US GP: Fiat Yamaha Friday notes

Rossi makes promising start to American assault Valentino Rossi made a good start to his US Grand Prix weekend today, finishing the day third fastest in the overall standings at Laguna Seca. His best time of 1'22.679 was set this morning and is...

Rossi makes promising start to American assault

Valentino Rossi made a good start to his US Grand Prix weekend today, finishing the day third fastest in the overall standings at Laguna Seca. His best time of 1'22.679 was set this morning and is just over a tenth of a second off last year's lap record.

This morning's first free practice was run in unexpectedly cool temperatures but the Italian's M1 worked well out of the box and he was second fastest, 0.764 seconds of Casey Stoner. Rossi was confident of being able to improve his times this afternoon as the track heated up but the temperature increased by only a few degrees and he was unable to better his time from this morning. He is nonetheless confident that he has not yet reached his full potential here and will be able to make further improvements tomorrow.

Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was 13th fastest on what is his first ever ride at this track, whilst the time sheets were topped by Casey Stoner, with Nicky Hayden in second.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 3 Time: 1'22.679 Laps: 65

"We started quite well this morning and we were quite fast from the start. We used our standard base setting and it seemed to work quite well here, and I think that in fact I could have gone faster this morning but in my last run my grip wasn't perfect so I slowed down. This morning I was quite happy but this afternoon we tried to modify something in the set-up of the bike, because we're still looking for the ideal configuration for this track, and it wasn't as good as we had hoped. Now we must put the best things of each session together and then I believe we will be able to be some tenths faster tomorrow. We have a good potential here and I know we haven't reached it yet; we need to do some work on the suspension but the Bridgestones are good which is encouraging. I am looking forward to making more progress tomorrow and closing the gap to Stoner."

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"Overall this has been a good day. We are quite pleased with how we started this morning and now we're working hard to fine-tune our set-up, especially the suspension, chassis and electronic mapping, in order to optimise our potential here. It was cooler than we expected today but our Bridgestone tyres are working very well at this track. We didn't improve this afternoon as much as we'd hoped but we will look at the data tonight and continue with our work in the morning."

Lorenzo takes it easy as he finds his way at Laguna Seca

Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo made his competitive debut at Laguna Seca today on the first day of practice for the US Grand Prix, finishing 13th in the combined standings. The 21-year-old visited the track as a commentator for last year's race but this was his first time on a bike around the famous California circuit.

Lorenzo has been looking forward to riding here all season and he spent this morning's session familiarising himself with the nuances of the 3.610 km track, especially the famous corkscrew at turn eight. This afternoon he felt confident enough to begin working on bike set-up and he improved his time by nearly a second. He is still lacking some rear grip however and will be looking to make significant strides with this tomorrow. Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi was third fastest today, behind Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 13th Time: 1'23.415 Laps: 63

"The first laps here in Laguna Seca this morning were incredible for me and I had great fun learning the track. On my first lap I was very lucky at the Corkscrew because Nicky Hayden was in front and he knows this track very well, so I followed him and I came out alive! It's very different to anywhere else we go and very complicated, so I am trying to take it gently until I am sure of my lines. For me the hardest part is the first corner, but I felt better about it this afternoon. I had some problems with my rear tyre, we don't have enough grip, and I also need more confidence in the front of the bike. I think I need to do some more laps here in order to have more feeling and knowledge about the track and the right lines. I've been looking at the Superbike times and they're doing almost the same times as me, so I know I have some work to do. We have some issues but we're working hard towards being faster tomorrow. I've enjoyed my first day here."

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"The number one priority of today was for Jorge to learn the track, so we did quite long runs in order to improve his understanding of the lines and the braking points. In general he understood quite quickly and it seems he's enjoying riding here at Laguna Seca. We still have some rear grip issues to address, especially on the entry into turns, and we will concentrate on this tomorrow and try out some different solutions for our bike."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Davide Brivio