Yamaha confident it is catching Honda

The Yamaha riders were optimistic that they had narrowed the gap to Honda in tonight's MotoGP test at Losail, even though the timesheets still saw a Honda one-two-three at the end of the night

Yamaha confident it is catching Honda

Reigning champion team Yamaha had been off Honda's pace at the previous two tests at Sepang, amid complaints from the riders about a lack of engine power.

But the team was optimistic that at a track with cooler conditions it would prove more competitive, and though Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo were fourth and fifth today, behind three Hondas, the American was within 0.292 seconds of the pace.

"We made the bike go in a pretty good direction today and hopefully we can get a little bit more out of it," said Spies. "We want to try another tyre tomorrow that we haven't used yet, all in all it's been a good first session.

"The bike seems to be closer to the front than Malaysia and I've got pretty good expectations after the first day. The track is a lot more flowing here which suits our bike well; I think this should be a good track for us."

Lorenzo agreed that progress had been made.

"We tried a few different things on some corners today to try to make the bike more stable when I open the throttle; in almost all the gears we have done a good job," he said.

"It seems we are closer to the Honda guys than in Sepang so I'm happy. We are going to continue and try a few different things tomorrow to try and find some more grip as well."

Team boss Wilco Zeelenberg shared his riders' optimism and was pleased that Losail looked like being a stronger track for Yamaha.

"Our first test day and I'm satisfied with the results," he said. "Jorge did 60 laps and made the difference much smaller than Sepang. As we suspected when the temperatures are a bit colder we get a benefit.

"We did a small long run and the pace was good, a little bit slower than last year's race pace so the track needs to be a bit cleaner. We confirmed everything we needed to test so everything is under control so far."

shares
comments
Pedrosa leads first night of Qatar test

Previous article

Pedrosa leads first night of Qatar test

Next article

Rossi: Ducati looking stronger in Qatar

Rossi: Ducati looking stronger in Qatar
Load comments
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021