Jorge Lorenzo leads the field after the second day of pre-season testing at Sepang, while team-mate Valentino Rossi could only manage sixth place.
Jorge Lorenzo made the most of the gained data from yesterday’s eight-hour testing session and, after getting a feel for today’s more slippery and bumpy track, he grew in confidence and picked up the pace to become the first rider to break the two-minute barrier with a 1min 59.963sec lap – a time no rider could match.
With the track still cool in the morning, team-mate Rossi took his time to further test set-ups with the aim to prolong tyre life. However, the Italian suffered with chronic chatter and could only post the sixth fastest time with a lap of 2min 00.676sec.
Lorenzo was satisfied with his efforts and believes the bike has the pace to be quicker tomorrow. He said: “1’59 is a good lap time. The other riders couldn’t do it because the track seems to be a bit more slippery and bumpy and that makes it more difficult to achieve good lap times. Our bike improved a lot over this last year and I feel ready both physically and mentally. All together, we’re in a good shape. In the first four hours in the morning I was quite comfortably riding 2’00’s. In the afternoon it seemed that the track condition was a bit worse and I couldn’t ride as many fast laps. The goal for tomorrow is to repeat the pace that I had today and maybe do even better.”
Rossi found the day harder going and admitted he had found it difficult to ride the bike. He said: “Today was more difficult for us. In the morning we had chattering of the bike in the corner, because we tried something different. The braking was not so bad, but the bike was very difficult to ride. There were hard vibrations with a high frequency. The morning was the right moment to ride good lap times. The conditions were right to push, but I couldn’t ride at 100 per cent. In the afternoon we modified the bike and we fixed the problem with front vibrations. My pace was not so bad but it was also nothing special. I’m not very happy with what we tried today. We have to continue tomorrow, try something else and continue in a good way.”