Lorenzo on top as final weekend gets underway in Valencia The season finale at Valencia got underway this afternoon and World Champion Jorge Lorenzo ended the day well in command of proceedings, setting a blistering final lap in the second free...
Lorenzo on top as final weekend gets underway in Valencia
The season finale at Valencia got underway this afternoon and World Champion Jorge Lorenzo ended the day well in command of proceedings, setting a blistering final lap in the second free practice session. His team-mate Valentino Rossi, in his final race weekend for Yamaha, finished the day in ninth after struggling for grip this afternoon.
After the bad weather that has blighted the two last rounds, the Valencian sunshine presented a welcome change and raised paddock spirits on this final outing of the year. Lorenzo had a strong morning practice session, coming in second behind Casey Stoner, but the 23-year-old made some significant steps this afternoon and his final lap put him into the 1'32s, two tenths ahead of Stoner in the combined standings.
Rossi was fifth in the morning but ran into a few troubles in the afternoon, lacking grip and unable to find the right setting to allow him to use the bike and tyres to their full potential. He was only able to improve his time by a tenth this afternoon but the Italian and his experienced crew will use this evening to look over the data and find a new direction for tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st - Time: 1'32.690 - Laps: 39
"Today was a good day. We started strongly from the first moment and I am feeling so confident, plus my bike is working very well here. We need to continue like this tomorrow and make a few small steps forward with our setting. I am so happy to be riding at home again, in front of the Spanish fans here at Cheste as the World Champion. I hope we are strong again tomorrow where I have a very special helmet to show everyone!"
Valentino Rossi - Position: 9th - Time: 1'33.661 - Laps: 35
"This morning was not so bad but the afternoon was not great. We weren't able to improve the setting from the morning and we had a few problems; we have some work to do because at the moment we don't have enough grip and the bike is difficult to ride. The times are quite close but we are in still ninth so we need to find a way to improve tomorrow. We will have a look at the data and see what we can come up with tomorrow because for sure we need to improve the grip if we are going to be competitive this weekend. It's a very important weekend, the last for me with Yamaha, so of course we want to try to be at the maximum."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"A good practice day; the lap time is good, the position is good and Jorge's feeling with the bike is very good too. We need to focus a bit on rear grip because the temperature is quite low. Normally we have a bit of issue on the corner entry but in fact that's fine at the moment and instead we're lacking a bit of grip on the exit of the corner, so that will be our main target for tomorrow. We compared both bikes and tried some different set-ups and it's clear that one is a lot better than the other, which we're pleased about because it's the one we expected it to be. It's the right direction for the race and for 2011."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"This morning we tried some different geometries and settings and then in the afternoon we continued in just one way, but it's clear that we still have some work to do and we have some problems with grip. In the end we stopped a little bit early to consider the situation, and now we will look closely at the data to find the right way forward for tomorrow so that we can give Valentino a bike to allow him to ride how he wants here."