4 February 2015
Sepang MotoGP Test: Yamaha 'much better than last year' says Lorenzo
'It's a completely different story from last year, when we had a lot of problems' - Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo cut a much happier figure at Sepang compared to his mood at the corresponding MotoGP test last year, with the double premier class champion trumpeting the performance of his Movistar Yamaha M1.
Lorenzo ended the opening day of the test with the third fastest time behind Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and team-mate Valentino Rossi, setting a best lap in 2m 00.521s to finish 0.259s behind reigning champion Marquez.
And the Spaniard was clearly impressed with his 2015-spec factory Yamaha, admitting he felt 'comfortable' on the bike from the off.
“It's a completely different story from last year, when we had a lot of problems, to now arrive here and feel comfortable on the bike and also with our position in the classification lap time-wise,” said Lorenzo.
“This year we've been at the front from the beginning, in first three positions, and that means that the bike is working. My physical condition is very good. I feel strong, but the first day is always difficult.
“You have to use different muscles that you don't usually use at the gym or during your preparations, so you always get tired. However, compared to the normal pre-season I'm feeling well,” added Lorenzo, whose time was only 0.141s down on Rossi's quickest lap,
“Sepang is not our best track, but to have two Yamahas in the top three is a good signal.”
A key area for Lorenzo is making gains on braking without compromising the Yamaha's corner speed, although he was reluctant to speculate on whether or not the introduction of seamless downshift technology would prove the answer.
“[We need] more stability on the solid braking, for example we take 200m and try to reduce it to 180m. In theory, we wouldn't have to [sacrifice corner speed to make gains in braking]. But sometimes when you try new things on the bike you gain in some areas and lose in others, but hopefully we can keep the corner speed and improve the braking," said Lorenzo.
“I am not a dreamer, I want to try and then to feel [the seamless downshift gearbox]. I am happy because Yamaha is working but until you try you don't know.
“It's impossible to be the best in braking, in corner speed and in acceleration. But I think my riding has been improving and to ride this bike when I am physically in my best shape and good mentally I thin is very effective.
“In 2011, 2012 I trained really hard also and maybe I was one kilo up than [I weigh] now and now I am similar to 2008 – when I arrived in MotoGP from 250 I was very light and now I am the same," he added. “[I have] different trainers and a different way of training and maybe I am a little bit better."
Lorenzo is buoyed by the strength of the Yamaha at this early stage in the season, but he is also quick to point out that Honda and in particular Marquez are strong also.
"[Marc] Marquez is very quick, he is very talented – like Casey [Stoner]. Marquez is the same, very fast, very fit and very explosive on one lap," he said. "And the Honda is very fast, the Honda is working also."
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