Estoril MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo tops MotoGP practice

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Jorge Lorenzo’s love affair with the Estoril circuit continued today after the Spaniard returned from the summer break with the fastest time in opening MotoGP practice.
Lorenzo, who won his first premier class race at the Estoril circuit in 2008, was in brilliant form today, clocking a best time of 1.37.185 to easily outpace his rivals.
Compatriot Dani Pedrosa on board the Repsol Honda RC212V was second quickest but his best lap of 1.37.544 was 0.359s adrift of Lorenzo, who will start Sunday’s 28-lap race trying to close down a 30-point deficit on title favourite Valentino Rossi.
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.
Rossi was third quickest with a best lap of 1.37.606 that left him 0.421s off Lorenzo’s pace, with the returning Casey Stoner an impressive fourth fastest in his first action since the end of June.
Stoner, trying a new Ducati GP9 fairing, clocked a best time of 1.37.966 in his 19-lap stine as he rode for the first time since taking a three-race sabbatical to solve mystery fatigue issues.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards was once again the leading non-factory rider as he logged a best time of 1.38.103.
The Texan, who will be joined by Ben Spies at Tech 3 in 2010, was the last rider to lap inside of a second of Lorenzo’s impressive pace with British rider James Toseland finishing the session in an encouraging eighth position.
The 28-year-old, who has lost his seat in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, clocked a best time of 1.38.591 to finish just under 1.5s off Lorenzo and 0.4s off a top six finish.
Showing just how desperate Ducati needed Aussie Stoner back in action was evident today with the next best GP9 rider languishing down in 10th place.
That was Mika Kallio rounding out the top ten with Nicky Hayden one place further adrift in 11th position.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt