Former Teams – New Frontiers

Two former teammates take to the track at Valencia testing with mixed results.

 

Jorge Lorezno, fresh from his win at Valencia, has hopped bikes and swapped team colors at the Valencia MotoGP Test. If the initial tests are anything to go off, Lorenzo’s transition to Ducati should be a smooth one.

The Speedy Spaniard stole 3rd place on day one – champion status notwithstanding, that is an impressive and commendable feat. It’s easy to forget that these riders live and breathe these machines. Probably almost as much as their rabid fans do. Countless hours of tweaking, tuning, and correcting to get the machine and rider to synchronize up in perfect unison. It’s alarming how quickly Lorenzo has seized a grip on his new Ducati.

“So I’m quite happy about his impression. The lap time could be better, but if we wanted a better lap time, for sure we have to work in a different way. Because we didn’t work on a proper set-up for him, but we selected a lot of materials, and so I’m quite happy about that.” – Gigi Dall’Igna, Ducati GM

On the flipside of the Yamaha/Ducati line, his former teammate struggled against different odds. Rossi gets to claim the honored title of being the only rider to go down during the test. Rossi crashed around halfway through them seven-hour test run. He held a dominant position at the top of the timesheets – a position he held hours after his wreck.

Rossi chalked the issue up to the team having to use the same tires from the race, but he’s not shy about speaking his mind regarding the new engine:

“We have just two front tyres soft, the tyre that we used in the race – but unfortunately we have to try to make more work on the new bike…. The engine is the first evolution of the engine, but sincerely speaking I expected a little bit more, we are not fantastic, I think we have to work still.”

– Valentino Rossi

As always, test races off-season should always be taken for what they really are: tests. Then again, such a beautiful symmetry in results prohibits me from abstaining to wax poetic.