***Spoiler - MotoGP Mugello Free Practice
FREE PRACTICE REPORT 04/06/2010
Rossi and Lorenzo top the charts at sun-soaked Mugello
Valentino Rossi looked as happy as ever at his beloved home track of Mugello this afternoon, shaking off the pain of his shoulder injury to set the fastest time on the opening day. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was 0.369 seconds behind him in second and the pair looked in command of the situation as this fourth round of the season got underway, deep in the Tuscan countryside
Local hero Rossi has won here an incredible nine times in his career and professes to this being one of his favourite tracks, and the 31-year-old certainly looked at his best today as he topped the standings for almost the entire session. He is still suffering from lingering pain in his right shoulder from the injury he sustained over a month ago, but a good base setting went a long way to allowing him to ride more comfortably today and he and his crew are hopeful of continuing in the same vein tomorrow.
After two wins on the bounce championship leader Lorenzo looked the same confident package today as he lapped consistently fast to finish the day second behind his team-mate. The Mallorcan is planning to try a few changes tomorrow to try to maximise the potential of his M1 around this high-speed track, but he is feeling relaxed after a good start to the weekend.
Valentino Rossi 1st Time: 1'49.751 Laps: 26
"I am so happy to be back here in Mugello and we did a good first practice. We worked well, trying a lot of different settings as well as soft and hard Bridgestone tyres, and we are quite fast. I still have pain in my shoulder but it seems that this track isn't as bad and today I wasn't suffering like I did in Le Mans. Of course we don't know how the shoulder will feel over the weekend but at this early stage I'm quite confident. The important thing is to work at 100% to find the right setting and make sure we're as fast as possible for Sunday."
Jorge Lorenzo 2nd Time: 1'50.120 Laps: 27
"I'm happy about this session and I'm feeling quite good. It's always difficult to be fast straight away here, because you need many laps to understand the track with all its changes in direction, but after I had done some laps I improved a lot. Now we have to try to improve some things on the bike. The most important thing is to get on the front row tomorrow and to do that we need to make some small changes. The weather is hot but it's okay, I'm fit, well prepared and have a good pace already."
Davide Brivio: Team Manager Valentino Rossi
"A very good session for us. Yesterday we had a long meeting and came up with a plan for today, then we tried many different settings and now we have some good information. Valentino is already fast and in the lead so it looks like we've found a good base for this weekend. He still has some pain in his shoulder but we expected this; hopefully if we can set the bike up properly then we can make up for this and allow him to ride how he wants. We've made a great start to the weekend and we will try to continue tomorrow."
Wilco Zeelenberg: Team Manager Jorge Lorenzo
"We're feeling relaxed and confident after this first practice in Mugello and Jorge's lap time is good. We have some ideas to make things even better and we need to work on the ability to turn the bike, because this could be improved at the moment. The set-up is working well so far even if it's not perfect, but we're pleased with the second position. Of course Valentino is very strong here but we have no complaints so far with our performance."
Edwards and Spies on the pace at magnificent Mugello
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Colin Edwards and Ben Spies were immediately on the pace in Mugello today as Yamaha made a flying start to the Italian MotoGP weekend. Edwards made a welcome return to form after a difficult opening to the 2010 season and a range of set-up changes on his YZR-M1 machine reaped immediate reward for the Texan. Reverting back to the same set-up he used to finish sixth in the 2009 Italian MotoGP, the confidence Edwards has lacked with the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in the early part of the campaign instantly returned.
Edwards was a permanent fixture in the top six before he surge d into the top three shortly before the halfway stage. He briefly dropped out of the leading trio before a lap of 1.50.772 moved him behind dominant Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo back into third spot in the closing stages. Only a late attack from circuit specialist Loris Capirossi prevented Edwards from helping Yamaha claim a stunning 1-2-3 start to the fourth round of the world championship. The spectacular Mugello circuit is one of the most technically challenging and physically demanding on the MotoGP calendar. But Spies once again exhibited his talent for learning tracks at a remarkably fast rate to clock the sixth quickest time and finish just over 0.2s behind Edwards.
Spies is still suffering slight discomfort from left ankle ligament damage he suffered in a practice crash in Le Mans. But the 25-year-old quickly got to grips with Mugello's hard br aking points, high-speed corners and undulation to finish with a best time of 1.51.004. Spies is confident with more time to work on the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine he'll be able to fight for a leading position in Sunday's 23-lap race.
Colin Edwards 4th Time: 1'50.772 laps: 21
"I'm really happy with today because the first three races have not been easy at all. Nothing had worked at all so far this season, so basically I completely changed the set-up of the bike today. I just told my team to change the set-up so it was completely the same as Mugello last year when I had my best result at this track. We changed riding position and got my weight moved forward because I've been having a problem keeping weight on the front this season. Now it just feels so natural and the bike does exactly what I want it to do. When I want the bike to do something it actually does it instead of me waiting and wondering why it didn't work. Now it just turns and it feels like I'm spending much less time on the side of the tyre. I turn in now really quickly and don't run wide or have to work hard to get the bike round the corner. I want to say a big thanks to Tech 3 and Yamaha because it feels like my bike again and I'm riding with much more confidence."
Ben Spies 6th Time: 1'51.004 Laps: 25
"This track is definitely a more difficult place to learn but it is a super fun track. There are a couple of corners that are really difficult to learn and it can take a while to get into a rhythm. But coming here on the back of a couple of bad results and being immediately this fast on such a technically challenging track is really good for me. It doesn't feel like I should have been sixth and I guess that is a good sign. I thought I was doing fine so to see I was sixth, I was blown away with that because I thought I'd be about tenth or just outside the top ten. I'm still having a bit of trouble with the ankle I hurt in the practice crash in Le Mans. There's quite a bit of ligament damage but the only time I really feel it is when I'm trying to tuck in tight on the straight. It's not a major injury but it will take a few weeks to fully recover. On the bike it hurts but it's not slowing me down. I'll analyse the data tonight because as always when I'm starting fresh on a new track, there is more time to come from my riding and the bike. But to be sixth on my first day at such a difficult track is a good lift for my confidence."
Circuit Length: 5245
Lap Record: 1'50.117 (Max Biaggi, 01/01/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1'42.837 (Valentino Rossi, 04/06/2006)
Last Years Winner: Casey Stoner
2010 MotoGP Italy - Mugello 04/06/2010
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Valentino Rossi
1 Valentino Rossi
2 Jorge Lorenzo
3 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1'50.359
4 Colin Edwards
5 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'50.773
6 Ben Spies
7 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1'51.128
8 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1'51.255
9 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1'51.387
10 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1'51.582
11 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 1'51.605
12 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1'51.717
13 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 1'51.782
14 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 1'52.202
Last edited by rkwaki; 06-04-2010 at 02:59 PM.