Valentino Rossi sets competitive pace in Jerez practice Fiat Yamaha team rider Valentino Rossi has ended the opening day of free practice at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain with a competitive second quickest time, six-tenths-of-a-second...
Valentino Rossi sets competitive pace in Jerez practice
Fiat Yamaha team rider Valentino Rossi has ended the opening day of free practice at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain with a competitive second quickest time, six-tenths-of-a-second faster than his fastest race lap from last year's event, after a closely-fought opening day saw the top thirteen riders separated by just one second.
A mid-session crash interrupted Qatar GP race winner Casey Stoner's afternoon, but the Australian, who was second quickest in the morning hour, still ended the opening day with the sixth best time. Suzuki's Loris Capirossi and Honda Gresini's Alex de Angelis rounded out the top ten to give top ten places to four Bridgestone-shod teams ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
Bridgestone has further work to carry out with its teams and riders in tomorrow's practice sessions in order to complete a thorough evaluation of the different specification tyres that have been brought to this weekend's event. Some teams will then conduct longer runs in the afternoon session before the qualifying shoot-out takes place.
Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
How would you assess the results from today's first practice sessions?
"It has been a standard opening day for us with the usual tyre evaluation procedures in both sessions. The pace in this afternoon's session was much quicker compared to the morning session, mainly as a result of improving track conditions, and it was a very competitive day overall. This morning the track was quite dusty in contrast to the conditions we faced at the IRTA test one month ago, but as the conditions got better during the day, riders were able to drop their lap times considerably. The performance is certainly close across the entire field with only one second separating thirteen riders."
Have you been pleased with the performance of the Bridgestone tyres today?
"We have brought some new specification tyres to this race based on the results from the IRTA test back in February and I think we can be reasonably content with their performance after the opening day. Of course there is more work to be done tomorrow morning and the competition is so close it is actually difficult to make any firm conclusions at this stage. Some of our teams will carry out longer runs tomorrow afternoon, when the track conditions are more representative of what will be faced during the race."
Session 1 / Dry - Air 18C, Track 23C, Humidity 46% (taken from official MotoGP timing)
Session 2 / Dry - Air 21C, Track 27C, Humidity 37% (taken from official MotoGP timing)