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MotoGP: Lorenzo ups pace during seamless, 'hand brake' work

"For the rain maybe the new gearbox is a little worse, but for the dry you can brake more comfortably" - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo put a tough opening day at the second Sepang MotoGP test behind him to set the second fastest lap time on Tuesday.

In the process the Spaniard set put in further work with Yamaha's new gearbox, featuring seamless downshifts as well as upshifts, plus some more 'experiments' with a hand-operated rear brake lever.

“We compared a little more today between the old [gearbox] and the new one” Lorenzo confirmed. “There are some positives and negatives. For the rain maybe the new one is a little worse, but for the dry you can brake more comfortably. You can stop the bike more. But I think we can improve it in future.

“In the rain [on Monday] it was more aggressive when you shift down and are not completely straight [upright]. You have less grip [in the rain] and with this gearbox the bike moves more if you are not straight.”

Turning to the brake lever, placed next to the clutch on the left hand side of the handlebars, Lorenzo explained: “In China when I broke both ankles [in 2008] I lost a bit the sensibility and power especially on the right ankle. I can't brake so hard with the foot so we did this experiment but still I prefer without this [brake lever]. I also tried it in testing here last year.”

Lorenzo set 18 laps below 2m 1s on Tuesday with the new gearbox, including a 1m 59.9s. Honda's world champion Marc Marquez was the only other rider to break the two-minute barrier on Tuesday, finishing up just 0.058s quicker than Lorenzo with 17 laps under 2m 1s.

“I had much more energy today, because with the jet lag on the first day I couldn't sleep so much so I was tired. Also the track was very slippery so the settings from the other test didn't work,” Lorenzo said of his improved Tuesday form. “So it was a combination of three things: My riding, the setting and general energy.

“Tomorrow we don't have so many things to try. Maybe some settings and modify some electronics and also we have to try to control the mileage of the new gearbox. So I think I will do some more laps with the old gearbox and save the new one for the Qatar test.”

Team-mate Valentino Rossi was sixth fastest, 0.464s from Marquez, with four laps under 2m 1s.

Tagged as: Yamaha , Jorge Lorenzo

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