Rossi clearly enjoyed today's perfect weather conditions and was able to successfully complete his testing schedule. The progress he made in terms of the setup and pinpointing the direction of the development for his YZR-M1 showed when he shattered his own record at the Sepang International Circuit with a 1m 59.401s lap, moving him up to third on the leader board. The Doctor used the remaining time of the session to test some more parts for the bike and did a race simulation, before finishing the day in fourth place.
Teammate Lorenzo also made strides today. Continuing his good rhythm of yesterday, he was quick right from the start of today's eight-hour session. Despite the crowdedness of having 27 riders on the track at the same time, he was able to focus on his pace and position himself as one of the key protagonists. As with his teammate, it only took him about half an hour into the session to beat his fastest ever lap at the Malaysian track when he posted a time of 1'59.624s. The Spaniard also concluded his testing schedule with a race simulation at the hottest time of the day and ended fifth in the standings.
This third day completes the first pre-season test in Sepang. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will analyse the gained data and come back to the Malaysian circuit for a second pre-season test in two weeks time.
Valentino Rossi- 4th / 1'59.401 / 49 laps
"Today I'm more satisfied. It was a good day and we did a good job, especially because we tested everything and we decided what we have to use to continue the development. I'm very happy because 1'59.4 is my best lap in Sepang in my whole career and I'm already 0.3 faster compared to last year. It's true that the conditions today are good, but also compared to yesterday we improved the setting of the bike a lot and also my pace is not so bad. We also tried a race simulation, but not with our performance at a hundred per cent. We tried some different parts for the bike, something good and something I didn't like. My pace in the simulation was quite good so the test was positive. The only negative thing was the speed of Marc and Dani. They are a little bit faster than us on a lap with a fresh tyre, but also in terms of pace. That means that, if we want to beat them, we have to keep working."
Jorge Lorenzo- 5th / 1'59.624 / 55 laps
In the morning we weren't very explosive to make a good lap time because the bike didn't stop so well on the brakes. We modified the set-up to improve the braking, but we didn't have any new tyres left to do a good lap time. I think we might not have been able to ride a 1'58, but maybe a low 1'59. The race simulation was interesting. We did one at the time of day when the temperature was the highest and our pace was very consistent. I think that if there was a race tomorrow, we could fight for the win, so this is positive. The bike improved a little compared to how it was at the Valencia test. I think we have a big thing to try at the second test at Sepang. Let's see if this is clearly better."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director -
"The bike has worked well here for the test and we now know the direction to develop for both riders, that was the main goal for this test. We conducted a race simulation with both riders which was not bad, even when the tyre dropped the performance was ok, better than last year's race. We still need to close the gap a little to our main competitors but so far the team and riders have worked well and done a good job. We have the information we were looking for and we will be back here in two weeks ready to start working with the new plan. We are confident that the next development step in two weeks will help to close the gap."
Tech3 duo successfully wrap up test at Sepang
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded the opening test of 2015 with a strong performance to complete the final day in sixth position at the Sepang International Circuit. He battled the tropical heat in Malaysia to post his best time of 1'59.851 in the morning and on his eighth lap when the temperature was cooler. The young Spaniard continued to run 50 laps in total, with his fastest time being more than a second quicker than his personal best from the opening day, as he fired a warning to his rivals for 2015. His efforts saw him finish as the top satellite bike and right behind the factory MotoGP riders as he successfully began the pre-season evaluative work on his Yamaha YZR-M1. The 23 year old rider now looks towards getting back on track in a fortnight's time fully optimistic and determined to plug the gap to the leaders further.
Meanwhile, Britain's Bradley Smith tirelessly rode 50 laps today to finish his first pre season test in a positive and constructive manner as he set the ball rolling for the 2015 season. The young British rider completed the final day with a best time of 2'00.384, which he set on the 26th lap, leaving him in ninth place and almost a second quicker than his qualifying effort from the Sepang Grand Prix event last year. This leap in performance, despite not being fully fit, highlights Smith's ambitions for the approaching season and now he looks towards the next Sepang test, full of confidence.
Pol Espargaro- 6th / 1'59.851 / 50 laps
"The last day has been a really good one. I'm happy because at the end we could complete a day positively which we are truly satisfied with. The first day was a good start, then yesterday we tried some different thing and had a few difficulties, which we needed to experience in order to understand the best direction to work towards. However to finish the test, today has been very strong and a great conclusion. I was fast, I felt great on the bike, everything went according to plan, the rhythm is truly promising and we found a strong setup. So I'm really enthusiastic about the work we have completed today and cannot wait for the next outing where we will look to improve further. Now, I am going to Thailand for a few days to visit Yamaha which is going to be fantastic and I can't wait to meet all of the people there."
Bradley Smith- 9th / 2'00.384 / 50 laps
"It's been a really productive and positive three days here in Sepang and a great way to open the 2015 season. I improved my time around seven tenths of a second every day which shows we are definitely heading in the right direction. Today we sampled a new swinging arm but the results were inconclusive so we will retest this part next time. We also tried some different front forks which gave me a good feeling that I am very happy about. My physical condition didn't get worse, so I remain optimistic that when we return here my ankle will be completely healed and I can really go for it. In addition, I am very pleased to have improved my personal best time around the Sepang circuit by half a second. It's been a great three days and I'm happy to be back on my bike. Next up, I head to Thailand for Yamaha which I am very much looking forward to."
Test Results - Day Three
1. Marc Marquez (SPA), Repsol Honda Team, 1:58.867
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA), Repsol Honda Team, 1:59.006
3. Andrea Iannone (ITA), Ducati Team, 1:59.388
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1:59.401
5. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA), Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1:59.624
6. Pol Espargaro (SPA), Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1:59.851
7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati Team, 1:59.874
8. Stefan Bradl (GER), Forward Racing Team, 2:00.294
9. Bradley Smith (GBR), Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 2:00.384
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA), Team Suzuki MotoGP, 2:00.486
19. Loris Baz, Forward Racing Team, 2:01.624