Portuguese GP: Fiat Yamaha Friday practice report

Lorenzo and Rossi first and third as MotoGP resumes in Estoril After a month-long break, MotoGP was finally back in action today at Estoril in Portugal for the 14th round of the season. Carrying a special one-off 'Fiat Punto Evo livery for this...

Lorenzo and Rossi first and third as MotoGP resumes in Estoril

After a month-long break, MotoGP was finally back in action today at Estoril in Portugal for the 14th round of the season. Carrying a special one-off 'Fiat Punto Evo livery for this race, the Fiat Yamaha pair of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a strong start to the weekend, finishing Free Practice in first and third respectively.

Temperatures were comfortably in the mid-twenties and both riders were happy to be back on board, using the time to reacquaint themselves with their YZR-M1s after the holidays and work on tyre selection and set-up. Dani Pedrosa was on top for much of the first half of the session but with 20 minutes to go Lorenzo moved into the lead and he finished the session well inside the lap record and an impressive 0.359 seconds ahead of Pedrosa. Rossi was less than a tenth off Pedrosa in third and is confident that a little more time to work on set-up tomorrow will enable him improve the balance of his bike in the hard braking areas and close the disadvantage to his young team-mate.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1stTime: 1'37.185Laps: 27

"It's good to be back on the bike after one month but also quite hard! I enjoyed today though and we did a good job and made an encouraging start. After a bit of work we were able to do a very good time and I am happy to be in front, it's important at this stage of the championship to make a strong start this weekend. We have one or two things to improve but we are in good shape. I am happy to see Casey back and also to see that he is already strong. Finally I want to mention the special sticker I have on my bike this weekend for Lukas Sembera, a young Czech rider who had a bad accident two weeks ago - I wish him all the best in his recovery."

Valentino Rossi - Position: 3rdTime: 1'37.606Laps: 26

"This is quite a difficult track to come back to after a long break because the braking is very hard and it's quite stressful on the arms, but I think it will be better tomorrow. We have a slight problem in the balance of the bike in these hard braking areas which we need to work on tomorrow to find a way to improve; we're already quite fast but we need to close the gap a bit more so we will make the most of our time tomorrow so that we're in good shape for qualifying."

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"A very good start here at this track and again we are showing that we are consistently competitive, which proves that the base setting of our Yamaha works in all the tracks. It's impressive how Jorge is already under the circuit record lap and this is great for the first day, especially after such a long break. We're quite happy about our performance but now we're looking forward to being a able to improve a few small areas even more tomorrow."

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"We made quite a good start today. It looks like we have as bit of work to do but we're not too far away. We also had the possibility to check all the tyres and so it was a good session as far as gathering information is concerned. We could have done with a few more laps at the end to check a couple of different settings, but this isn't a big problem and we will have time to do this tomorrow."

-credit: yamaha

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Davide Brivio , Dani Pedrosa