Lorenzo sets formidable pace in Japanese MotoGP practice
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo shrugged off the effects of his shoulder injury to blast to the top of the timesheets in both of today’s Free Practice sessions at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
After finishing quickest in Free Practice 1 this morning, Lorenzo continued to set the pace in FP2 and on his thirteenth lap of the session set a 1'44.731; just two-tenths of a second off the outright Motegi lap record. Second quickest today was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who set a time of 1’44.859 to trail Lorenzo by just 0.128 second on combined times. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone was third quickest today, as he set a personal best time of 1’45.043 on his GP15 machine.
The opening day of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend experienced pleasant weather with dry conditions throughout the day and a peak track temperature of 41°C recorded at the start of FP2. All of the slick compounds in the tire allocation for the Japanese Grand Prix were evaluated today, with the medium compound front and soft compound rear slicks emerging as the favorite option among the riders. Rider feedback indicated that the hard compound front slick exhibited excellent braking performance, but the medium front slick was deemed to be the better all-round performer. Although the extra-soft rear slick for the open-class riders, and the medium compound rear slick for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are strong performers at Motegi, the combination of cornering performance, drive grip and consistency made the soft compound rear slick the preferred option today.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“We couldn’t have had better weather and track conditions today at Motegi, so the riders were able to set a very quick pace from early in the first session. Motegi’s main feature is its harsh acceleration and braking zones, but good cornering performance is still a priority for riders. Accordingly, the riders preferred the tire options today which provided the best all-round performance at this technical circuit. The medium compound front slick didn’t exhibit the same braking stability as the hard front slick, but the advantage it gives in cornering and warm-up performance means it is the favorite option at the moment. For the rear tire, the soft compound rear slick is the preferred option, though I expect the extra-soft and medium rear slicks will also be chosen for Sunday’s race as some riders had good results using these options.”