The Camel Yamaha Team completed their three-day test in Sepang, Malaysia today with more promising work on the new 2006-spec YZR-M1. Both Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards concentrated mainly on work for Michelin in the morning and made some important progress in this area with the tyre manufacturer. After lunch both riders then completed a long run in order to gather information about the new M1 in race conditions, and were both pleased with the performance of the bike and the improvement in times from the race in September.
Sete Gibernau (Ducati) was fastest today with a time of 2'01.03. Rossi, who captured his seventh World Championship title at this track in September, set a fastest lap of 2'01.60, which puts him fifth fastest over the three days according to the unofficial times. Edwards' best lap of the day was 2'02.54 but his fastest time from the three days remains the 2'02.00 that he set yesterday.
The Camel Yamaha Team now has a 12-day break before heading to Doha, Qatar for their next test on February 6th, 7th and 8th.
Valentino Rossi (2'01.60, 60 Laps);
"This morning we worked 100% on tyres with Michelin. Last year at the race here we had some problems in this area but Michelin have brought a lot of new tyres here and they seem to be very good. We've been working with them to find a better grip. This afternoon I did the race simulation which was also promising. In general I am happy with this first test and with the evolution of the new bike; I already have a good feeling with it. It's not so different from the 2005 version but it's better in many areas. Yamaha is working especially hard on improving the stability of the bike and making it easier to find the right setting. The engine is also better. Now it's important that we try the bike at a different track and I think it will be interesting in Qatar. Last year I was able to win the race there, one of the best races of the season, but we had some problems throughout the weekend. It will be good to see how the new bike performs there."
Colin Edwards (2'02.54, 62 Laps);
"In the morning we worked a lot on tyres and setting, and made some progress to get rid of the chatter we had yesterday. This afternoon I did a long run and was quite pleased with it. It was much faster than I was in the race last year, so that's proof that we've made some progress. The tyre I used is maybe not the one I would have chosen for the race, but it worked okay all the same and we've found some other good new stuff with Michelin. Overall I think it's been a good first test. It's helpful to have the chance to get used to the new bike at a track we know well and I'm pretty excited about it. Everything has improved and the package seems to work. We've had a few problems this week, and we need to understand why they happened, but we've got plenty more time before the first race. I'm looking forward to going to Qatar, a track I really like, and seeing how the bike goes there."
Davide Brivio - Camel Yamaha Team Director;
"It has been a good first test and we have some positive results for both riders. They both managed to complete many laps and made some excellent progress with the new bike. It's been very important to test the new bike here to check that everything is okay and it was also useful to end with the long run. Now we go to Qatar where it will be interesting to see our bike at a different circuit."
Tech 3 Yamaha Team;
The Tech 3 Team have completed the three-day test in Sepang despite an ill James Ellison.
Being the first chance for Ellison to ride the 2006-spec YZR-M1, the focus was mainly on gathering data for Dunlop and getting a feel for the new version of the M1.
Herve Poncharal - Tech 3 Yamaha Team Director;
"It's been a hard test, but in the end it's been quite important for us. We've done a lot of tyre testing, which was our main aim for the week and we are quite happy with the directions we've found for the front and rear. James has done a really good job, especially considering that he's been ill, and it hasn't been easy for him. Our main mission for this year is to develop with Dunlop and this has just been the start of a long year's work. We're very happy with the new M1, it seems that Yamaha has done an excellent job over the winter and this new bike is a big step forward from the old one.
Obviously the main thing is for Dunlop to get as much data and laps done as possible. With this in mind and as everyone knows, we are still hoping to have a second rider and we are working as hard as possible to try to find a solution and a way to attend the test in Qatar with two riders."
James Ellison (2'04.17);
"I got sick over a week ago and I really hoped it would be okay by now but I was at my worst on Monday for the first day of the test! It was really disappointing because we had so much to do! Yesterday and today were better and we managed to get a lot of laps done and make some progress. I am pretty knackered after the three days! The bike is really good, the main difference I can see from the one I rode last year is in the power.there's more of it! This circuit is not one of my favourites and I find it quite hard, but I am a little disappointed with my times over the days. Obviously I am much faster than I was in the race last year but I am still off the pace a bit - I thought I could be a bit closer to the main group. I am definitely not fast enough considering that I am on a factory Yamaha. With Dunlop the main problem is traction - with qualifying tyres it's great but with race tyres we have some problems and some chatter in the rear. I hope that in Qatar - a track I really like and where Dunlop performs well - we can do better and make more progress."
Unofficial lap times;
- 1. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Ducati 2'01.03
- 2. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati 2'01.08
- 3. Marco Melandri (ITA) Honda 2'01.12
- 4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 2'01.51
- 5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 2'01.60
- 6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda 2'01.69
- 7. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki 2'01.78
- 8. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki 2'02.18
- 9. Toni Elias (SPA) Honda 2'02.30
- 10. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Suzuki 2'02.43
- 11. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha 2'02.54
- 12. Casey Stoner (AUS) Honda 2'02.67
- 13. K. Akiyoshi (JPN) Suzuki 2'02.80
- 14. John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki 2'03.05
- 15. Alex Hofmann (GER) Ducati 2'03.20
- 16. Kenny Roberts (USA) KR Honda 2'03.37
- 17. Jose Luis Cardoso (SPA) Ducati 2'03.50
- 18. S. Ito (JPN) Ducati 2'03.60
- 19. James Ellison (GBR) Yamaha 2'04.17