Yamaha holds the advantage after first day at MotorLand Aragón

Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi ended first and second after the first day of practicing.

Alcañiz (Spain) - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi did not waste any time today to step up their game at MotorLand Aragón circuit. They ended first and second after the first day of practicing ahead of this weekend‘s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi got down to business today in the first two free practice sessions for this weekend‘s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, and secured first and second respectively, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith making it a perfect Yamaha top-three.

The weekend‘s Grand Prix is the last European race on the MotoGP calendar before the three back-to-back overseas rounds. To prepare themselves for the final stretch of the 2015 season, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP tested at the MotorLand Aragón circuit three weeks ago and needed little time spurt to the top of the leaderboard.

... in this practice both me and Jorge were very strong, but Jorge was a little bit faster...

Valentino Rossi

 

Lorenzo was more eager than ever to score a top result and increase his chances of winning the championship. Trying to avoid traffic, he took his time getting out of the box in the morning practice. Once he hit the track he was quick to pile on the pressure, setting numerous fastest laps to finish the 45-minute session in the lead by 0.490s with a best lap of 1'48.249.

In the afternoon, the local hero again gradually upped his pace. While working on his setting he took over at the top after 20 minutes, posting a 1‘48.307 lap. He held first place for most of the session, until the hot lap shoot-out started with ten minutes on the clock.

The Spaniard decided to accept the challenge and popped on a medium compound tyre to drop an impressive 1‘47.517, the first 1‘47 lap of the weekend, pleasing his passionate home fans to no end. His time was unchallenged for the remainder of the session, moving him back up to first place with 0,683s advantage over his closest rival and teammate Rossi. As Lorenzo was also the fastest in all sectors on his stunning fastest lap, his best time is also today‘s ideal lap time.

Teammate Rossi also enjoyed a solid start to the race weekend this morning at the sunny Spanish track. He briefly topped the standings with his first flying lap of 1'51.812 and went on to improve his pace further, setting a 1'48.824 for second. He held this position for most of FP1, but was pushed back in the final stages of the session and finished in third place.

The Italian dropped some more consistently fast lap times in the afternoon as he focused on perfecting his set-up, in the final stages, he was in provisional sixth place with a best lap of 1‘48.884. The Italian put his head down and shot to the top when he set a 1‘48.200, the fastest lap of the weekend up until that point. He was ultimately pushed back one place by his teammate and wrapped up in second place.

Jorge Lorenzo: "There‘s a big difference between how we have always felt here before and how we feel here now. The improvement is thanks to the work of the engineers, who improved the way the bikes work, so even at a difficult track such as Aragon we can be competitive. Our rivals don‘t sleep so, so they will be strong and tomorrow‘s pole will be fast. We need to further improve the setting to be able to make an even better pace."

Valentino Rossi: "We did a test last month at Aragón, because it‘s our test track. We decided on this circuit because in the past we suffered a lot here on the Yamaha. The start of the weekend was not so bad because we could start with a good basis setting and in this practice both me and Jorge were very strong, but Jorge was a little bit faster, so we need to continue to work and try to improve in some sectors just a little bit. After that the tyre choice for the race will be very important.

You can go with the medium or the hard, right now it‘s still too early to say. Tomorrow we need to improve the setting and make the right choice for the tyres. We tried the softer tyre at the end of the session but our main rival didn‘t. If they had done so, they would have been at our level, but as long as we are able to fight with them on Sunday it‘s OK, because they are usually a bit stronger here. We have to work on braking, to be able to go deep into the corner yet have a good agility."

Massimo Meregalli - Team Director: "It was a really good start to the weekend and we are very satisfied. It has been a good decision to test at Aragón three weeks ago, because we benefitted from our previously collected data and were able to start the first free practice sessions with a good base set-up. Jorge set incredibly fast times this morning and was the only rider to clock a 1‘47 in the afternoon. Vale also posted some impressive times and showed he is on the pace. We were able to test both tyre options and finishing the first day leading the sessions is a very positive sign. There is still some room for further improvement, so we will perfect the setting for the third practice in order to be ready for tomorrow‘s track action."

Yamaha MotoGP

 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Aragon GP
Sub-event Friday practice
Track Motorland Aragon
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Practice report