Excellent Start to Mugello Grand Prix for Lorenzo and Spies
The Grand Prix of Italy at Mugello began well for Yamaha Factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies this morning with a promising first free practice session. Both riders were quickly up to pace on what is a newly resurfaced track, swapping places within the top four. The session wrapped up with Lorenzo in fourth just 0.264 from provisional pole and team mate Spies just behind in fifth, 0.377 from the front.
The weather which has played such a big part in the 2011 season so far was back this afternoon, spoiling the Tuscan sunshine with a burst of rain which rendered the afternoon’s second session useless. Lorenzo did not ride at all, Spies ventured out in the last two minutes to practice starts.
Position 4th - Time 1.49.251 - Laps 27
"In the afternoon the track was not perfect so we decided to stay in the garage. I am feeling confident because I like Mugello; I feel very comfortable riding on the new asphalt and this morning everything was good; all of us in the team have done a fantastic job so far. In my opinion we are now the closest we have been this season to the competition. Even with that, to win here will be tough, but we can! It is still too soon to say, but we have improved."
Position 5th - Time 1.49.364 - Laps 28
“This afternoon became one of those sessions we’ve had all year, rain came and so you don’t want to take any risks. With the conditions the way they were we didn’t want to risk the bike or me so we just went out on the last lap to do a couple of practice starts. The morning session was good; the bike is working really well. We tried some different tyre combinations and I think we can make the bike even better. I think we have the pace to battle for top five and contend for the podium so that’s our goal.”
We didn’t go out this afternoon as track conditions were not useful for us.
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We didn’t go out this afternoon as track conditions were not useful for us. We wanted to test some things but we needed good conditions to do so. We saved a tyre and we saved engine mileage and it’s also safer for the rider not having to push in these conditions. This morning went well; Jorge was pleased with his position, feeling, turning and stopping. We tried two different set ups, one was clearly better which we had planned to progress this afternoon but will instead save for tomorrow morning.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We made a good start today; both riders are close to the front with just a little gap. We are quite confident as we are working to make the set up better to make them more comfortable on the bike. As a first day it is a promi