Lorenzo leads the way on day one at Mugello

Reigning World Champion tops the timesheets ahead of teammate Rossi

THE first day of practice at the world-famous Mugello circuit took place under mixed conditions today with the first session ran under wet conditions and not providing much valuable data for the riders while this afternoon was a role reversal with dry conditions prevailing and it was the Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who were quickly up to speed with the Spaniard just pipping Rossi to the top spot.

We have to wait for the improvement of our rivals, but for the moment we are very competitive and happy.

Jorge Lorenzo

Most of the riders took a lot of time to settle down in the afternoon with just a handful pushing for fast lap times, although the new qualifying format still put the pressure on and there was a number incidents that took place with Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez sustaining a heavy fall during FP2 with the Spaniard being taken to Clinica Mobile and the rookie was lucky to have only suffered bruising to his jaw. Bradley Smith also fell from his Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha machine with the British rider being treated for an injured left arm.

Despite the tricky conditions and lack of grip on the Tuscan asphalt, Lorenzo posted a fastest lap of 1m 48.375s that he set on his final lap while Rossi was close behind on a time of 1m 48.409s. Cal Crutchlow was third fastest for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team with a 1m 48.672s lap time while Nicky Hayden was fourth fastest for the Ducati team with his best lap of 1m 49.377s. Dani Pedrosa ended in fifth place today with a best time of 1m 49.383s for the Repsol Honda team while Andrea Iannone came home in 6th place on day one with his best lap of 1m 49.467s.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) ended today in 7th position setting time of 1m 49.543s while in 8th place was the LCR Honda of Stefan Bradl with a 1m 49.595s lap. Randy De Puniet put in a solid performance on day one with the Frenchman securing the 9th best time of 1m 49.599s for the Power Electronics Aspar team with Ducati test rider Michele Pirro the final rider in the top ten with a best lap of 1m 49.649s. San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista ended his first day in 11th place (1m 49.733s) while 12th place went to Power Electronics Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro setting a best lap of 1m 49.769s. Smith ended the day in 13th due to his crash with his best lap of 1m 50.103s good enough to stay ahead of Marquez who only managed a best time of 1m 50.210s.

Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens) finished up in 15th place today with a personal best lap of 1m 50.400s with Ben Spies returning on the Ignite Pramac racing Ducati on a best time of 1m 51.105s with Colin Edwards finishing in 17th place for the NGM Forward Racing team (1m 51.433s). Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) was next along with a best time of 1m 51.528s. Paul Bird Motorsport’s Yonny Hernandez ended his day in 19th with a best lap of 1m 51.644s while Came IodaRacing’s Danilo Petrucci finished in 20th place with a best lap of 1m 51.937s. Hiroshi Aoyama ended day one in 21st on the Avintia Blusens machine (1m 52.182) while Claudio Corti was next along on the NGM Forward Racing machine (1m 53.314s). Michael Laverty finished in 23rd for the Paul Bird Motorsport team with a best time of 1m 53.480s with Bryan Staring in 24th for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini team (1m 54.231s) with Lukas Pesek in 25th for the Came IodaRacing Project team (1m 54.829s)

Lorenzo was happy with his first day saying, “In the morning it was wet and bad conditions so we preferred to not exit at the end of FP1 with the slick tyres as we thought the track was dangerous. We had to wait for the afternoon and dry conditions. From the beginning the Yamaha riders were very strong and competitive which means the track is working well for us this year. We have to wait for the improvement of our rivals and the possible change in weather that can change our performance but for the moment we are very competitive and happy.”

Rossi was also content with day one at the track where he has notched up seven victories. “He said, ““I’m happy because it's a very good practice today, starting from the beginning, staying at the top. It’s very good for the team as we are in first and second and for Yamaha because we have three Yamahas on the first three positions. Already the lap time is not so bad but we have to stay focused and concentrate for tomorrow because for sure our opponents will improve a lot. We have to make another step to improve and go faster to fight for a good position in the race.”

Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

Crutchlow continues to show his fast pace that has seen the British rider nipping at the heels of the factory riders from the start of the 2013 season. He said, “That was a very positive start to the weekend and I am happy to be in the top three and close to the best pace. This morning was quite tricky with the damp patches but I was fast on the wet tyres and happy with the feeling of the bike. This afternoon I was able to be in the top three in the dry and that is also very positive, but it is going to be very difficult to beat Jorge and Valentino. Jorge is looking for a third straight win here, so he is very fast on this track, and Valentino obviously has some special motivation for his home race. But I am the best of the rest again, which is a good sign and we’ve still got some things to try to improve the bike.

I’m not completely confident in some corners but I know my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew has some good ideas to help me improve. It could be tricky conditions tomorrow though if we get some rain that’s been forecast, but after my second place in Le Mans and the good feeling I had in FP1 on the wet tyres, I am still very optimistic.” Crutchlow added.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Bradley Smith , Colin Edwards , Ben Spies , Hector Barbera , Alvaro Bautista , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Lukas Pesek , Michael Laverty , Claudio Corti , Cal Crutchlow , Michele Pirro , Stefan Bradl , Hiroshi Aoyama , Aleix Espargaro , Paul Bird , Dani Pedrosa , Karel Abraham , Marc Marquez , Yonny Hernandez , Danilo Petrucci , Andrea Iannone , Bryan Staring
Teams Forward Racing , Yamaha Factory Racing , Ducati Team , Tech 3 , AB Motoracing
Article type Practice report
Tags crutchlow, featured, hatch, lorenzo, monster, mugello, rossi, tech 3, yamaha