“It's good to get back to work”
Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards got the new year off to a promising start at the first MotoGP test of the season in Sepang, Malaysia today, setting the third and fourth fastest times respectively.
all teams now running new 800cc prototype machines, in accordance with the new MotoGP engine capacity limits, the 20-strong field of riders enjoyed good weather throughout the day and Yamaha's two factory riders made the most of a full day of testing.
Both riders had completed two tests on the new bike before Christmas and followed on from where they left off today, concentrating on double-checking the information they gathered during those tests and developing the set-up of the new bike, whilst also finding time to test some new Michelin tyres.
The fastest lap of the day, a time of 2'02.277, was set by Suzuki rider John Hopkins, with his team-mate Chris Vermeulen second with a best lap of 2'03.049. Rossi and Edwards were close behind, the Italian setting a best time of 2'03.184 from 67 laps and his American team-mate fourth with a lap of 2'03.337 after 61 laps.
Valentino Rossi :
"I am feeling very confident at the start of this test and the new season. I've made the most of my holidays, had a good rest and I think I am starting in the best shape possible. Everyone is very motivated and excited now! The bike I am riding here is basically the same as the one I rode in Jerez at the last test and everything feels very good with it still. You have to ride these bikes slightly differently to the old 990cc bikes, you need to be slightly softer, but we understand more about them every day. Some things still need to be improved but the chassis is good and we don't have any of the problems we had at the start of last season. We need to be fast from the start this year and at the moment it seems that's the case. The power delivery of the bike is good, better than I hoped for at this early stage of the season, and I am feeling quite confident overall about the situation we're in. Today we mainly worked on setting and tyres and we've definitely made a good start to the new year, now we will try to continue like this for the next two days."
Colin Edwards :
"It's been good to have a bit of a break and some time at home with the family, but I'm excited about the new season and it's good to be back on the bike! The rain held off so we got started on time this morning. The bike feels pretty similar to what we were riding before Christmas, of course there are some subtle tweaks here and there and some new stuff, but nothing too drastic and it still feels really good. This morning we worked on tyres with Michelin before testing a couple of new things with the bike this afternoon, but mostly we were just backing up everything we worked out at the last two tests, double and triple-checking every setting to ensure that we're working in the right direction.
It's obvious that everyone's already at a high level and the times are fast, so it's going to be hard work for us all from now on!"
Davide Brivio :
"It's good to get back to work after the winter break and it has been a positive first day for us here in Sepang. The bikes were assembled at Yamaha in Japan last week and they have started the year in their black 'winter-test livery', with yellow stickers for Valentino and red for Colin. Today we've worked on basic set-up and we haven't had any problems so far. All the information we gathered at the tests before Christmas has been taken into account and once we felt confident with this latest version of the 2007 bike, we were also able to spend some time testing new tyres for Michelin. We've definitely started our job well today and worked in a productive manner. Despite a poor weather forecast, the rain has held off and we've been able to use all the track time available to us. Hopefully this will continue and we can keep on working hard through the next two days and make the most of this important first test."