WorldSBK Reports; Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK team-mates Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark had a busy two opening days on track this week, as the pair tested many parts of the new spec YZF-R1 machines.Undergoing extensive work on the modified machines, the team continue to understand the new bikes as well as building a strong team spirit to take into the impending season. After they worked through the initial upgrades and changes, Lowes and van der Mark then went their own ways in order to begin to feel comfortable heading into the season.
British rider Lowes focused heavily on the electronic development on day one, before switching to chassis set-up on the second and final day. Corner entry and front fork set-up were key parts of the British riders test plan, as well as being able to complete a full race simulation.
“The team have been working really hard; the bike is quite a lot different from November so I feel really good,” Lowes explained “A couple of the main changes are the riding position, and some of the changes you can’t see, like the electronics that I feel a bit more comfortable with. My first couple of laps felt nice on the bike, and when you go out of pit lane and feel nice on the bike it’s obviously a big benefit. I want to have a bit more confidence on acceleration out of the corners – I still feel like it’s an area where I can improve, so we’ll be working on that.”
New recruit to the team van der Mark spent the Jerez test focusing on his chassis and fully understanding the feeling with his YZR-R1; before modifying the electronics on the second day as he completed 145 laps around the Spanish circuit.“I didn’t know what to expect, I’ve seen the bike on track and I’ve always seen that the handling was really good. “Exclaims the Dutchman”, Compared to the other bike the handling is a big improvement for me and the bike is really stable, I just need to be able to change my style. The R1 doesn’t really like to be pushed on the limit; I need to be smoother which is one of the things I need to change.”