Moto GP stars speak about Jerez free practice

The MotoGP World Championship has returned to Europe today after its transoceanic wanderings with events in Qatar and Japan. Today, the top category, after offering a virtuoso demonstration last weekend in Motegi -the first five riders to classify came in with less than ten seconds between them-, has kicked off in Jerez, the scenario of highly intense moments over the last few years. With the Spanish Grand Prix arrive the sun, the heat, a huge audience, excitement and the incredible atmosphere experienced every year in the grandstands at the Jerez circuit.

1st – Valentino Rossi Speaks…

"There was no car this time, but it was still a very important session for us. We modified something with our setting and tried to fix some of the problems from the first few races," said the Italian after the 45-minute run.

"We worked through everything from the soft to the hard tyre very quickly, and we can see that for sure it will be a tough race for the tyres if the temperatures are like this."

2nd – Loris Capirossi Speaks…

"It is really the first time that we have had very good weather for testing things here and we hope to have two more dry sessions tomorrow because we still need to work things out on the bike," commented the veteran Italian. "Friday was good but we still don’t have a perfect setting. We have a few ideas about what to do on Saturday on the bike but anyway, I’m quite happy."

He continued, "It is really easy to select tyres this year as there are only two compounds, but the soft one is too soft for us here and the harder one is still a bit too soft for us. Everyone has the same problems though. We will have to adjust the bike a bit so that we use a bit less tyre. Anyway, I feel very good on the bike and I know that when we fix the problems we will go quicker."

3rd – Casey Stoner Speaks…

"We found that we were running too much pressure on the front tyre, and kept losing the front end," analysed Stoner after his re-acquaintance with the Spanish track. "Unfortunately we had a problem with the engine on the second bike, and were unable to use it. We tried a few different things with the bike that we had, and I lost a little bit of confidence.

"We couldn’t understand if the back was pushing too much or not. We think that it’s just the front, so hopefully tomorrow will be a different situation."

4th – Jorge Lorenzo Speaks…

"It’s nice to be back in Spain and in the sunshine, but I am a bit disappointed about the day. I had a problem at the start with my helmet and we were delayed to go out on track. Once I got started I felt good with the soft Bridgestone tyre, but when we tried the hard one later we had a few problems and the bike didn’t feel completely stable. Tomorrow we need to come back to a different setting and I hope things will be better."

5th – Dani Pedrosa Speaks…

"It’s a good feeling to be back in Europe and especially to be riding at Jerez again. It’s only Friday but there are already a lot of fans out on the banking so I know it’s going to be another special weekend for the Spanish riders. The first session didn’t go quite according to plan for us though and I think we can go faster than this tomorrow. We had an issue with one of my bikes and our general machine set-up still needs some work. The Bridgestone tyres seem to be working pretty well though, so set-up will be the main issue for us tomorrow."

6th – Colin Edwards Speaks…

"That was a good solid start and I’m happy with the bike. Yamaha has done a great job because we seem to go from track to track and be right up with the leaders from the start. There are a couple of things with the electronics and chassis set-up that we can definitely find at least another half-a-second to go consistently quicker around the 40.3 area. That’s not going to trouble Valentino (Rossi) but that would be a big step for us and put us in contention. With the electronics we just need to get the anti-wheelie working a bit better. Yamaha did a great job with that in the winter and we needed that improvement on a track like this where you accelerate hard out of a lot of slow hairpins. I’m losing a little bit of time on acceleration and we can still make it better, but my guys at Tech 3 know what they are doing and I know we’ll make a big step for tomorrow. I’m doing those lap times and I’m not 100 per cent comfortable, so that bodes well for the weekend knowing we’ve got a lot of room for improvement."

10th – Andrea Dovizioso Speaks…

"Today the conditions of the track and the weather were perfect and I was able to ride fast from the beginning of the session. For part of the practice I was trying some new parts and I was impressed with the laptimes I could do without a lot of set-up time. Time is very limited with only 45 minutes per session but we’ve found some potential. We need to do quite a lot of work to maximise this potential, but I’m satisfied of this first test session for Spainish Grand Prix."

11th – James Toseland Speaks…

"We went for a harder setting on the front fork to help with some of the heavy braking points but it didn’t really work as we’d liked. We also changed the rear a bit from Japan and the balance wasn’t really there. We didn’t really have time to go back to plan B but even with a couple of small issues I’m not too displeased with my time and I know my potential is much higher. I think what is going to be crucial is to conserve the tyre here over race distance and that’s something I’ll work out with my team. I ran the harder rear today because of the hot conditions and even that was sliding around a little after about eight laps. I could see a few other people were having the same problems, so a decent race set-up will be critical. A bit more time would have put me in the top eight and it wouldn’t have been a bad afternoon, but we know where we can improve on the setting and be much stronger tomorrow."