The sessions proved to be challenging for Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi due to the tyres provided.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on track in Great Britain today as the first free practice sessions got underway for this Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
The sessions proved to be challenging for both riders due to the tyres provided, with chatter preventing them from finding an optimum set up on the Silverstone circuit. Lorenzo ended the first session in 7th and the second in 11th to finish the day 11th overall in the combined times with a best lap of 2’03.500 seconds.
Teammate Rossi wrapped up the morning in 8th and the afternoon in 13th to take 13th in the combined times with a best lap of 2’03.952.
The team will continue to work through the evening to prepare solutions for the next practice session at 09.55hrs local time tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo (11th / 2'03.500 / 14 laps): “We only have one problem, it seems Bridgestone has brought the same tyres that we had in the first races so we have the same problems as then. We have no grip to stop the bike, no grip in the middle of the corner and no traction so we have a lot of spinning and the negative point is it creates problem on the front. No grip on the rear doesn't give us the balance in the middle of the corner which means we have to lean less and have lower speed.
All the Yamaha riders are the same, we have similar problems. It seems that with this tyre we have now it's very difficult for us. Of course we are going to try everything to solve this problem, we have to try to manage the situation, the tyres will be the same all weekend so we have to adapt to it. It seems it's going to be a hard weekend for the Yamaha riders.”
Valentino Rossi (13th / 2'03.952 / 15 laps): “We expected to be faster and more competitive but we are struggling a lot. This morning in first practice was not fantastic but also not so bad, I was not so far from the other guys but I didn't like the feeling in the bike on the front. For the afternoon we worked a lot on the setting on the weight distribution to help on the corners but it looks like we took the wrong direction.
I didn't have a good feeling with the bike, when we enter the corner I don't have a feeling with the front and also I have a vibration and not enough grip. I lose a lot of corner speed on entry and I was quite slow. We will continue to modify the bike in another way and we will take some data for tomorrow to try something completely different to understand if we can go faster.”
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director: “Today wasn't the start we expected to have. Both Jorge and Vale have similar issues with chattering and being able to hold the racing line so we have quite some work to do for tomorrow. We weren’t able to find solutions in time for the sessions but we will continue to work this evening. We will be ready to make a step forward in the next free practice and bring them closer to the front. We know we can perform well at this track so we’re confident we can improve. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Smith powers to 4th on day one at windy Silverstone
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith undertook a lightening start on home turf by storming to 4th position as the leading Yamaha in the combined standings on the opening day of action at Silverstone. The 23 year old rider completed the first session with a best time of 2'04.609, only four tenths of a second back from 5th despite the low track temperatures, strong wind and slight spots of rain.
The weather remained unchanged in the afternoon at the 5900 meter Silverstone circuit where Smith braved the conditions with determination to forcibly post a best time of 2'03.070 aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. The British star improved his morning time by over one and a half seconds and was a blink of an eye behind 3rd position with a gap of only 0.059.
His electric start to the 12th MotoGP event of the year, sees him prepared for the qualifying assault tomorrow where he will confidently intend to seize a place on the front two rows for the 20 lap dash on Sunday.
On the other side of the garage, Pol Espargaro rode to a hard fought 12th position finish in the afternoon practice session as he began the 2014 British Grand Prix. The reigning Moto2 World Champion kicked off his weekend with a best time of 2'04.628 as he worked with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 team to establish a formidable setup at Silverstone. As the afternoon session got underway, Espargaro upped the pace and completed the practice with a time of 2'03.542, only less than a second from 2nd place.
The 23 year old rider also finished the afternoon practice with the fastest speed of the entire MotoGP grid reaching 321.5 km/h. Focusing instead on setting up the bike and working towards race day as opposed to posting a leading lap time today, the Spaniard remains confident in undertaking a strong qualifying performance tomorrow.
Bradley Smith (4th / 2'03.542 / 33 Laps): "It was a positive first day and I'm very happy to kick off my home Grand Prix in this manner. I feel happier and more confident than I did twelve months ago and here the bike is working great and the grip is good with the tyres. We haven't changed too many settings since Brno, just a few minor alterations to compensate for this track as well as the wind here which is particularly strong at the rear of the circuit.
There is still a degree to improve, namely in the fast corners where there a few more bumps this year, so we will work on trying to find the setting to run smoothly over these. Of course, we need to carry on this forward momentum, therefore the next step is to get a good rhythm and then run 2'02 lap times. So all in all I am very happy, but I must say that it is fantastic to see so many fans here especially as it was a Friday so the support I received has been great and really helps me!"
Pol Espargaro (12th / 2'04.628 / 36 Laps): "Even I if I find myself a little further down on the time sheets than I would like to be, I am satisfied with the work we have done today. Instead of putting on a new tyre to make a quick lap at the end of the session like some of the other riders, I decided to work on the bike instead. This might be a bit of a gamble due to the weather forecast for tomorrow, but I have learnt during the first part of the season how important the right setup for Sunday can be.
Therefore, I keep my fingers crossed that the morning session will be a dry one as ending up in QP1 would be far from ideal. If this is the case, it will be trickier but I am always improving which is very positive. The bike is fun to ride at this circuit, especially in the first sector which is quite bumpy and where I am at my fastest. So, we need to improve in the other sections of the track but we know where we are heading and what needs to be altered, so I retain good expectations for tomorrow."
Day of work for the NGM Forward Racing Team at Silverstone
The NGM Forward Racing Team was back on track for the first day of practices of this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Aleix Espargaro and Alex De Angelis focused on the bike set up on the technical and fast Silverstone racetrack.
Fifth this morning, Espargaro struggled in the afternoon to find the right feeling with his Forward Yamaha and finally closed the FP2 in 10th place with a lap time of 2’03.468.
It was a positive start for team mate Alex De Angelis, who made a good step forward over the course of today. 17th in the morning with a lap time of 2’06.333, Alex could improve his lap times and pace in the afternoon session of 2 seconds. With a lap time of 2’04.411, Alex finished in 15th position.