Lorenzo shines in sun-soaked Friday practice

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Round 5: Catalunya MotoGP™ - Free Practice One and Two
Circuit de Catalunya, Friday 1 June 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

Weather: Dry. Ambient 26-31°C; Track 36-55°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo set a scorching time of 1:42.099 to be quickest overall in two tightly contested Friday practice sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Lorenzo finished fastest overall ahead of fellow Spaniard Alvaro Bautista who rode brilliantly aboard the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V to miss the top spot by just two-tenths of a second, while Monster Tech3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow was third quickest overall. Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner was the pacesetter in FP1 and in an encouraging sign for a close race on Sunday, the ten quickest riders at the end of Friday practice were separated by just one second.

Weather conditions for Friday were sunny and warm with track temperatures at the beginning of FP1 already reaching 36°C and gradually increasing throughout the day to reach 41°C by the end of FP1 and a peak of 55°C during FP2. In FP1 all riders opted for the medium compound slick tyre front and rear to gauge grip levels on the circuit before switching to the hard compound slick tyres front and rear at the beginning of FP2. Towards the end of FP2, many riders, including Lorenzo, utilised the combination of the medium compound rear and hard compound front tyre with the extra grip from the softer rear slick tyre resulting in some very quick lap times towards the end of the session.

MotoGP™ action resumes at 1010 local time tomorrow morning (GMT +2) for Free Practice 3, with the one hour qualifying session starting at 1355.

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The warm temperatures and clear skies combined to create good track conditions for today’s free practice sessions, with grip levels allowing riders to chase some very quick lap times. The pace was very quick throughout the day with the top ten riders setting times separated by just one second.

“This circuit is particularly hard on the right shoulder of the rear tyre though our 2012 specification slick tyres performed very well today, with riders using both the softer and harder asymmetric rear tyres during today’s sessions. For tomorrow I expect that some riders will do longer runs on both rear tyre options to see which option will work better for them during Sunday’s race and I also anticipate many riders selecting the harder option front slick tyre in the new specification as this has proven very popular since its introduction at Jerez.”