Jorge Lorenzo is confident that he will have a competitive bike in Sunday's French Grand Prix despite failing to match the pace of Repsol Honda today. The Yamaha rider was four tenths slower than pacesetter Casey Stoner in FP2 but considering the problems he had in the morning, was happy with the day as a whole.
“This morning we had some difficulty entering the corners, I didn't trust the bike so much. This afternoon we made some changes to the rear and it improved the feeling and the lap time a lot. I did a half race simulation and we had a good pace. We are now ready for a dry race but everyone says it is going to rain which will completely change the conditions.”
Teammate Ben Spies was fifth quickest despite a crash early in the second session and was similarly encouraged by the performance of the YZR-M1 in a race simulation, particularly on old tyres.
“Today was ok, to be top five both sessions is good after Estoril, especially here where I've struggled in the past. I made a small mistake this afternoon, got into turn one pretty fast and was too fast into turn two so couldn't make the corner. I got on the second bike and was pleased we were still able to go fast as we had a lot of laps on the front tyre. The bike seems to be working pretty well here so we'll keep going and see what we can do tomorrow.”
Team Director Massimo Meregalli expects the Yamahas to be firmly in contention heading into the weekend although he has admitted concern at the predicted rain.
“A good start for Ben today apart from an unfortunate crash in the second session, luckily he was unhurt so we could continue. Ben was able to do a lot of laps on a very used front tyre; this is encouraging for the race. Jorge made good improvements after struggling for rear grip this morning and we expect another step tomorrow. Let's hope the weather forecast is wrong or today's work will not be very useful!”