Lorenzo on top at rainy Phillip Island, Rossi seventh The notorious Phillip Island weather tried its best to disrupt the first day of the Australian Grand Prix today, heavy rain forcing the practice session to be delayed two hours after part of...
Lorenzo on top at rainy Phillip Island, Rossi seventh
The notorious Phillip Island weather tried its best to disrupt the first day of the Australian Grand Prix today, heavy rain forcing the practice session to be delayed two hours after part of the track flooded. Action got underway eventually with new World Champion Jorge Lorenzo getting straight down to business and topping the time sheets, while his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi finished in seventh place.
23-year-old Lorenzo has only had a few days to get used to being the MotoGP World Champion but with the pressure now lifted the Spaniard was raring to get back on his M1 and get on with the business of racing. The first half of the session was run on a soaking track but Lorenzo took just a few laps to take the lead and was not ousted for the rest of the practice, despite the track drying a little in the later stages.
Rossi, who was hoping to continue in the fantastic form that saw him win last Sunday, was cautious in the difficult conditions today, feeling like he had a good base setting but knowing that he and his crew can improve further tomorrow. With more rain expected it will be important to maximise their wet setting tomorrow morning to make sure they can challenge in qualifying.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st - Time: 1'41.146 - Laps: 20
"Today was the first day on the bike after we won the title and I am still very happy. We can't stop now, we have to keep going and finish this season in the best way possible, working for the future. The conditions today were really hard - wet, cold and windy. I am very happy to be so fast in rain, because it didn't use to be this way, but we need to be prepared because it could be a hard weekend. I would like to ride in the dry, of course, but we will have to wait and see what happens."
Valentino Rossi - Position: 7th - Time: 1'42.626 - Laps: 22
"This weather is unbelievable and it was really at the limit of what you can race motorcycles in today. It's even more amazing because yesterday was beautiful! I hope it will be better tomorrow but it doesn't look too hopeful. My setting here in the wet was okay and I feel quite happy on the bike, but I didn't want to push too hard in these conditions. I think we can improve it more, but we need to wait and see how the weather is tomorrow. We hope for sun!"
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"It's very wet and very cold, so not ideal but in fact Jorge already has a very good pace in the wet here and he was quickest after just a few laps. Later on when it was drying no one improved because it was still very slippery, but it was good to be strong on a very wet track and this was an important practice. We learned a lot about our setting; we're happy and feeling good."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"The bike is feeling okay but we still need some more time to work a bit more on the setting for Valentino in these difficult conditions, we tried a lot of different things today but it looks like we can still make him more comfortable than this. It's very wet and it looks like it could be even worse tomorrow, but we will keep working in this way and we hope to improve the time a bit."