"I'm really happy"
Jorge Lorenzo is keen to avoid any surprises in the Australian Grand Prix and he started out as he means to go on today with the best time in first qualifying practice.
The Fortuna Aprilia rider is therefore on provisional pole position after lapping
seven tenths faster than French rider Sylvain Guintoli.
They were the only two riders inside the 1'34 and from fifth place down they were all over a second off Lorenzo's pace.
The Mallorcan youngster looked comfortable at the Australian track but admits he has room for improvement, with the times still a second off pole record.
Héctor Barberá, meanwhile, was sixth – just behind Andrea Dovizioso – as he looks to get his confidence back on the bike after his crash in Malaysia.
JORGE LORENZO, 1st (1.33.215)
“I am really happy because we have started out on the right foot, I've lapped comfortably from the first session. The bike is good through the fast corners here at Phillip Island and we have to make the most of that. I'm seven tenths clear of the man in second place but I think with clear track in front of me I can get into the 1.32 mark tomorrow. Hopefully the weather is kind to us tomorrow so that we can continue working on the setting and pick the right tyres for the race”.
HECTOR BARBERA, 6th (1.34.
“I've had a few set-up problems that have prevented me from going any master. We have some ideas to try tomorrow though and we'll compare a few things and pick the right way to go. After looking at the crash in Malaysia we know we went for a tyre that was too hard and I got caught out on the second lap. Phillip Island is a circuit I like so hopefully we can improve tomorrow and move up on the grid.”