Lorenzo fights back to finish on top in Friday practice
On the second day of practice at the Qatar MotoGP, Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Monster Tech3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow combined forces to lock out the top two positions on the timing sheets.
Utilising the combination of the harder front and softer rear tyre, both Lorenzo and Crutchlow clocked impressive times, with Lorenzo’s time of 1:55.302 good enough to edge out Crutchlow by just over a tenth of a second. Yesterday’s pace-setter Casey Stoner continued to run with the harder rear tyre on his Honda and his FP3 time of 1:55.674 placed the Australian third overall. Randy de Puniet was the quickest CRT rider during Friday practice, with his best lap of 1:58.261 placing him ahead of the BMW-Suter of Colin Edwards by just 0.049 of a second.
With the circuit in better condition than it was for FP1, teams opted out of using the soft front tyre option, instead focusing on getting the best out of the medium and extra-hard front compounds in tandem with using both the medium and hard rear tyres. The asymmetric rear tyres that have been brought to Qatar were well received by riders, with the extra durability afforded by the harder rubber on the right hand shoulder helping to maintain good grip levels on the longer runs.
The riders will be back on track tomorrow for the first MotoGP™ qualifying session of 2012 which starts at 1955 local time (GMT+3).
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “Today we saw improved track conditions and this was reflected in the quicker lap times compared to yesterday. Teams were able to take advantage of this to find a good setup with most teams testing softer and harder rear options and the medium and extra-hard front options. All of these compounds worked well and I expect teams will use part of the qualifying session tomorrow to find the front and rear combination that will work best for them during the race.
“I am pleased with how our tyres are performing here at Qatar as conditions here are always variable. Due to the improved warm-up performance of the 2012 specification tyres, riders are feeling confident from the first lap which is of benefit to their safety.”