Jerez MotoGP: Lorenzo Leads Crutchlow at Friday Practice

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo

2013 Jerez Friday Practice Results

The first of four MotoGP rounds held on Spanish soil got underway Friday with the first free practice sessions at Jerez ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

A home race for two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo, the Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 rider immediately pleased his home crowd. The 25-year old, who turns 26 Saturday, beat out his fellow countryman Dani Pedrosa in the first free practice by only 0.003 of a second with a quickest lap of 1:39.701.

But things drastically changed in free practice two. No one was able to post under the 1:39.7 mark in FP1, but Lorenzo. He posted a quickest lap of 1:39.562.

To put this time into perspective, the fastest lap times at Jerez are just over 1:38. Lorenzo has the Fastest Lap and Best Pole, which was a 1:38.189 set in his rookie MotoGP year in 2008 during the former 800cc era.

Following Lorenzo 0.171 of a second back during FP2 was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, with Pedrosa 0.195 of a second behind.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “At the beginning of the second practice I felt better than this morning but with the warmer temperatures it has been difficult to keep the same pace. We will have to work on the settings to keep the same pace for tomorrow. We need to try to improve our pace by three or four tenths, to ride comfortably in the 39s will be a good feeling. I’m happy that we are first in today’s two sessions but I want more.”

As for Crutchlow, he has some great finishes at Jerez. The 27-year-old battled for the podium right to the finish line last season, and he produced an impressive performance in the final winter test session at the Spanish venue in late March to top the time sheets. Crutchlow was fourth quickest in FP1, but found something extra in FP2.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It was quite a tough day because we made a lot of changes that meant the bike was set-up completely different than the way we had it at the test. We made it a little bit longer and lower to give me a good feeling because while I was able to set the fastest time at the test, the track temperature was much higher today and it meant the bike was not working perfectly with the set-up we ran at the test.

“I was changing bikes during FP2 and doing a lot of laps to try as many things as possible and I am positive for the rest of the weekend. We’ve got a few ideas to improve even further tomorrow and I will sit down with my crew tonight and have a good look at the data to come up with a plan of attack for the rest of the weekend. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing a great job again and being competitive and fast today gives us a lot of confidence to take into Saturday and Sunday.”

Pedrosa experimented with loads of changes aboard his Repsol Honda RC213V, but wasn’t able to run with Lorenzo and Crutchlow in FP2.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Today we were able to get some good laps in at this circuit. We tried the soft and the hard tyre, and also some things with the suspension settings. It wasn’t bad, generally, although we need to keep working on this in order to get the bike more stable –both on the entrance and exit of the corners. That would allow us to ride at a faster pace. We will also need to prepare well for qualifying, which could be very tight.”

Fourth quickest went to Valentino Rossi, who has six premier-class victories at Jerez, with three of those on Yamaha MotoGP machinery. The nine-time World Champion was 0.312 of a second behind teammate Lorenzo, and  0.015 of a second ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

The young Spaniard will be looking for something extra to maintain his shared points lead with Lorenzo. The rookie has shown much progress in the first two rounds, taking third at the opening round in Qatar, and winning two weeks ago at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Behind Marquez was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Baustista, who was the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo. Bautista, also of Spain, trailed Lorenzo by 0.945 of a second.

The next rider was not only the quickest Ducati pilot, but also the last of the top prototypes ahead of two CRT machines. This rider was Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.

As predicted by many before Jerez MotoGP, the CRTs are challenging more midfield prototype runners than has been the case at previous events. Hector Barbera – battered and bruised after a motocross accident at the end of last week – was ninth for Avintia Blusens, beating Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro. Their speed is likely to make for a dramatic climax to Saturday’s third practice session, as an assortment of riders battle for a guaranteed position in Q2 Qualifying.

Taking the 10th through 112th positions were three Ducati GP13s – Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Test Team’s Michele Pirro, respectively.

Several men found themselves with problems. As Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham fought through the pain of a broken right collarbone after his Qualifying crash in Texas, Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies has not travelled to Jerez as he recovers from the trapped nerve which caused severe discomfort at the last round.

In this afternoon’s session, both Yonny Hernandez (PBM) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) suffered crashes, whereas Danilo Petrucci was presented with no option but to stop his Came IodaRacing Project machine as thick smoke and flames came from the exhaust. Ending the day 13th quickest, Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro debuted a brand-new frame as he competes as a wildcard for the first time in 2013.

The third practice gets underway at 9:55 a.m. local time Saturday, May 4. As per new regulations in 2013 MotoGP, the sophomore year of the 1,000cc era, the top 10 riders out of the first three practice sessions automatically progress to Qualifying Two.

2013 Jerez MotoGP Free Practice 2 Results:

os.Num.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
199Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha286.01’39.562
235Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha287.51’39.7330.171 / 0.171
326Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda289.01’39.7570.195 / 0.024
446Valentino ROSSIITAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha284.91’39.8740.312 / 0.117
593Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda287.71’39.8890.327 / 0.015
619Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda287.91’40.5070.945 / 0.618
729Andrea IANNONEITAEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati283.81’40.5741.012 / 0.067
88Hector BARBERASPAAvintia BlusensFTR275.01’40.7361.174 / 0.162
941Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART272.51’40.7381.176 / 0.002
1069Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati282.81’40.8371.275 / 0.099
114Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati284.21’40.8841.322 / 0.047
1251Michele PIRROITADucati Test TeamDucati282.51’40.9021.340 / 0.018
1338Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha288.11’40.9901.428 / 0.088
146Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda287.81’41.0531.491 / 0.063
1514Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART274.11’41.0781.516 / 0.025
169Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter269.31’41.7512.189 / 0.673
177Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNAvintia BlusensFTR277.41’41.7742.212 / 0.023
1871Claudio CORTIITANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki273.51’41.7902.228 / 0.016
195Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki272.81’42.0582.496 / 0.268
2068Yonny HERNANDEZCOLPaul Bird MotorsportART274.51’42.6033.041 / 0.545
2167Bryan STARINGAUSGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda270.41’42.6063.044 / 0.003
2270Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM270.21’42.9743.412 / 0.368
2317Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingART273.51’43.3563.794 / 0.382
2452Lukas PESEKCZECame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter273.31’43.4033.841 / 0.047