MotoGP FP1 interviews Estoril

Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… (1st; 1’37.185)

"It’s good to be back on the bike after one month but also quite hard! I enjoyed today though and we did a good job and made an encouraging start. After a bit of work we were able to do a very good time and I am happy to be in front, it’s important at this stage of the championship to make a strong start this weekend. We have one or two things to improve but we are in good shape. I am happy to see Casey back and also to see that he is already strong. Finally I want to mention the special sticker I have on my bike this weekend for Lukas Sembera, a young Czech rider who had a bad accident two weeks ago – I wish him all the best in his recovery."

Valentino Rossi Speaks… (3rd, 1’37.606)

"This is quite a difficult track to come back to after a long break because the braking is very hard and it’s quite stressful on the arms, but I think it will be better tomorrow. We have a slight problem in the balance of the bike in these hard braking areas which we need to work on tomorrow to find a way to improve; we’re already quite fast but we need to close the gap a bit more so we will make the most of our time tomorrow so that we’re in good shape for qualifying."

CASEY STONER Speaks… (4th; 1’37.966)

"So far so good. It was great to be back out there on the bike today and I really enjoyed myself. Physically I feel about as well as you could expect considering that I haven’t trained properly for almost four months now and I’m pleased with that. One thing I did struggle with was arm pump, which I expected, and I needed a bit of a rest in the later stages of the session. I expect the problem to ease over the weekend but I have to be careful not to push it too hard and exacerbate it further. We only did a couple of laps at the beginning but the riding position and brake levers weren’t quite right, so I had to come in and change that. After that we were competitive and making constant improvements, until my final run when we made quite a big change to the setting and it didn’t work out. If it wasn’t for that the lap time could have been better. We have different swingarms on the two bikes but I only tried the carbon one today, so I’d like to try the aluminium one tomorrow and see where we go from there. As far as the new fairing is concerned it was impossible to feel the difference today because it is designed to help the bike handle better in strong winds, which unusually for this circuit we didn’t have today, and fast direction changes, which there are none of here."

Colin Edwards Speaks… (5th 1.38.103)

"I felt pretty good today once I’d blown off a few cobwebs. It was great to have a long break but it was al so good to be back on the bike to try and finish the year off strong. My lap times are good enough for the first day and we made some good progress with the set-up of the bike. We tried a few things from the Misano set-up that I didn’t get chance to use in that race and right away the bike felt pretty good. I felt the softer compound Bridgestone was a little bit too soft, so I spent most of the session on the harder option and it felt fine. We put a bit more weight on the front and that helped my lap times although I still had a little bit of front-end movement that I need to sort out overnight. Right now the bike feels a bit rigid and while it’s not a big issue, if we can cure it I’m sure I can go faster. The track condition feels pretty good because we’re not used to this weather at this time of the year in Estoril. We were all expecting wind and rain and we ended up dripping with sweat."

James Toseland Speaks… (8th 1.38.591)

"It was a really good session even though it took a while to get back into the swing of things having spent almost a month off the bike since Misano. The team have worked in a really good direction for the entire session and it was a positive start. There is quite a big difference in the level of grip between the soft and the hard compound options from Bridgestone. We’ll need the harder tyre for the race but with the softer option being so crucial to get a good qualifying position, we need to preserve the softer one as much as we can for tomorrow afternoon. We had a little issue with the stability of the bike under hard braking. This circuit has a lot of high speed braking points but we seemed to have found a much better balance for that. Now it’s a question of making the package we finished the session on more consistent so we can get the maximum grip from the hard tyre."

NICKY HAYDEN Speaks… (11th; 1’38.850)

"It wasn’t as good as we’d have liked it to be coming out of the gate – I’d thought the gap to the front would be closer than that today so we’ve got a lot of work to do. We need to make a general improvement everywhere – there’s not one part of the track holding me back, I just need to find a little bit more speed in every section. We tried the new cowling in one run but it was just to get a bit of data and get an idea. We still haven’t decided what way we’re going to go with that for the rest of the weekend. It’s still early but I would have liked to start out stronger and we need to pick it up a bit tomorrow. I also want to say congratulations to my chief mechanic "Bibo" (Davide Manfredi), whose wife just had a healthy baby boy."