Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies Wrap up Successful Test at Sepang

Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies wrap up a successful test at Sepang Today saw the final session of the first official MotoGP test of 2011 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the three days on track evaluating a number of development steps for the 2011 YZR-M1 ahead of the new race season which kicks off next month. Lorenzo's session focused on a series of shorter runs as he continued evaluating the various developments, impressing his team as he maintained a faster pace through the afternoon despite the increased track temperatures. The reigning World Champion finished the day in third position, just 0.088 seconds off the top of the time sheets. New factory rider Spies was again among the fastest riders on track for the majority of the day whilst working through various electronic settings on his bike. This test also marks the first time the Texan rider's complete crew have worked together.

The riders will now travel to Bangkok for public appearance in the city on Saturday 5th of February, then heading home for a rest in advance of the second official test here at Sepang on the 22nd February.

Jorge Lorenzo - 3rd, 46 laps 2'00.811
"I'm very happy after the three days, it has been one of the best winter tests, normally we have more issues to feel good. The bike feels better but we still need to improve some points. I think the next test will see us take the next step. This afternoon when it was really hot on the track I still managed to put in a few fast laps which has given me the confidence that we are heading in a good direction. Ben is doing a very good job, I spoke with him yesterday and we discussed many things about the bike, he's a good team mate."

Ben Spies - 5th 60 laps 2'01.002
"For the second and third day we did very consistent times so I'm very happy with it, it shows the consistency of the bike. There are some things we still need to work on. We tested two configurations of engine and we know which direction we want to go in now which is great. We also worked on some electronics for fuel consumption without compromising lap times and we found a good solution for that as well. We'll come back with some different goals in two weeks to look at being a bit faster and also test some different tyres. We've definitely done what we needed to do here. It's been good riding alongside Jorge, we've both worked hard to deliver important information which the team can now take away and work with."

Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"Jorge feels quite comfortable on the bike. He's got more patience this year and has taken a very considered approach to the test. I'm happy that we've completed a successful test with both riders on good form having blown off their cobwebs. We have enough data to decide which direction we have to go in now for our next visit here which was our first priority. We've seen it's very competitive over the last couple of days with more riders than last year able to compete for the podium so I think it's going to be a very exciting season."

Massimo Meregalli - Team Director
"A good final day for Ben today, again he was straight up to a good pace which he was consistent with over the session. This was the first opportunity for all of Ben's crew to work together, I am very satisfied to see there were no problems and they fit together well. Overall as a team we are pleased with this Sepang test, everyone has worked hard to ensure that on both sides of the garage we have tested everything we needed to. We can now go away and prepare for our next session here later in the month where we are confident we will make another step forward in our development for the 2011 bike to be ready for the start of the season."

Positive start to 2011 for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team concluded a successful start to preparations for the 2011 MotoGP world championship today with Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow satisfied with significant progress made at the end of a three-day test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Experienced American Edwards took full advantage of dry conditions throughout the test to evaluate a host of new upgrades on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine. The 36-year-old completed 125 laps, working closely with his crew to assess a revised engine, chassis and electronics package he will campaign in 2011.

Edwards ended with a best time of 2.01.651 to finish ninth overall, the Sepang test highlighting just how competitive the 2011 World Championship is likely to be with the top ten riders split by just over one second.

Crutchlow was also buoyed by his hugely encouraging performance, the British rider clocking a best time of 2.02.717 to finish 17th on the final timesheets in what turned out to be a productive second test with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.

Crutchlow was able to quickly master the long and technical Sepang circuit he'd never seen before and he overcame constant discomfort in his left shoulder following pre-Christmas surgery to expertly build up his confidence and speed with his YZR-M1 machine.

Crutchlow made a brilliant recovery from a high-speed crash on the second afternoon to knock nearly 1.3s off his time from the first day, as he completed 127 laps by the time the test reached its climax. Edwards and Crutchlow will back on track at Sepang on February 22 for the second of three pre-season tests ahead of the first race in Qatar on March 20.

Colin Edwards - 9th, 2.01.651
"It was good to get back to work with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I am really happy with the development that Yamaha has done on the bike for 2011. It has improved in every area and it was great to get back up to speed so quickly and post consistent and competitive lap times on each day. The engine is a big improvement in terms of power and the chassis helps me turn much better than I could before, so in all aspects I am happy and confident that I can have a strong season. Looking at the field there is some unbelievable talent but I feel really motivated to repeat some of the strong results I had in 2009. It is not going to be an easy task but I am sure with the help of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team it is not unrealistic to fight for the top six. I'm looking forward to being back on the back again later this month so we can fine-tune the package ahead of the first race."

Cal Crutchlow - 17th – 2.02.717
"I am happy with the test because I am still learning so much but I was able to run a consistent pace and drop my lap times on each day. I'm on a big learning curve and I wasn't looking for pure speed. I'd never ridden at this track before and it is certainly a tough place to learn quickly. All the other guys have done millions of laps around here and I just need to build up my experience. I've got to improve in every area but I'm happy and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team are happy too. My times are in the ballpark of those set in last year's race and that's pleasing considering everything is still so new for me and I wasn't in peak physical condition because of my shoulder. I need to improve in the braking area and also step up my pace on t he hard Bridgestone tyre, but I feel I'm getting more comfortable with the bike. I've been looking at loads of data and when we return later this month I'll continue trying to adapt my style. I'm still riding the bike too much like a superbike, but I'm pleased that I'm progressing and getting faster."