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Lorenzo happy with pace and pleased to see Stoner back

Lorenzo happy with pace and pleased to see Stoner back

After topping the Friday timesheet at Estoril Jorge Lorenzo was in a confident mood at Estoril.

Returning this weekend to the scene of his remarkable first MotoGP win early in 2008, Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was the man to watch on Friday afternoon at the Grande Premio de Portugal.

The title-chasing Spaniard, who has a 30-point gap to bridge over the concluding four rounds of the year if he is to defeat his illustrious team-mate Valentino Rossi, looked comfortable in FP1 – taking over at the head of the timesheet with 20 minutes to go and remaining there until the end as he bettered his own hot pace in the final stages.

Lorenzo’s 1’37.185 best lap kept him 0.359s ahead of second placed Dani Pedrosa, 0.421s ahead of Rossi and nearly eight tenths ahead of fourth placed Casey Stoner. Afterwards Lorenzo noted Stoner’s return and the Australian’s immediately strong showing after more than two months away.

The 22 year-old star was himself pleased that after one month since the Misano round he too was able to get on the pace quickly, with some hard work. Lorenzo said, “It’s good to be back on the bike after one month but also quite hard! I enjoyed today though and we did a good job and made an encouraging start.”

“After a bit of work we were able to do a very good time and I am happy to be in front, it's important at this stage of the championship to make a strong start this weekend. We have one or two things to improve but we are in good shape. I am happy to see Casey back and also to see that he is already strong.”

Lorenzo also mentioned another rider who has suffered in recent weeks, showing his support for Czech starlet Lukas Sembera who broke his back recently in a crash at Brno and is now fighting to walk again. “I want to mention the special sticker I have on my bike this weekend for Lukas Sembera, the young Czech rider who had a bad accident two weeks ago,” explained Lorenzo. “I wish him all the best in his recovery.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team

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