MOTOGP: Lorenzo Picks Up Where He Left Off; Leads Day One of Preseason Test in Qatar

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LOSAIL, Qatar – official report — Yamaha photo —

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team flexed its muscle once more on the YZR-M1 Wednesday, as Jorge Lorenzo paced testing at Losail Int’l Circuit ahead of the start of the FIM MotoGP World Championship.

Lorenzo wasn‘t shy to get busy and continued the progress he made during the preseason. He took over the top spot in the rankings and went on to become the first rider to breach into the one-minute, 55-second mark. The Spaniard continued to prove how well the YZR-M1 performs with the new Michelin tires when he set a best lap of the day of 1:55.452, nearly half a second ahead of the rest of the field.

“I think we made a good start to the Qatar test,” Lorenzo said. “I have a good feeling, especially with all the tires. We still need to improve the electronics, but to be one of the fastest ones on the first day is a good beginning. The feeling with the tires is much better compared to (the test at) Phillip Island, the weather is better and the combination of this track, the bike and Michelin is similar to Sepang. Let‘s see how the performance will develop (Thursday).”

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales ended up second-quick with a lap of 1:55.880, while Valentino Rossi made it two Movistar Yamahas in the top three with his time of 1:55.894. Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Octo Pramac Racing’s Scott Redding rounded out the top five.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, a two time series champion, was 10th with a lap of 1:56.523.

“We knew before coming to Qatar that this circuit is one of the toughest on the calendar for us, and this year we are finding things a bit tough on the kind of corners that you encounter here,” Marquez said. “We are far from where we’d like to be, but the positive thing is that this is still only testing. Even though in Australia things went very well, here we have the opportunity to try many different things. In the remaining days, we will try some more things out to understand which direction we need to go to improve.

“We have been working a little on everything and where I feel best is when braking and entering the corners. We have work to do on cornering and on corner exits, because that is where we are losing a lot of time and at a circuit like this it makes it very hard on the straights.”

MotoGP Communications and Movistar Yamaha contributed to this report.

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