"This is a great start but it’s too soon to speak about the race or jump to conclusions; we’ve only had one practice!"
The Grand Prix of Italy is officially underway at Mugello and it is the Fiat Yamaha pairing of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who staked claim to the two fastest times of the day. Ducati’s Casey Stoner, who currently holds the lap record around the 3.25-mile course, found himself third on the time sheets just ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
Monster Yamaha’s Colin Edwards is looking good after posting the fifth fastest time, well ahead of his teammate James Toseland’s 11th-fastest time and way ahead of fellow American Nicky Hayden, who continues to struggle with the hard to ride Ducati, who is down at 15th position in the order.
Jorge Lorenzo – Fiat Yamaha – 1st
“It’s true however that I didn’t have any problems today and I felt very happy for the whole session. Each time we come to a new track we don’t know exactly what to expect because we’re still learning the new Bridgestone tyres but at the moment we seem to be fast each time and I feel very comfortable in this period; this is positive. It’s very hot here, even hotter than in Spain but I am okay with that because we’ve had too much rain and we all need some sunshine! I hope it will continue like this for the weekend because it’s better for everyone.”
Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha – 2nd
“We did quite well today and it looks like we’re in good shape. It is only Friday so there’s a long way to go yet, but it’s looking like it could be a great battle on the track because the first few riders are very close. We have a few small things to work on still with the setting because I can’t ride exactly how I want to yet, but we already have a good rhythm and we have important data to help us improve further. This is a great track for me and it doesn’t matter if Mugello comes after a bad race or a good one, it’s something apart from the ‘normal’ championship and I always feel great motivation. Plus the sun is shining so I am very happy!”
Loris Capirossi – Rizla Suzuki – 7th
"It was not easy today as we struggled a bit to get a good feeling from the front of the bike, but it was good to have a full hour to work with because we were able to get through a lot of changes. We tried a couple of runs with different settings and then one with a very extreme setting. We will certainly improve tomorrow, but having said that the bike is not too bad at the moment. I really enjoy riding here at this track, but at the moment - until we get the setting right - it is just not quite perfect!"
Chris Vermeulen – Rizla Suzuki – 13th
"It's great to come back to Mugello; this is certainly a circuit that most of the GP field enjoy. It hasn't been a good circuit for Suzuki in the past as we have suffered a bit with the high-speed turns and the long straight. During today's session we made some progress with the bike and tested both tyre compounds to see which one gave the best feeling and durability - we've certainly got a direction with that. My biggest issue at the moment is with front grip and making the bike steer a bit better. We'll be working hard with the engineers this evening and we already have some ideas how we can improve."
Mugello Practice Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'49.870
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'50.065
3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'50.144
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1'50.808
5. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'50.891
6. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'50.898
7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'51.007
8. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'51.030
9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda 1'51.206
10. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team 1'51.359
11. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'51.401
12. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'51.823
13. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'51.994
14. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing 1'52.319
15. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'52.403
16. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team 1'52.607
17. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing 1'52.619