Lorenzo Sets the Pace in Qatar
The final free practice this evening ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Qatar saw Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo set the MotoGP pace. The Mallorcan finished in second place in the penultimate practice session earlier in the evening, 0.214 seconds behind leader Casey Stoner as he continued to develop his set up. A strong final session on hard tyres was then delivered before a softer rear option at the end provided the extra speed to take the top spot, 0.154 seconds ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in second.
Ben Spies experienced a less fortunate final practice session this evening. The Texan had embarked on a race simulation but lost the front end early on, possibly due to a cold front tyre. Spies was unhurt and returned to the garage to continue the session. Unfortunately his second bike then experienced a technical problem, preventing him from continuing.
Position 1st - Time 1.55.302 - Laps 17
“I am very happy with today because we improved a lot on yesterday’s lap time. I’m also happy for Cal in second, the bike seems much better than last year for us. I think we have even more potential for improvement tomorrow. We still have a few issues to solve, especially corner entry, but we manage to keep a good pace. I’m going to try my hardest for qualifying tomorrow and see what we can do.”
Position 11th - Time 1.57.030 - Laps 8
“It was a rough session tonight, we’ve had a good weekend up to now, unfortunately tonight was the most important session for us. I went out to do a race simulation and I think I didn’t let the front tyre heat up properly. I need to check the data to confirm it but I put the blame firmly on myself for it. Unfortunately the second bike just didn’t run right so a wasted session for us.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A very good final free practice, the speed is good and we solved some issues from yesterday. We went the wrong way initially then found the right path to go in. We know exactly what we have to do for tomorrow, if the track improves and we can get the corner entry better then we are ready to race.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Definitely the third practice didn’t go how we expected. Unfortunately Ben crashed and we couldn’t test a different set up. When he jumped on the second bike it had an electrical problem that didn’t permit us to continue with the session. We tried to fix it but it wasn’t possible within the time so we have missed a session. The guys are going to have a long night to be ready for tomorrow. Ben will push hard in qualifying to get a good position. Jorge did a great job, pushing hard and consistently to set the pace.”