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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Lorenzo and Spies first and third at Valencia test

Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and new team-mate Ben Spies completed a successful first day of the official MotoGP test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia today, topping the timesheets as only two of five riders to dip below the 1.33 minute mark . Rain in the morning saw the day’s session delayed until the track had dried with all riders waiting until the afternoon before venturing out onto the circuit.

Reigning 2010 World Champion Lorenzo continued to show the form that delivered the world title this year, taking just five warm up laps to go straight to the top of the timesheets where he remained unbeaten for the entire session. The Mallorcan split his riding time between the 2011 prototype YZR-M1 and an updated version of his 2010 machine.

Taking his first outing as a Yamaha Factory rider, the 2010 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Spies spent the majority of the afternoon riding the 2011 prototype YZR-M1. The American rider and his crew used their inaugural session to focus on the chassis settings of the new bike, moving quickly up the timesheets, delivering consistent fast laps to end as the third fastest rider of the day.

Jorge Lorenzo

Rider No.1 – Position: 1st Time: 1’32.012 Laps: 48

“Today we tried the new chassis on the 2011 M1 which felt good, although it is still to early to say too much about it. We also tried the new Ohlins suspension which felt better to me on the track. The new engine seems to have less wheelie but we will see more tomorrow in the next session.”

Ben Spies

Rider No.11 – Position: 3rd Time: 1’32.878 Laps: 42

“For the first day of testing I’m super happy with the team, a lot of things are new including obviously riding the prototype bike. There are a lot of subtle changes from last year so I spent some time getting used to it along with working with a new Japanese engineer who is very, very good. I had a couple of new mechanics who were learning the ropes as well so it was a lot of learning today. I’m really happy, I can feel the potential of the bike and I think there’s quite a bit more to come.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager – Jorge Lorenzo

“2011 has started I would say! We finished the session on top so I think everything went quite well. Our lap times were good and we improved on our qualification time from Sunday’s race. We managed to test everything we wanted to today so tomorrow we will continue with more and see how far Jorge can go.”

Massimo Meregalli

“As a first day, I think Ben’s crew worked really well. He was very satisfied with the new 2011 prototype YZR-M1 bike which is a good sign. We didn’t make many changes to the setup in the session so it’s clear that we have a good base to work with. Tomorrow we will start to test the 2011 tyres as today Ben used the same ones as he ran for Sunday’s race.”

Edwards and Crutchlow kick off 2011 winter testing schedule

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team was back in action at the Valencia circuit in Spain today with Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow commencing their 2011 MotoGP World Championship preparations.

With excitement and anticipation reaching fever pitch ahead of the first day of the winter testing schedule, proceedings were delayed when rain started to fall an hour before the circuit was due to open for action at 10am.

Cold temperatures meant the track was slow to dry but once clear blue skies emerged in the early afternoon, Edwards and Crutchlow were able to begin lapping the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. A gusting wind though that worsened as the ses sion wore on made for unpredictable conditions.

It was still a productive afternoon for experienced Texan Edwards as he began preparations for his ninth season in the MotoGP World Championship. The 36-year-old needed a few laps to adjust his riding style back to the YZR-M1 MotoGP machine after he completed over 50 laps yesterday evaluating the Tech 3 Racing Team’s 2011 Moto2 machine.

Edwards had a busy schedule to work through with his crew as he evaluated an updated YZR-M1 engine and revised chassis. He also tested different spec Bridgestone rear tyres with positive results.

Crutchlow was unleashed on the MotoGP field for the first time today after a successful campaign in the World Superbike Championship with Yamaha’s factory squad. The talented British rider tested a YZR-M1 machine at Yamaha’s Fukuroi test track in Japan last month. But today gave him the opportu nity to line up against the star-studded MotoGP line-up for the first time and he acquitted himself superbly. The former World Supersport immediately formed a good understanding with experienced crew chief Daniele Romagnoli and was able to reel off several laps in the 1.34 bracket.

Crutchlow had a small crash at the fifth corner but returned to the track later in the day and impressively built up his confidence again to post a best time of 1.34.314 in his 59-lap stint. It was a hugely encouraging display from Crutchlow and he was able to lap faster than Loris Capirossi and new Moto2 world champion Toni Elias, as well as fellow rookie Karel Abraham.

Colin Edwards

Position: 7th Time: 1’33.513 Laps: 49

“It was a really good day and we got through a lot of work, despite losing quite a bit of track time this morning. It took me a while just to tune my brain b ack into MotoGP mode after the Moto2 test but once I’d done that, it was a positive afternoon. It is only half-a-day on track but already I can tell Yamaha has done a really good job with the bike. The engine feels smoother than last season’s and I really like the new chassis. All year I’ve been struggling with turning performance but with this new chassis we have improved a lot in that area and I can get into the corner easier and with a lot more confidence. I also did a fair amount of work for Bridgestone and they’ve been working hard too. I tried a couple of things that are really interesting for next year, so it was a productive start to 2011.”

Cal Crutchlow

Position: 14th Time: 1’34.314 Laps: 59

“It was good to be finally part of MotoGP and to get in some dry track time on the bike because the rain hampered my first ride in Japan. It wasn’t the easiest day I’ll have because there is just so much to learn about riding a MotoGP bike fast, but my pace was good and I’m happy with my times. I’m happy with my performance and so are the team and it was good to start working with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. I’m losing most of my time in just three points of the track but that is just down to experience. I had a small crash at the left-hander before the back straight. I think it must have been the wind because I had a slower corner speed and less brake pressure than before. But these things will happen when I’m on such a big learning curve. Lap times and position are not bothering at my moment. I just need to be getting laps in on the bike to build up my experience and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”


1 Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha – 1’32.012
2 Casey Stoner – Honda – 1’32.775
3 Ben Spies – Yamaha – 1’32.878
4 Dani Pedrosa – Honda – 1’32.912
5 Marco Simoncelli – Honda – 1’32.919
6 Andrea Dovizioso – Honda – 1’33.190
7 Colin Edwards – Yamaha – 1’33.513
8 Alvaro Bautista – Suzuki – 1’33.558
9 Nicky Hayden – Ducati – 1’33.716
10 Valentino Rossi – Ducati- 1’33.882
11 Randy De Puniet – Ducati – 1’33.914
12 Hiroshi Aoyama – Honda – 1’33.953
13 Hector Barbera – Ducati – 1’34.110
14 Cal Crutchlow – Yamaha- 1’34.314
15 Loris Capirossi – Ducati – 1’34.631
16 Toni Elias – Honda – 1’35.058
17 Karel Abraham – Ducati – 1’35.076

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