Valentino Rossi was disgruntled and Jorge Lorenzo refused to speak to the press at the end of Thursday’s test session at Sepang, with both citing tire problems for their frustrations.
Rossi explained that he was struggling to get the maximum from his Yamaha YZR-M1 with the new specification Bridgestone tires for Sepang2, having produced his best time at Sepang1 on 2013 rubber.
After finishing fourth and 0.566 off Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa’s pace on Thursday the Italian stated, “The main thing at this test is to adapt the M1 to work well with the new Bridgestone tires. We’ve worked a lot and tried many things but at the end of the day we are not very happy. I’m in fourth place and the lap time is quite good, but I’m half a second behind Pedrosa, but I’m also behind other guys.”
“We’re suffering because with this tire our bike becomes difficult to manage. Tomorrow we will try again but we don’t have much that we can do.”
Meanwhile, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg spoke to the media on behalf of a frustrated Lorenzo, who had ended the day ninth and over a second down on Pedrosa.
“Jorge is disappointed, so there is your quote and that is our problem,” Zeelenberg said. “We knew from the last test that we could struggle with this new tire but at that test we were able to use the tires from last season and we were much more competitive.”
Asked whether the problem was a major worry for Yamaha’s race competitiveness Zeelenberg added, “I cannot answer that because we are in Sepang and this tire does not work well for us here and at the Phillip Island test we’ll see how it is for us there, then Qatar is again another situation.”Jorge Lorenzo, MotoGP, Valentino Rossi