Jorge Lorenzo expects to be challenging for a podium finish at the very least after a solid start in Friday practice at Phillip Island. The Spaniard will relinquish his world crown if Casey Stoner wins and he fails to make the podium but feels confident of making the top three after the opening day's running.
The Yamaha man joined the likes of Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards in feeling less comfortable with his bike in the afternoon session but hopes the situation will be back to normal on Saturday.
“Today I felt great in the morning but in the afternoon not as good. It was impossible to replicate the lap time from the morning. We were up to five tenths slower and I'm not sure why, maybe the track conditions were different, anyway we'll see what happens tomorrow. We know that Casey is very fast here but today he wasn't so quick. We must try to win and if not possible fight for the podium on Sunday.”
Lorenzo was second to Stoner in the combined classification with teammate Ben Spies in fifth place. The American is quietly confident ahead of qualifying, claiming that he knows the areas that he needs to improve in to challenge for the front row.
“I'm feeling good today; we started this morning with both bikes not working so well so we knew we had to come up with something this afternoon. The second session we were working really well but still struggling in a few areas we need to make better tomorrow. I think we definitely can and if we do I can see us dropping up to half a second pretty easily. It's up to the boys; we know what the problem is we just need to work out how to fix it. As always I'm going to try the best I can to make it interesting for the fans and get up there.”
Team Director Massimo Meregalli feels the Yamaha squad should be pleased with the start they've made to the weekend and hopes the unpredictable Melbourne weather doesn't complicate matters.
“We had some problems from the morning session with Ben which we partly solved in the afternoon allowing him to get more and more comfortable on the bike. There are still some points where we have to improve and work on but it seems that we know what we need to do. Hopefully the track will be dry tomorrow morning so we can see if we get the results we expect from the changes. Overall the pace is good and our tyre choice is almost done so for a first day we've done a great job. Jorge was very quick to find a good pace this morning. He still needs to find something but we are confident he will also make another step tomorrow.”