Lorenzo Makes Bright Start in Hazy Malaysia


Jorge Lorenzo struck the first blow in a potentially decisive Malaysian Grand Prix weekend by topping Friday practice at Sepang. Haze, caused by forest fires in Indonesia, and explosive comments from Valentino Rossi on Thursday had dominated the build-up to Sunday’s penultimate round but Lorenzo did his talking on track, edging out Dani Pedrosa today.

Pedrosa had been the fastest man for the majority of second practice but a switch to the medium rear tyre saw Lorenzo sneak ahead late on and the Yamaha rider was encouraged by his single lap performance, as well as the race simulation earlier in the afternoon.

“We are working very well on the setting of the bike. We have a good pace both with the old and the new tyre, we just need to improve some details, but overall it‘s good. This afternoon it was very hot. It will depend on tomorrow‘s weather, but I think the bike can be further improved so I can better my lap time.”

The top two were closely followed by Marc Marquez, who was accused in the pre-race press conference of deliberately favouring Lorenzo in Australia last Sunday. The world champion appeared to shrug off those comments, ending the day just 0.226s off the pace in third with Phillip Island star Andrea Iannone fourth, once again ahead Rossi after the championship leader failed to improve on the softer rubber.

Cal Crutchlow was next up in sixth ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso while Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci round out the top ten heading into FP3. Many riders will start Saturday in serious danger of missing Q2, in particular the Tech 3 Yamaha riders who could only manage 13th and 14th today.

 

2015 SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX: FRIDAY CLASSIFICATION

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
199. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP2:00.246
226. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team2:00.293
393. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team2:00.472
429. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team2:00.486
546. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP2:00.915
635. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda2:01.039
741. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR2:01.058
84. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team2:01.127
945. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS2:01.218
109. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOcto Pramac Racing2:01.598
118. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing2:01.616
1225. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR2:01.796
1344. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.850
1438. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.101
156. Stefan BradlApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini2:02.118
1650. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team2:02.426
1769. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team2:02.427
1868. Yonny HernandezDucatiOcto Pramac Racing2:02.554
1919. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini2:02.626
2043. Jack MillerHondaLCR Honda2:03.136
2163. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing2:03.394
2276. Loris BazYamaha ForwardForward Racing2:03.429
2324. Toni EliasYamaha ForwardForward Racing2:03.710
2413. Anthony WestHondaAB Motoracing2:04.892
2555. Damian CudlinARTE-Motion IodaRacing Team2:06.962