Valentino Rossi Yamaha dominate at Sepang test

The long winter wait was finally over this morning as the 2013 MotoGP field took to the track in Sepang for the first official test of 2013. Reunited Yamaha Factory Racing team mates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were quick to blow off any cobwebs from the winter rest. Rossi was initially the fastest rider during the majority of the morning session, clearly taking little time to re-bond with the YZR-M1 that has brought him so much previous success. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo was not far behind, the Mallorcan’s typically methodical approach to testing seeing him steadily work through a number of different items that the two were unable to fully test in Valencia at the end of last year. By the time riding stopped for the day, Lorenzo had risen to second, just 0.008 seconds from first with Rossi in fourth, less than half a second from the front. Both riders will be back on track at 10 am local time tomorrow and again on Thursday for the final of the three days of the test.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position: 2nd Time: 2.01.165 Laps: 58

“This morning I had to get the feeling again for the MotoGP bike but it didn’t cost me so much time as it did last year. When I got up to a good pace we tried some things we couldn’t try in Aragon, we need to work on it more. Some parts I liked, some things need more work. Tomorrow we are going to keep trying the things we tried today and also some new parts. Times are very close between Yamaha and Honda so we will try to improve our bike to be even better. We are still working on acceleration, we improved a lot last year but it’s still not our strongest point. I think now at this point consistency is one of my strongest points and I hope to continue that this year.”

Valentino Rossi

Position: 4th Time: 2.01.584 Laps: 56

“I’m very happy about the first day of testing with the M1. After two seasons away I was able to come back on the bike and remember the good feeling I always had with it. I am also happy because I was quite fast from the morning. We worked on the settings to make some improvements and we made some good steps. In the afternoon we started to work on the new parts for the season. It’s just the first test but the potential is high and I am in a good position, I am in fourth place but not far from the other three guys. I am very positive that we can improve over the next few days but I’m happy with the start.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager

“So, we’ve started 2013, our target today was to get the riders into a rhythm. Two and a half months without riding a bike like this is difficult. You have to get into a rhythm and up to speed otherwise you are not able to confirm and recognise new materials. We also tried a new engine specification today that was quite interesting. We need to adjust some areas but our target is to improve acceleration. So far we are quite satisfied.”

Massimo Meregalli – Team Director

“Today was the first of the three test days; the riders were able to get back into their rhythm after a long break from the season. Unfortunately in November we weren’t able to finalise a few items that were for us very important but today we started to work on fixing that. The weather forecast is quite tricky for tomorrow and the day after but hopefully it will remain dry and we will be able to get all the information we are looking for. On Vale’s side he was able to understand today that he still has the speed, I could see he was very satisfied, which for us is a great thing. I think he was really looking for this test because as he said many times he had some doubts to settle. Jorge is pretty satisfied with the first day, he was very motivated and enthusiastic about the new items we tested. We’ll keep working and see how we will finish the test in two days time.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Times
  1. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 2’01.157
  2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 2’01.165
  3. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 2’01.201
  4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing 2’01.584
  5. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 2’01.789
  6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 2’01.881
  7. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 2’01.981
  8. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (JPN) Yamaha Factory 2’02.968
  9. Kosuke Akiyoshi (JPN) HRC Test Team 2’02.972
  10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 2’03.336
  11. Wataru Yoshikawa (JPN) Yamaha Factory 2’03.456
  12. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 2’03.460
  13. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 2’03.535
  14. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar 2’03.782
  15. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar 2’04.283
  16. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing Team 2’04.500
  17. Ben Spies (USA) Pramac Racing Team 2’05.086
  18. Takumi Takahashi (JPN) HRC Test Team 2’05.154
  19. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Blusens 2’05.469
  20. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Paul Bird Motorsport 2’05.656
  21. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 2’05.694
  22. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 2’05.753
  23. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Avintia Blusens 2’05.919
  24. Claudio Corti (ITA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2’06.426
  25. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 2’06.507