammate Rossi continues to shine on his return to Yamaha, the Italian becoming a permanent fixture at the sharp end of the timing sheets as he hunts for the best set up ahead of Sunday night’s race. Rossi wrapped up the first of the day’s session’s in third position and led for most of the second before settling for fourth at the end despite being hampered by a severe headache from the previous day’s riding.

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd, Time – 1’56.685

“I’m very happy with the changes we made on the bike because it improved a lot. In the last moments the track was better this evening, in the beginning it was very dirty. I think we can still improve the bike more tomorrow, we still haven’t decided which chassis is better; today it was the new one, yesterday the old one. I’m very curious to see how the qualifying goes with the new formula, we will just be concentrating on making four fast laps, the maximum performance we can get.”

Valentino Rossi – 4th, Time – 1’56.756

“The practices are not so bad, we are continuing to work for the race. We still have to decide which tyre to use; that will be very important for Sunday. We are ready for tomorrow for the qualifying practice to try and start as far in front as possible and aim for the front row. For the rest it’s not so bad, we continue to work and improve. Yesterday after the practice I had a problem with a very strong headache so I wasn’t at 100% today. Now I’m not so bad and coming better and tomorrow I will be at my maximum.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“The first free practices are done and we’ve qualified for the second qualifying session. This is important so we don’t have to stress about the first qualifying session. Everything went smoothly and we tried a few things. The circumstances are not fantastic as everyone can see, there’s a lot of dust on the track. In the first practice there was also a lot of wind, that also disrupts the steps we want to make because every time we go out the situation changes. Jorge was happy with the results in the last practice so we’ll have to find the best combination of the two bikes we used today and I think we will be ready for tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“Today the track conditions were not perfect to enable us to finalise the set up and also to be able to choose between the two different chassis. So far we’ve done a good job, I think we’ve got enough data and I think both riders are in good shape. Tomorrow in the last free practice we will fine-tune the bikes. Both Jorge and Valentino have good consistent pace and speed so we are ready.”

2013 MotoGP Qatar

Losail Circuit 05/04/2013

1 Marquez Marc Honda ESP 1’56.477
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’56.685
3 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’56.743
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’56.756
5 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’57.257
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’57.538
7 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’57.601
8 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’57.749
9 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’57.843
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’57.926
11 Ben Spies Ducati USA 1’58.137
12 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’58.340
13 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’58.559
14 Yonny Hernandez ART COL 1’58.871
15 Hector Barbera FTR ESP 1’58.904

Circuit Length:
5380

Weather:
Windy

Lap Record:
1’55.537
(Casey Stoner, 1-1-2009)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’53.927
(Jorge Lorenzo, 9-3-2008)

Last Years Winner:
Jorge Lorenzo