Jorge Lorenzo ended his 2009 MotoGP campaign on a high when the Spaniard topped the timesheets on the second day of testing in Valencia today.
Continuing to assess a new chassis on his Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1, the 22-year-old clocked a best time of 1.31.939 to beat Casey Stoner’s factory Ducati by 0.256s.
Lorenzo, who finished second behind Rossi in this year’s world championship, also tried revised electronic settings and a new Bridgestone rear tyre in his 62-laps. The double world 250GP champion said: “I am happy that we are so competitive here with this new version of the bike. I was able to do some very fast laps and it feels good to be the fastest on the last day of the season.
"There is a long time now until the next text and it is good for me mentally to know that I was fast today. We have worked on some electronics and the suspension, and we have compared the new chassis to the old one and taken a lot of important information for our engineers.
"I am so happy about my season, I've won three races, taken many podiums and finished second in the championship. I think this is a great achievement by us and now I would like to wish everyone a good holiday to recover so we all come back in February at the maximum ready to work again!"
Aussie Stoner continued to put in vital development miles on Ducati’s new Big Bang motor as he logged a best time of 1.32.195. Rossi also carried on his evaluation of Yamaha’s new chassis on his way to setting the third fastest time. The 30-year-old ran 55 laps today and completed a best time 1.32.528.
The reigning world champion said: “I am happy about what we have so far with the new evolution of the bike, because it's already faster and already feels better than the old one. The throttle is easier to open and I think that Yamaha has done a good job so far.
"We were quite fast today and I'm happy about the work we have done over these two days. I think that we have given our engineers plenty to work on over the winter and I am looking forward to the next updates in February. It's good to finally finish work and now we have some months to relax and recharge the batteries ahead of next year, which for sure is going to be a big, big fight!"
Performance of the day though undeniably went to hugely impressive Texan Ben Spies. The reigning World Superbike champion was in brilliant form in improved conditions, with strong winds that struck last weekend’s Valencia GP easing off today.
Spies occupied third place on the timesheets for the majority of the day and he ended up trailing Rossi by just 0.414s. He ended with a best time of 1.32.942 – 1.1s faster than his best race lap – to finish ahead of fellow American Nicky Hayden and factory Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
Hayden was fifth quickest with Pedrosa in a lowly sixth as he continued to test Ohlins suspension and a new RC212V chassis and swingarm. Hector Barbera was quickest of the newcomers today, the Spaniard logging a best time of 1.34.206 on the Aspar Ducati.
He completed a mammoth 100 laps to finish ahead of fellow 250GP graduates Marco Simoncelli, Alvaro Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama. American Colin Edwards missed today’s action after he was struck down by a virus that left him bedridden in his motorhome. Rossi, Lorenzo and Spies all finished testing today, though the rest of the field will remain for a further half day tomorrow.