Motorcycling - Lorenzo's Austin warning as Marquez sets pace

MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo believes Yamaha and Honda's rivals will rue not joining them for their private Austin test given how hard it is to master the track.

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Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo of Spain (Reuters)

The factory Hondas and Yamahas, plus LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl, are testing at MotoGP's new American venue this week.

After Tuesday's opening day of running, Lorenzo said he liked the Circuit of the Americas layout but was very relieved to have extra time to learn it.

"I think it's very important to come here and learn the track," he said. "I haven't learnt 100 per cent 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 by three seconds from the first lap.

"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."

Honda's Dani Pedrosa reckons Austin is unlike anything else on the MotoGP calendar.

"It is a new circuit, and a very different one at that," he said.

"The track has a lot of tight corners - above all Turn 1 – but there are also flowing chicanes and some long straights. The pace and direction changes from section to section, which is a little strange at first."

Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi is also a fan of the venue, although he believes some elements are more suitable for Formula 1.

"It's very flowing with a lot of fast corners and a lot of change of direction; it is fun on the bike!" said Rossi.

"There are three hairpins that are very tight; this is better for Formula 1 overtaking, but for us they are a bit slow."

Marc Marquez set the pace on the first day of the test.

Marquez was fastest for most of the day, eventually getting down to a 2m04.619s lap that put him four tenths of a second clear of Honda team-mate Pedrosa.

The Yamahas trailed the Hondas at first, before Lorenzo managed to put in a 2m05.291s.

Rossi was 1.3s slower, behind Bradl.

Lorenzo admitted that Yamaha was still trying to get its bike set up correctly for Austin.

"We're getting used to the track but also trying to solve a problem at maximum lean where we don't have full confidence," he said.

"We have to change the setting a bit to make it better."

The test is scheduled to run for three days, but Yamaha could head home after Wednesday if it feels its programme is complete.

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