MotoGP: Advantage Lorenzo with faultless performance at cool and cloudy Silverstone
Silverstone, Friday, Aug 28th 2015 – Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo put in a faultless performance on an action-packed first day of Free Practice at the Octo British Grand Prix to head the timesheets at a dry but chilly Silverstone.
The Spaniard finished just 0.033s ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez in a thrilling end to the day’s action. The man tied with Lorenzo on points at the top of the standings, Valentino Rossi, ended the day 0.989s behind his teammate in tenth. Local hero Bradley Smith impressed to finish in third and complete the provisional front row.
Jorge Lorenzo – “The feeling has been good from the beginning. I didn’t expect to improve so much in the afternoon session on my first run, but my lap time was suddenly a second quicker and was fast enough for me to stay in first position. We still need to improve our pace a little bit, because the track is very cold and this made the tyre go down a little bit after every run. We need to work on the bike to make it easier on tyre-life to be able to keep up a higher pace. The car racing at Silverstone is making the asphalt very bumpy, especially on braking, and I think it’s a bit slower compared to last year, but the bikes seem to be faster, making the lap times similar.”
Conditions at the legendary 5.9km Silverstone Circuit had improved from FP1 and bright sunshine saw track temperatures rise to 27?C in the afternoon. This meant that most riders drastically improved their times in FP2 as they took advantage of better grip levels. With the potential for rain on Saturday morning, today’s practice sessions took on an extra emphasis as riders tried to guarantee themselves a spot in Q2.
Therefore with ten minutes left most riders pitted to swap to the softer option tyre available to them and a dramatic shootout ensued. Lorenzo chose to remain on old tyres, and his 2’02.338 from earlier in the session was good enough to secure top spot, despite being almost two seconds slower than Marquez’s pole record (2’00.691) from 2013.
Marquez (+0.033s) had earlier topped FP1 but had no answer to the pace of Lorenzo in the afternoon, despite swapping for fresh rubber at the end of the session. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Smith (+0.193s) delighted the passionate home fans to set the third fastest time overall and complete the provisional front row. Smith was by far and away the fastest Satellite rider and will be hoping that he can continue this form in an effort to secure his first podium of the season.
Marc Marquez 2nd- “I’m happy with today, as things have gone quite well. It was a good day and we have made continuous positive development, improving our top lap time considerably from the first session to the second. The important thing is that I felt very comfortable and we are up at the top, competing at the same level as Jorge, who is very strong and riding with a lot of confidence. Our goal tomorrow will be to keep up the same way of working that we saw today and to further improve in any aspect where there is still room to do so. We will focus especially on setting up the bike for the race, because it will be a long one.”
Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.235s) was fourth, ahead of the Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (+0.423s) in fifth. Dovizioso was using an updated version of his GP15 that debuted at Brno side by side by with the old version to allow him to compare the benefits.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro (+0.534s) made use of the extra-soft tyre available to him to claim sixth spot. He finished exactly one-tenth of a second ahead of his brother Pol on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 in seventh.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) had two updated GP15’s at his disposal, and despite crashing at Stowe Corner half way through the session, recovered to finish in eighth.
Dani Pedrosa 4th – “I am satisfied with the work we have done today, as this afternoon we took a good step forward and I lowered my times considerably, but I would like to improve even more. We had a small problem with the rear brake; it broke and the rear wheel was slowing us down. Luckily it was only that small issue, and we will fix it. There are a couple of things we have to work on with the bike, especially corner entry and the fact that we are losing rear grip as the laps go by. We need to fix this to get closer to Jorge and Marc, who are very strong at this circuit . The goal is to qualify high up and be as close as possible to them. My foot is much better, there are a couple of corners where I still feel some pain, but on the rest of the track I can concentrate on my riding.”
Scott Redding on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Factory spec Honda showed good pace to finish in ninth, ahead of the nine-time World Champion Rossi who completed the top ten. Rossi found himself almost a second down on his teammate’s time and will need to improve tomorrow if he has any hopes of re-taking his championship lead.
Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was the top Open class rider in 13th, ahead of the leading Open Honda of Jack Miller (LCR Honda) in 14th. Surprisingly Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) found himself behind his Australian teammate, despite riding a Factory spec RC213V, 1.410s off the pace of Lorenzo.
Aspar MotoGP Team’s Irish rider Eugene Laverty finished 16th fastest on the combined timesheets, with his American teammate Nicky Hayden down in 22nd.