Following the announcement that Jorge Lorenzo has signed with Ducati for the 2017/2018 MotoGP seasons, the Spaniard continued to make headlines Friday during the opening day of practice at Jerez, the first European round of the season.Lorenzo led both Free Practices Friday, posting a quickest time of 1:39.55 aboard the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1. Lorenzo, who earned three premier-class titles during his eight full seasons with Yamaha so far, finished 0.345 of a second ahead of the man leads the points, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
Finishing 0.193 of a second behind Marquez, who leads Lorenzo by 22 points heading into round four at Jerez, Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro.“My first feelings are positive. We started the first day with some problems and a different feel than what we had in the last two races but little by little we solved these problems and adjusted the electronics, setting and everything,” Lorenzo says. “Now we have a good set-up and can keep working to improve the small details. First place this morning and first place this afternoon, I think, is a good beginning of the weekend!”The top Ducati rider was Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera, who was followed by Rossi and the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo, Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales. Rounding out the top 10 were Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Avintia Racing Ducati’s Scott Redding, and Aspar Ducati’s Eugene Laverty.So far this season, Lorenzo won the opening round in Qatar, and Marquez the rounds in Argentina and Texas.The 21-rider grid returns to the Jerez Saturday for two additional free practices ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s 27-lap GP at the 2.75-mile circuit containing 13 corners.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!