Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi kicked off the first day at Mugello, claiming third and ninth place respectively in the combined session times.
After two very successful weekends in Jerez and Le Mans, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on track for the first free practice sessions at Autodromo del Mugello. Lorenzo‘s love for the Tuscan circuit clearly showed in his consistent pace as he secured third in the combined session times ahead of this weekend‘s Gran Premio d'Italia. Rossi focused on finding the right setting and tyre option and finished ninth.
Second in the morning
Still in good spirits from scoring two back-to-back victories, Lorenzo was eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1 at the start of the 45-minute morning session. With a clear track in front of him, he soon topped the standings before being pushed down the order when times started to drop. However, he was quick to respond and finished in second place.
The afternoon session saw a similar turn of events. The four-time World Champion kept the momentum going and was quick to ride his YZR-M1 to the top of the rankings. Despite not being entirely satisfied with his set-up, he remained a key protagonist throughout the session and finished the day in third place with a 1‘47.852 lap.
Local hero Rossi also enjoyed riding in the Tuscan sunshine as he prepared for his first home race weekend of the season. Aiming to add another top performance to his five-consecutive podium run, he consistently improved his pace throughout the morning practice to finish in sixth place.
The nine-time World Champion further improved his time in FP2. Encouraged by the loud cheering of the Italian fans, he briefly took over the top spot from his teammate, but it wasn‘t to last and he was pushed back to third. He used the remaining time to focus on finding the right tyre option for Sunday‘s race. His fastest lap of 1'48.211 saw him finishing the day in ninth position.
These results see Lorenzo placed third in the combined session times, 0.373s from the front, with Rossi in ninth, 0.732s off today‘s fastest time.
Jorge Lorenzo: "I‘m not completely satisfied with the way the bike is working. Concerning the setting of my YZR-M1, I think we have a big margin for improvement. Little by little we are going to make progress in most of the corners, but to begin the weekend with second and third place and a good pace is a nice start. Let‘s see if we can improve the bike and lose half a second in terms of pace tomorrow, because I think it can be much better."
Valentino Rossi: "We started the afternoon practice well. I didn‘t feel so bad with the bike and I had quite a good pace. I was quite happy, but I had some problems under braking. We tried to modify the setting so I could brake harder, but we didn‘t find a good solution and at the end I came back out on my normal bike and decided to try the harder tyre on the front and rear. The front wasn‘t so bad, but the rear was a bit too hard and I didn‘t have enough grip on the left side for me to push to the maximum. However, it‘s good for us to try these things to gain data and tomorrow we try to modify and to improve the bike, especially under braking in the last section. It looks like Jorge had the best pace, but Dovi is also fast and so is Marquez. It‘s only Friday, so it‘s too early to say who will be the hardest to beat, but they seem to be in good shape."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP