Day three of the second and final testing at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia concluded with Yamaha Factory rider Valentino Rossi sharing fastest time of 1’59.999, alongside Dani Pedrosa of the Repsol Honda team.
“First of all I am very happy because I am in first position and I did a good lap,” said Rossi. “I was one of the only ones in the 1’59s which is positive, especially because with the 2014 tires in the first test we tried a time attack and I was more than one second slower than today. This test we have always been at the top and fighting for the first position so it’s positive. The next test in Philip Island will be very important.”
Pedrosa did a race simulation run of 19 laps and worked on various settings and engine mappings on his RC213V machine. He then took the time to rest before returning on track for a time attack, recording his fastest lap of the week. He completed a total of 41 laps on day three, taking his total for the second test to 145.
Rossi’s Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo made changes toward finding a solution to his problems with the new Bridgestone tires but was still struggling. He was less than satisfied overall with the grip levels but was able to step a little closer to the front than yesterday, wrapping up in seventh, just over 0.6 of a second from Rossi and Pedrosa in first.
“We found a better solution today to improve our situation and adapt these tires at this track,” said Lorenzo. “The tires are much harder in the sidewalls. At this track, with this tarmac that is very slippery, it’s not the same as Phillip Island or Mugello for example, it’s impossible for us to be competitive. This tire is much worse for Yamaha and better for Honda. Our bike is competitive, at a similar level to the competitors but with the tire we have problems.” Lorenzo also said, “We tried a simulation today and it was worse and worse every lap. In the edge there is a problem with no grip but also when you pick up the bike it spins. You can improve the feeling a little to get more grip but when the tire starts to drop the problems get worse and worse.”
Next stop will be a return to Phillip Island in Australia for further testing before the season kicks off under the floodlights of Qatar on 20th March