Czech GP: Fiat Yamaha Friday practice report

Rossi straight back on the pace with strong second in Brno The MotoGP paddock returned to action at Brno in the Czech Republic today, the first in a final run of seven races across four continents. Fresh from a well-deserved holiday following...

Rossi straight back on the pace with strong second in Brno

The MotoGP paddock returned to action at Brno in the Czech Republic today, the first in a final run of seven races across four continents. Fresh from a well-deserved holiday following his stunning Laguna Seca victory, Rossi finished the day a close second behind Casey Stoner.

With the newly surfaced track adding an unknown factor to the day's proceedings, the Italian was pleased to find his Yamaha-Bridgestone package working well from the start this morning and he finished the morning session first. With rain a possibility tomorrow the team were keen to get through as much of their tyre programme as possible today and so Rossi tried several different combinations this afternoon, which saw him improve his pace by half a second. He finished the day 0.179 seconds off Casey Stoner.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: 1'57.410 Laps: 44

"I've had a good holiday but it's fun to be back on the bike again! Today has started very well and I am very happy with my bike and with our tyres, it seems the Bridgestones are working very well here so far. The new asphalt is good, much better than last year and the grip improved throughout the day so I think that they have done a good job. Casey is strong again here so it looks like being a hard race, but we have made a good start. Tomorrow it seems it could rain, which is a pity, but we have found a good setting today so hopefully, even if it is wet, then we will be in good shape on Sunday. We have some small engine modifications here to try but mostly we will wait until Monday to try the new parts, when we will have an important test."

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"It's good to be back in action; we've made a good start and been fast all day. We've tried quite a few different things and some different tyres with the aim of collecting as much information as possible, in case it rains tomorrow. Of course we hope it doesn't but there is a chance it will be wet and so we wanted to make as much of today as we could so that we are prepared. It's been a positive day and we hope that we can continue like this."

Lorenzo struggles for grip at Brno

Jorge Lorenzo made a tentative return to action at Brno today, having spent the summer break recuperating from the three broken metatarsal bones he sustained during a crash at Laguna Seca. The Fiat Yamaha Team rider is now walking without crutches and was able to ride without pain today, confident that he is back to 90% fitness on the bike.

It was not an easy first day back however as the Spaniard struggled with front-end grip and was only able to put in the 11th fastest round. The team will now work hard, together with Michelin, to find a way to improve the situation for tomorrow.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 11th Time: 1'58.977 Laps: 45

"I am feeling very good physically, and I only feel pain when I walk to the bike in the garage - once I'm on it I am fine. I am feeling confident but I need half a second more in order to be at the front. The main problem is in the front tyre; I am worried because the first Michelin is in seventh and this isn't great, it is clear that we all need to work together to improve this. We are working very closely together with Michelin and Yamaha and we are trying to find a better way for us here this weekend. It is very difficult at the moment to fight for the podium in the dry, and in the wet we don't know yet. My main aim this weekend is to finish in the top seven. The new asphalt is better than last year so this is a good thing. One more thing I want to say - one of my mechanics, Juanito, has just become a grandfather and so I want to say congratulations to him!"

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"We are quite lucky that Jorge's physical condition is good - better than we expected - and in fact it's the least of our problems today! Our biggest issue is the confidence in the front end; we don't have enough grip and Jorge can't go into the turns fast enough. Furthermore, the bike is understeering at full lean and therefore we're losing a lot of time in the corners. From the morning session we were able to improve our package, but it wasn't enough to enable us to fight at the top. Tonight we will work closely with Michelin to analyse data in order to help each other to improve our front grip problem."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Davide Brivio