''I feel like all of Spain is watching us''
Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo began his first ever MotoGP race on home soil in perfect fashion today, finishing the first day of practice in Jerez in first position at the front of an all-Yamaha top three.
rookie, who lies second in the championship after an impressive debut in Qatar, was under lap record pace in the afternoon session and looks on-course to give his passionate home fans an exciting weekend.
Lorenzo was fifth fastest in the morning session but gradual work on his set-up, starting from a good base following the February test here, led to an improved pace in the warmer afternoon session and a best time of 1.40.321.
“The first day has gone very well and I'm really happy to have had a day like this here at Jerez. My bike feels great and it's a huge emotion for me to be here riding ‘at home' in front of all the Spanish fans. I feel like all of Spain is watching us this weekend and I hope that we're going to be able to give them a great show here over the weekend”, he said. “We have a good base setting after the test here and the first race and, although of course we have more work to do, I think that we're on the right track. My team is working well, the bike and the Michelin tyres also are very good and I feel that there is great energy, excitement and motivation in our garage. After today I think we're in good shape for the weekend and my hope is that we will be able to fight at the front. The weather today was fantastic and I really hope this continues, for the fans and for us!”
“It's been a very important and perfect first day in Spain for us. Jorge has done many laps at a very good pace throughout and we're very happy with our performance on this first day”, commented Team Manager Daniele Romagnoli. “We're still not at our full potential but we've got a good base setting from the test and so we will keep working like this and keep improving. The set-up is okay but we need to concentrate a little bit on the front feeling, so this will be one of the main targets tomorrow.
Anyway, a great first day and let's hope we can continue with more of the same tomorrow.”
It was a good day for Yamaha as Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi was just 0.043 seconds behind him, with Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards in third.