Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com
Preparation for the 2011 season is beginning, and the two Fiat Yamaha riders got the chance to test out the 2011 prototypes of the M1. The session was cut short by rain, but both riders got the chance to test out next years bike. A new engine upgrade and a new suspension setting on the M1 let Jorge Lorenzo be the fastest rider on the track. Rossi spent most of the day working on his current bike, but was able to put a few laps on the new prototype as well.
Jorge Lorenzo: “We tried a new engine which seems a little bit more powerful in general, and it has more acceleration. We also tried the possible bike for next year, the chassis, and it’s still a prototype so we don’t know clearly yet what is better or worse on it.”
“This was an important and interesting test for us, both for the rest of the season and looking towards next year. We had a lot to do but unfortunately the rain forced us to stop early. As well as the ‘new’ prototype machine for next year we also tried an engine upgrade and a new Öhlins suspension, but it’s too early to know if they will be better for our M1, which is already very competitive. We got quite a lot of information though so hopefully it will help the engineers to improve things even more.”
Rossi won’t be riding for Yamaha next year, but his input is still vital to the Fiat Yamaha team.
Valentino Rossi: “I’m happier today because we worked hard to understand what happened during yesterday’s race and at the end we have a clearer picture. We worked a lot on the setting and we found out some things, which we hope will be useful over the rest of the season and help us to have some more good races. I tried a new engine for the 2010 bike and it’s not so different but there are some small things about it which I think can help; I hope we can use it soon.”
The M1 is bound to be one of the fastest bikes on the track next year, especially with Lorenzo and Ben Spies at the helm. But with Rossi joining Ducati, and going head to head with his former teammate, the M1 is sure to have a lot of competition.
“It’s big news and will be very interesting for next year,” Lorenzo said about Rossi switching to Ducati. “Ben seems like a good guy and very competitive so for sure it gives more motivation for next year.”