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Spies ready to race, Lorenzo unhappy

“It was not because my riding is bad, I always admit when it is, we struggled with the set-up of the bike” - Jorge Lorenzo.
Ben Spies will head into his first MotoGP race as a Factory Yamaha rider a happy man after finishing the final pre-season test in third place, but reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo was far less confident after lapping slower on the last day.

Spies, who finished fifth on his full-time MotoGP debut in last year's Qatar Grand Prix, was fourth and third over the two nights of testing at Losail - making him the top M1 rider on both occasions.

Repsol Honda team-mates Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were still half-a-second clear of Spies in terms of outright lap time, but the former World Superbike champion improved by several tenths on the final day and is looking forward to the season ahead.

"It's been a good test, I'm happy with it,” said Spies. “We tried a few different things today and improved the bike some more. We've now got a couple of days to look over the data ready for the four day weekend, there'll be plenty more riding opportunities before Sunday.

“I was pretty confident coming here after Sepang, hopefully we can make the bike even better before the race. Last year we saw that the M1 worked well at every track, it's Yamaha's strong point and I think it's the same this year."

By contrast, Lorenzo failed to make progress on the final night and slipped from fifth to seventh as a result - over one-second from Stoner.

The Spaniard, who finished second in last year's race despite riding injured, blamed set-up problems.

"Today wasn't the best for me. It was not because my riding is bad, I always admit when it is, we struggled with the set-up of the bike during the session and unfortunately we didn't make a step forward,” he said.

“The wind was tough but that was a problem for everyone. We also tried a different swing-arm today but it didn't make an improvement. We will work over the next few days to be ready to improve in the next sessions on Thursday."

Lorenzo was one of the few riders to complete a near-full distance race simulation, something that wasn't too enjoyable given his set-up problems, but it at least allowed Yamaha to gather electronic data for the grand prix.

“We made a long run at the end, even though we hadn't found a perfect feeling, to see what our fuel consumption was and also gather some more electronic information,” said team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.

“The bike set up wasn't perfect for it, but it was necessary to do."

Spies stuck to shorter runs.

"We are satisfied with Ben's bike set up, he was consistently quite fast,” said new team director Massimo Meregalli. “Ben didn't push 100% which makes us confident for the race weekend.

“We didn't try a really long run but managed to maintain a consistent fast pace with a used tyre.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Spies, Qatar MotoGP Test March 2011
Jorge Lorenzo, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Silverstone [Credit: Monster Energy]
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016

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red-zx6r - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 9:37 AM

"We are satisfied with Ben's bike set up, he was consistently quite fast,” said new team director Massimo Meregalli. “Ben didn't push 100% which makes us confident for the race weekend." Am I the only one that actually read the whole article? Ben generally gets better as the race progresses and he is quite fast on worn tires. He'll stay quiet and get overlooked until the first race... then he'll do his talking on the track. GO SPIES GO!

TDS - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 9:48 AM

I think Ben Spies will do much better than Jorge Lorenzo!! Lorenzo will suffer this year not having Valentino Rossi in the Yamaha garage as without him, he will have to rely on his own skills and clearly, he still has a lot to learn! Ben Spies is one of those riders that has a natural ability on a bike and like Valentino, just gets on with the job in a calm, professional and amazingly skillfull way. I think Ben Spies will be in the top three at the end of the year without a doubt!!! Anyone agree???



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