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Yamaha team manager 'surprised' by Lorenzo pace

Following two months away from his Yamaha YZR-M1, Jorge Lorenzo left even his own team manager impressed with his pace out-of-the-box as 2011 MotoGP testing kicked off at Sepang...
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo's team manager has admitted to being taken aback by the Spaniard's speed straight out-of-the-box on the first day of pre-season 2011 testing at Sepang in Malaysia, as preparations for the title defence began in earnest.

Lorenzo ended proceedings on day one of the official group outing second-quickest to Honda rival Casey Stoner, four tenths adrift of the Australian as he re-familiarised himself with the YZR-M1 and began the process of parts and electronics testing. Considering the 23-year-old had not ridden a motorbike in anger for two months over the winter break, Wilco Zeelenberg was impressed.

“I'm very pleased with our first session here at Sepang,” reported the Dutch former 250cc star. “I'm actually quite surprised at Jorge's speed, as normally after a two-month break it takes him longer to get into the rhythm because he's a very smooth rider, so a break means you miss the rhythm.

“We had received good information by the end of the day, so we have been able to make some steps and reach some decisions. Tomorrow we have some more things to test, but for today we are quite satisfied.”

Lorenzo's new Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies similarly lapped beneath the fastest lap time from the 2010 Malaysian GP in fifth spot overall, just under four tenths adrift again, and the American's thoughts about the day can be read here.

As the duo prepare to carry a special 'one-event' Yamaha Factory Racing Blue de-branded design on days two and three as part of the ongoing Yamaha World GP 50th Anniversary celebrations – and steel themselves for further development work and Bridgestone tyre-testing – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director and Spies' team manager Massimo Meregalli expressed his contentment with the opening day's results.

“After a long rest, we have to be satisfied with the first session,” the Italian underlined. “Our riders used today to get back their speed, and we are happy to see they were both consistently fast. Tomorrow, we will start to do some work on the bikes and collect further data.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Spies, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011
Spies, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011
Zeelenberg, Sepang MotoGP tests,  4th-5th February, 2010
Lorenzo, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011
Lorenzo, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011
Lorenzo, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011
Lorenzo, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
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Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Maverick Vinales, Lorenzo Australian MotoGP Race 2016
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Rossi, Lorenzo Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Vinales, Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Miller, Lorenzo, Hayden Australian MotoGP 2016

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February 01, 2011 11:37 PM

I wonder if JLo's move to Astars has anything to do with team unity and Ben having the same leathers? We initially thought it was about JLo not wanting to be #2 with Dainese since Rossi is the man there. Nicky switched to Dainese, too, when Rossi joined the team. I think Lorenzo looks better now. Good matching with Ben.

.: Taya :. - Unregistered

February 02, 2011 1:40 AM

I think the move to Astars is a combination of the team thing (more $$$ for JL), plus the No.1 plate factor ( more $$$ for JL), plus the rub it in Rossi's face factor (more $$$ for JL)...etc. Plus as a side note...Lorenzo was never Dainese No. 2 cuz that paygrade definitely goes to Dainese lifer Max Biaggi. Also IMHO Hayden doesn't rock the new Ducati Dainese leathers very well (too corporate for a dude from Kentucky. lol.)...but oh well. Interesting to note that Astars got both the F1 champion and the MotoGP champion now even though both titles were won with Puma and Dainese respectively. Cha-ching!

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