Jorge Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha boss Wilco Zeelenberg believes it will be a tough mission to repeat the Japanese factory’s stunning 1-2 in the season’s opening race in Qatar when the world championship resumes in Texas this weekend.
Lorenzo stormed to a brilliant win at the floodlit Losail International Circuit and Valentino Rossi’s thrilling surge from seventh to second made it a dream start for Yamaha to 2013.
Round two takes the paddock to the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin this weekend and the long and technical track saw Lorenzo and Rossi struggle during a private test recently that was dominated by Honda and in particular rookie sensation Marc Marquez.
The COTA track is dominated by low gear acceleration points, which played into the hands of the Marquez and Dani Pedrosa’s factory RC213V, with Honda’s engine and seamless shift gearbox easily outpacing Rossi and Lorenzo’s YZR-M1.
Yamaha did only ship one bike each to the Texas test for Rossi and Lorenzo and they did leave after the second of three scheduled days while HRC completed the full session.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s clash, which is one of three trips to America for the MotoGP class in 2013 ahead of Laguna Seca in July and Indianapolis in August, Zeelenberg told MCN: “We struggled a lot in Austin at the test and that is the next race and it will be very surprising if we are able to repeat the performance of Qatar there. Although we did struggle at Austin we didn't run our full package there with only one bike. The target was to learn the track.
It was very important to go there because the track is very difficult and even when we were slower than the others it helped us a lot to be there. But track-by-track each team will have issues and you need to live with that. You can’t just go mad and do crazy things. We had the better package in Qatar but Marc and Dani still finished third and fourth and stayed on the bike."
For full coverage of the inaugural Circuit of the Americas clash in Texas this weekend, see the April 24 issue of Motor Cycle News.