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Lorenzo Breaks Circuit Best Lap as Misano MotoGP Begins

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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo had a flying start to the ‘Grand Prix di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini’ weekend, setting a new fastest lap record at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Teammate Valentino Rossi also showed a solid pace in the first two practice sessions and ended the day in fifth place.

After a successful private Aragon test just a week ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team made the most of a perfect sunny day at the newly resurfaced Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Jorge Lorenzo thoroughly enjoyed the new, more grippy tarmac at the Misano track, which is one of his favourite circuits on the MotoGP calendar. He needed little time to adjust to the resurfaced circuit and swiftly moved up to second in the time sheets in his second outing with a best time of 1’33.422. The Spaniard spent the remainder of the 45-minute session getting his setting ready for the afternoon and held the second position until the chequered flag came out.

The afternoon saw not only the temperature increase but also the pace. Lorenzo was smart to avoid traffic at the start of the second free practice session by waiting a little longer before leaving pit lane. He initially took first place before dropping to second position, which he held for most of the session until he decided to test winglets, an amendment to his YZR-M1’s fairing, in the final twelve minutes. His next lap saw him immediately move into to lead when he dropped a 1’32.871, a new circuit best lap record at Misano that remained unchallenged for the rest of the session.

Championship leader Valentino Rossi was greeted by thousands of cheering fans when he entered the track for the morning practice. Encouraged by the sea of yellow around the circuit, the crowd’s favourite was on the charge right from the word go and moved up to second place with a 1’36.456 lap before focusing on his set up. He gradually improved his time as the pace quickened and clocked a 1’34.086 at the final stages of the session for sixth place.

Like his teammate, Rossi was able to make a big improvement in the afternoon session. Despite the crowdedness on the track, he skillfully maneuvered his way to the top of the timesheets as FP2 came to a close. He wrapped up the session by clocking a time of 1’33.469, over one and a half seconds faster than his morning lap time. This result improved his ranking in the combined practice times to fifth position, 0.598s off today’s fastest time.

Jorge Lorenzo

1st / 1’32.871 / 37 laps

“We have been fast since the beginning of this morning’s session and I like the new surface of the track, I think it suits my riding style. We tried some different settings in the afternoon that I wasn’t quite satisfied about, but even with a less than perfect set-up we still managed to have a fast and constant pace with both tyres. We first rode with the hard rear and used the soft at the end and finished in first place. I think that, if we can improve the bike and try the hard tyre, we can make another step forward tomorrow. We are still trying out the winglets to understand the benefit.”

Valentino Rossi

5th / 1’33.469 / 44 laps

“Misano is always special and already today there was a great atmosphere. All around the track there were lots of people and this is good for the whole sport. The new track surface was quite difficult and I suffered in the morning, but we worked a lot on the bike and fortunately we improved in the afternoon. During the practice we were able to make a step forward, which is good, but it’s not enough because I still don’t feel a 100 per cent and can’t ride at the maximum, so we have to improve for tomorrow. It’s possible that I will give the winglets a try this weekend. We already rode with them during the private test and the first feeling wasn’t so bad, it helped a little and could make a small difference.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Today was a great start to the race weekend considering we hadn’t ridden at Misano since the track was repaved and we were unsure what to expect. Jorge started with a very focused mindset as usually and showed a great pace, setting a new fastest lap record. Vale made progress in the afternoon. He dropped into the mid 1’33s and looks to make another step tomorrow. The team has done a good job today and we will continue to work tonight to be ready for tomorrow. The pace of the field is very fast so early on in the weekend, but we are feeling confident and are looking forward to qualifying and the race.”

Espargaro kick starts Misano GP with spirited run to 6th

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro matched the sunshine to begin the 13th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship brightly with a firm finish of 6th on day one at Misano. The 24 year old got straight to work in FP1 under perfect weather conditions at the recently resurfaced 4.2 kilometre Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as he took the first steps in adjusting the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1. The Spaniard showed his determination as he relentlessly completed a total of 24 laps in the morning session, which was more than any other MotoGP rider and set a best time of 1’34.094 on his 18th lap. When the afternoon practice got underway, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion continued his efforts as he fully intends to further his positive streak in the last few MotoGP weekends. He pushed onwards in the session before speeding to a best lap of 1’33.552 at the end of the practice and this time was less than three tenths from third position. Tomorrow, he will seek to utilise the strong start and then build on it in order to confidently battle his way to a top qualifying position in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith leapt into action on the opening day at Misano and began his San Marino Grand Prix challenge with a solid performance to seize 8th as he looks to fight to another top six result this weekend. When the morning session began, the British rider wasted no time in analysing the resurfaced track as he made the initial adjustments to his MotoGP bike in preparation for Sunday’s race. The Briton dug deep and after completing 18 laps, his best was 1’34.266 which left him in 8th and fully primed for the afternoon session. After undertaking continuous progress throughout FP2 with the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1, Smith ultimately shot across the finish line with a best lap of 1’33.595 that saw him complete the day in 8th, plus, his performance was just a blink of an eye behind his teammate by a mere 0.042 of a second. With today ending positively for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider, he now focuses on extending his recent notable record tomorrow, as he has qualified no lower than 6th in the last three races.

