Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are both confident that they can challenge the Hondas for victory this weekend after finishing first and third in tonight’s opening practice session. Lorenzo was half a tenth ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Rossi on the second factory YZR-M1 and although he is expecting Repsol Honda to be stronger later in the weekend, he was still encouraged by the performance on day one.
“It’s a very good way to start the season, on top. To have three Yamahas in the first three positions like in Jerez means this track can be positive for us. We need to improve though because the other guys will come in the next practice. We’ll make the step little by little by riding, improving the bike and also the track will improve. Today we tried both bikes and tomorrow we will try the new chassis here.”
Rossi was fastest for much of the session before being pipped by Lorenzo but the Italian was delighted to be on the pace straight away and is looking forward to exploiting the potential of the Yamaha this weekend.
“The first practice was very positive for us, we are in third position and we are very close to Jorge. Our pace was ok, especially because I used just one set of tyres to understand if I could be fast with a lot of laps. The setting and balance of the bike is good so it looks like we can be competitive.”