Yamaha's MotoGP effort was back in action for their fourth test of the year at Phillip Island, Australia, today. Unfortunately, low temperatures and scattered rain made for difficult testing conditions hindered the test program. After heavy rain yesterday, it had eased to a slow drizzle today before stopping mid-morning. However the sun failed to appear and as a result the track never dried out sufficiently and remained slippery throughout the day.
Despite the bad weather, Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards completed a total of 51 and 60 laps respectively, albeit with slightly slower lap times than at the last Phillip Island test two weeks ago. The riders focused mainly on testing tyres for Michelin and working on the set-up of their YZR-M1s. Edwards was slightly faster than his Italian team-mate, setting a best lap of 1'31.27, while the World Champion finished the day with a fastest time of 1'31.38.
After recently completing three tests alongside most of the MotoGP field, this time only the Spanish Fortuna Yamaha Team duo of Ruben Xaus and Toni Elias joined the Factory Yamaha team. Xaus was third fastest, completing 78 laps with a best time of 1'33.02, whilst Elias completed 80 laps and set a fastest time of 1'33.19.
Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 1'31.27
"The track conditions were really bad; it was so slick because it had rained all day yesterday. I did 60 laps but a lot of that was just trying to lay down some rubber on the track. We worked a bit on set-up and tried some tyres, but it was cold and therefore difficult to get the tyre temperature high enough to do much useful work. We were doing good things two weeks ago here but we didn't have the same feeling today, but I am sure things will improve with the weather!"
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 1'31.38
"Today the weather was bad - cold and raining so we couldn't test as we wanted. We worked a bit on bike settings and tested some tyres, but with the weather like this it was difficult to judge any changes. It was much colder than the last time we were here, and this is why the lap times are slower. I hope tomorrow the temperature will improve and then we can do some proper testing."
Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director
"Unfortunately the weather didn't allow us to test properly, but we've got two more days to still to do and we expected that we might lose one day due to rain. The forecast is better tomorrow. Despite all this, we were able to do some work and get some feedback from set-up changes and the tyres we've been testing for Michelin. However we need higher temperatures if we are to confirm these things tomorrow."
Rubén Xaus, (Fortuna Yamaha Team) - 1'33.02
"After resting for a few days I was looking forward to getting back on the bike again today. We've continued with the testing program we had planned and we have to keep working in this way. The team is doing a great job and I am very happy."
Toni Elías (Fortuna Yamaha Team) - 1'33.19
"I am happy although the track was around 1.5 seconds per lap slower than before because of the low temperatures we've had to deal with today. We've tested a few things in areas we knew we had to improve on after the recent tests at this same circuit and I think we're on the right path. I'm happy because I'm getting a little closer every day!"