Lorenzo Is Second And Rossi Sixth In Mugello Free Practice
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a strong start to the Gran Premio d'Italia weekend.
Eager to impress at their team's first home Grand Prix of the season, the teammates pushed hard in the afternoon to make up for lost time in the morning and secured second and sixth in the combined session times.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi enjoyed their first day at the 'Autodromo del Mugello' track in the Tuscan sunshine in the afternoon and set some competitive lap times when the sun came out in the afternoon.
Lorenzo decided not to take any risks and remained seated in the Yamaha Factory Racing team's pit box during the FP1 session. What he missed in action in the morning, he made up for in the afternoon. The current leader of the championship made clear how much he loves the Mugello circuit, by setting multiple fast laps and challenging at the top of the standings throughout the FP2 session. He wrapped up the day in second place with a best lap of 1'48.157s, 0.461s from first.
Teammate Rossi had been looking forward to entertaining his home fans so much that not even the rainy weather conditions could stop him in the morning. He cleverly used the 45-minutes of free practice time to do eight practice starts from pit lane. However, as he immediately returned to the pits after each attempt, he did not set a time for the morning classification.
In the afternoon, the Doctor was able to start working on improving the balance of the bike and bettering his setting to suit the last sector of the demanding Mugello circuit. He set a best time of 1'48.340 and ended the day in sixth place, 0.644s from the front.
Espargaro and Smith confidently close day one in Mugello
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro began his round six campaign by positively finishing the opening day of action in 10th position at the meandering Mugello circuit. This morning, the young Spaniard decided to wait for drier conditions before attempting a fast lap, with only half the field posting lap times on the partially damp track.
Nevertheless, when the dry afternoon session started, the 25-year-old quickly got up to speed as he initiated in setting up his Yamaha YZR-M1. During the practice, Espargaro built up his pace before posting his personal best on his 16th lap, which left him only 0.225 back from third position and therefore highly optimistic for tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith battled the iconic circuit and concluded the opening day in 15th as he adjusted the base setup of his MotoGP bike for Sunday's 23 lap sprint. The young Briton launched into action this morning as he gained valuable data in case of further rain this weekend, before finishing the opening practice in 4th whilst using the intermediate Michelin tyres. In FP2, he lunged forward immediately and consistently progressed before setting his best time on the penultimate lap. The positive initial conclusions from the opening shakedown leaves Smith fully confident of lowering his lap time tomorrow and sealing a top tier grid position for the round six fight.