Both Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies had a strong Friday practice for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. The Yamaha riders finished 4th and 5th respectively at the end of the day after both riders did not take part in free practice two due to changeable weather conditions. As the rain came, it was too slippery for slicks, but not wet enough for wets. Spies eventually made an appearance, but only for the final two minutes of the session.

After the session, Lorenzo was still in a confident mood, only 0.264s off the top spot. “In the afternoon the track was not perfect so we decided to stay in the garage. I am feeling confident because I like Mugello.” he said.

He continued, “I feel very comfortable riding on the new asphalt and this morning everything was good; all of us in the team have done a fantastic job so far. In my opinion we are now the closest we have been this season to the competition. Even with that, to win here will be tough, but we can! It is still too soon to say, but we have improved.”

Spies was equally confident. He said, “This afternoon became one of those sessions we've had all year, rain came and so you don't want to take any risks.  With the conditions the way they were we didn't want to risk the bike or me so we just went out on the last lap to do a couple of practice starts.”

He continued, marking his ambitions for the weekend, “The morning session was good; the bike is working really well. We tried some different tyre combinations and I think we can make the bike even better. I think we have the pace to battle for top five and contend for the podium so that's our goal.”