Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have been both team-mates and bitter rivals in the past, but the Spaniard's return to Yamaha as a test rider means the pair of multiple MotoGP champions are now very much 'on the same side'.

Following retirement from racing at the end of last year, Lorenzo has returned to the factory with which he spent nine seasons - seven of them alongside Rossi – and won all three of his premier-class titles.

Lorenzo made his debut as a test rider at the recent Sepang Shakedown and is now set to return for the final day of the Official test. It will be the first time Lorenzo and Rossi have ridden M1s together since Valencia 2016.

Rossi revealed the pair have already been speaking a lot this week about the Yamaha, the Italian surely also quizzing the #99 about the Ducati and Honda machines he rode from 2017-2019.

"I think tomorrow Jorge is on track," Rossi said. "We speak a lot these days with Jorge, we work together and he said a lot of interesting things about the bike. I think that tomorrow it's very important that he is on the track, because I think it can help us to improve the bike."

While Rossi will no doubt be watching Lorenzo's lap times with interest, another retired MotoGP rival was turning heads on day two of the test, when KTM test rider and 31-time premier-class winner Dani Pedrosa set the third fastest time lap on a new rear tyre.

"I saw Dani on the track and he is very fast," Rossi said. "Well, we know that Pedrosa is fast. But is looks like also the KTM improved but he did an impressive lap time at the end."

Rossi himself was tenth on the timesheet, but only 0.5s from fastest man Fabio Quartararo. The Petronas star, like Rossi and factory Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales, was using the 2020 Factory-Spec M1 today.

"It's unbelievable because everybody is very strong, very fast, as always," Rossi said of the close lap times. "We are not so far from the top.

"The second day was better than the first because we worked a lot on the new bike. We need some more kilometres, but today we found something good especially for the grip and the pace with the race tyre is positive.

"For me the bike has a better potential than last year. But we need to work because also the other manufacturers made steps and Suzuki, Ducati, Honda are all very strong. But looks like we are on a good direction.

"For me we need to work in the top speed in the straight, because we always suffer, but also we have some issue with grip, especially on the rear. The [new] chassis is to improve this, and also the 2020 tyres from Michelin are better.

"This is good, but unfortunately the tyre from Michelin are the same for everybody! So we made a step but also the other guys. But we are working in that direction especially to improve the degradation for the last part of the race."

Vinales was sixth quickest but tipped as having perhaps the strongest pace today.

 

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