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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Get Back to Business in Brno

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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a strong start today in the first practice sessions ahead of this Sunday’s Grand Prix České Republiky, wrapping up the day in first and sixth respectively.

After a successful weekend in Indianapolis, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi enjoyed their first day at the fast and flowing Automotodrom Brno and were both quick to find pace.

Lorenzo immediately positioned himself as a protagonist at the beginning of the first practice and kept dropping competitive laps throughout the session. With twenty minutes remaining he put his YZR-M1 to the test and shot to the top with a lap time of 1’56.499, which remained unchallenged for the rest of the day.

The Spaniard continued his form in the afternoon practice, which saw him quickly climb up the rankings to second with a 1’56.589. He spent the remainder of the time testing various settings to improve tyre life under hot track conditions and held his second place until the end of the session.

Teammate Rossi also had a strong start to the Czech Republic Grand Prix weekend. Gradually upping his pace, he was within half second off the fastest times by the end of the session and wrapped up the morning practice in sixth place with a best lap of 1’57.038.

The nine-time World Champion looked competitive again at the start of the FP2. He initially led the session with a 1’57.754 lap, but suffered a minor crash with 38 minutes remaining due to fluid on the track at turn 13. Unhurt, Rossi quickly retuned to the pits to go out on his second bike ten minutes later. He went on to improve his time to a 1’57.074 lap, ending the session in fourth place.

Today’s results put Lorenzo first in the combined free practice time sheets, 0,539s in front of Rossi in sixth.

Jorge Lorenzo

1st / 1’56.499 / 31 laps

“We started this morning in a very good way. The afternoon has seen some of the toughest circumstances that we’ve had all season. It was very hot and on the straight you could feel the heat coming from the engine, so it was a very physically demanding training. Without wind, the track was much worse than it was in the morning, but we were able to keep a quite consistent pace compared to our rivals. In the end, I tried all the tyres and some settings of the bike that give us a good direction to work towards for tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi

6th / 1’57.038 / 30 laps

“Unfortunately Pedrosa had a problem with his bike and it lost some oil and I crashed. This afternoon was difficult for everybody because the track is very slippery and the amount of grip is very low and at the same time there are a lot of bumps, so every time I entered the corner I was pretty much at the limit. At the end of the afternoon it went a bit better and I went into fourth position, but I have to recover a disadvantage, especially the one to Jorge, who seems to have the best pace.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It’s been a positive and hot first day. The conditions of the track were very difficult and the high temperature made the circumstances even worse. We started in the right way and the set up is working well for Jorge. His pace is very fast and consistent and he is feeling good with the bike. Vale’s side still has some work to do. It was unfortunate that he crashed because of fluid leaking from Pedrosa’s bike. Luckily he didn’t get hurt and, even though it meant we couldn’t get all the testing done that we wanted to do today, we still have enough time before the race on Sunday and I’m confident that we can make another step for tomorrow.”

Espargaro finishes as top satellite rider after battling the heat in Brno on day one

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro started the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky in a positive light after finishing the opening day of practice in 7th place overall in the combined standings. The Spaniard concluded the opening session in 12th position after beginning to alter his Yamaha YZR-M1 for the undulating hills of Brno. After lapping the circuit 16 times, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion posted a lap of 1’58.195 as he looked optimistically onwards to the afternoon practice. When it began, Espargaro jumped straight back into gear and continued his work in preparation for Sunday’s race as he made steps forward with the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 by the close of FP2. He finished with a best lap of 1’57.078, which was set on his final run and his performance left him less than a hairs breadth back from Valentino Rossi who was in 4th, by only 0.004. This equalled 5th in the afternoon and 7th overall at the close of day one. Tomorrow, the Spaniard will seek to produce a notable showing in qualifying in order to clinch a top tier grid position.

