ROSSI BEGINS HOME CHALLENGE IN MISANO SUNSHINE Valentino Rossi made a strong start to his second home race of the season today, finishing second on the opening day of action at the San Marino Grand Prix. The Misano circuit is just 15km north of...
ROSSI BEGINS HOME CHALLENGE IN MISANO SUNSHINE
Valentino Rossi made a strong start to his second home race of the season today, finishing second on the opening day of action at the San Marino Grand Prix. The Misano circuit is just 15km north of the Fiat Yamaha rider's home town of Tavullia on the Adriatic coast, and the local hero is keen to delight his hordes of fans by adding another Italian win to his victory in Mugello earlier this year.
The bad weather that has followed the paddock around Europe finally gave way to the Italian summer today, with temperatures in the low 30s soaring to 45 degrees on track. This morning saw Rossi in fifth but a few set-up changes and some work on Bridgestone tyres this afternoon saw him improve and he finished the session 0.418 seconds off Casey Stoner in second. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo also had a positive day, finishing seventh in the combined standings.
Position: 2nd Time: 1'35.224 Laps: 54
"We made quite a good start today but not as good as we could have hoped, so we still have some work to do in order to close the gap to Casey. At the moment the main problem is T4, where I am quite slow and so we really need to look at the data and work out why. Anyway we're still second so we're close, but I hope tomorrow to be closer because it seems that everyone is quite competitive here so we're going to have to work hard. We have some ideas and we will see what we can do. It's great to be racing in the sunshine so close to my home, on the track which was the first one I ever rode on, and I really hope we can make it a fantastic weekend for all of the fans."
"For the first day it hasn't been so bad and we're in quite good shape. It's clear that there are some areas in which we can and need to improve, so now we will use the information we have gathered today to work on those areas and refine our set up. We have worked through a few different things today on the setting and we have also tried some different tyres, and we're confident that we have good potential. Luckily, for once, we can expect the same weather again tomorrow so this will give us the chance to check everything we've learnt today."
Positive Steps Forward
Following on from his recent successful test in Brno, when he made some positive steps forward with his Michelin tyres, Jorge Lorenzo was in good shape today on the first day of the Grand Prix of San Marino at Misano. The Fiat Yamaha Team rider finished the day in seventh overall and, more importantly, feeling confident and positive about the weekend's task.
The 21-year-old, who won the 250cc race here last year, made a good start to the morning with the fourth fastest time and then improved by just under four tenths this afternoon. He will be hoping to make some further set-up improvements tomorrow morning, when the hot weather looks set to continue, before attempting to return to the front row in the afternoon's qualifying session. Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi was second fastest today, 0.418 seconds behind Casey Stoner.
Position: 7th Time: 1'35.766 Laps: 56
"I'm very happy today. We had a good test after Brno and now here today I feel that the tyres are much better at this track than they were there, so I am feeling even more confident. I don't want to make any predictions about the race or talk about results; first of all we have to wait until tomorrow to see if we can continue like this. I think I can improve even more because everything feels better than two weeks ago, so tomorrow we will try to keep going in this way. The surface here is not new, like it was in Brno, and this is better for Michelin, but we need to make one more step in order to be at the level that we want."
"This is definitely a different situation form the last two races! Here, as expected from last year's data, Michelin tyres are more competitive and they are giving us the chance to be back at the top end of the classification. The test in Brno was very important to improve the tyre situation, but we still need to work more with Michelin to further improve the grip level because we're still not as fast as we would like to be. We need to improve our set-up more for this track because the front of the bike is still not stable enough on the hard braking and we need to work more on the suspension."
-credit: fiat yamaha