Although his Brno Free Practice 1 session was cut short by 10 minutes due to rain, Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest MotoGP rider on Friday, piloting his Fiat Yamaha M1 to a 1:57.215.
The Spaniard, who leads the series with 210 points, finished the first half of the season with a win at Laguna Seca, and immediately found his rhythm at Brno for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, Round 10 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship. Lorenzo’s time on lap 17 also set a new fastest lap at the Brno. He also holds the record lap of 1:56.670 set there in 2009.
Jorge Lorenzo says: “I am happy to be riding here in Brno again. It’s always difficult to go back to work after the holidays and this track is so different to Laguna, so wide and much longer; it took me a few more laps than usual to get going! Once I found my rhythm this was a good session and I felt happy on my bike, with a good setting to start from.”
“We tried both rear tires and we need more time to choose, because unfortunately it rained a bit at the end and we had to stop early. We’ll have to wait and see how the track is tomorrow but we hope for it to be dry so we can continue with what we started on today.”
Over a half-second slower than Lorenzo was Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who posted a 1:57.756. The Spaniard, who sits in second in the championship 72 points behind Lorenzo, crashed while leading at Laguna Seca. He recently spoke about what it takes to be fast at Brno.
Dani Pedrosa says: “(Brno) is a circuit where you need to ride gently and gracefully, at a very high average speed. The set up of the bike is a little delicate, and you seek the best possible compromise between what you need to tackle the corners and stability when braking.”
Following some needed rest during the summer break, nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi was third fastest at Brno FP1. The Italian was just 0.065 of a second slower than Pedrosa, and is experimenting with two different suspension settings on his Fiat Yamaha M1. Rossi continues to recover from his accident at Mugello, Round 4, where he broke his leg during a wreck in practice.
Valentino Rossi says: “I’m happy, this was a good practice and I feel good on the bike. After some laps I started to feel some pain in the shoulder and the leg but in general I am okay and my condition has improved a lot from the last race. We’ve done a good job on the setting and I was fastest throughout most of the session.”
“It was a pity the rain came because we couldn’t make the final step, but hopefully we can improve again tomorrow. Even though I still have some pain I am quite a lot stronger, especially with the shoulder, so I don’t have such a big problem in braking.”
The final rider under the 1:58 mark was Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso. The fifth fastest rider was the American Nicky Hayden, who achieved a best time on his Ducati Team GP10 to 1:58.286.
MotoGP says Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) completing the top eight on the timesheet. Rookie Simoncelli experienced the only motorcycle crash of the session early on, which did little to dent his confidence.
According to MotoGP, Making his return to action less than four weeks after suffering a broken left leg at Sachsenring was Randy de Puniet, with the LCR Honda rider 16th at just under three seconds off Lorenzo, however a near-highside early in the session caused him severe pain in his pinned tibia.
MotoGP Brno Friday Free Practice 1 Times:
1. (99) Jorge LORENZO, SPA, Fiat Yamaha, 1’57.215
2. (26) Dani PEDROSA, SPA, Repsol Honda 1’57.756
3. (46) Valentino ROSSI, ITA, Fiat Yamaha 1’57.821
4. (4) Andrea DOVIZIOSO, ITA, Repsol Honda 1’57.873
5. (69) Nicky HAYDEN, USA, Ducati Team 1’58.286
6. (5) Colin EDWARDS, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’58.497
7. (27) Casey STONER, AUS, Ducati Team 1’58.532
8. (58) Marco SIMONCELLI, ITA, San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’58.840
9. (11) Ben SPIES, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’58.970
10. (19) Alvaro BAUTISTA, SPA, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’59.204
11. (65) Loris CAPIROSSI, ITA, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’59.216
12. (41) Aleix ESPARGARO, SPA, Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1’59.254
13. (36) Mika KALLIO, FIN, Pramac Racing Team Ducati 1’59.289
14. (33) Marco MELANDRI, ITA, San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’59.510
15. (40) Hector BARBERA, SPA, Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 1’59.910
16. (14) Randy DE PUNIET, FRA, LCR Honda MotoGP 2’00.184
17. (15) Alex DE ANGELIS, RSM Interwetten Honda MotoGP 2’01.098