Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo looked ready for business at Misano on the Italian Riviera today, putting in some impressive times and finishing the day first and second, several tenths ahead of the next fastest rider. This was despite the uncomfortably hot and humid weather, although a forecast late rain shower tonight promises to cool things down a little for tomorrow.
It was Lorenzo, fresh from his victory in Indianapolis just five days ago, who looked in command for the early part of the session as he immediately found a good setting and set about improving his time lap by lap. In the last twenty minutes however Rossi made a step forward and was able to join his team-mate lapping in the 1’35s, the local favourite eventually finishing the session a tenth ahead of the Spanish challenger. There was a further gap of over six tenths back to Dani Pedrosa in third, promising another tense weekend of racing between the Fiat Yamaha pair.
Valentino Rossi Speaks… (Position: 1st Time: 1’35.304 Laps: 29)
"This is more the weather for the beach than for the racetrack, today was unbelievably hot! The first session was much better than in Indy though and I am quite happy. We have made a few experiments with different settings and then at the end when we put everything together with the right tyre, I was able to do three fast laps and finish first. It’s a good sign to be in this shape already on Friday and now we just have to improve a bit more tomorrow because it’s very important here to be on the front row. It’s quite a tricky track and you have to be quite careful in some places, but my bike felt good today."
Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… (Position: 2nd Time: 1’35.430 Laps: 29)
"Today was very hot which meant it quite hard to ride, and also the track is quite slippery here. I felt comfortable on my bike from the start and I was able to be quite fast, which is always encouraging, but I think we have some more work to do because we’re not perfect yet and the front could be better, especially on the entry to the corners. Tomorrow we will try to work on this and especially on T2 and T3, because these are the areas where we are losing some time. Valentino is very strong, as I expected because it’s his home and he won last year, so we will have to be at the maximum to be able to fight with him."
Davide Brivio Speaks… (Team Manager)
"We did a lot of work today and it looks like we’ve done a good job. We worked on both bikes and all the tyres and by the end of the session Valentino had a good pace and rhythm. We hope that we have found a good base on which we can build tomorrow. The important thing is that we continue to fine tune the setting in the morning so that we’re at our best tomorrow afternoon and Sunday."
Daniele Romagnoli Speaks… (Team Manager)
"A good start here in Misano, in extremely hot weather. Jorge found a good pace from the beginning of the session but we need to improve the feeling with the front because this track is very demanding on it. We already tried some different settings during the session and we collected some good data in order to help us to improve our package for tomorrow."
Combined Free Practice Times
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
4. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda
6. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7. Mika Kallio (FIN) Ducati Marlboro Team
8. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
9. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team
11. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP
12. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini
13. Alex Espagaro (SPA) Pramac Racing
14. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
15. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing
16. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team
17. Gabor Talmacsi (HUN) Scot Racing Team MotoGP
Misano: Record Lap
V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2008, 1’34.904
Misano: Best Lap
C.Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’33.378