MotoGP: Yamaha and Lorenzo in Top Form Down Under – YFR Press Release

Valentino_rossi_phillip_islandYamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo has made a flying start to this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, completing the first day of free practice as the fastest rider. The defending champion came out fighting in the first morning practice and led the session apart from a brief appearance by rival Marc Marquez at the top of the time sheets mid way through.

A new tarmac surface at the track has vastly improved grip, allowing Lorenzo to drop almost a second under the race record in the morning. The afternoon saw him pick up the pace even further, the only rider to drop into the 1’28s to finish the day on a 1’28.961, just three tenths from Casey Stoner’s 2008 pole record.

Teammate Valentino Rossi also enjoyed a positive start to the weekend today. The Italian nine time champion made a big step forward between the morning and afternoon sessions, shaving nearly half a second off his time and moving half a second closer to the front. He finished the day in fifth overall, 0.576 from Lorenzo in first and just 0.059 seconds from Dani Pedrosa in fourth.

Jorge Lorenzo: “I feel that here we are much more competitive than in Malaysia. There are some problems with the wind in some corners where we cannot keep the front wheel on the ground so we need to improve that for tomorrow. In general every step we make with the bike works so little by little we have improved and been faster. The tyre feels consistent also so let’s see if we can improve the little issue with the front. The new tarmac is much better, you can push with more confidence and there are less bumps. The exit of turn six has a little bump, but apart from this corner everything is much better.”

Valentino Rossi: “I’m happy about today, especially this afternoon as we were able to improve the settings of the bike a lot. I’m happy about my pace, I’m constant and also quite fast, I can stay on a 1’29 also with used tyres. We have to improve some areas, especially turn four to try to go faster and we need to exit the last corner in a better way. We also need to work for the edge of the tyre, especially on the left as it’s a big stress. The track is fantastic with good weather like today. The new surface is very good so it’s a great pleasure to ride the M1 here. We are all very close and we are quite fast. The track is easier to ride like this because the new tarmac has more grip and less bumps. It’s easier but we have to be faster! The lines are more or less the same.”

1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team
3. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3
7. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3
8. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar
9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team
10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team
Courtesy of Yamaha Factory Racing
Pictures from Yamaha Factory Racing

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