Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo led a Yamaha triumvirate at the top of the timesheets today at Mugello, the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion setting a time of 1’48.375 on his last lap of the day.
Lorenzo set his best time on the combination of the softer front and rear slicks after trading fastest laps with teammate Valentino Rossi throughout FP2. Rossi eventually finished second overall with a personal best time that was just 0.034 seconds behind Lorenzo.
Randy de Puniet put in an impressive performance on the Power Electronics Aspar ART machine to finish as the top CRT entry, the Frenchman among the top five riders through sectors two and three and finishing in P9 overall and a mere 1.224 seconds off Lorenzo.
After the morning FP1 session was declared wet due to widespread wet patches on the tarmac, the track for FP2 was dry with a peak track temperature of 29°C recorded. However, a strong breeze and lower than normal grip levels from the tarmac due to the overnight rain still made conditions less than ideal.
With the riders wanting to extract every ounce of grip available from the tarmac at the start of the afternoon session, every rider took to the track in FP2 with softer rear slicks to get a feel for the track, with the majority of riders also opting for the softer front slick option as well.
Towards the end of the session many riders switched to the harder front slick as the harder rubber in this option gives greater cornering and braking stability – a very important factor at a circuit with many high speed corners and an extreme braking zone into turn one at San Donato. The cool track temperatures meant no MotoGP riders evaluated the harder rear slick options in today’s sessions.
The twenty-five riders taking part in this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix will next be on track for the final ranked practice session – FP3 – at 0955 local time tomorrow (GMT +2).
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Cool weather and overnight rain made for tricky track conditions for the first practice session at Mugello and although conditions were better for FP2, it seems the grip level of the circuit still has room to improve.
In FP2 many riders commented that the tarmac wasn’t very grippy but on a positive note it seems they were happy with the warm-up performance of the tyres which is always a priority for us, and the lap times were quite good as well.
Although it was dry for FP2 no riders were able to assess the harder rear slick options due to the cool temperatures and with the possibility of cool weather and rain tomorrow, it may be that this option remains unused tomorrow also.
Both front slick options were used today, and we could see that many riders improved their lap time when they switched to the harder front.”