Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Lorenzo on Top in Laguna Seca Practice
As the mist cleared over the hills of Monterey this morning racing fans were treated to the rare sight of Yamaha Factory Racing’s special 50th anniversary red and white livery on track for the 2011 Grand Prix of USA at Laguna Seca. Jorge Lorenzo was quick to get on the pace in the first of the weekend’s free practice sessions, rising to second mid-session and holding until the last moments before dropping to third at the end, just 0.120 seconds from first. The World Champion got down to serious business in the afternoon session, going straight into the top spot and holding it for the entire session, recording the fastest time of the day with a 1’22.056.
Ben Spies was also looking good at his home circuit, gradually climbing to fourth just behind his team mate by the end of the morning, 0.506 seconds from first. The afternoon saw more consistent pace from the Texan rider, Spies eventually wrapping up in fifth with a 1’22.615, 0.559 from his team mate in first.
Race fans were also treated to a special experience as Kenny Roberts Sr and Eddie Lawson took to the track riding a pair of unique Yamaha YZF-R1s in full red and white 50th Anniversary livery for a number of parade laps.
Position 1st - Time 1.22.056 - Laps 23
“I am very happy to be back riding here at Laguna, a track I love. Today went pretty well, the bike felt ok. P1 I’m happy with but we need to try to improve corner entry for the bike because there are some tenths in that and it will give me more confidence turning in. It’s not so bad to begin and we will try to go faster tomorrow!”
Position 5th - Time 1.22.615 - Laps 34
“Today hasn’t been bad, we’ve worked on a lot of different set ups. We haven’t found a perfect one, we’ve found a compromise so far but tomorrow we have a pretty good game plan on what we’re going to fine tune from the bike we ended on today to get a bit of a better set up for front feel. I’m feeling good, I can tell the bike has it in it, you can see that from Jorge we’re just not getting the maximum from it yet.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Today was a nice practice day, we thought we would improve a little bit more but first is first which is the main thing. Jorge was quite consistent and feeling good. I think we have finished with the best position to start from tomorrow but we still have some things to solve.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“The overall results are not so bad, Jorge had an impressive pace and he seems very confident on the bike. Ben is still working on the set up, he is not as confident with it yet as he would like to be. We will work tonight and tomorrow we will bring a new set up and look to make another step forward. We just have to fix some small details and we will be ready to race.”