Yamaha explain Open M1 test refusal for Jorge Lorenzo

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Yamaha denied Jorge Lorenzo’s pre-season request to test an Open class spec YZR-M1 because it made no sense in letting the Spaniard evaluate a bike they had no intention of him racing.

MCN exclusively revealed earlier this month that the double MotoGP world champion had requested an Open-spec YZR-M1 test because he felt 24 litres and access to softer compound Bridgestone tyres would have boosted his bid to regain the title off Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo’s request came on the back of scintillating performances from Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, who was never outside the top four in three pre-season tests on the Open class YZR-M1.

Yamaha’s official works squad remained a Factory category entry, which means they are restricted to 20 litres, no in-season engine development and have no access to Bridgestone’s extra soft tyres.

And Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN “A lot of riders have been surprised about the performance of some of the Open bikes and from their perspective they have only one mission and that’s to win. But riders sometimes can look very much in the short term and they look at today because you can’t see the lap times of two months time. Logically they would challenge our decision and say ‘why don’t we try this?’

It is their job to push us. But the engineer’s job is to think ahead about strategy and understand what problems this might create. Having that soft tyre is a major advantage but can you really use it in the race? A lot more things need to be factored into a race result than just looking at test times. We decided on the Factory entry and we didn’t see any reason to change that strategy.”

Lorenzo made a nightmare start to his bid to claim back the MotoGP crown off Spanish rival Marc Marquez when he crashed out on the opening lap of last Sunday’s first race in Qatar.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt