Moto GP

Valentino Rossi Continues Form as Storm Disrupts First Day of Second Sepang Test

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

After two weeks of analyzing data, MotoGp riders returned to the Sepang International Circuit for the start of the second official three-day pre-season test.

Despite the difficult track and weather conditions Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‰Ûªs Valentino Rossi was up for the challenge of repeating his strong ride of two weeks ago. He needed little time to get back into the swing of things and was quick to take over the top spot from his teammate at the start of the eight-hour long session.

As the temperature started rising the pace of the field picked up, but the Doctor was quick to respond and cruised back to the top the leader board with an impressive 2‰Ûª00.414s lap, which kept him sitting on top for the rest of the session.

‰ÛÏEverybody in our team was curious about the updated gearbox and the first impression is quite positive, so I‰Ûªm happy." Rossi stated. "It doesn‰Ûªt make a huge difference, but it‰Ûªs a small help in a difficult point where we need to improve.

"The bike is a bit better in braking and corner entry and I think we need to work to understand the maximal potential, but the first test was good. I am happy to finish in the first position because I was in P1 from this morning, so it‰Ûªs a good first day.

"It‰Ûªs important for us to make some kilometers on the wet. I don‰Ûªt really like the feeling with the bike on the wet and last year I struggled a bit. We already improved a bit today, but we need to do some more testing and make some more kilometers.‰Û
Dani Pedrosa lead the way for Honda
Setting the second fastest time of the day was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa with a lap time of 2‰Ûª00.543, just over one tenth of a second behind Rossi.

"Today we focused on testing different setups for the bike and I think it went well." Pedrosa said. "We have not tried any new parts, instead confirming our findings with what we had at the last test, even though the track was not perfect.

"It rained at the end, so we could also ride a little in those conditions. Tomorrow we will continue testing some changes to the setup, to see if we can come up with some improvements that allow us to ride more comfortably."
Pol Espargaro managed the third fastest time in the changing conditions
Rounding out the top three on day one was Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro who continues to impress in the lead up to the season opening race.

‰ÛÏI am really happy with the progress that we have made today and to finish in third is a great start to this test." Espargaro said. "We are continuing to work in the right direction and as soon as we started this morning, I knew that we could be quick.

"At midday it was already 54 degrees on the ground which was clearly warmer than the first test where it reached a max of 50 and so we weren‰Ûªt able to ride as many laps. However, the general feeling for today was that it was productive and we focused on trying different electronic settings.

"The information that we collected will be very useful and furthermore, it was very good to run some laps in the rain as well. This meant that we could work on the wet setup and I am really pleased with this especially, as there is a definite improvement.

"The 2015 Yamaha feels great and I know that if I can ride a bit smoother and adjust my riding style slightly, we can be strong. There are a few more things which we have to study in order to improve, but we cannot rush everything and we must take it all step by step.‰Û
Aleix Espargaro gave the Suzuki GP team something to smile about with the 4th fastest time of the day
Behind Pol Espargaro in fourth was his brother Aleix aboard the Team Suzuki MotoGp machine, giving the manufacture who is returning to the top level of motorcycle racing in 2015 something to smile about.

"It has been a good day for us because we made further improvements." Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio commented. "The riders feel confident on the bike and we were able to upgrade and improve the engine power. At the previous tests we decided to cut the power in order to gain reliability, now we are reintroducing some more power but with a step-by-step approach.

‰ÛÏLast week in the wind tunnel in Japan we developed a new fairing that has been tested today. It didn‰Ûªt give the results we were expecting so we will further-refine its shape.

‰ÛÏIt is only the first day of testing but being so close to the top always gives a good feeling. It has also been interesting to test in wet conditions and both riders reported positive feelings. Aleix already has experience in riding a MotoGP machine in the rain so he could give us good feedback, while Maverick had the chance to have a first touch with the bike response. They both felt confident with their machines also in these conditions.‰Û

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