Fiat Yamaha off to a flying start in Malaysia

Published on February 5th, 2010

Valentino Rossi led the way for the second day running in Sepang today, concluding the first test of the year on top of the standings.

His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was also on the pace today, finishing the test third fastest behind Casey Stoner.

The drizzle this morning meant the track did not fully dry out until lunchtime and it was after one o’clock before Rossi left the pit on his 2010 YZR-M1. The World Champion, who turns 31 in ten days time, completed 32 laps and set a best time of 2’00.925, only half a second slower than the record pole time for the track, which he set last year.

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Lorenzo put in a few laps in the late morning but the track was still wet in places and so he, too, waited until after lunch to really get started.

The 22-year-old made a big improvement from yesterday and felt much more comfortable on the bike, finishing third fastest in a time of 2’01.680 after 60 laps.

The team will return to Sepang at the end of the month for the second of three pre-season tests.

Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team

Position: 1st   Time: 2’00.925   Laps: 32

“After yesterday this second day has been very good as well, even though we lost a few hours to the rain, at the end we were still able to finish all our work. We worked on the new bike to find a better setting and I was happy to be the fastest overall – even though this is just a testing it is important for me! At the next test we will have a few more new things but we’re already happy because we’re fast and strong. There is room to improve of course; Sepang is always a good track for the Yamaha so we will have to wait until Qatar to get a better understanding of our level, but we have made a great start.”

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Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team

Position: 3rd   Time: 2’01.680   Laps: 60

“I felt much better today and I was able to be fast straight away. It wasn’t a big problem yesterday, it’s just that after such a long break I forget how to ride a little bit! I need a bit of time, but it was much better today. I’m happy with my performance and the feel with the new bike. Yamaha have made good improvements without changing the best parts of the bike and this is the best way. They have made some good modifications to the chassis and the engine and this has already improved our pace. We don’t have many days on the bike until the start of the season so we will make the most of the time here next month to continue our good work.”

text & pix: SIC

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