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|09-11-2015, 08:41 PM||#1|
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MotoGP Misano Friday practice: Lorenzo wings his way to top spot
Jorge Lorenzo's Movistar Yamaha MotoGP crew tried out some experimental wings similar to the Ducati GP15 during Friday practice. Lorenzo wasn't sure if they helped or not, but he did manage to set a new lap record at Misano. Photo courtesy of GPone.com
As the MotoGP title fight resumed in Misano, Italy, Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha spread its wings. Literally, as the Spaniard's Movistar Yamaha crew mounted a couple of wings similar to those already adopted by the factory Ducatis. Arguably, however, it was something else that propelled his late charge during FP2 that granted him the provisional best time with a record-breaking 1:32.871 lap.
“We have been fast since the beginning of this morning‘s session and I like the new surface of the track, I think it suits my riding style,” said Lorenzo, who set the pace in the mid 1:33 mark. “We're still looking for an optimal setup, but we managed nonetheless to have a fast and constant pace with both rear tire compounds. We first rode with the hard and then used the soft at the end, and finished in first place. I think that, if we can improve the bike with the hard tire, we can make another step forward tomorrow. Anyhow, I feel in the best shape of my career, both in terms of experience and speed.”
Wings or no wings on the fairing, there was no disputing that Lorenzo had the speed on Friday at Misano after FP2.
Lorenzo currently trails his teammate Valentino Rossi by 12 points in the standings. The championship leader finished in fifth position, 0.598 seconds behind the Spaniard, who virtually has the lead once again. However, Rossi is a notoriously slow starter and usually gives his best only on race day.
“The new track surface was quite difficult and I suffered in the morning, but we worked a lot on the bike and improved, just not enough for me to give my 100 percent and ride at the limit,” observed Rossi, who took 1.6 seconds off in between sessions. “The track is still dirty, which says a lot about Lorenzo's performance. I still can't push the front as hard as I'd like to. I may try the winglets as well tomorrow, but honestly I think we lose more time talking about them than that we actually gain on track.”
In between the Yamaha duo stepped the Honda couple comprised by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, as well as Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. “I was a bit surprised because the track is more slippery and bumpier compared to the last time we tested here in the summer,” commented Marquez, who finished within 53 thousandths of a second of Lorenzo despite mounting the harder rear tire. “It seems like a year has passed, not just a few weeks. We tried the same geometries we used then, which were quite different from our base, but tomorrow we'll try to go back to our usual parameters. Lorenzo is the overwhelming favorite at the moment, but you can't count Pedrosa and Rossi out either.”
Current MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi was his usual slow-starting self, struggling a bit with grip until late in the session when he eventually climbed to fifth spot on the Friday practice timesheets.
“I thought we'd find a faster track because the conditions are better on paper than when we tested,” added Pedrosa. “Last time I rode here, the track temperature was beyond 100 degrees. Usually, with lower temperatures we go faster. Today was the opposite. I'm curious to see the fight unfold between Lorenzo and Rossi, as both have not made any mistakes yet. I don't have a favorite though.”
In fourth position—0.420 seconds behind Lorenzo—Andrea Dovizioso confirmed his form after stepping back on the podium two weeks ago. The Italian, however, is not entirely satisfied about his performance. “I'm not sure why, but I wasn't really comfortable on track,” he said. “Maybe it's because, after running a two-day test here in July, I thought I could find a good feeling right away. I'm not worried, because we still managed to be fast, but we have to understand whether it is a setup issue or something related to the track's conditions, as today's times were slower than during the tests.”
MotoGP Misano Friday practice results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:32.871
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1:32.924
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1:33.258
4. Andrea Dovisiozo (ITA) Ducati Team 1:33.291
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:33.469
6. Pol Espargaró (SPA) Monster Tech 3 Yamaha 1:33.552
7. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Ducati 1:33.553
8. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Tech 3 Yamaha 1:33.595
9. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Team 1:33.674
10. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 1:33.785
11. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:33.808
12. Aleix Espargaró (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:33.840
13. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1:34.132
14. Maverick Vińales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:34.215
15. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Honda Team 1:34.345
16. Loris Baz (FRA) Athinŕ Forward Racing Yamaha 1:34.500
17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 1:34.595
18. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:34.727
19. Jack Miller (AUS) LCR Honda 1:34.856
20. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:35.011
21. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:35.036
22. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Honda Team 1:35.394
23. Alex De Angelis (RSM) E-Motion Ioda Racing Aprilia 1:35.735
24. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:35.853
25. Claudio Corti (ITA) Athinŕ Forward Racing Yamaha 1:36.326
26. Karel Abraham (CZE) AB Motoracing Honda 1:36.530