Rossi Second Quick
Valentino Rossi guided his Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1 to second place in today's Official Practice at Jerez today, despite bad weather disrupting the day's proceedings at the Spanish circuit. After yesterday's sunshine this morning saw heavy rain which, although it gradually abated, left the track very damp for the forty-minute 'qualifying' session after lunch.
It was nonetheless a very important day for Rossi as it was the first chance for him to ride in the wet on Bridgestone tyres, offering him and his team the chance to gather important information about their new wet set-up. Despite having had just the morning to get used to his new tyres in the conditions, Rossi finished the qualifying session in second place behind Casey Stoner with a best lap of 1'50.580. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo struggled a little as he, too, tried to get used to his new package in the tricky conditions, finishing the day in 16th position overall.
Rossi: Position: 2nd Time: 1'50.580 Laps: 17
"Today the conditions made things quite difficult so we didn't have quite the day we hoped for! Anyway I'm quite happy with our performance in this weather; it's the first time for me with the Bridgestones in the wet and, although we can see that we have some more work to do with the set-up of our bike, we were not so slow. Of course we know we can be faster with more time, and so it would be good to have another chance in the rain tomorrow. The main problem is that we are lacking a bit of front grip and the balance of the bike is not at 100%, so I can't enter the corner exactly how I want, but we will improve this. The first test in the dry with Bridgestone was quite hard but now, after three tests, things are good, so of course it's going to be the same in the wet. At the end we came second today after just one morning, so I think we can be quite content with our day's work."
"The bad weather was welcomed by us this morning because we haven't had a chance yet to try the Bridgestones in the rain. For our first time in the wet it was quite good, although we can see that we need to gain more experience with our new tyres in these conditions. We could have done with more time in order to be ready for the qualifying this afternoon, but we learnt a lot all the same. To come second after just one morning for us is positive. Unlike most of the rest of the paddock now we hope we have another really wet day tomorrow, so we have the chance to further refine our setting!"
Struggles in Nasty Weather
Fiat Yamaha Team rookie Jorge Lorenzo had his first experience riding a MotoGP bike in the wet today, when heavy rain and wind descended on the Spanish circuit of Jerez. After three consecutive tests in good weather in Malaysia, it was something of a shock to the young Spaniard who struggled to get to grips with his M1 on the damp track.
This morning brought heavy rain and the free practice session before lunch was a steep learning curve for Lorenzo, who nonetheless improved throughout as he gradually got used to his bike and tyres in the wet. The rain then gradually lessened over lunch, which meant the track conditions were very patchy for the traditional forty-minute Official Practice session, making life even harder for the riders. Lorenzo finally completed only 11 laps during the session, choosing to come back in and work with his team rather than push any harder in the tricky conditions. His time of 1'53.292 put him 16th overall but he was quick to confirm that the day had been a valuable one in terms of experience. His team-mate Valentino Rossi meanwhile had a more positive day, finishing second.
Lorenzo: Position: 16th Time: 1'53.292 Laps: 11
"Today hasn't been as good as I hoped. It's the first time I've ridden the Yamaha in the wet and everything was quite different. It was another thing to think about; I didn't feel so good and I was very slow today, braking too early and accelerating too late. I made some improvement in the morning as far as just getting used to the bike and tyres in the wet, but I was lacking some grip and therefore also confidence. This afternoon, during the qualifying, I preferred to stop and try to change things, rather than to push for no reason, so this is why my time was so slow. We've got a lot to work on and after yesterday today has been disappointing, but as usual we've learned a lot and now I know what to expect next time it rains."
Daniele Romagnoli: Team Manager
"The session this afternoon was especially hard for us because it wasn't completely wet or completely dry. It's the first time that Jorge has ridden the Yamaha in the wet and it has shown that he needs some more time in order to adapt his riding style to these sorts of conditions. All experience counts and despite the difficulties it's been important to have a day like this in order to learn. Next time I am sure he will be in much better shape."