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Late Lorenzo tops timesheet in first Saturday run

Late Lorenzo tops timesheet in first Saturday run

Jorge Lorenzo stated his intentions with a late fast lap in the Saturday morning practice at Laguna Seca.

Out to prove a point this weekend having finished second to his team-mate Valentino Rossi in the last two MotoGP races and having crashed out on the first lap of the race last year at Laguna Seca, Jorge Lorenzo was the top man in the Saturday morning practice run.

The young Spanish Fiat Yamaha rider took his M1 round the Californian track in 1’21.799 right at the end of the session, to push Casey Stoner off the top spot, ahead of qualifying later today.

Fears about Stoner’s ability to perform this weekend at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix subsided somewhat in the first Saturday outing as the Ducati star put down a marker of 1’21.835s that only Lorenzo was able to beat on his final lap. Of course Stoner will need more than one fast lap in Sunday’s eighth race of the year and doubts linger about his current stamina levels, having only completed 23 laps in FP2 compared to Lorenzo’s 35.

Valentino Rossi was around three tenths off Lorenzo’s best in third place and will look to increase the pace in qualifying later on. The Italian himself completed 34 laps, his best time of 1’22.177 coming early in the outing.

A revitalised Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini) lapped fourth fastest, just ahead of Repsol Honda counterparts Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, who lapped in similar times – around 0.75s slower than Lorenzo – in fifth and sixth respectively.

Eighth fastest participant Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) was in the middle of an American sandwich behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards and in front of Ducati’s Nicky Hayden - with all three lapping at a similar speed. Edwards’ Tech 3 colleague James Toseland completed the top ten.


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