Jorge Lorenzo admitted that there is plenty of room for improvement after struggling to match Honda on Friday at Silverstone, although his team are still hopeful of a good weekend.
The Spaniard dominated this race on his way to the title last year but was powerless to prevent Casey Stoner dominating both sessions, ending up a second slower than the Australian in the dry.
Lorenzo revealed that he was much happier with his set-up in the wet, but he has work to do to get the best out of the bike in the dry conditions that are expected for qualifying tomorrow.
“I'm not so satisfied with the day. In the morning I tried to ride the same pace as last year but I was one second slower. In the afternoon I wanted to ride in dry conditions but it started to rain so we had to ride on that. I made so many laps with the rain tyre that it was destroyed whereas some of the other riders switched to a fresh tyre so were faster than us. I think we have a good set up for wet conditions now. We must focus on improving both myself and the bike, I will try to be on the front row tomorrow.”
Wilco Zeelenberg, team manager of Yamaha Factory Racing, had a more positive outlook for the weekend than the World Champion and is quietly confident for tomorrow.
“The first free practice went ok, it was quite cool this morning with no big problems. We took some comments from Jorge to improve the rear grip a little. The afternoon was tough with a half dry and half wet track. Jorge stayed out to get a rhythm and find a good feel for those conditions. In the end his feeling is ok so we are quite satisfied with the package we have at the moment.”
Ben Spies was much happier with his Friday programme after ending both sessions within three tenths of his teammate. The American was frustrated with the afternoon rain which prevented him from perfecting his set-up but is confident that the planned changes will move him closer to the Hondas.
“It was a good first day, very productive. We were quick in both sessions. I've never had a really good feeling with the bike in the rain before but here we didn't have to push too hard and were up close to the front guys. There is a couple of things we wanted to test in the dry which we didn't get a chance to do but we still ended up with good consistent fast times. We need to be a bit quicker but we'll get there. We need to be on the first two rows tomorrow to be able to fight for the race.”
Team Director Massimo Meregalli hopes that Spies will be able to fine tune his bike in Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning and feels the machine is capable of challenging for a place on the front row.
“Due to the weather conditions we couldn't do a final dry race set up on either side but we are not so far off and Ben is quite satisfied in both dry and wet conditions. Tomorrow the weather forecast is good, it should be dry so we can finalise the job we couldn't do today and I'm confident both our riders will be ready to challenge for the best possible qualifying positions.”