Perfect opening day for Fiat Yamaha in Jerez The traditional season curtain-raiser in Jerez looked in danger of being declared a washout this morning, but the sun eventually came out and allowed Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi to put in a ...
Perfect opening day for Fiat Yamaha in Jerez
The traditional season curtain-raiser in Jerez looked in danger of being declared a washout this morning, but the sun eventually came out and allowed Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi to put in a brilliant afternoon's work, finishing first and second respectively. The day's results bode well for tomorrow's 'qualifying' shoot-out, which will see the fastest rider take home a new car. With all riders now on Bridgestone tyres and qualifying tyres resigned to history, the session will have a slightly different feel to previous years and promises to be an entertaining show.
Lorenzo began work quite early, braving a damp track to get some laps in before lunch. Once the track came dry this afternoon he immediately found his rhythm and went on to clock consistently fast laps throughout, finishing well under lap record with a time of 1'39.791.
2008 World Champion Rossi took it easy this morning, preferring to wait until the track had dried out before getting started. He finished the day just 0.070 behind his team-mate and a tenth of a second ahead of Stoner in third, and is confident of putting up a good fight in tomorrow's qualifying competition with a few small refinements planned for tomorrow morning.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st Time: 1'39.791 Laps: 99
"I am very satisfied because I have improved through every hour of the day today. In the beginning it was quite difficult because there was rain this morning and the track was wet, but after lunch I was able to improve and was fastest for most of the afternoon and able to put in a great performance. I rode many laps -- the same amount as my new number in fact -- and I was able to confirm the good feeling that I had on the last day in Qatar, when I was second. We still need to keep working, this is just the beginning, but I think we're going in the right way. Tomorrow I want to make one more step, but I am not thinking about winning the car. With regards to the Bridgestone tyres, I think the front is very different and you are able to go faster into the corners. I hope the sun shines again tomorrow!"
Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: 1'39.861 Laps: 65
"It's been a good day. Unfortunately this morning it rained but in the end it didn't matter so much because the grip was good this afternoon with the new asphalt and we were able to do some important work. I had a good feeling with my M1 in November and it was the same today and I was able to do a lot of laps in a good rhythm. In the end we used the softer of the two Bridgestone tyres to try to improve the time and I was able to do a 39, but I was fast with the harder tyre as well. We tried a lot of different things on the bike and I am feeling confident and happy; already today we've got through half our workload so hopefully tomorrow morning the weather can be good so we can get through the other half and then be free to focus on winning the car in the afternoon. There are one or two places on the track where I'm not at 100%, but we will try to fix that in the morning."
Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
"We had a good test here in November and also Malaysia and Qatar were good, so today it seemed that the trend is continuing. We are now at a very important stage because this is the last test of the season, because of the new rules, so tomorrow is going to be crucial! Today the team did a great job to refine the set-up and give Jorge the confidence he needed to be fast. Tomorrow will be an exciting day because it is almost like a qualifying session, with a prize, and we hope to finish in the same way as today! Of course at the same time we will continue to work on our bike to ensure that we're completely ready for the first race."
Davide Brivio - Team manager
"A good day, especially since it rained this morning. Luckily the circuit came dry and we were able to get through all the jobs we had scheduled. All the Yamahas seems to be going very well and this is a sign that our engineers have done a very good job; it is very encouraging. Tomorrow we have some small adjustments and tests to do, and then we will try for the award. I think it will be quite a special session because it's the first time without qualifying tyres and therefore it will be a real rehearsal for the season. We're looking forward to it!"