Locatelli ‘understood a lot’ with Jerez test, expects another ‘big step’

Andrea Locatelli says Yamaha are in the perfect position to make significant improvements for the 2024 WorldSBK campaign.
Andrea Locatelli, Yamaha WorldSBK Jerez 2023
Andrea Locatelli, Yamaha WorldSBK Jerez 2023

Locatelli set the fastest time of the two-day Jerez test for Yamaha, while working together with new team-mate Jonathan Rea for the first time. 

The Italian also matched Remy Gardner’s time from the post-season test where most factory teams and riders took part. 

“I’m so happy about these two days of testing at Jerez because, in the past, it’s been a little bit difficult for me to do a really good job here,” said Locatelli. 

“I think we found a really good base setup and I had a really good feeling on the bike. I was fast in all conditions and the whole day, so this was really important. 

“We were happy about the lap time and the rhythm. I think it’s one of the best tests we’ve done, especially because we’re at Jerez and the feeling I had after the round wasn’t amazing, but we improved it a lot. We understood a lot during these two days.”

Locatelli, who like most of the grid will test again before the season-opener in Phillip Island, believes the weak points of the R1 are getting closer to being resolved. 

Locatelli added: “Comparing the bike, we changed different parts of the bike and I think we found a good solution. 

“I think it’s only the first two days with some new parts so it’s difficult to say if it’s much better or not, so we have to test them a little bit more. 

“We have more days in January before Phillip Island. The best things were to confirm the base setup, the good feeling on the bike and then we got a lot of data to consider and to work for on the Yamaha stuff, especially during December, to maybe prepare something new or better or maybe we change which way we go to improve the bike and to make another big step. 

“We tried to work a little bit on acceleration because sometimes this is a strange point for us. Sometimes we have a lot of spin, but I think we can bring something good to improve in this area.”

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