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Positive starts for Lorenzo and Rossi

Positive starts for Lorenzo and Rossi

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi kicked off the first of the three flyaway triple-header weekends with a positive start in the first practices for this Sunday’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan.

Lorenzo remained calm and collected while he focused on staying ahead of his rivals. The Aragon race winner took his time at the start of the morning Free Practice session to warm up the bigger carbon brake disks, which are obligatory this year because of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit’s heavy braking character.

Throughout the session the Spaniard was able to gradually improve his times and topped the standings with a 1’45.838 lap in the final minute.

The second 45 minute session also saw him directly on the pace, posting multiple 1’45 laps to comfortably claim second place. His fastest lap of 1’45.580 was just four-tenths from the leader Andrea Dovizioso - who used an extra soft tyre - and leaves him second in the overall times.

Lorenzo commented, “After the race win in Aragon we knew that here maybe we had a chance to go faster and be more competitive with this normal tyre on the rear. Also we knew that last year we were competitive and had good grip. From the beginning we’ve been on the pace and better than we expected. The bike is working very well, we can improve some small details in the settings, chassis and electronics but in general the pace of the bike is very good so I’m happy.”

Teammate Rossi showed that a heavy crash at Aragon has not slowed him down. Though heavy braking is challenging with his finger injury, the nine-time World Champion decided to ride without anesthetic injections and still managed to be at the top of the timesheets as the morning session began. The Doctor led the standings twice before finishing fifth with a lap of 1’46.184, just 0.346 behind his teammate.

Rossi had a similar session in the afternoon and was able to improve his time to a 1’45.890, less than 0.75s from the top. The result leaves him in fifth place in the combined times ahead of tomorrow’s sessions.

The Italian stated, “I feel good on the bike and don't have any particular problems. I have some small pain with the finger, especially when I brake there is a little bit of pain but I am optimistic, I can brake in a good way and I’m comfortable, I’m just in a little bit of pain. In general the first day was not so bad, it was good practice and I’m quite satisfied. We still have to work a lot, because we still haven’t found the right balance but fifth position is not so bad. I have a good pace and it looks like the Yamaha works well here in Motegi.”

MotoGP, 2014, MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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