LORENZO AND ROSSI BEGIN SEASON FINALE IN SECOND AND FOURTH2009-11-06 14:09
The final Grand Prix weekend of the season got underway at Valencia in Spain today in bright sunshine, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finishing the first day of practice in second and fourth respectively. The Fiat Yamaha pairing have little left to achieve this weekend but both are determined to close the season on a high note, with Lorenzo especially looking to confirm second place in the championship.
It was the young Mallorcan Lorenzo who spent the most time at the top of the time sheets today as he quickly found a comfortable setting for his M1 around the twisty 4.005 km circuit, one of only three circuits on the calendar where he has never won. In the last five minutes he was edged into second by Casey Stoner, but he continued to improve his time right up to the flag, ending up 0.382 seconds off the Australian. Rossi made a similarly strong start, spending the session working through some different setting solutions and making a steady improvement throughout. The Italian, who won his ninth world championship last time out in Sepang, finished the day just behind Dani Pedrosa in fourth place.
Position: 2nd Time: 1'33.195 Laps: 32
"This is one of the few places I haven't won in my career so I really want to try! Today was very good, I did many laps with a strong rhythm and with a consistent and fast pace. We are feeling strong and we hope we can continue to be competitive. Tonight we will look at the data from today and consider how we can make more improvements for tomorrow so that I can try to be on the front row once again."
Position: 4th Time: 1'33.499 Laps: 30
"It's really nice to be riding as the world champion without having to think about points and now I just want to finish the year with a good race. Today was not so bad, I'm not happy with fourth but we're not far off and we worked well on the bike. We had some different settings to work on to try to improve our performance at this track and then at the end I was able to do some good laps all together. Tomorrow we have quite a lot of work to do, we need to try the harder Bridgestone tyre and try to make another step with the setting, but so far we have done a good job."
"This was a very good start for us, as we've made at most races this season. We used the same Bridgestone tyre for the whole session and we had a good pace today, but we need to keep improving because we know that the eventual race pace will be faster than today's. We've already got a lot of data and some additional rider requests, so we will work on those tomorrow."
"In preparation for this session we had planned some different setting solutions to work through and so we spent the hour checking them carefully. Now we will compare the data we've gathered and use this going forward to tomorrow. Valentino already has a good pace and felt comfortable on the bike today so we are confident of being in good shape for the weekend."
Combined Free Practice Times
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team
5. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP
6. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini
7. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda
9. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team
11. Mika Kallio (FIN) Ducati Marlboro Team
12. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team
13. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
14. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini
15. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing
16. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
17. Gabor Talmacsi (HUN) Scot Racing Team MotoGP
18. Alex Espagaro (SPA) Pramac Racing
Comunitat Valenciana: Record Lap
C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1'32.582
Comunitat Valenciana: Best Lap
V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2006, 1'31.002
Source: Fiat Yamaha Team
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