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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Tees Off Action in Tuscany

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP_FP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi kicked off the first day at Mugello, claiming third and ninth place respectively in the combined session times.

After two very successful weekends in Jerez and Le Mans, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on track for the first free practice sessions at Autodromo del Mugello. Lorenzo’s love for the Tuscan circuit clearly showed in his consistent pace as he secured third in the combined session times ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia. Rossi focused on finding the right setting and tyre option and finished ninth.

Still in good spirits from scoring two back-to-back victories, Lorenzo was eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1 at the start of the 45-minute morning session. With a clear track in front of him, he soon topped the standings before being pushed down the order when times started to drop. However, he was quick to respond and finished in second place.

The afternoon session saw a similar turn of events. The four-time World Champion kept the momentum going and was quick to ride his YZR-M1 to the top of the rankings. Despite not being entirely satisfied with his set-up, he remained a key protagonist throughout the session and finished the day in third place with a 1’47.852 lap.

Local hero Rossi also enjoyed riding in the Tuscan sunshine as he prepared for his first home race weekend of the season. Aiming to add another top performance to his five-consecutive podium run, he consistently improved his pace throughout the morning practice to finish in sixth place.

The nine-time World Champion further improved his time in FP2. Encouraged by the loud cheering of the Italian fans, he briefly took over the top spot from his teammate, but it wasn’t to last and he was pushed back to third. He used the remaining time to focus on finding the right tyre option for Sunday’s race. His fastest lap of 1’48.211 saw him finishing the day in ninth position.

These results see Lorenzo placed third in the combined session times, 0.373s from the front, with Rossi in ninth, 0.732s off today’s fastest time.

Jorge Lorenzo

3rd / 1’47.852 / 36 laps

“I‘m not completely satisfied with the way the bike is working. Concerning the setting of my YZR-M1, I think we have a big margin for improvement. Little by little we are going to make progress in most of the corners, but to begin the weekend with second and third place and a good pace is a nice start. Let‘s see if we can improve the bike and lose half a second in terms of pace tomorrow, because I think it can be much better.”

Valentino Rossi

9th / 1’48.211 / 37 laps

“We started the afternoon practice well. I didn’t feel so bad with the bike and I had quite a good pace. I was quite happy, but I had some problems under braking. We tried to modify the setting so I could brake harder, but we didn’t find a good solution and at the end I came back out on my normal bike and decided to try the harder tyre on the front and rear. The front wasn’t so bad, but the rear was a bit too hard and I didn’t have enough grip on the left side for me to push to the maximum. However, it’s good for us to try these things to gain data and tomorrow we try to modify and to improve the bike, especially under braking in the last section. It looks like Jorge had the best pace, but Dovi is also fast and so is Marquez. It’s only Friday, so it’s too early to say who will be the hardest to beat, but they seem to be in good shape.”

Massimo Meregalli – Team Director

“We had a good start to the weekend, but we still have a lot of work to do to improve the bikes behaviour. We had the possibility to test different tyre choices today and we collected some useful information. Jorge’s lap times were really good and his pace was consistent. We need to improve on Vale’s side but we still have time. It will be important to fix these things as soon as possible, because starting from the front will be very important here.”

Strong start for Smith in the Tuscan hills

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith kicked off his Mugello campaign with a confident surge to 5th position in the combined standings on the opening day of action at the highly anticipated Gran Premio d’Italia TIM. The British rider started the morning practice positively by clinching 8th place with a time of 1’48.349 that left him only 0.045 behind the 5th placed rider. As the sun shone down on the meandering 5.245 kilometre track throughout the day, Smith began his FP2 run with intent to continue the vital set up work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. After having successfully evaluated all of the available tyre options, the 23 year old met the chequered flag with a lap of 1’48.038. This time resulted in him seizing 5th as well as the honours of being the top satellite rider. In addition, his final time was just under two tenths of a second from third and leaves him fully primed for a successful qualifying performance tomorrow.

