The Yamaha Factory Racing Team today completed the first test of the 2012 season at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the three track days working to develop the base set up of the 1000cc YZR-M1 ahead of the second Sepang test in one month’s time.
The riders and engineers focused on the balance of the M1 chassis along with improving the electronics package to gain the optimum performance from the increased horsepower. New Bridgestone tyres were also assessed ahead of the upcoming race season. The times from today’s final session saw Lorenzo slot in as the second fastest rider, 0.59 seconds behind Casey Stoner. Team mate Spies wrapped up in fourth position, 0.88 seconds from first.
The riders will now return to the USA and Spain respectively whilst the engineers return to Japan with the valuable data to make the next steps forward in development. The team will return in four weeks time to test the work done.
Jorge Lorenzo (2º – 2.00.198 – 21 laps)
“I’m really, really satisfied, I have improved on my best record here in Sepang. We tried a lot of things; some have been a lot better, especially one major improvement. We also know where we have to improve in the future. The electronics are not perfect yet, we still need to make it smoother but the bike has so much potential we are very optimistic. The Yamaha engineers have worked really hard so they have done a good job. I made my best time today at midday which is the hardest time with the conditions so it was pretty good. Let’s see what we can do when we come back.”
Ben Spies (4º – 2.00.495 – 16 laps)
“It’s been a good test, we’ve got a lot of things accomplished, we’re definitely moving in the right direction with my bike. I tried the Yamaha test rider’s bike today which had a slightly different set up to make a fair comparison with mine. I made a small mistake, losing the front but that’s testing; it can happen when you’re working out the good and bad! All in all it’s been great and I’m really happy and looking forward to coming back and seeing what’s new.”