Lorenzo sets the benchmark in British Grand Prix Free Practice
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo was the benchmark on the opening day of action at the British Grand Prix, the current championship leader setting a time of 2’02.338 in this afternoon’s Free Practice 2 session.
Lorenzo’s record at Silverstone is imperious, with the Spaniard winning three of the five races held at this venue since 2010 and he continued his affinity for the British circuit by ending the day 0.033 seconds ahead of his closest rival, Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez. Impressing at his home Grand Prix was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith who finished third quickest overall with a personal best lap time of 2'02.531 which was just 0.193 off Lorenzo’s top time. All of the top three riders used the combination of the soft compound front and medium compound rear slick to set their quickest times.
Conditions in both of today’s sessions were fine and sunny although the presence of a cool breeze kept ambient and track temperatures to a moderate level. The peak track temperature of 30° Celsius. For the first session, the extra-soft front slick – identified with a green stripe – was by far the most popular option as it provides the best warm-up performance and cornering grip on Silverstone’s tarmac which features a lot of undulation in the braking zone. As track temperatures increased in the afternoon sessions, the riders migrated to the soft compound front slick which closely matches the extra-soft front slick in terms of warm-up performance but with better braking stability. Rear tire choice throughout the day saw the riders focus on the softer rear option; medium compound for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders and soft compound for the rest of the field, although both Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders tested the hard compound rear slick in FP2 with favorable results.
Tomorrow’s forecast indicates weather conditions will be similar to today with almost no chance of rain. The next MotoGP session is Free Practice 3 at 0955 local time (GMT +1).
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“The weather conditions today were quite good but the presence of bumps in many corners meant that the riders need to proceed with caution in the first session of the day. After a steady start, the riders were able to push for a lap time in the afternoon once they became familiar with the track conditions and the pace in FP2 was close to race record pace. All three rear slick options were evaluated today but I expect there will be further testing in tomorrow’s practice sessions so riders can confirm which rear tire is best for them over race distance. Front tire choice at this moment shows a unanimous preference for the soft compound option, but some riders will try the medium compound in FP4 tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what benefit this option provides at this bumpy circuit.”