On the other hand, Pol Espargaro completed the first day of practice in the Tuscan hills with a finish of 10th place aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The young Spaniard looked to bounce back from his recent right arm surgery and started his Mugello weekend by finishing in 9th, merely 0.041 behind his teammate. Having begun the day with some solid set up work, he looked to refine and continue this progress in the afternoon, in preparation for the 23 lap sprint on Sunday. As the end of the FP2 session inched closer, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion sped to a best time of 1’48.283 on his penultimate lap that left him in 10th overall, but only 0.159 back from 6th. He will carry on his work in free practice 3 as he looks to guide his Yamaha YZR-M1 to a strong qualifying position in final 15 minute shootout tomorrow.

Bradley Smith

5th / 1’48.038 / 42 laps

“The first day has been really positive and I am pleased with how the bike feels at this circuit, which I am a big fan of. We have been fast from the word go which is a good opening to the weekend especially as we have struggled here a little bit in the past. Yet today, I was able to ride the bike exactly how I wanted to and I sampled both types of compound for the front and rear tyres, so now we have a good indication of which direction to head towards. I’m even happier as I still feel there is room for improvement as my lap was not quite perfect. Tomorrow we need to work a small amount on the balance of the bike, especially in the afternoon when the temperature increases, as this will be critical for the race on Sunday. Overall, we’re less than two tenths back from the factory Yamaha of Lorenzo, so we are in a good place, but tomorrow we need to make another step forward to get into the 1’47 lap times.”

Pol Espargaro

10th / 1’48.283 / 39 laps

“The day started in a good fashion this morning, but the second free practice session was a bit more challenging. For some reason, I didn’t feel too comfortable on the bike and the lap times did not come easily, so we have to check the data and make a good plan for tomorrow. Nevertheless, the gap to the guys in front is very small as we are all so close together, which is positive, but for today a 10th position finish is nothing to be happy about. However, there are some positives to take. We tried a front tyre which I actually quite liked but the best thing is that my arm is definitely doing much better than I expected and I hope it won’t influence my race too much.”

Good start for Bradl at Mugello

It was a remarkable start for the Athinà Forward Racing team on its home track of Mugello. Stefan Bradl ended the afternoon session at the top of the Open standings with a time of 1’48.694 in 17th place.

After struggling in the first session in the morning, the German found a good feeling on the Italian circuit and has improved his time by more than a second, taking the lead of the Open category. Bradl is confident for qualifying where the goal is the pole position in the Open class.

It was a good day of work also for his teammate Loris Baz who finished with a best lap of 1’49.661 in 21st place. The Frenchman focused on the development of the bike and on the race pace to be competitive on a track as particular as Mugello.

Stefan Bradl

17th / 1’48.694 / 34 laps

“We can be happy today. This morning we struggled but in the afternoon we were able to make a good step forward. We are working in the right direction, the pace is good and I am confident for qualifying.”

Loris Baz

21st / 1’49.661 / 32 laps

“It was an intense day of work. In the first session the sensations were positive considering that several years have passed since last time I came to this track. It is really an incredible circuit but it’s also pretty tough. I struggled more in the afternoon, we have been using worn tyres just to try some solutions for the race. Compared to Le Mans we made a step forward: the bike turns better, I just need to find more grip.”

2015 MotoGP Italy

Mugello 29/05/2015

1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’47.479
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’47.643
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’47.852
4 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’47.940
5 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’48.038
6 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 1’48.124
7 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 1’48.137
8 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’48.164
9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’48.211
10 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’48.283
11 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’48.304
12 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’48.317
13 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 1’48.419
14 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’48.435
15 Maverick Viñales Suzuki ESP 1’48.493
17 Stefan Bradl Yamaha DE 1’48.694
21 Loris Baz Yamaha FRA 1’49.661

Circuit Length:
5245

Weather:
Sunny

Lap Record:
1’47.705
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2012)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’47.157
(Daniel Pedrosa, 2-6-2013)

Last Years Winner:
Marc Marquez