Jorge Lorenzo on top on opening day in Japan
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi kicked off the first flyaway race at Twin Ring Motegi, making the most of the perfect riding conditions in the first practice sessions ahead of this weekend‘s Grand Prix of Japan.
Lorenzo didn‘t let the slight shoulder injury, which he sustained last week whilst training, stop him reminding race fans of his strong form at the Japanese circuit. The Aragón race winner started the morning Free Practice session with a competitive pace and needed little time to position himself ahead of his rivals when he dropped under 1‘46 mark. He continued to improve his times and led for most of the session to ultimately top the FP1 standings with a 1‘45.432.
The Spaniard duplicated his strong performance in the second 45 minute session. Directly on the pace, he posted multiple 1‘45 laps and comfortably led the way. His fastest lap of 1‘45.426 remained unchallenged until the final minutes of the session. Having been pushed back one place by fellow Yamaha-rider Bradley Smith, Lorenzo felt encouraged to put his head down once more and quickly set a 1‘44.731 to reclaim the lead by 0.128s at the end of the session and top the overall times.
It was a surprising day, because I didn‘t expect to be so competitive, especially in the morning. I expected to improve little by little, but starting from the first run I was the fastest rider and I improved even more on the last outing, so I finished first in the morning and the afternoon. The bike is going better than last year and we have a great setup. Obviously my shoulder isn‘t perfect, but even with my shoulder in this condition I‘m still able to ride and be quite consistent. I believe that with normal physical conditions I could have been even faster, but there‘s no point in thinking about what could have happened. It‘s better to focus on the current situation and take the maximum profit. For tomorrow we still have a margin to improve the bike to suit my riding. I hope it won‘t be raining on Sunday, so let‘s hope the weather forecasts improve.
Source: Movistar Yamaha