Yamaha commences Catalunya challenge

Today Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi concluded the first free practice sessions in seventh and eleventh place respectively in the combined session times.

After a short break, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on tarmac today for the first free practice sessions ahead of this weekend‘s GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.

Enjoying the support of his home fans, Lorenzo consistently upped his pace in FP1. Despite difficult track conditions due to the heat, he was quick to set a second fastest time with a 1‘42.458 lap. The local hero spent the remaining time of the session concentrating on perfecting his setting and ended the morning in fourth place.

We have to better our times and try to improve the position tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi

The track conditions improved slightly in the afternoon. More comfortable aboard his YZR-M1, Lorenzo posted a fastest time of a 1‘42,034. This hot lap pushed him up to provisional second place in the time sheets, before the pace quickened in the final stages, moving him down to seventh.

Rossi also enjoyed the first outing in Montmeló. After quickly re-familiarising himself with the track he set the second fastest time on his first flying lap. Focused on the task at hand he bettered his time to a 1'42.938 as the pace quickened, wrapping up the first session in eighth position.

The Doctor had a similar approach in the afternoon. He wasted no time to shoot up to the second spot and used the remaining minutes on the clock to work towards a solid race set-up until the time attack in the final stages of the session. He dropped a 1‘42.367, moving him briefly up to third in the timesheets, and finished FP2 in eleventh place.

The results put Lorenzo in seventh in today‘s combined times, 0.876s from first, and Rossi in eleventh, 1.209s from the front.

Jorge Lorenzo: "I think we did a great job from the morning to the afternoon. In the morning the grip of the track was a lot worse compared to Mugello. The bike moved around a lot, especially in acceleration. We did a great job in making the bike more stable, so the performance improved a lot and we have a consistent pace. This will be very important for Sunday‘s race. Here, compared to the first lap, the pace can drop a lot in the middle of the race, so if we have a good set up we can have an advantage at the end of the race."

Valentino Rossi: "It wasn‘t a bad start. At the end of the practice we found a better setting and balance of the bike and I didn‘t feel so bad. I‘m just a little bit worried about the position, because I‘m not inside the top ten. The reality is that everybody rode incredible lap times and pushed very hard. I feel good with the bike and the pace is not so bad. We have to better our times and try to improve the position tomorrow. A lot of riders rode a very good lap time to stay in the top ten to secure a place in tomorrow‘s Q2 in case of bad weather conditions tomorrow. I went on track thinking 1‘42.3 was enough to guarantee me a spot, but unfortunately Redding overtook me and I‘m in eleventh place. However, the feeling with the bike is more important and we hope for some good conditions tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli - Team Director: Today, especially during FP1, the circuit conditions weren‘t great for the Yamaha, but it got better throughout the day. We improved the bike‘s set up even if the standing doesn‘t reflect our potential. We are quite happy with the consistency of the lap times, especially Jorge‘s. There is still a bit of work to do for Vale‘s side of the garage, but we are confident it will get done in time. We are going to work tonight to improve the areas where the riders are not completely satisfied. We are confident that we can achieve the performance we are looking for.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Catalan GP
Sub-event Friday practice
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Practice report