Pol Espargaro

6th / 1’33.552 / 46 laps

“Today was a positive opening to our Misano account. I felt good when I jumped on my M1 and went out on track so we have been competitive as soon as the wheels turned today. We still had to face a few issues but we were able to get around these and with the setup up that we had on the second bike, we found a solution. Nevertheless, we can see that with the lap times improving, there are some areas that we will need to adjust and enhance for qualifying. At the moment I have one bike that works well in certain areas and the other one is great for the remaining aspects so all we need to do now is find the perfect mix between the two in order to be able to have a strong performance tomorrow. I definitely want to give my compliments to the Misano World Circuit for the new surface because there is an obvious improvement and it’s a pleasure to ride on.”

Bradley Smith

8th / 1’33.595 / 46 laps

“It was a good start overall today here in Misano and there are plenty of positives to think about tonight. One of the main plus points is that the Yamaha YZR-M1’s are strong here even though we were the only manufacturer who missed the test here earlier this year. I must admit that I was a bit nervous about this, but having said that, after the performances from Vale and Jorge last year we knew that our bike would be competitive. Today we tried all three front tyre options and both of the rear compounds and now we have a clear indication of which direction we want to head towards for the rest of this weekend. The front of the bike is the most critical area at this track due to the nature of the circuit and the hard braking, therefore the front compound choice will be vital for the race. In addition, we need to continue our work as there is a compromise to be made between braking stability and turning of the bike. Yet overall, the new surface is an improvement and not quite the step up that everyone was talking about but for sure it’s a lot better for performance and for the safety of riders, which is the most important point. For tomorrow, I hope to continue this positive form and clinch a top grid position for the race on Sunday.”

Great start for Baz at Misano

The first and intense day of work for the Forward Team and its riders has just ended at Misano, which is hosting the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini this weekend. Loris Baz and Claudio Corti went on track in front of the home crowd and finished the day in 16th and 26th position respectively.

Positive feelings for the Frenchman who was trying different options and at the same time was able to get the second place among the Open bikes behind Laverty. With a solid 1’34.500, Baz is close to the points-zone and aiming for the Open pole.

Despite a hard crash for Corti in the morning practice, fortunately without consequences, Italian rider finished 26th with a personal best of 1’36.326 and is confident he can repeat the good qualifying he did in Silverstone in front of the Italian fans.

Loris Baz

16th / 1’34.500 / 36 laps

“It was a good day of work. We tried different settings and we are going in the right direction. My best lap time is quite good and I am confident for tomorrow. We are not far from the other Open bikes. I’m happy, we should continue this way, our potential is high.”

Claudio Corti

26th / 1’36.326 / 28 laps

“Overall it was a good day despite the high-speed crash this morning. The goal was to start from the good result in qualifying at Silverstone and take a step further but we were hampered by what happened in the first practice. I lost the front and I crashed, fortunately without consequences. In the afternoon I rode a completely different bike, the feeling is positive and the goal is to shave a few tenths in each sector to close the gap with the other Open in qualifying.”

2015 MotoGP San Marino

Marco Simoncelli, San Marino 11/09/2015

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’32.871
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’32.924
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’33.258
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’33.291
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’33.469
6 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’33.552
7 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 1’33.553
8 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’33.595
9 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’33.674
10 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 1’33.785
11 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’33.808
12 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 1’33.840
13 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’34.132
14 Maverick Viñales Suzuki ESP 1’34.215
15 Eugene Laverty Honda GBR 1’34.345
16 Loris Baz Yamaha FRA 1’34.500
26 Claudio Corti Yamaha ITA 1’36.326

Circuit Length:
4226

Weather:
Sunny

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’32.915
(Marc Marquez, 15-9-2013)

Last Years Winner:
Valentino Rossi