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Old 02-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #1
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Rossi and Lorenzo make strong start at Sepang

No seamlessshift gearbox as of yet for Movistar Yamaha riders

MOVISTAR Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have made a strong start to the first day of the Sepang test finishing second and third respectively behind Marc Marquez.

Rossi came prepared to the pre-season Official IRTA test at Sepang with a special helmet eager to get back on-board his YZR-M1. The Italian completed 57 laps of the 5.543km circuit by the end of the day after battling with his team-mate Lorenzo and rivals Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa and Marquez for the quickest time.

After around three hours into the session, Rossi hit the top of the timesheet with an impressive time of 2:00.380s, 0.9s quicker than last year's fastest pre-season test time. However, it wasn't long before main rival Marquez pushed Rossi down to second.

"It’s a positive first day and I’m very excited to be back on the bike," said Rossi.

"Today has been really good because I was consistently fast in both the morning and afternoon. We worked a lot on trying to improve our pace with a used tyre, but it’s already quite good.

"The bike is good and with the new tyre we were able to attack and ride a good lap time. At the end I was in second place just behind Marquez, but not by far. It looks like the bike has improved in different areas.

"We still have a lot of work to do but the first day was ok."

Lorenzo was also riding a similar YZR-M1 machine to the prototypes test at Valencia at the end of the 2014 season. The Spaniard slotted in behind his team-mate after three hours just 0.141s behind with a time of 2:00.521s.

"It’s a completely different story from last year, when we had a lot of problems, to now arrive here and feel comfortable on the bike and also with our position in the classification lap time-wise," explained Lorenzo.

"This year we’ve been at the front from the beginning, in first three positions, and that means that the bike is working. My physical condition is very good. I feel strong, but the first day is always difficult.

"You have to use different muscles that you don’t usually use at the gym or during your preparations, so you always get tired. However, compared to the normal pre-season I’m feeling well.

"Sepang is not our best track, but to have two Yamaha's in the top three is a good signal.”

Both Rossi and Lorenzo used the afternoon to improve their set-ups, but their times remained unchanged. They're also having to wait to try the new full seamless-shift gearbox which won't be completed or perfected for another couple of weeks.

Movistar Yamaha's Team Director Massimo Meregalli concluded: "It’s great to be back on track and working towards the start of the season in the best possible way. Both Valentino and Jorge are in great physical shape and fully motivated, it is as if they never stopped riding!"

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MotoGP Valencia test times - day three
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