Camel Yamaha test alone in Qatar
The Camel Yamaha Team finished their third day of testing at the Losail International Circuit with the track to themselves today, all other teams having begun testing one day earlier and finished yesterday. Alone on the track, Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards were quickly able to complete the remaining Michelin tyre work they needed to do, before concluding the test with long runs in the afternoon.
Neither Rossi nor Edwards improved on their times from yesterday of 1’56.53 and 1’56.81 respectively, and these remain the fastest times from the three days of testing. However both riders still lapped under lap record pace today, Rossi setting a best time of 1’56.78 after 49 laps and Edwards 1’57.07 from 57 laps.
The Yamaha riders and team members now have a five day break before they rejoin the rest of the MotoGP paddock for the final ‘winter’ test in Sepang, Malaysia on February 14th, 15th and 16th.
World Champion Valentino Rossi spoke about a day he felt was not on a par with yesterday´s standard, and about the test as a whole:
“Today was not quite as good as the last two days, mainly because the condition of the track was slightly worse and we didn’t have such good grip. I think that last night there was a lot of wind and with only two bikes on the track today it wasn’t enough to clean the surface properly. Anyway we continued to work, did our long run and found out some more information about the new M1 in different conditions”
On the chattering problem which has been an occasional nuisance, Valentino remained positive.
“We have some vibrations and our top priority now is to find a way to fix this; I hope we can do that in Sepang. Anyway, in general this has been a good test and we have made some more improvements. The times have been quite good and we’ve done some important work with Michelin. Now I go home for a few days to rest before we start again in Sepang next week.”
Teammate Colin Edwards was equally as pleased with the Yamaha M1´s development.
“Overall I am really happy with this test and I am looking forward to the season ahead. I am especially pleased with the setting of the bike, which we seem to be improving all the time. Both Yamaha and Michelin have worked really hard over the winter and, together with the new tyres, we’ve got a really good package. My long run was not bad this afternoon and the encouraging thing was that my times were consistent, even later on as the tyres started to go off slightly in the heat”
Having run faster than Loris Capirossi´s 2005 pole-setting time, Edwards wouldn´t be drawn into comparisons with last year´s race.
“It’s difficult to compare to last year’s race since the conditions are so different, but this year’s Qatar race is only two months away now, so we hope that the work we’ve done at this test will put us in a good starting position for that weekend. The general progress of the bike has been great over just two tests this year so now we will hopefully be able to keep working like this in Sepang next week.”
Camel Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio summed up the test´s significance for the preseason, and looked forward to Sepang.
“It was interesting to come here in very good conditions and we got some good information which we can work on for the start of the season. It’s good to now go immediately to Sepang to check again the settings that we found there at the first test in January. Sepang is the last really important test for us before the start of the season.”
Unofficial Lap Times: 1.VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Yamaha, 1’56.78
2.COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Yamaha, 1’57.07