Tyre compounds used: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium Using Bridgestone's hard front and medium rear compound slicks, Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets after the first free practice session in ...
Tyre compounds used: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium
Using Bridgestone's hard front and medium rear compound slicks, Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets after the first free practice session in Jerez. A great performance two laps from the finish saw Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi second fastest whilst Casey Stoner was third for the Ducati Team, 0.17 seconds ahead of home talent Jorge Lorenzo of Fiat Yamaha. Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso was fifth, 0.16 seconds further adrift.
The tyre compounds used today were exactly those brought to the official pre-season test at Jerez at the end of March, in which Stoner topped the leaderboard followed by Rossi and Capirossi. Today, with a track temperature of 45 degrees Celsius, the highest of the season, five riders used only the harder front and rear Bridgestones, whilst the rest of the field tried the softer compounds as well.
Ultimately, with the high ground temperature and the more abrasive nature of the resurfaced track, the hard front and the medium rear Bridgestone slicks were the preferred choice.
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was the only man not to have tested here this season due to missing the pre-season test to recover from injury, and the Spaniard finished the session tenth fastest. Whilst the circuit's layout remains unchanged, the result of resurfacing work undertaken since last year meant that Rossi's fastest lap today was 1.1 seconds faster than the fastest Friday free practice lap from 2008, set by Colin Edwards.
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"We brought medium and hard compound Bridgestone fronts and soft and medium rears here this weekend after we confirmed they were the correct choice during the Jerez pre-season test. Both compounds of front and rear Bridgestone worked well today, but because of the hot conditions almost all riders preferred the harder specification.
"We saw the times get faster throughout the session as the track condition improved and teams adjusted the setting of their bikes to better suit the tyres, and again I can say I'm happy with the consistency and durability of our tyres. Jerez is now quite abrasive and much tougher on tyres than it was last year, but feedback from the session has been very positive, especially for the harder compounds."