Lorenzo fastest on wet Estoril circuit, Rossi close behind in third In echoes of the harsh weather conditions witnessed two weeks ago at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, heavy rains and wind severely disrupted today's free practice ...
Lorenzo fastest on wet Estoril circuit, Rossi close behind in third
In echoes of the harsh weather conditions witnessed two weeks ago at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, heavy rains and wind severely disrupted today's free practice sessions at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril. The morning's 45 minute first free practice session saw less than five MotoGP riders take to the circuit for a minimal number of laps, the majority, Fiat Yamaha Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi included, deciding to sit it out in the hope of gentler conditions for the afternoon. The riders' patience paid off with a break in the rain signalling the start of the afternoon session, the circuit drying in patches towards the end of the 45 minute practice.
Newly crowned 2010 MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo was clearly enjoying one of his favourite circuits on the calendar, relishing the enjoyment of riding with the pressure of the world championship title battle no longer a focus. The young Mallorcan lapped consistently within the top four before a final push at the end of the session to secure the fastest time in advance of tomorrow's qualifying sessions. Rossi was also on form, delivering consistent fast laps from the off and leading the table mid-session as he worked through the wet settings. He finished the session in third, just over three tenths off his team mate. Tomorrow's two sessions have both been extended to one hour in order to make up for some of the time lost to the rain today.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st - Time: 1'48.522 - Laps: 20
"I love this track, I have won here both times in MotoGP so I am very happy to be here. Unfortunately the weather was terrible this morning and there was no point in riding, then this afternoon it was still very difficult, with a lot of water on the track and you had to be very careful. I felt good despite the conditions and step-by-step we improved so that at the end, when it was slightly drier, I was able to set a good time and we are on top. Tomorrow we will have two longer sessions so we will be able to recover some of the lost time, let's hope for no more rain!"
Valentino Rossi - Position: 3rd - Time: 1'48.883 - Laps: 20
"This afternoon was a normal wet practice and I'm happy about my performance. I am close to the top, was fast from the beginning of session and had a good feeling with bike. Unfortunately we were losing a little bit in some sections of the track, especially the last one because the bike was moving a little too much. We will try for tomorrow to improve the settings, it's important that we made a good start this afternoon as this morning's session was cancelled and it looks like the weather may not be very good over the weekend, so we will not have a lot of time to set up the bike!"
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"We are quite happy with the practice, not so happy with all the rain so far. The track was starting to dry towards the end of the session though and we were able to make some small improvements to the settings. We have to concentrate on entry and exit grip on the rear on the corners so if it's wet again tomorrow we'll focus on that. P1 is always good but the times are very close so we'll see tomorrow."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"It was a good session today, we started with a good base and Valentino was fast throughout the practice. There are still some improvements to make both with the electronics and the balance of the bike. We got some really useful information from the session so if we have any further wet sessions or a wet race on Sunday we can continue with this good base."