Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was Monday’s fastest rider at Phillip Island as the three-day tire safety test got underway.
The former MotoGP World Champion’s best time of 1’29.213 put him top of the pile though lap times and bike development are not the focus this week. The riders and teams are working on tire durability and have a specific schedule to follow over the 72 hours at the Australian venue.
Monday’s workload included set-up on control tires and short runs on a selection of six different new tires, some with new compounds, and others with new construction. Bridgestone aim to narrow down the selection of tires on Tuesday and Wednesday, with longer runs then being undertaken on the best performing options.
Lorenzo was struggling with the generic 2014 tire specification at Sepang last week and though the Phillip Island times are distinct due to the nature of this test he will nonetheless be pleased to be leading the way.
In second place on the timesheet was Cal Crutchlow, notching up 67 laps for Ducati in the wake of their decision on Friday to go ‘Open’ for 2014. Crutchlow was 0.363s off Lorenzo, but was tellingly four tenths faster than his fifth placed colleague Andrea Dovizioso – who missed the first hours of the test due to an overnight illness.
Valentino Rossi ended the day third, around half a second down on Lorenzo, with Dani Pedrosa in fourth at a 0.75s gap to the top time.
With injured World Champion Marc Marquez missing this test, those five aforementioned riders clocked up a total of 369 between them – providing plenty of data for Bridgestone.
Meanwhile for the Moto2 riders there is a slightly different approach being taken at the Island, with nine new Dunlop tire options to test and 10 laps required on each one over the course of Monday and Tuesday. The final day will then be about race distance on the narrowed down selection of rubber.
Despite also feeling under the weather title candidate Tito Rabat topped the Moto2 timesheet, just over 2.3s behind the MotoGP times and putting in 100 laps in total. Rabat’s compatriot Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) was second and almost a second down on the Marc VDS Racing man.
With Terol’s teammate Jordi Torres a further seven tenths down in fourth place on the Moto2 timesheet, Rabat’s colleague Mika Kallio was third.
Finnish rider Kallio suffered a Siberia highside and went for scans on his wrist, but was given the all clear to continue testing tomorrow.
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