Yamaha MotoGP Free Practice Report
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a strong start today in the first practice sessions ahead of this Sunday’s Grand Prix Czech Republic, wrapping up the day in first and sixth respectively.
After a successful weekend in Indianapolis, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi enjoyed their first day at the fast and flowing Automotodrom Brno and were both quick to find pace.
Lorenzo immediately positioned himself as a protagonist at the beginning of the first practice and kept dropping competitive laps throughout the session. With twenty minutes remaining he put his YZR-M1 to the test and shot to the top with a lap time of 1’56.499, which remained unchallenged for the rest of the day.
The Spaniard continued his form in the afternoon practice, which saw him quickly climb up the rankings to second with a 1’56.589. He spent the remainder of the time testing various settings to improve tyre life under hot track conditions and held his second place until the end of the session.
Teammate Rossi also had a strong start to the Czech Republic Grand Prix weekend. Gradually upping his pace, he was within half second off the fastest times by the end of the session and wrapped up the morning practice in sixth place with a best lap of 1’57.038.
The nine-time World Champion looked competitive again at the start of the FP2. He initially led the session with a 1’57.754 lap, but suffered a minor crash with 38 minutes remaining due to fluid on the track at turn 13. Unhurt, Rossi quickly retuned to the pits to go out on his second bike ten minutes later. He went on to improve his time to a 1’57.074 lap, ending the session in fourth place.
Today’s results put Lorenzo first in the combined free practice time sheets, 0,539s in front of Rossi in sixth.
6th / 1’57.038 / 30 laps
“Unfortunately Pedrosa had a problem with his bike and it lost some oil and I crashed. This afternoon was difficult for everybody because the track is very slippery and the amount of grip is very low and at the same time there are a lot of bumps, so every time I entered the corner I was pretty much at the limit. At the end of the afternoon it went a bit better and I went into fourth position, but I have to recover a disadvantage, especially the one to Jorge, who seems to have the best pace.”
1st / 1’56.499 / 31 laps
“We started this morning in a very good way. The afternoon has seen some of the toughest circumstances that we’ve had all season. It was very hot and on the straight you could feel the heat coming from the engine, so it was a very physically demanding training. Without wind, the track was much worse than it was in the morning, but we were able to keep a quite consistent pace compared to our rivals. In the end, I tried all the tyres and some settings of the bike that give us a good direction to work towards for tomorrow.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“It’s been a positive and hot first day. The conditions of the track were very difficult and the high temperature made the circumstances even worse. We started in the right way and the set up is working well for Jorge. His pace is very fast and consistent and he is feeling good with the bike. Vale’s side still has some work to do. It was unfortunate that he crashed because of fluid leaking from Pedrosa’s bike. Luckily he didn’t get hurt and, even though it meant we couldn’t get all the testing done that we wanted to do today, we still have enough time before the race on Sunday and I’m confident that we can make another step for tomorrow.”