News 26 Jun 2009

MotoGP: Yamaha runners on pace in Assen Thursday practice

Yamaha Racing: The Silence of the Lambs

Grace Is Gone dvd

Dane Cook: Vicious Circle movie

The sun shone in Assen today as the 61st Dutch TT got underway, the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who jointly lead the championship with Casey Stoner and who both have impressive track records here, started the weekend off in strong fashion, finishing the day second and fourth respectively.

Following the excitement of the race in Barcelona there is an air of expectation surrounding the pair and they were indeed fast from the outset, remaining near or at the top of the standings throughout the hour-long session as they looked to refine their base set-ups around the 4.555km ‘Cathedral’. With temperatures in the mid-twenties conditions were perfect and both riders were happy with their progress through the opening practice, though Lorenzo lacked a little rear grip and will be looking to make an improvement in this area tomorrow morning in time for qualifying in the afternoon. Fastest man on track today was Randy de Puniet but Rossi was only 0.005 seconds off the Frenchman, with Lorenzo in turn just over two tenths off the front.

Valentino Rossi – Position: 2ndTime: 1’37.847Laps: 27

“I’m happy about today’s practice because I was fast from the start and I could ride the bike how I want. This is very important because it means that the modifications we made in Barcelona are working here too, even though this is a different type of track. Now we have one or two small things to fix in order to improve our overall performance and lap time further. Anyway, we’re there, second by just a tiny bit and feeling good. It seems there is a doubt for the weather on Saturday which is a pity; of course I hope it’s dry but if it’s going to be a wet race then I hope we have the chance for one or two wet laps before the race in warm-up otherwise it will be quite hard.”

Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 4thTime: 1’38.061Laps: 26

“Today wasn’t perfect but we were still quite fast and I am happy enough. It hasn’t been like Barcelona but anyway all the top riders are very close and we are only two tenths behind the lead. I expect tomorrow, with the riders all close like this, times will get even quicker so we need to check a few things and make some small improvements to our setting. Everyone seems to be expecting another race like we had in Barcelona but I don’t think this is something that can happen every time! We just have to keep focused and do our best, and hopefully keep our target of getting on the podium again on Saturday.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“We made a good start today and Valentino was at the top throughout the session which is always a good sign! We tried the different tyres we have available from Bridgestone and also played around with the setting a bit in order to better suit it to the nature of this track, which is very different to the last couple we have been to. We’ve collected some good information and tomorrow morning we will start to put it all together to find the best package.”

Daniele Romagnoli – Team Manager

“We started the session using the base we developed during the Barcelona test, with just a few adaptations to suit the Assen layout. We have quite a good pace but we need to work on improving the rear grip tomorrow because at the moment Jorge has a few problems going into the turn and also in acceleration. We will have a look at the data and tomorrow try a few new things.”

Positive start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Assen

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team enjoyed an encouraging start to the Dutch GP at the historic Assen circuit, Colin Edwards and James Toseland lapping within half-a-second of the quickest time in today’s practice session.

Using a longer wheelbase setting on his YZR-M1 machine for the first time since pre-season testing, Edwards started his quest for a second successive podium in Holland with the seventh best time.

The Texan, who topped the timesheets for part of the 60-minute session, ended with a fastest time of 1.38.205 to finish just 0.363s away from Randy de Puniet’s best pace.

British rider Toseland had arguably his best opening day of the 2009 campaign. The Assen World Superbike race winner instantly benefited from a radically revised set-up on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 after lengthy consultations with Fiat Yamaha Team Director Masahiko Nakajima after the last race in Catalunya.

Toseland was immediately able to find a fast pace running a softer rear shock spring and revised footpeg, handlebar and seat positions. Less than 20 minutes had elapsed when the 28-year surged into the top three, with only Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa faster.

He was easily able to maintain a place in the top six until a typically frantic conclusion to the session, though Toseland was just 0.537s away from the best time in ninth.
Colin Edwards 7th 1.38.205 – 27 laps

“It was a reasonable day without being spectacular. I’ve gone back to a longer wheelbase setting I haven’t run since winter testing and it’s similar to what Valentino (Rossi) and Jorge (Lorenzo) have been running. There are some advantages and some disadvantages but I’ve still got a small issue on the front like I had during the last race in Catalunya. I’m not able to turn into the corner as quickly as I’d like, and it feels like I’m waiting on the front before I can go through the corner. But the longer wheelbase has made it probably the best bike I’ve ever been on for the last part of this track. It’s so stable in the fast sections and I’m able to make up a lot of time, so there’s some good and some bad with it. We’ve just got to make some adjustments to make the bike turn a bit better and I feel confident that I can be pushing for another podium here. I love this track and have had some good results and would love to give Monster Yamaha Tech 3 a rostrum for all the h ard work everybody is putting in. That would be a massive confidence boost for me too with Laguna Seca coming up.”

James Toseland 9th 1.38.379 – 26 laps

“It was good today and I enjoyed it out there. I know this track very well and that makes a massive difference when you come to a familiar track. All my knowledge of this place means I’m not thinking about where I need to be and I can just concentrate on the bike. I’m not too worried about being in ninth because the times are so close and I’m only half-a-second off first. I’m just pleased that I’m close to the front on the first day rather than being 1.1 or 1.2s off. My bike was a lot different today and we’ve moved more weight to the back. My bike has been set-up for a lot of grip, but as soon as the race tyre started to wear, I struggled and it’s amazing how sensitive these bikes are to weight. We’ve gone a lot softer on the rear spring to get more load on the rear and I’ve got the grip and the drive now. I’d like to thank Mr Nakajima from Yamaha. I had a meeting with him on Sunday night in Barcelona and he has been in my garage all through that session giving me some help and I really appreciate his effort. This new setting feels quite a bit different because we’ve changed footpeg and handlebar position too, and while it doesn’t feel as comfortable as my old setting, I’m definitely going round the track quicker and that’s the main thing.”