|COTA certainly has a few elevation changes…
Photo: Yamaha Racing
Yamaha’s MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have both made positive comments about the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas at which they began a three-day private test today. The circuit was recently opened and hosted a formula one race for the first time in 2012, MotoGP are scheduled to race at the track for the second round of the season on 21st April. Honda’s two factory riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez are also at the track, as is factory-supported Honda man Stefan Bradl. The Attack CRT bike that will wildcard in the American rounds is also being tested by Blake Young.
Lorenzo, who posted a time of 2:07.388 in his day learning the track said: “I think it’s very important to come here and learn the track. I haven’t learnt 100% of it, I need more laps to learn my lines, but for the moment it’s a very beautiful track which is very complete with every kind of corner. In the beginning it was difficult to understand the lines but I have improved 22 seconds from the first lap today, that means it’s a hard track to learn and a difficult track to go to the maximum on. I think it helps more than some other places to have this extra time. I think three or four practices before the race will not be enough to understand it so some of the riders who didn’t come here will have a little disadvantage.
The wind has been a little bit of a problem, especially on the longer straight where you arrive over 340kmhr, you feel a lot of unstable feelings. Almost all the track is tricky, there’s some very hard braking and also tight hairpins. The first sector is flowing but it is very hard to find a good line because it’s blind. We’re getting used to the track but also trying to solve a problem at maximum lean where we don’t have full confidence. We have to change the setting a bit to make it better. The tarmac is not perfect with only four bikes on it to clean it so it’s difficult to understand if it’s very grippy or not. It’s hard to know if it will be much better at the race weekend or just a little bit.”
The city is great, the atmosphere is very good so I think it is a very good place for a race. Its very important to have this time as the track is so difficult, the are a lot of blind corners where you have to understand where to brake. We will continue to work on the line to understand the track and also to increase the rear grip on the bike as we suffer in acceleration. The first feeling is positive. It’s important for MotoGP to have a third race in America, we have a lot of good riders from the USA so it’s right to be here.”
2 – Dani Pedrosa (HRC – Honda) – 2:06.140
3 – Stefan Bradl (LCR – Honda) – 2:07.307
4 – Jorge Lorenzo (YFR – YAMAHA) – 2:07.388
5 – Valentino Rossi (YFR – YAMAHA) – 2:07.924