Despite strong desert winds, Ben Spies continued to improve, ending winter testing third with a 1m 56.294s, just over six tenths behind Casey Stoner's Honda. Jorge Lorenzo was less successful, finishing seventh with a 1m 56.707s.
Spies focused on small tweaks to grip settings and now looks forward to Sunday's race confident in the Yamaha YZR-M1 package, "It's been a good test, I'm happy with it" said the American, "Last year we saw that the M1 worked well at every track, it's Yamaha's strong point and I think it's the same this year." According to team director Massimo Meregalli, "Ben didn't push 100% which makes us confident for the race weekend", potentially piling the pressure on number 1 plate wearer Lorenzo.
Lorenzo continued to struggle throughout the session, and became frustrated with the bike after trying a new swinging arm with no improvement. The current champion commented "Today wasn't the best day for me. It was not because my riding is bad, I always admit when it is, we struggled with the set up of the bike during the session and unfortunately we didn't make a step forward". Despite this, Yamaha were able to gather vital fuel consumption data from an extended run.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team also experienced mixed fortunes with a delighted Colin Edwards posting the eighth best time, but GP rookie Cal Crutchlow sustained an awkward injury, spoiling the rest of his session.
Edwards enjoyed a succesful test saying “It has been another positive test and now I'm really looking forward to the racing starting. The bike has been working awesome again" "I feel really motivated and excited".
Crutchlow lost the front end into turn ten, crushing his little finger. "I lost the rear and closed the throttle but then lost the front and I couldn't get my left hand out from underneath the handlebar. I've basically taken the tip off my left little finger and it is really sore now" he explained, leaving him languishing down in 15th. But the plucky Brit added "It will be an honour to line-up against this field on Sunday night and as always I'll be giving it my best.”