Jorge Lorenzo leaves Malaysia in a positive mood after making considerable headway towards the end of the first MotoGP pre-season test at Sepang.
The Spaniard arrived at the test determined to get acclimatised to Bridgestone rubber having spent his maiden season in the premier class using Michelin tyres.
It proved to be a slow process, Lorenzo spending the first two days consigned to the lower reaches of the top ten, well off the pace of team-mate Valentino Rossi and also behind Colin Edwards on the Tech 3 Yamaha.
Nonetheless, Lorenzo picked up his pace on the final day of action, completing a 22 lap race simulation in blistering heat to go seventh quickest, less than a second behind Rossi.
“I am very happy because today I've seen how fast I can ride with the Bridgestone tyres,” he said. “Today has definitely been the best day for me at this opening test of the year. Also, we have been able to do a long run in hot conditions with 32 degrees (36 in the afternoon!), and I was able to finish 22 laps without stopping.
“I was tired when I finished but it was incredible; the rhythm was good and my best lap was right at the end, when I did a 2'01.9. This means that I have improved over a second since yesterday and we have made a big step forward.”
Lorenzo has now set his sights on the next test in Qatar, where he is confident he can make a further step forward with the bike and the tyres.
“All the team worked hard up until the last minute and now they will keep going so we can try to go even better in Qatar next month. We have to continue in the same way as today, improving all the time, because we don't have that much time until the first race.”