MotoGP bikes have taken to the track here in Texas, where the weather is sunny and warm.
Honda dominated the timesheets on day one of this test with Yamaha's Lorenzo able to notch the third-fastest time late in the day and break up what might have been a Honda 1-2-3. Earlier in the day Lorenzo said that this is a track that suits the Honda's ability to accelerate hard from slow speed over and over again where the Yamaha likes a flowing "classic" circuit where the bike stays on the side of the tire for long periods.
After being taken around the COTA facility last night by former Team Roberts Yamaha/Honda team manager Chuck Aksland, I find the COTA facility difficult to describe. It is the most complex modern racetrack I've seen. From the steep hill of turn one to the flowing first section followed by a near dizzying number of decreasing radius and off-camber bends, COTA, at times reminds me, slightly, of the run to turn six at Elkhart, a less dramatic Corkscrew at Laguna, a little bit of Miller Motorsports Park and even slightly of Monza. It is a hugely unique track and a real rider's track. If it had been built in Europe, it would probably be heralded as the new "Cathedral" of racing.
Yamaha will want to find something today, but might be happy to just leave here with a general knowledge of the layout of the facility and knowing they have their gearing right for first practice next month. It appears that Rossi and Lorenzo have just one bike each which might explain the length of time they spend in the garage between riding sessions.
Yamaha may be packing up after today--the test ends Thursday--but that seems to be under review. Rossi has to leave early--he's going to Brazil but Lorenzo and his Van Halen-spec motorhome may stay here, if not for the last day of the test then for some SXSW action.