Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were both comfortably inside the top five on the opening day of practice for the Czech Grand Prix.
First practice saw excellent conditions at the Brno Circuit, a favorite of the Yamaha pair. Lorenzo immediately got to work on setup, not having the advantage of a summer test as did the Repsol Honda riders. The Mallorcan finished FP1, and the day overall, in second with a 1:56.840s, just 0.037s off Marc Marquez’s pace.
Teammate Valentino Rossi worked on improving his lines and riding style around the Czech circuit. A 1:57.065s had Rossi in fifth, just behind Aleix Espargaro who took advantage of his softer tyie option.
Afternoon rain quickly ended any hopes of improving on FP1 times, riders barely able to put in one flying lap before the skies opened in Free Practice 2. Rossi finished fifth in FP2, the third fastest rider in the wet. Lorenzo was further down in seventh but unconcerned.
“While riding in the dry conditions this morning I was quite surprised by our performance. It was good from the beginning but I felt that we had a lot of things to adjust, so the margin for improvement was high. Unfortunately it rained in the afternoon. In those conditions we are still quite far from the fastest. We need to work on our setup for the wet, because it seems like it’s going to rain tomorrow, but not on Sunday. We want to be fast tomorrow if it rains; in case of dry conditions I think we are quite good, ” said Lorenzo.
Rossi commented, “This morning we rode the bike with the dry tires and dry settings. Unfortunately we had some rain this afternoon. It’s a shame because we have to try something to improve the setting, but at the same time I did get to do some laps in the wet. I tried the bike with the wet tires and the first impression was not so bad, but we have to work to improve.
“We have to prepare the bike as soon as possible because we lost one practice session and need to have a clear idea of what we will do in case of a wet situation. We have to work with the team and be ready for tomorrow. In the wet conditions we lose a little bit in acceleration. The problem is that, though I’m in the third position, my rivals are one second faster. It looks like they are very strong."
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