Lorenzo Off To A Flyer At Phillip Island


Jorge Lorenzo demonstrated once again that he won’t relinquish his MotoGP world crown without a fight by topping the times in first practice at Phillip Island. The Yamaha rider pipped series leader Marc Marquez by eight hundredths of a second as the two dominated on a bright and blustery morning in Australia.

Lorenzo flew out of the blocks first thing with a 1:31.884 on his very first timed lap and while the Hondas in particular took a few laps to build up their speed, Jorge dived straight into the 1:30s, closing in on the circuit record. After three laps, the world champion was just two tenths away from Nicky Hayden’s 2008 benchmark and moments later, he broke the 90 second barrier with a 1:29.931 to move three tenths clear of Marquez and Valentino Rossi.

A return to the pits for a debrief with his engineers only brought a brief respite as Lorenzo pumped in a 1:29.592 immediately but Marquez showed his hand for the first time shortly afterwards with a 1:29.319. The 20 year old looked as if he’d stolen the upper hand over his compatriot but Yamaha’s team leader put in a sensational lap five minutes from time to finish fastest of all, just half a second shy of the absolute track record around Phillip Island.

Alvaro Bautista jumped up to third with a similarly impressive lap in the closing stages but the Gresini rider trailed the leading duo by half a second. Dani Pedrosa was eight tenths off the pace in fourth with Valentino Rossi demoted to fifth, just ahead of the Tech 3 Yamahas of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith.

Nicky Hayden was the leading Ducati rider in eighth but the 1.499s gap to the front won’t have gone down well at Bologna with Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone tenth and eleventh on identical times behind the impressive Randy de Puniet who showed promising pace all morning. The fourth GP13 had an even tougher time as Yonny Hernandez dropped his in an accident ten minutes in. The Colombian was uninjured and returned to set the eighteenth fastest time but will be keen on a cleaner session in FP2 later on today.

Whether Stefan Bradl is involved in that session remains to be seen. The German is riding despite having an operation on a broken ankle last weekend and was twentieth this morning, four seconds down on the frontrunners.

 

 TISSOT AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – FP1 CLASSIFICATION
TOP 10 RIDERS AFTER FP3 AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY FOR QUALIFYING 2
POS RIDER CONSTRUCTOR TEAM BEST TIME
1  JORGE LORENZO YAMAHA YAMAHA FACTORY RACING 1:29.167
2  MARC MARQUEZ HONDA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1:29.255
3  ALVARO BAUTISTA HONDA GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI 1:29.831
4  DANI PEDROSA HONDA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1:30.008
5  VALENTINO ROSSI YAMAHA YAMAHA FACTORY RACING 1:30.053
6  CAL CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 1:30.130
7  BRADLEY SMITH YAMAHA MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 1:30.361
8  NICKY HAYDEN DUCATI DUCATI TEAM 1:30.666
9  RANDY DE PUNIET ART POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR 1:31.280
10  ANDREA DOVIZIOSO DUCATI DUCATI TEAM 1:31.295
11  ANDREA IANNONE DUCATI ENERGY T.I. PRAMAC RACING TEAM 1:31.295
12  ALEIX ESPARGARO ART POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR 1:31.458
13  COLIN EDWARDS FTR KAWASAKI NGM MOBILE FORWARD RACING 1:31.557
14  HIROSHI AOYAMA FTR AVINTIA BLUSENS 1:31.637
15  HECTOR BARBERA FTR AVINTIA BLUSENS 1:31.766
16  DANILO PETRUCCI IODA-SUTER CAME IODARACING PROJECT 1:31.803
17  CLAUDIO CORTI FTR KAWASAKI NGM MOBILE FORWARD RACING 1:32.300
18  YONNY HERNANDEZ DUCATI IGNITE PRAMAC RACING TEAM 1:32.341
19  BRYAN STARING FTR HONDA GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI 1:32.741
20  STEFAN BRADL HONDA LCR HONDA MOTOGP 1:33.165
21  LUCA SCASSA ART CARDION AB MOTORACING 1:33.234
22  LUKAS PESEK IODA-SUTER CAME IODARACING PROJECT 1:33.797
23  MICHAEL LAVERTY ART PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT 1:33.875
24  DAMIAN CUDLIN PBM PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT 1:35.906