Newly crowned MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo showed that he had no intention of kicking back and taking things easy, as he took the fastest time in the first practice session at Phillip Island in horrific weather conditions.
Heavy overnight rain had left the track flooded and strong winds made riding conditions treacherous.
Valentino Rossi took 7th position on the timesheets and rode 2 more laps than Lorenzo during the session. The conditions were so bad that many riders opted to only do a handful of laps – Ben Spies completed 3 laps before coming back into the garage to sit out the rest of the session.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1st Time: 1’41.146 Laps: 20
“Today was the first day on the bike after we won the title and I am still very happy. We can’t stop now, we have to keep going and finish this season in the best way possible, working for the future. The conditions today were really hard – wet, cold and windy. I am very happy to be so fast in rain, because it didn’t use to be this way, but we need to be prepared because it could be a hard weekend. I would like to ride in the dry, of course, but we will have to wait and see what happens.”
Valentino Rossi – Position: 7th Time: 1’42.626 Laps: 22
“This weather is unbelievable and it was really at the limit of what you can race motorcycles in today. It’s even more amazing because yesterday was beautiful! I hope it will be better tomorrow but it doesn’t look too hopeful. My setting here in the wet was okay and I feel quite happy on the bike, but I didn’t want to push too hard in these conditions. I think we can improve it more, but we need to wait and see how the weather is tomorrow. We hope for sun!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“It’s very wet and very cold, so not ideal but in fact Jorge already has a very good pace in the wet here and he was quickest after just a few laps. Later on when it was drying no one improved because it was still very slippery, but it was good to be strong on a very wet track and this was an important practice. We learned a lot about our setting; we’re happy and feeling good.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“The bike is feeling okay but we still need some more time to work a bit more on the setting for Valentino in these difficult conditions, we tried a lot of different things today but it looks like we can still make him more comfortable than this. It’s very wet and it looks like it could be even worse tomorrow, but we will keep working in this way and we hope to improve the time a bit.”
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