US MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo happy to set Laguna pace

1 of 1

Jorge Lorenzo survived a huge scare to top the timesheets on the first day of practice for the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

The reigning world champion set the benchmark with a 1.22.056 to finish just 0.141s clear of fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.

But in the final stages of the second practice session, the factory Yamaha had a huge scare at the penultimate corner when he nearly high-sided his YZR-M1 machine.

Lorenzo, who goes into Sunday’s 32-lap race trailing Australian Casey Stoner by 15-points in the title chase, told MCN: “It was a very scary moment. I was already closing my eyes and waiting for a big crash. But fortunately I stayed on the bike.”

Lorenzo was third fastest in the opening session that took place in cool and cloudy conditions prior to the afternoon session being run under gloriously sunny California skies.

He was almost 0.4s faster in the afternoon and he added: “I’m happy because I made the times quite easily at the beginning and I made a quite big difference compared to the others. Unfortunately I couldn’t improve the lap time, but this is a general problem here, because the rear tyre when it drops it’s very difficult to be in the same pace or to improve the lap time, so everyone is at the same point. This will be a very important point for Sunday. The rider who can have the best rear tyre over race distance will have a big advantage.”

Lorenzo’s point was reflected on the timesheets. His best time came on his ninth out of 24 laps, while Pedrosa clocked his best on his 15th lap. The Repsol Honda rider couldn’t improve in his final nine laps. Fourth placed Andrea Dovizioso set his best time on the 10th of his 26-lap stint, and Texan Spies set his time for fifth on lap 13 of 24.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt