Lorenzo quickest in misty final Laguna Seca practice

Saturday, 28 July 2012

In the final practice of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, misty conditions known as "marine cloud" put paid to the majority of the session during which Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo went fastest ahead of Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden.

In a session that started in thick fog with a slightly greasy and damp track surface only a hand full of riders went out for exploratory runs to check conditions. Most notably, Attack Performance wildcard Steve Rapp put in a big number of laps, as he looked to get his CRT bike to a more competitive level, managing to shave two seconds off his best time from yesterday. However with approximately 12 minutes remaining the majority of riders took to the track to put in at least a hand full of laps. The only riders not to go out were Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.

With conditions not matching the sunny skies of yesterday, most riders will have learned little from their short outing, however Lorenzo’s time of 1.21’445 was less than a tenth slower than his best lap yesterday. This may be a sing of improvements to come in qualifying this afternoon, as teammate Ben Spies was over eight tenths behind in second place. Home crowd favourite, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, set the third quickest time ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.

Hayden’s teammate Valentino Rossi brought his bike home in fifth, followed by the two Honda satellite machines of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista. Power Electronics Aspar riders Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró put in some good laps to end the morning eighth and ninth, with Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham completing the top ten. Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva, who was one of the first out on track suffered a couple of runs off the circuit, yet avoided any major crashes.

Laguna Seca is a track known to suffer adverse weather conditions in the mornings, yet it is predicted to be a warm and sunny qualifying session this afternoon.

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