News Report 1 May 2009

2009 MotoGP Spain - Jerez de la Frontera

View results Track information
Jerez Circuit
4423 m
05 / 03 / 2009
Time to be confirmed

Spanish fiesta gets underway with Rossi fastest in Jerez

Free practice

Valentino Rossi signalled his intent for a return to the top of the podium with a commanding performance in free practice today, topping the time sheets at a sun-soaked Jerez de la Frontera. Jorge Lorenzo, making a triumphant return to home soil following his victory in Japan last weekend, finished the session in fourth.

After the bad weather at the last two rounds the paddock breathed a sigh of relief today to see blue skies and Spanish sunshine and the Fiat Yamaha Team riders were delighted to be riding in such conditions once again. Rossi, who currently lies one point behind his team-mate in the championship standings, made a few changes to his base setting and reaped the rewards immediately, finishing 0.364 seconds ahead of his compatriot Loris Capirossi.

Having been consistently fast at the test here in March, Lorenzo was expecting to make a good start but the Mallorcan encountered a few unexpected problems in acceleration and wasn’t able to match the pace of his team-mate. He will be looking to considerably reduce the gap to the Italian tomorrow during the second practice and qualifying sessions.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 1st Time: 1'39.647 Laps: 21
“Today there’s no prize, like at the test here, but anyway it’s really good for our work to start in such a positive way. During the first two races we’ve had a couple of small problems and today we made a change in our setting in order to improve things and straight away we could see it was working. I could ride how I wanted with both the soft Bridgestone tyre and the hard one, and I was the fastest for the whole session. It’s very hot today, which is for sure better than the rain of recent races but it means if it’s like this on Sunday then the race will be quite hard on the tyres, so tomorrow we need to concentrate on refining our setting to help them as much as possible.”
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 4th Time: 1'40.441 Laps: 20
“It’s nice to be back in Spain and in the sunshine, but I am a bit disappointed about the day. I had a problem at the start with my helmet and we were delayed to go out on track. Once I got started I felt good with the soft Bridgestone tyre, but when we tried the hard one later we had a few problems and the bike didn’t feel completely stable. Tomorrow we need to come back to a different setting and I hope things will be better.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“This has been a very good opening session! We focused on trying a few different settings with the bike and looking at improving the overall balance based on our experience from the first two races, and it looks like we’ve found something good. We will continue to evaluate this tomorrow and hopefully we will then be set for the race.”

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
“The session was not so bad but we encountered a few small problems that we didn’t expect, in acceleration. Now we need to compare the data with that from the test and we are quite confident that tomorrow we can fix these problems and be back to our recent form.”

Top six for Edwards, Toseland 11th in sunny Spain

Colin Edwards made a flying start to the highly anticipated European phase of the 2009 MotoGP campaign in Jerez today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider clocking the sixth best time in opening free practice. The Texan's best time of 1.40.703 was only 0.4s outside of the top three in the 45-minute session, which was run under warm but cloudy skies, a welcome respite from the bad weather that has seriously disrupted the first two races in Qatar and Japan. Edwards, who was as high as second position on the timesheets at the halfway stage, spent the majority of the session concentrating on improving the electronic set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with the hard acceleration points on the 2.748 miles circuit.

James Toseland produced another encouraging performance to build on his first top ten result of the season in Japan last weekend. A best lap of 1.41.461 pushed the British rider into the top ten in the closing stages. The 28-year-old unfortunately dropped down to 11th but he ended just 0.4s outside of the top eight, a switch to a harder front fork setting to improve feel in the hard braking points failing to yield the expected improvement in handling performance of his YZR-M1.
Colin Edwards 6th 1.40.703 – 19 laps
“That was a good solid start and I'm happy with the bike. Yamaha has done a great job because we seem to go from track to track and be right up with the leaders from the start. There are a couple of things with the electronics and chassis set-up that we can definitely find at least another half-a-second to go consistently quicker around the 40.3 area. That's not going to trouble Valentino (Rossi) but that would be a big step for us and put us in contention. With the electronics we just need to get the anti-wheelie working a bit better. Yamaha did a great job with that in the winter and we needed that improvement on a track like this where you accelerate hard out of a lot of slow hairpins. I'm losing a little bit of time on acceleration and we can still make it better, but my guys at Tech 3 know what they are doing and I know we'll make a big step for tomorrow. I'm doing those lap times and I'm not 100 per cent comfortable, so that bodes well for the weekend knowing we've got a lot of room for improvement.”
James Toseland 11th 1.41.461 – 20 laps
“We went for a harder setting on the front fork to help with some of the heavy braking points but it didn't really work as we'd liked. We also changed the rear a bit from Japan and the balance wasn't really there. We didn't really have time to go back to plan B but even with a couple of small issues I'm not too displeased with my time and I know my potential is much higher. I think what is going to be crucial is to conserve the tyre here over race distance and that's something I'll work out with my team. I ran the harder rear today because of the hot conditions and even that was sliding around a little after about eight laps. I could see a few other people were having the same problems, so a decent race set-up will be critical. A bit more time would have put me in the top eight and it wouldn't have been a bad afternoon, but we know where we can improve on the setting and be much stronger tomorrow.”