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Promising Start For Movistar Yamaha MotoGP at Cloudy Silverstone

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP_090216

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi started proceedings at the Silverstone Circuit as the British Grand Prix got underway, taking fourth and sixth place in the combined practice sessions’ timesheets.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on the track today for the first practice sessions of the weekend ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix. After a one-week break, shortened by a one-day private test at Brno, this was the first opportunity for both riders to get back into a riding rhythm at the Silverstone Circuit.

Lorenzo got down to business quickly in the first free practice as he looked to set up his fourth victory of the season. Getting a feel for the bike with a new swingarm, he steadily increased his pace around the overcast British circuit and set a fast stint towards the end of the session, dropping consistent 2’02s laps. His best time, a 2’02.765s, saw him take second place, 0.282s from the front.

In the afternoon session he made another step forward. Spending the majority of the 45 minute practice in the top three, the reigning World Champion completed the second heat in fourth place with a best time of 2’02.032. He finished the day 0.611s from first, after various riders put in a hot lap in the final minutes.

Today Rossi was trying out a new chassis for his YZR-M1 that he first tested at Brno and made improvements between today’s two sessions. The nine-time World Champion wrapped up the morning practice with a solid 2’03.591s lap for fourth place, 1.108s from the provisional leader and just 0.028s behind the rider in third place.

In the afternoon session the Doctor shaved off more tenths to better his best lap time from this morning, dropping into the 2’02s. He finished the day in sixth place in the combined standings, having improved on the morning session by 1.329s with a 2’02.262s lap, 0.841s from first.

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“The testing that we have done today during the free practice sessions was a good start for our riders, because Valentino had to compare two different chassis specifications and Jorge had to compare different swingarms. In addition we worked on various settings in order to improve the rear grip and the turning of the bike and we also compared different tyre specs. The condition of the tarmac in dry circumstances is not as good as we expected, which made our job a bit more difficult. The speed of our riders and their stints didn’t suffer: their pace was already good. For tomorrow it will be important that the track will be dry at least in the morning, because we still have to improve the setting and it will be fundamental to do a long-distance stint to test the tyres that we would like to use for the race.”

Jorge Lorenzo

“The bike is acting differently compared to other years, because we’ve got the Michelin tyres and new electronics and it looks like, at this track particularly, it’s more difficult to improve the record of the track. We are trying something to especially better the turning of the bike and we are improving it. Let’s see what the weather is like tomorrow, if the weather is dry, maybe we can make another step forward and be ready for the race on Sunday.”

Valentino Rossi

“These were difficult conditions, but we were lucky because we were able to do both practice sessions on the dry and were able to use slick tyres. We needed to, because we have a lot of work to do: we have the new chassis and swingarm that we need to understand. Some things I like more and some things I like less. For tomorrow we need to understand the right balance, the right stuff to mount. At the end everybody was very fast and with the soft tyre at the end my lap time was not so bad, so I was there and now we wait for tomorrow and hope for better conditions.”

Espargaro opens Silverstone campaign with solid effort on day one – Lowes impresses on debut

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro positively concluded the first day of the British Grand Prix as he took the first steps in setting up his Yamaha for Sunday’s round 12 fight. The Spaniard began by completing the opening shakedown in 6th and just over a tenth of a second back from third place. The confident start left the 25-year-old eager for the afternoon practice and when it commenced, he carried on as he took advantage of the dry session, with rain expected over the weekend. After completing 16 laps, his best time saw him finish in 11th and only 0.541 back from the quickest Factory Yamaha MotoGP bike. Now the top independent rider in this year’s championship standings fully intends to increase his pace further tomorrow in order to clinch a solid grid position for Sunday’s race.

Meanwhile, Alex Lowes undertook an impressive start to his debut MotoGP outing at Silverstone where he closed the day just over 1.2 of a second back from his teammate. The stand-in rider, who is replacing the injured Bradley Smith for this race and the San Marino Grand Prix, kicked off the day by using the morning practice to take the first steps in adapting to the Yamaha YZR-M1. The young Briton’s progress was significant and when the afternoon session began, he continued his efforts. Here, Lowes notably produced a lap that was 2.370 quicker than his personal best from FP1, which also left him right in the hunt with the satellite MotoGP riders in free practice 2. Tomorrow, the 25-year-old aims to make further advances ahead of his first MotoGP qualifying shootout.

Pol Espargaro

“Overall, the opening day at Silverstone has been a solid one and I am confident that I can climb the standings more tomorrow. We started pretty well and in FP1 I felt really comfortable on the bike. Then, we managed to improve quite a lot in the afternoon, however, we just missed out on the top ten at the end of the day. Therefore, this is a bit disappointing considering that the weather forecast for tomorrow morning is uncertain. Anyway, today the grip level changed a lot between the two sessions, and for some reason, I just didn’t have the same feeling. Now we will have a good look into the data and I am sure that we will find a solution to turn around this slight issue. The main area where we still have a margin of improvement to make is the corner speed. Moreover, we began to explore tyre options today, but it is too early to make a decision on which compound we will use on Sunday as the track conditions will continue to change. Even if it rains tomorrow, I am convinced that we can do a good job and hopefully, score a strong qualifying position.”

Alex Lowes

“I really enjoyed my first day and I am excited for tomorrow, with the main aim being to continue improving. Unfortunately, I made one small mistake this morning, and crashed in the last lap of FP1, however, due to the timing, it luckily meant that I didn’t lose any precious track time. Anyway, the team did a great job with fixing the bike, so I have to say thanks to them. FP2 went a lot better and I started to understand the bike more, which raised my confidence. I still have a lot more to learn but I feel that I made some big steps forward. Day one is out of the way so I’ll digest what has happened and I will think about some areas of improvement from my side for tomorrow. I am certain that we can be closer to the front in the next few days, and I want to get as near as possible to Pol. However, I have to stay realistic and I know that the faster you get, the harder it is. I think I did quite a good job today so thanks to the team for their great work and I’m looking forward to pushing more tomorrow.”