Jorge Lorenzo still thinks there is more time to find in his Yamaha despite setting the pace on Friday in Qatar. The Spaniard was a tenth of a second clear of Cal Crutchlow and even further ahead of Casey Stoner as the new YZR-M1 proved competitive around the Losail Circuit.
Lorenzo commented that he is still not totally comfortable with the bike but feels happy with the current situation in the pecking order, particularly given the performance of Crutchlow on the satellite bike.
“I am very happy with today because we improved a lot on yesterday's lap time. I'm also happy for Cal in second, the bike seems much better than last year for us. I think we have even more potential for improvement tomorrow. We still have a few issues to solve, especially corner entry, but we manage to keep a good pace. I'm going to try my hardest for qualifying tomorrow and see what we can do.”
Teammate Ben Spies didn't have a good night though with a crash in the second session setting him back. The American ended the final free practice session in 11th and took the blame himself for the accident.
“It was a rough session tonight, we've had a good weekend up to now, unfortunately tonight was the most important session for us. I went out to do a race simulation and I think I didn't let the front tyre heat up properly. I need to check the data to confirm it but I put the blame firmly on myself for it. Unfortunately the second bike just didn't run right so a wasted session for us.”
Team Director Massimo Meregalli rued a troublesome evening in Spies' side of the garage but has backed his rider to recover in qualifying tomorrow.
“Definitely the third practice didn't go how we expected. Unfortunately Ben crashed and we couldn't test a different set up. When he jumped on the second bike it had an electrical problem that didn't permit us to continue with the session. We tried to fix it but it wasn't possible within the time so we have missed a session. The guys are going to have a long night to be ready for tomorrow. Ben will push hard in qualifying to get a good position. Jorge did a great job, pushing hard and consistently to set the pace.”