THE first day of practice at the world-famous Mugello circuit took place under mixed conditions today with the first session ran under wet conditions and not providing much valuable data for the riders while this afternoon was a role reversal with dry conditions prevailing and it was the Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who were quickly up to speed with the Spaniard just pipping Rossi to the top spot.
We have to wait for the improvement of our rivals, but for the moment we are very competitive and happy.
Despite the tricky conditions and lack of grip on the Tuscan asphalt, Lorenzo posted a fastest lap of 1m 48.375s that he set on his final lap while Rossi was close behind on a time of 1m 48.409s. Cal Crutchlow was third fastest for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team with a 1m 48.672s lap time while Nicky Hayden was fourth fastest for the Ducati team with his best lap of 1m 49.377s. Dani Pedrosa ended in fifth place today with a best time of 1m 49.383s for the Repsol Honda team while Andrea Iannone came home in 6th place on day one with his best lap of 1m 49.467s.
Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens) finished up in 15th place today with a personal best lap of 1m 50.400s with Ben Spies returning on the Ignite Pramac racing Ducati on a best time of 1m 51.105s with Colin Edwards finishing in 17th place for the NGM Forward Racing team (1m 51.433s). Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) was next along with a best time of 1m 51.528s. Paul Bird Motorsport’s Yonny Hernandez ended his day in 19th with a best lap of 1m 51.644s while Came IodaRacing’s Danilo Petrucci finished in 20th place with a best lap of 1m 51.937s. Hiroshi Aoyama ended day one in 21st on the Avintia Blusens machine (1m 52.182) while Claudio Corti was next along on the NGM Forward Racing machine (1m 53.314s). Michael Laverty finished in 23rd for the Paul Bird Motorsport team with a best time of 1m 53.480s with Bryan Staring in 24th for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini team (1m 54.231s) with Lukas Pesek in 25th for the Came IodaRacing Project team (1m 54.829s)
Lorenzo was happy with his first day saying, “In the morning it was wet and bad conditions so we preferred to not exit at the end of FP1 with the slick tyres as we thought the track was dangerous. We had to wait for the afternoon and dry conditions. From the beginning the Yamaha riders were very strong and competitive which means the track is working well for us this year. We have to wait for the improvement of our rivals and the possible change in weather that can change our performance but for the moment we are very competitive and happy.”
Rossi was also content with day one at the track where he has notched up seven victories. “He said, ““I’m happy because it's a very good practice today, starting from the beginning, staying at the top. It’s very good for the team as we are in first and second and for Yamaha because we have three Yamahas on the first three positions. Already the lap time is not so bad but we have to stay focused and concentrate for tomorrow because for sure our opponents will improve a lot. We have to make another step to improve and go faster to fight for a good position in the race.”
I’m not completely confident in some corners but I know my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew has some good ideas to help me improve. It could be tricky conditions tomorrow though if we get some rain that’s been forecast, but after my second place in Le Mans and the good feeling I had in FP1 on the wet tyres, I am still very optimistic.” Crutchlow added.