Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished fourth and seventh respectively on the combined timesheets of the first two free practice sessions for this weekend’s Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon.
Fresh from his two consecutive race victories, reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo was quick to make his intentions clear in the morning session - challenging championship rival Marc Marquez for the top spot on the timesheets - and eventually emerging the faster at the end of the 45 minute session with a 1’49.753 time.
The afternoon saw the competition catch up as the times dropped into the 1’48s, Lorenzo eventually wrapping up day one in fourth place overall, 0.418 from the top.
The Majorcan rider will therefore go in search of greater pace on Saturday. He stated, “We hoped to improve the bike from the morning but we couldn't do it. I have a worse feeling than when we were here for the test. We have to keep working to improve the bike and the pace. The other riders are improving their pace a lot but we are optimistic. We can improve the bike and make another step. We need to be competitive whether it is hot or not.”
Rossi was quickly up to a competitive pace in the first session, the nine-time World Champion completing the morning practice in fifth position, 0.746s from the front.
The Italian then struggled with a number of different issues in the afternoon, including a brake problem and a lack of grip which prevented both him and teammate Lorenzo from realising their full potential. Rossi finished the day in seventh, 0.922s from the top.
“We struggled more than we expected,” confessed the Italian maestro. “In the test the track had different conditions and more grip, the temperature was lower and it was better. Today we suffered quite a lot, especially this afternoon I had quite a lot of issues, especially one with the brakes and I lost nearly half the practice.”
“At the end I used the second bike and made some laps to find the rhythm. We have to improve and go faster but at this moment after some laps the rear tyre starts to slide a lot and the bike becomes difficult to control.”