News 18 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Rossi in top three as Lorenzo out of top 10 in Germany


YAMAHA RACING: Asterix Versus Caesar psp

A torrential downpour which ended just as the first free practice session began at the Sachsenring today made for a mixed opening to the German Grand Prix, with Valentino Rossi finishing a promising third and his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo ending the day in 11th, but just seven tenths off the lead.

The session began on a soaking track, which gave the riders an opportunity to work on their wet settings for the early part of the hour, before the tarmac rapidly began to dry out in the warm conditions and a dry line started to appear. Rossi was happy to find his M1 working well throughout the changing conditions, finishing up with some fast laps at the end when the track was almost completely dry. Lorenzo, who is still recovering from the separated shoulder and fractured foot he suffered at Laguna Seca, was content with his start despite his position in the time sheets. The 22-year-old was able to complete an important test on a dry set-up, which did not leave him enough time to set a fast lap at the end when times were tumbling, but he hopes to make more progress and feel stronger on the bike tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi
Position: 3rd Time: 1’23.088 Laps: 29

“This was quite a strange session because we had all sorts of track conditions and then at the end it was basically dry and I was quite fast. It was a good chance to work on the rain setting and I am pretty happy because the bike felt good and our times were also quick on the wet track. It seems we have a good setting immediately here for all conditions, because it continued to feel good as the track dried and the nature of the asphalt changed. We have some things to improve, especially the feeling and general balance in the faster parts of the track, so we will concentrate on this tomorrow. Right at the end we had a bit of traffic or we could have been faster, but anyway we’re still third so I think we are in good shape. It seems Bridgestone have brought good tyres for this track, of course there is no intermediate tyre which is always going to be a bit difficult in these sorts of conditions, but I don’t think it was a big problem today.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 11th Time: 1’23.496 Laps: 28

“I am not at 100% and in fact my injuries don’t feel as good as I had hoped on the bike, which is disappointing. I have decided for the first time to use the leathers with the airbag and I want to say that I feel much more safe! This isn’t the best track for me, the slow corners don’t really suit my style and when I am not at full fitness it makes it more difficult, but today was okay considering the conditions. During the early part when it was wet I was reminding myself of the track, and then when it was dry later on I didn’t really have enough time to go fast because we had some things to check on the setting. But there are 12 riders all very close together, within seven tenths of a second and I am not worried because it was a strange day and not one for making conclusions. The forecast tomorrow looks similar tomorrow but let’s hope it is wrong!”

Davide Brivio
Team Manager

“This was like a double session because we had some of it the wet and some in the dry. In some senses this was positive because we were able to test both our settings and collect plenty of information, which will help us whatever the weather on Sunday. It seems like we’re fast in both the wet and the dry so we’re feeling confident and will concentrate on the finer details tomorrow to perfect the set-up.”

Daniele Romagnoli
Team Manager

“Today was a bit difficult because of the weather – it wasn’t a normal practice that’s for sure. We had an important test planned and in fact we changed bikes a little bit late once it was almost dry at the end, so we didn’t have time afterwards to start concentrating on setting fast laps, but we collected a lot of information which we hope will help us to improve. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow and we can have a more ‘normal’ day on track.”

Evaluating an upgraded electronics package from Yamaha to help acceleration exiting corners, American Edwards was a promising sixth quickest and Toseland upbeat despite finishing 14th in mixed conditions.

Today’s session started on a wet track after a powerful storm drenched the track during the earlier 125GP session. With forecasts for more unpredictable weather during the weekend, Edwards and Toseland gained valuable experience on Bridgestone’s rain tyre before conditions improved significantly for the second half of the session.

Switching to full slick tyres for the final 25 minutes as the track dried rapidly, Edwards was immediately able to lap consistently in the top six, the 35-year-old making big progress in eradicating the front-end problems that have hindered him recently.
Edwards’ best time of 1.23.295 put him second in the closing stages before he eventually ended sixth, just over 0.2s outside of the top three.

Toseland was also satisfied with his best time of 1.24.317, the British rider opting to continue using his rain tyre in damp conditions in case of a repeat of the flag-to-flag races in Le Mans and Mugello. Both races started on a wet track and finished in the dry.
Having gained crucial data when he switched to slick tyres to improve the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine, Toseland is confident that he can climb higher up the timesheets tomorrow in wet or dry conditions.

Colin Edwards 6th 1.23.295 – 29 laps
“Looking at last year’s race I knew the Bridgestone rain tyre was awesome, so it gave me chance to sort some of the issues out I’ve had in the wet recently. Previously I’ve had too much weight on the rear but now we’ve got it more balanced and it felt really good. For the dry we went back to my old setting that I pretty much rolled out at the first race in Qatar with and it was like coming home. We’d gone off the right path and I’ve not had any feeling with the front in the last few races. The bike hasn’t been turning but the changes we’ve made with the front forks have transformed the way I feel. Now the bike is doing what I want it to because before I couldn’t get the front set-up, I couldn’t get into the corner and I had too much weight on the front with no feeling and no confidence. Now there’s more weight on the rear and I can control weight transfer more without it all pushing to the front. I tried some new electronics today too and they are fantastic. It used to be so much effort to manage the bike under acceleration, but now it is incredible. I want to say a massive thanks to Yamaha because what they have put on my bike is like gold dust. It’s a lot less effort to control the bike when I’m accelerating and it is giving me some crucial tenths.”

James Toseland 14th 1.24.317 – 32 laps
“It wasn’t a bad session even though I’m down the timesheets because we’ve gathered a lot of information in the wet and dry. It was important to do a few laps in the wet and we found we didn’t have a great setting. So that was good to discover because it looks like there’s a big chance of rain for the rest of the weekend. I spent a bit too much time on the wet tyres basically, even when it was drying up while the other guys were already out on slicks. I wanted to check on the wet tyres and get a feel for them just in case it does dry up for the race like it did in Le Mans and Mugello. In the damp conditions I had a big moment too and really hit my right leg hard. I was out of the seat at Turn Eight and I smacked my foot on the rear brake lever so hard that it was all bent. It was painful but luckily it caught me on the protective part of my boot, otherwise I could have done myself some damage. By the time I put the slicks on and made a few changes to my set-up it was a little bit too late to get close to the speed of the others but I’m sure I could have got in the 1.23s. We had some new electronics from Yamaha and it is a big step. I’ve got to say a big thanks to Yamaha for helping me out. These bikes have got so much horsepower that with a bit more control under acceleration, it’s amazing how much easier it feels. It has really helped me coming out of the corner and I can control the bike much better.”Heartbreak Ridge movie full