Yamaha‘s Jorge Lorenzo topped all riders with a top lap time of 2:01.657 on the first day of pre-season MotoGP testing at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit.
With reigning World Champion Casey Stoner ailing and unable to ride, Lorenzo produced the top time as the only racer to lap Sepang in under 2 minutes 2 seconds. Riding the 1000cc Yamaha YZR-M1, Lorenzo topped second-ranked Dani Pedrosa and his Honda RC213V by 0.343 seconds.
Like most other riders taking part in the test, Lorenzo and teammate Ben Spies focused on getting a base setup for the remainder of the three-day Sepang test. The other two days will be spent trying different settings.
Lorenzo put in 30 laps on the first day and he says the M1 has a lot of potential.
“I’m very happy with today. For the first ride on the bike in some time, it’s been very positive. Yamaha has worked very hard over the winter for this M1. I can see very easily where I have to adapt my riding style for the bike and I can see a lot of potential. We have many areas where we can improve so I’m looking forward to beginning again tomorrow. I’m also very happy that my finger is fine and doesn’t affect my riding at all!” – Lorenzo
Spies is entering his second year with the factory Yamaha team and though he recorded his first career MotoGP victory in 2011 and finished fifth in the standings, more is expected from the Texan in 2012. Spies rode 28 laps on the first day of testing, with a best time of 2:02.234 good enough for fourth on the time sheets but 0.013 seconds behind Tech3 Yamaha satellite rider Cal Crutchlow.
“I’m happy, it was fun to get back on the bike today, I haven’t ridden any type of motorcycle since Valencia. It didn’t take too long to knock the rust off, we tried a few things in set up and every step we did made small improvements. We have a lot to do in the next couple of days and a lot more in the second test. It’s been a confidence inspiring start, Yamaha have put in a lot of effort for this season so we’ll work day by day to be even better.” – Spies
Andrea Dovizioso had the sixth best lap time at 2:02.751, putting four Yamahas in the top six.