Lorenzo heads timesheets in hottest session of the season The opening free practice at the Catalunya was sweltering and the track temperature was the highest of the season so far, eclipsing 50 degrees Celsius for the first time in 2010. Fiat...
Lorenzo heads timesheets in hottest session of the season
The opening free practice at the Catalunya was sweltering and the track temperature was the highest of the season so far, eclipsing 50 degrees Celsius for the first time in 2010.
Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo made best use of his harder option Bridgestone slicks to finish the hour-long session fastest, just ahead of Ducati Team's Casey Stoner on a harder rear and Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda who used a softer rear tyre to set his best lap.
Last year the Catalunya Grand Prix produced the highest track temperature of any race during the season at 52 degrees Celsius, whilst the track temperature peaked at 56 degrees Celsius during Saturday's qualifying session. During today's free practice, the track temperature was a constant 53 degrees Celsius.
The slick tyre specifications selected by Bridgestone for this weekend are the same as those used last year when Stoner lapped within 0.5seconds of Pedrosa's lap record, so they are well used to dealing with such hot conditions. Tyre selection today was mixed as riders tried to get a feeling for both compounds whilst ensuring they have sufficient of the compound they think will be preferable for tomorrow's qualifying session and Sunday's race.
Andrea Dovizioso finished less than 0.1seconds adrift of teammate Pedrosa in fourth, and newcomer to Catalunya Ben Spies was fifth for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad, just ahead of Pramac Racing's Aleix Espargaro.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"Today the track temperature was high, but within our expectation and very similar to the conditions we saw here last year. Our slick tyre choices are the same here as they were in 2009 and I can say that both specs are performing well with Dani and Ben setting their best times on the softer rear. The left shoulder of the rear tyres is subject to quite low loads in Catalunya, so although the track and ambient temperatures are high, our soft compound rubber is required to generate good grip at a lower tyre temperature, particularly as the left shoulders have time to cool between turn ten and the next left-hander at turn two which are separated by four right-handers and the main straight. Most riders favoured the harder front tyre option although even front tyre choice was mixed with a few riders completing laps on the softer slick."