As the MotoGP season gets back into gear after the mid-year break, Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was fastest in Friday’s practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix. Setting his fastest lap on Bridgestone’s softer option front and harder option rear slicks, the Spaniard topped the timesheets for most of the hour-long session. His teammate Valentino Rossi was second fastest also using a hard compound rear slick but opting for the extra hard front Bridgestone slick for his best lap. The Fiat Yamaha duo again established themselves as the pacesetters this weekend as the pair were the only riders to lap faster than the circuit’s lap record, with Lorenzo an impressive 0.6seconds quicker.
As the track cooled down during the hour of running, many riders used a combination of both harder and softer Bridgestone slicks in an effort to get a feeling for each on this fast and flowing circuit which has changed in its nature since last year as the tarmac has matured.
Automotodrom Brno is an evenly balanced circuit with a very similar number of left and right-handed corners, meaning that no particular shoulder of the tyre gets placed under any specific stress. Rather, it is the rider, machine and tyre package that will be really tested by the sweeping curves during the weekend.
Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
“This afternoon the condition of the circuit was much better than last year as in 2008 the tarmac was quite new so there was a lot of oil which seeped onto the track surface making it very slippery. This year however the track surface is more mature and the tarmac has had time to settle and the oil has come out of it. This is the main reason that the fastest lap of this first session is 0.6seconds quicker than the circuit lap record which was set last season. During the free practice many riders used a combination of both compounds and we can say that both are working well here in these conditions.”