Lorenzo Flies to First Place in Sunny Spanish Free Practice Sessions

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi bring on the heat at a sunny Circuito de Jerez as they prepare for an action-filled Gran Premio de España on Sunday. The team-mates found solutions to improve their settings early on in the first free practice session and carried forward their impressive pace in the afternoon to take first and fifth place respectively in the combined timings.

The first European round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship got underway on the Jerez track today with the first two free practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s Gran Premio de España.

Despite the search for rear grip and an anti-wheelie solution, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were both quick to find a very competitive pace. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo put their names at the top of the time sheets as soon as they hit the Spanish track, making clear they mean business this weekend.

Lorenzo was cheered on by his home fans as he rode his YZR-M1 around the Circuito de Jerez, one of his favourite tracks. Initially in fourth place, the Spaniard proved that the combination of the tight and twisty nature of the circuit, the nimbleness of the Yamaha and his ever smooth riding style are unbeatable when he puts the hammer down. He spurred on his Yamaha in the final minutes of FP1 and set a best lap of 1’40.270 for first place, 0.257s ahead of his closest rival.

He duplicated this strong form in the afternoon. Making full use of the sunny yet not too hot conditions at the Jerez circuit to test various set-up options, he secured provisional second place. He held this spot for a large part of the session before dropping a hot lap in the final minutes and taking over at the top with a 1’39.555s, creating a 0.345s margin to second place.

Team-mate Rossi was also strong out of the gate. Having topped the rankings early on in FP1, he maintained a quick pace throughout the session and proved his key protagonist role once again when he took provisional first place with 20 minutes left on the clock. He held the position with a best lap of 1’40.676s until being moved down to third in the time sheets, 0.406s from the front, in the final minutes of the morning session.

The Doctor continued working on his setting in the afternoon and looked competitive holding a top 3 position for the majority of the session, before the pace picked up in the final stages of FP2. He ended the session in fifth place with a best lap of 1’40.282s, 0.727s from his team-mate.

 

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