Meanwhile, on the opposite of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith finished the opening day of action in the Czech Republic in 8th place overall after a solid effort today aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The 24 year old British rider kicked off proceedings by beginning to set up his bike for Sunday, in FP1, before concluding the session with a best lap of 1’57.137, landing him in 7th. In the afternoon, Smith continued his work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team under the blazing sun and completed a total of 16 laps around the 5.4 kilometre Automotodrom Brno. He set a best time of 1’57.494, yet his lap from the morning practice was the faster of the two sessions and saw him seize 8th overall. Tomorrow, he will intend to progress further with his setup work and then land his MotoGP bike in a positive qualifying position at the 11th round of the 2015 World Championship.

Pol Espargaro

7th / 1’57.078 / 32 laps

“Overall it has been a positive but challenging first day. This morning we were struggling in different areas, so my confidence wasn’t at its highest. Yet, we able to find the right direction to work towards and fortunately the modifications we made for the afternoon session, made me feel much more comfortable on the bike. This was truly positive as the conditions were much warmer in the afternoon and it should be very similar in Sunday’s race which also helps to boost my confidence. In free practice 2, the soft rear tyre was working really well and I could actually ride the bike in the way that I wanted to and I enjoyed it too. Therefore my rhythm along with my fastest lap time improved significantly. So after a tricky start to the weekend I can now optimistically look tomorrow’s FP3 session.”

Bradley Smith

8th / 1’57.137 / 34 laps

“It was a good opening to the weekend and there are many positives to take from today. As soon as we hit the track this morning in FP1, I felt really comfortable with the bike, which set me up confidently for the afternoon. Yet, FP2 was a bit more complicated as it was a trickier for everyone due to the hot weather conditions and the track temperature. We were able to try both compounds of rear and front tyres in order to have all the necessary information available to analyse. Still, I’m a bit disappointed with the crash this afternoon, although it seems like a lot of guys made the same mistake because it has been quite difficult to find the right compromise in the balance between the hard and soft tyres. Therefore we need to try and understand what the issue was and fix it tomorrow because we expect Sunday’s weather to be similar to what we experienced today. So overall, it was a good start even with the small crash and in addition, I didn’t set a single lap time with the soft tyre at the end, but I still finished inside the top ten. As a result, I have to be happy and I’m ready to improve tomorrow.”

Baz and Corti back on track in Brno

It was an intense day of work for the Forward Racing team and its rider returning on track at Brno which this week will host the eleventh race of the season.

Loris Baz, with a personal best of 1’58.678, clinched the 22nd position in the combined time sheets, a few tenths from the top Open bikes. The Frenchman is confident for qualifying tomorrow when the objective is to stay with the class leaders.

Claudio Corti is also motivated to do well as he is replacing Stefan Bradl on the Yamaha Forward. After an encouraging 2’00.074 in the morning the Italian suffered as the temperature increased and was unable to improve his lap time in the second free practice.

Loris Baz

22nd / 1’58.678 / 31 laps

“It is not easy to get back on track after a month out but it is good to be back on the circuit. Generally speaking I am happy with the work done today; I lack feeling a little but we do have margin to improve pace and setting tomorrow.”

Claudio Corti

24th / 2’00.074 / 28 laps

“On this first day of work we focused on regaining feeling with the bike after the experience at the Sachsenring. I was soon at ease in the first session and the impression was immediately positive. In the afternoon we started with the aim to improve the feeling with the brakes and in acceleration but the temperature rose a lot and it was difficult to approach the morning lap-time. I have to increase my confidence with the rear on corner-exit in view of the race, overall I’m satisfied.”

2015 MotoGP Czech Republic

Brno 14/08/2015

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’56.499
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’56.513
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’56.750
4 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’56.784
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’56.821
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’57.038
7 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’57.078
8 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’57.137
9 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 1’57.202
10 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 1’57.229
11 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’57.544
12 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 1’57.575
13 Maverick Viales Suzuki ESP 1’57.607
14 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’57.718
15 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’57.860
22 Loris Baz Yamaha FRA 1’58.678
24 Claudio Corti Yamaha Forward ITA 2’00.074

Circuit Length:

Lap Record:
(Jorge Lorenzo, 1-1-2012)

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Cal Crutchlow, 25-8-2013)

Last Years Winner:
Daniel Pedrosa

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