Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest aggregate lap time in Friday’s twin 45-minute practice sessions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. His lap time of 1’22.056 occurred on Lap 9 of the second practice session which was only 0.141 seconds faster than Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (1’22.197). Third fastest on the day went to Australia’s Casey Stoner who lapped Laguna’s 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course with at time of 1’22.231.
“I am very happy to be back riding here at Laguna, a track I love,” said Lorenzo. “Today went pretty well, the bike felt okay. P1 I’m happy with but we need to try to improve corner entry for the bike because there are some tenths in that and it will give me more confidence turning in. It’s not so bad to begin and we will try to go faster tomorrow!”
Fourth fastest went to the third Repsol Honda driven by Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso. American Ben Spies also put in a good performance registering the fifth fastest time but was just over a half a second behind his teammate Lorenzo.
“Today hasn’t been bad,” commented Spies. “We’ve worked on a lot of different set-ups. We haven’t found a perfect one, we’ve found a compromise so far but tomorrow we have a pretty good game plan on what we’re going to fine tune from the bike we ended on today to get a bit of a better set up for front feel. I’m feeling good, I can tell the bike has it in it, you can see that from Jorge we’re just not getting the maximum from it yet.”
Long haired maniac Marco Simoncelli was the top non-factory finisher slotting himself in sixth one position ahead of Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista. Veteran motorcycle racer Colin Edwards slotted right behind Randy De Puniet in ninth position aboard the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
“Today was a decent start and I’m happy with the way things went,” said Edwards. “In terms of the position it is not my best start to a weekend at Laguna Seca, but I’m actually happier with the feeling of the bike than I have been for a long time at this track. The bike felt really good from the start, though we can make some improvements to the rear tomorrow just to make it feel a bit smoother and a bit less nervous. I’m confident for the rest of the weekend because I’m pretty close to the top six and we know we can go faster. I want to say a big thanks also to Bridgestone. They agreed to bring some softer tires for this weekend and it was definitely the right choice.”
Nicky Hayden ended the day as the quickest Ducati rider finishing one position ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi. Both riders are going to be racing the newer Desmosedici GP 11.1 machine that shares some chassis parts with next year’s 1000cc bike. Wildcard rider Ben Bostrom struggled aboard the LCR Honda entry and was over four seconds off the pace off the front runners.
(Above) Nicky Hayden was the fastest Ducati rider Friday at Laguna. (Below) Ben Spies was fifth fastest in Friday.
Friday Laguna Seca MotoGP Practice Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’22.056
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’22.197
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’22.231
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’22.537
5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’22.615
6. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’22.803
7. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’23.056
8. Randy De Puniet (Honda) 1’23.135
9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’23.183
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’23.195
11. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’23.369
12. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’23.424
13. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’23.707
14. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’23.811
15. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’23.830
16. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’24.566
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’24.590
18. Ben Bostrom (Honda) 1’26.159