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Preparing well for Sunday’s BMW M Award session – which will be broadcast live on motogp.com – Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest rider on the first day of the Official MotoGP Test at Jerez.
Saturday’s action concluded in southern Spain with a Spaniard at the top of the timesheet, Jorge Lorenzo leading the way with a 1’39.791s hot lap to put him 0.070s ahead of his team-mate Valentino Rossi, who was the second fastest participant in the session.
At a circuit where he started in pole position in just his second MotoGP race last year, Lorenzo registered his best time on the 97th turn of a marathon 99 lap workout, setting himself up nicely for Sunday’s BMW M Award session, in which he is sure to face stiff competition from Rossi and Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner.
Behind the factory Yamaha pair at the top of the timesheets, Stoner was third fastest on Saturday, the Australian lapping within 0.115s of Lorenzo. Stoner’s compatriot Chris Vermeulen was fourth, the Rizla Suzuki man continuing his good preseason form with a best effort 0.781s down on Lorenzo’s pace.
The experienced pair of Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) ended up fifth and sixth respectively, both within a second of topping the timesheet.
Completing the top ten were Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) and Toni Elias (San Carlo Honda Gresini). De Angelis suffered a crash in the afternoon, despite conditions improving as the day proceeded after a wet start, but he was unhurt.
James Toseland was eleventh fastest, the Englishman looking much more comfortable on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 machine after a nightmare preseason so far.
Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri will be pleased to have lapped twelfth fastest, even though he was 1.369s down on Lorenzo’s best time. The Italian was not lapping in podium pace but will still be satisfied to have discovered a relatively competitive rhythm.
Meanwhile, although returning veteran Sete Gibernau was 16th overall and nearly two seconds off the pace, he was positive at the end of the day having managed to complete 39 laps despite his ongoing shoulder problem.
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