Jorge Lorenzo put his Yamaha YZR-M1 in provisional first place during the first practice sessions, Valentino Rossi was also quickly and posted the fifth fastest time of the day at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Valencia (Spain), 6th - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi came out of the starting blocks strongly during the first practice sessions in Valencia ahead of this Sunday‘s championship showdown.
Lorenzo made a great start this morning and set multiple fastest laps in the Spanish sunshine. Happy to be riding in front of his home fans, he worked hard as the times dropped and posted a 1‘31.434s just past the midway stage and led until the final minutes, before settling for second place just 0.184s from the front.
The Spaniard kept his form in the baking afternoon session that followed. He had a solid start, scoring fifth place on his first lap, and then steadily improved his lap times to move up the order into the top three. Despite the hot conditions he set a best time of 1‘31.111s to claim provisional first place and continued to push out low 1‘31s as he completed the day at the top of the combined free practice times.
I think it will be difficult to use the 15 minutes of qualifying like a free practice...
Teammate Valentino Rossi also needed little time to get back into the swing of things for the final European round of the season. He was looking competitive while he spent the first half an hour of FP1 trying to find the perfect set up, before dropping under the 1’32s mark with a 1'31.665s lap. He wrapped the session up in fifth position, 0,415s behind the leader.
The nine-time World Champion also wasted no time in the afternoon and immediately took provisional second place on his first lap to take over the top spot with a 1‘31.851s on the very next try. He continued to better his time as he and Marquez battled it out for provisional first. Throughout the session he worked through a couple of set up changes and ultimately set a fastest lap of 1‘31.475s for fourth and secured fifth position in the combined session times, 0,364s behind his teammate.
"The day started positively and we improved the bike a lot in the afternoon. The bike is working really well and I feel strong, with good concentration. I‘m riding well, but the bike, to be honest, is working very well for me to keep a high pace, even with old tyres, so I‘m very happy about the beginning of the weekend."
"When I‘m riding I‘m more relaxed and I‘m quite happy about these two first practices, because already this morning my pace was not so bad and I was also quite competitive with the used tyre, which is very important for the race. I‘m also happy that in the afternoon we tried something different that made me increase my rhythm and improve my lap times. I used the hard tyres and it wasn‘t so bad and after I tried the soft to make a comparison and make the right choice for Sunday. It‘s true that we have to decide our strategy now, because I think it will be difficult to use the 15 minutes of qualifying like a free practice, so I think maybe I can do the normal procedure anyway."
Massimo Meregalli - Team Director
We‘ve made a good start; both our riders are looking strong, so we can be content with the performance we delivered today. Jorge and Vale are also quite satisfied. Jorge showed a good speed and pace and added another step in the afternoon when he rode a stint of low 1‘31s. Vale also looked competitive since the beginning of the first free practice and made a good progress in the afternoon with a best lap of 1‘31.475s. We will continue to put in our maximum effort to smooth out the areas of the bike where there is some room for further improvement.