The Yamaha Factory Racing Team rounded off their first test of 2007 in fine style today, with Valentino Rossi topping the unofficial time sheets after three days of testing. Both Rossi and his team-mate Colin Edwards made more positive progress with Yamaha’s new prototype 800cc machine and the team closed the test feeling confident about their level of performance at this stage of the season. Although they finished the day a little earlier than usual, both riders completed their full agenda of work, once again trying several new tyres for Michelin, with Rossi also concentrating on improving the balance of the bike when braking.


Rossi’s best time of 2’00.936 was set on a qualifying tyre and is close to his pole position time from last year’s Grand Prix, when he was riding the old 990cc machine. Close behind him was Suzuki’s John Hopkins with a time of 2’01.026, whilst Edwards, who did not use a qualifying tyre today, was eighth fastest with a lap of 2’02.266. Whilst most teams will now head directly to Phillip Island for another test, Yamaha Factory Racing have instead elected to return to Sepang in ten days time, with another three-day test on 5th, 6th and 7th February.



Position: 1st, Time: 2’00.936, Laps: 30

“Today was another good day for us. We concentrated a lot on braking and definitely made some improvements, although I think we can still make it even better and this is something we will work on when we come back here. We had an important technical meeting today and came to some interesting conclusions, which will help Yamaha’s engineers to continue to improve our new bike. We’ve got through our entire programme for this test, including testing many new tyres for Michelin. Today I also had the chance to try a qualifying tyre and I was able to go below 2.01; I think that Michelin have done a very good job over the winter. We tried the 16” tyre again and I am still sure that it’s good for us, although we still need more time to work on it with Michelin. Overall it’s been a very positive test for us. Most of the other teams will go to Phillip Island now, but we will return here in ten days with more new things to test. We still need to work on the engine, although for this early stage it’s very good. So far we have concentrated on power delivery, rather than on the power itself, but this only the first test of the year so there is plenty more time!”




Position: 8th, Time: 2’02.266, Laps: 22

“I’m heading home feeling really happy after three excellent day’s work. We didn’t do so much today, 22 laps, but it was enough to back up what we’ve learnt this week and finish feeling sure about everything. We changed direction with tyres a bit today and went towards the package Valentino’s been using and that definitely improved things even more; my fastest lap was on a race tyre similar to the one he’s been using quite a bit. We didn’t try a qualifier, but I really felt that I got into the ‘zone’ on the race tyre and that was when my best time came. We tried a new front and a new rear as well and they were both great, the tyre situation in general is really good. We played around a bit with the setting too and tested a few things Valentino’s been using, but actually I preferred my setting so we came back to that. So that’s it for the first test and it’s been really encouraging. A quick rest now and then we’ll be back for more!”




“We’ve finished this first test of 2007 with both riders and the team feeling good. Valentino and Colin shared a lot of information between one another and this is very important in this development period. The times are already very satisfying and this means that we’re working in the right direction, even if there’s still a lot of work to do! The final conclusion of this test is very positive but we need to keep working hard; we have clear ideas about what we need to do. We’re coming back here again soon and we will have new items to test, especially tyres, and we will be able to continue to fine-tune the set-up of the new 800. 10th March is getting closer and closer so we have to just keep on working!”

Unofficial Lap Times:

1. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Yamaha 2’00.936

2. John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki 2’01.026

3. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati 2’01.274

4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 2’01.664

5. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Suzuki 2’01.691

6. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki 2’01.878

7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda 2’01.884

8. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Yamaha 2’02.266

9. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati 2’02.407

10. Marco Melandri (ITA) Honda 2’02.489

11. Carlos Checa (SPA) Honda 2’02.583

12. Alex Barros (BRA) Ducati 2’02.630

13. Toni Elias (SPA) Honda 2’02.927

14. Alex Hoffman (GER) Ducati 2’03.040

15. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Honda 2’03.077

16. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Yamaha 2’03.308

17. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team KR 2’03.330

18. Olivier Jacque (FRA) Kawasaki 2’03.592

19. Shinichi Ito (JPN) Bridgestone Test 2’03.973

Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Yamaha Did not ride

Sepang Lap Record (990cc): Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2006 – 2’02.127

Sepang Best Lap (990cc): Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2006 – 2’00.605


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