Lorenzo on form in Friday practice for Valencian GP

Lorenzo on form in Friday practice for Valencian GP
Jorge Lorenzo topped the timesheets at Friday's Free Practice 2 session at the final round of the 2010 MotoGP Championship for the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. Factory Yamaha rider...

Jorge Lorenzo topped the timesheets at Friday's Free Practice 2 session at the final round of the 2010 MotoGP Championship for the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. Factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo continued to improve his pace during FP2 after finishing second to outgoing factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner in the first free practice session in the morning.

Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team.
Photo by Bridgestone Corporation.

Setting a best time of 1:32.690 on the last lap of the session, Lorenzo finished 0.314s ahead of Stoner to set the fastest time of the day while the Aussie couldn't improve on his 1:32.897 that he set in the morning session.

"Today was a good day. We started strongly from the first moment and I am feeling so confident, plus my bike is working very well here. We need to continue like this tomorrow and make a few small steps forward with our setting," said the 2010 World Champion.

Stoner was slightly disappointed as he explained, "Not too bad a day today. We had some problems over the two sessions with a small vibration in one of the bikes and we lost some time trying to work out what it was. We changed to the other one and we started to improve the setting a little bit but we hadn't really got enough time or laps to really improve it. I needed basically one more run to be happy with what we have but in general we feel quite good."

On the other hand, Lorenzo was on a high after performing well in front of a home crowd and is aiming for the same performance tomorrow. "I am so happy to be riding at home again, in front of the Spanish fans here at Cheste as the World Champion. I hope we are strong again tomorrow where I have a very special helmet to show everyone!"

Lorenzo is now well positioned to grab his eighth pole position of the season, and joining him and Stoner in the top three today was Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards.

"I'm really happy to have made such a good start," smiled Edwards. "I was only 11th this morning but knew my guys had a handle on how to improve the bike and this afternoon it just felt so easy. All the problems I've had all year with the bike not turning and running wide disappeared. I'm really happy with the tyre performance too and think I could be in for a really strong weekend to finish the season."

Carrying over his from from the Portuguese GP at Estoril, San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli was fourth and he finished ahead of factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso - both riders were under just four thousandths of a second off Edwards.

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini.
Photo by Bridgestone Corporation.

Six-time MotoGP premier series champion with nine world titles, Valentino Rossi was languishing in ninth place on his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 leaving the Italian a lot of work to do before tomorrow's qualifying. Rossi was nearly a full second off Lorenzo and his hopes of leaving the Yamaha squad with one last win before moving to Ducati seems a long way off at the moment.

"This morning was not so bad but the afternoon was not great," admitted the Italian. "We weren't able to improve the setting from the morning and we had a few problems; we have some work to do because at the moment we don't have enough grip and the bike is difficult to ride."

Rossi re-issued his desire to make his last weekend for Yamaha a good one: "It's a very important weekend, the last for me with Yamaha, so of course we want to try to be at the maximum."

Rookie of the Year Ben Spies continues to show his grit and determination as he returned to track this week setting the sixth best time today despite dislocating his left ankle after a fall during the sighting lap at last weekend's Portuguese GP.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) placed seventh and eight respectively with Rossi in ninth. Ducati's Nicky Hayden rounded off the top ten while Hector Barbera (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) got the better of HRC factory rider Dani Pedrosa who is still getting back to full fitness.

Rookies Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda) finished 13th and 14th respectively while Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista were locked together ahead of Carlos Checa on the Pramac Racing Ducati.

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