During the Sepang test, Wilco Zeelenberg - team manager for reigning double MotoGP
champion Jorge Lorenzo
at Yamaha - met Crash.net
and French magazine Moto Journal
trackside at turn three, to talk through his observations.
Zeelenberg, who always makes a point of examining how the bikes are behaving on track, was a 250GP and WSS winner during his own racing career.
The Dutchman then made the successful switch to team management, helping Cal Crutchlow to the WSS crown in 2009, before joining forces with Lorenzo the following year.
During their three seasons together, Lorenzo has won two MotoGP
titles and 18 races.
Turn three at Sepang (pictured) is a high-speed right hander, featuring a downhill entry before rising again on the run to turn four. It is also known for great shots of rear-wheel slides.
Upon arriving at the inside of the corner, Zeelenberg didn't park next to the trackside barrier, but steered his scooter off the service road and headed up the infield grass banking...
"You have to move back from the track to see the whole corner, to see the whole picture," Zeelenberg explained.
"Up here you can see the acceleration and also the difference in speed, when they go 2-3-4 kilometres per hour faster or slower it is important. Of course there is some 'guessing' when you are out here, but later you can check it on the data."
Zeelenberg then described why the turn three area is a good place to analyse grand prix bikes.
"Rider by rider and bike by bike you are able to see a lot of things in this zone. First of all acceleration from turn two is quite special. It is a very tight corner, downhill, so you can hear that the way of shifting up is very short, 2-3-4 in a split second.
"When they short shift so fast it means they have good acceleration out of the corner. Very good drive. If they shift more slowly it means acceleration is not good enough, the momentum is not good enough.
"If they are on a hot qualifying lap, they accelerate from turn two and they nearly don't have to shut off for turn three. Nearly. You don't hear the engine slowing. They have a lot of grip with new tyres.
"Then the exit of turn three is uphill, which is important for making time.