Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on track today for the first free practice sessions of this weekend’s GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Both Lorenzo and Rossi were quick to re-familiarise themselves with the Montmelò circuit in the first session, Lorenzo leading most of the session before wrapping up in second with Rossi in fourth, just 0.022 seconds behind his teammate.
The afternoon practice saw scorching hot weather and track temperatures of 52 degrees, changing the track conditions and slowing the times a little. Both Lorenzo and Rossi were quick to get on the pace, taking turns to run in the top spot in the first minutes on the medium compound tyre. They dropped a few places down the timesheets having taken pit stops but were back in the hunt towards the end of the session having switched to the harder compound rear tyre.
Lorenzo wrapped up the second session in fourth, just 0.159 from first whilst Rossi finished in sixth, 0.506 from the front.
The results put Lorenzo in fifth in the combined times for the day on 1’42.282 and Rossi in seventh on 1’42.423.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team had a great start of the weekend. With 5 minutes to go in the afternoon session, rider Bradley Smith rode a brilliant lap, boosted him to 1st position for FP2 and second place in the combined classification. Tomorrow, the British rider will aim to continue in this form by gunning for a front row grid position in qualifying. Young local hero Pol Espargaro also began the race weekend in a positive manner, finishing in 8th in the combined standings. For tomorrow he looks optimistically towards the qualifying session where he will be aiming for a top six start at his home GP.
The best scorer of the day was NGM Forward Racing Team’s Aleix Espargaro who finished the morning session with the fastest time, a 1’41.672. Nobody was able to improve on his laptime in the afternoon session, putting the older local hero in first place in the combined classification, while teammate Colin Edwards finished in the 16th place.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.