Laverty and Melandri Happy After Phillip Island Test

wsbl_laverty_yamaha The Yamaha World Superbike team will have some new blood during the 2011 season. Yamaha signed Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri to the World Superbike team, and both riders enjoyed a great three days of testing at Phillip Island.

Laverty and Melandri spent their testing days trying out new parts on both the 2010 and 2011 YSF-R1 race bikes. By the end of the weekend, it looked like both riders had found a setup that they were happy about.

“I’m pretty pleased with the test. It’s a nice way to go into the winter break. In the three days we got a lot of laps done, the second day especially was a big breakthrough,” Laverty said. “So far we’ve had two one day tests so the second day here was where we really made the bike mine.”

Marco Melandri was also thankful to have three consecutive days of testing. Melandri improved throughout the weekend, slowly making modifications to the bike. Melandri also got a chance to ride in the wet on day three, which should give him valuable information for the upcoming season.

“It was quite challenging at first, working on the 2011 machine, but during the second day we started to find a way and then the third day we found a big improvement and a good pace for the race… The feeling is very good. I’m very happy. The track is a difficult track so we have done well and I think we can be very strong for the first race here next year.”

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of

2010 MotoGP Preview: Phillip Island

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of

motogp_phillipisland Jorge Lorenzo clinched the 2010 MotoGP championship last weekend, but that doesn’t mean that the action is over. Dani Pedrosa is returning to the MotoGP circuit after fracturing his collar bone, and he’ll have to defend his second place position from Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner.

“I’m looking forward to getting to Australia and finding out how I feel on the bike. I know it will be tough because Phillip Island is a very demanding track… but I really believe it’s time to come back with my team and try to return to the high level of performance we had before the crash in Japan… The championship is decided, but for us it’s still not over.”

Rossi has been struggling through injuries this season, but the Italian was finally back in form in Malaysia, capturing his first race win since the opening round in Qatar.

“I really want to try to finish the season strongly and I’m excited about getting to Phillip Island, which is one of the most fantastic places in the world to ride a motorcycle,” said Rossi. “I haven’t won there for a few years and I would really like to change that. It’s always special to go there because a lot of my team is Australian and the fans are great. I can’t wait!”

Rossi’s victory in Sepang put him ahead of Casey Stoner by one point. That could easily change this weekend as the Ducati man has found himself getting used to podium finishes.

Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Doviziozo, is also fighting for the second or third position in the MotoGP championship. Dovizioso is only one point behind Stoner, and two points behind Rossi.

The race for the championship may be over, but the battle for second has just begun.