Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards continued their relentless march towards the first race of the season with another promising day's work in Sepang today. Having concentrated on trying new parts for Yamaha yesterday, it was Michelin's turn today and the Yamaha Factory Racing riders spent most of the day testing new tyres, with the Malaysian temperatures providing the ideal proving ground for the latest generation of Michelin rubber.
The Yamaha pair consolidated yesterday's good work with another day of fast times, both dipping under the 990cc lap record pace on race tyres. Tomorrow both riders will complete a long-run, before the team packs up and heads west to Qatar for the next round of pre-season testing.
Valentino Rossi, Position: 1st - Time: 2'02.099, Laps: 53;
"Today we tested some new tyres for Michelin, both front and rear. We haven't found any special improvements to the front since the last test, but for the rear we tried something interesting to improve the edge grip. I'm very happy because I think we're working in the right direction and we have definitely made improvements in this area. We have also continued to work on the stability in braking, changing the set-up in order to improve this even more. Finally today we worked on the engine mapping, as this year fuel consumption is going to be a very important factor. I am gaining more understanding of this new bike every day and I have a really good feeling with it. Tomorrow we will make a long run in order to compare with our data from the last test, and it will be interesting to see how all the improvements we've made this week make a difference to the performance of the bike over a race-distance."
Colin Edwards, Position: 2nd - Time: 2'02.118, Laps: 44;
"It was pretty warm today and I had to go out in the hottest part of the day to test tyres, so that was quite hard work! Anyway we got through a whole lot more stuff today and things are getting better and better. We tested a couple more new things for Yamaha and then did a lot of tyre work with Michelin. Looking back at the last test, just a couple of weeks ago, everything has evolved so much since then it's amazing! We've moved forward an incredible amount over just five days of testing so far this year, so that bodes well. Last time here I was doing low 2'03s comfortably, but this time I'm doing low 2'02s lap after lap and they're coming so easily, without me really having to push too hard at all. We've got a long run to do tomorrow and a few more loose ends to tie up, but we're in good shape!"
Davide Brivio - Team Director;
Today both riders focused on tyres and we had some new material from Michelin. It was a very interesting day all round. Generally speaking, in these two days we have made small but important improvements compared to the previous test here. Tomorrow both riders will make a long-run and we will see if these improvements will be crucial towards race-performance."
Unofficial Lap Times;
- 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha - 2'02.099
- 2. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha - 2'02.118
- 3. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki - 2'02.554
- 4. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Yamaha - 2'02.745
- 5. Olivier Jacque (FRA) Kawasaki - 2'03.761
- 6. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Yamaha - 2'05.002
- 7. Andrew Pitt (AUS) Ilmor - 2'07.923
Sepang Lap Record (990cc);
- Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2006 - 2'02.127
Sepang Best Lap (990cc);
- Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2006 - 2'00.605