Moto Media

Van Horebeek relishes first factory Yamaha test

Pleasant weather conditions in central Italy this week have allowed new Yamaha factory racing MXGP rider Jeremy Van Horebeek to take his very first laps with the works YZ450FM and enjoy a shakedown test. The Belgian finishes the third of three days today (Friday) getting accustomed to his new team and to the motorcycle with the rearward slanting engine with which he will contest the eighteen round 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship, beginning on the March 1st in Losail, Qatar.

The 2013 Motocross of Nations winner spent a long session riding the new 2014 model before starting to work through basic set-up details and then clock laps while focusing on engine and suspension modifications to suit his personal preference. "It has been a very positive way to already look ahead to 2014. I’m pleased with how easy it has been to ride the bike and also work with the team,” he said. "It is what I expected from a set-up with such a good reputation and the 2014 YZ450F has big potential. The power is very impressive but well controllable. We have some more work ahead but this has been a very good start.”

"We’ve had temperatures around twenty degrees each day and Jeremy has been able to ride the bike quite a lot and get his thoughts and opinions about it,” said Team Manager Mino Raspanti. "We started with a range of settings very similar to the stock YZ450F and he actually rode with a standard engine for the first day as we went about customising the bike to his riding position and his general feel for it,” he continued. "We then looked at the balance of the YZ with regards to front and rear feel and after that experimented with some different engine adjustments.”

Another test with the rider who made his World Championship MX1 (for next year rebranded ‘MXGP’) class debut in 2013 will take place in November as the whole team look to refine a direction for chassis and suspension settings. Van Horebeek is part of a two-rider structure in the Michele Rinaldi-led Yamaha Factory Racing squad with Frenchman Christophe Charlier challenging for the MX2 crown in 2014 on the brand new YZ250FM after claiming race wins and 4th overall this term.