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May 19, 2017

MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso Fastest In Free Practice Two At Cold And Rainy Le Mans

Andrea Dovizioso (04).

HJC Helmets Grand Prix De France

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Bugatti Circuit, Le Mans, France

May 19, 2017

Free Practice Two Results (wet conditions, all on Michelin tires):

1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:41.673

2. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:41.716

3. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (DUCATI), 1:41.906

4. Scott REDDING, UK (DUCATI), 1:41.925

5. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (SUZUKI), 1:42.078

6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:42.625

7. Jack MILLER, Australia (HONDA), 1:42.729

8. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:42.894

9. Sam LOWES, UK (APRILIA), 1:42.998

10. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:43.006

11. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (APRILIA), 1:43.177

12. Loris BAZ, France (DUCATI), 1:43.250

13. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (HONDA), 1:43.340

14. Johann ZARCO, France (YAMAHA), 1:44.177

15. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (DUCATI), 1:44.276

16. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (SUZUKI), 1:44.572

17. Tito RABAT, Spain (HONDA), 1:44.678

18. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:45.074

19. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (YAMAHA), 1:45.119

20. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KTM), 1:45.622

21. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:45.804

22. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), 1:47.127

23. Bradley SMITH, UK (KTM), 1:47.701



More, from a press release issued by Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS:

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller brilliantly topped the timesheets on an opening day of MotoGP action at the legendary Le Mans track that was completely dominated by constantly changing weather conditions.

The Australian was in untouchable form on a damp but fast drying track this morning, setting an incredibly hot pace that at times left him with a commanding advantage of over three seconds.

With new asphalt recently laid on the historic 4.18km Bugatti Circuit, the improved smooth surface also offered exceptional grip levels in mixed conditions, and Miller’s strategy to switch to slick Michelin tyres in the closing stages of FP1 was calculated to perfection.

A stunning late charge of 1’37.467 secured Miller a deserved top spot, with the 2014 Moto3 winner at Le Mans finishing over 1.2s clear of Marc Marquez.

Torrential rain during the lunch break soaked the track again in advance of FP2, but Miller was once again a leading protagonist throughout the second 45-minute session.

A recent wet weather tyre test that Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS were happy to participate in at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia had enabled Miller and his crew to fine-tune the rain set-up on his Honda RC213V machine.

And that extra wet track time proved crucial, as he ended FP2 in seventh place, having opted to run the entire session on the same Michelin wet tyres in an impressively fast stint that saw him complete just four laps short of full race distance on the same rubber.

Tito Rabat was satisfied with his pace throughout the first day, and 18th position on the combined standings was certainly not an accurate representation of his pace.

On wet tyres in FP1, he was only one second behind Miller, but he drifted out of top 10 contention as he opted not to switch to slick tyres in the decisive final minutes. A small issue with his leather suit also hampered his progress this afternoon, but that can easily be rectified ahead of tomorrow’s action.

Jack Miller: 1st - 1’37.467

“I am really happy to finish the first day here in Le Mans on top of the timesheets. It was the perfect way to bounce back from the disappointment of Jerez and I’m happy because I was fast in all different kinds of conditions. This afternoon was another positive session after the boost of setting the fastest time in FP1. I used the same set of tyres throughout the whole of FP2 and did 24 laps on the Michelin wets and had good pace throughout. The tread did get a little bit low and I was aquaplaning a bit in the fast corners, so I decided to end the session a bit early. I’m sure I could have gone faster on a fresh set of rain tyres like some of the others did but didn’t really feel the need after I got that banker lap in this morning.”

Tito Rabat: 18th - 1’42.094

“I was happy at the end of this morning’s session because I had a very good feeling in the wet. I didn’t switch to a slick tyre at the end of FP1, so we didn’t show our full potential this morning. At the start of FP2 I didn’t feel all that confident and comfortable but on the second run I was much happier with my rhythm. I had a very small issue with my leathers that prevented me from being completely comfortable on the bike this afternoon, but we will make the necessary modifications to solve that ahead of tomorrow.”

Ramon Aurin: Jack Miller Chief Engineer

“Today was very positive and it wasn’t a surprise to see Jack fastest this morning because he is very strong and fast in mixed conditions. He was the first to switch to slicks and once he got the right temperature into the tyres he could set an impressive pace, even though we know it was far away from the times we can expect to see. It is the same conditions for everybody though and it is always a good boost to be fastest. We didn’t change tyres in the rain this afternoon and had we done so I’m sure he could have improved. We did a wet weather test for Michelin in Valencia last week and that helped a little to work on our settings for these conditions.”



More, from a press release issued by Pull&Bear Aspar Team:

Top ten start for Pull&Bear Aspar pair

Karel Abraham sixth and Álvaro Bautista ninth as the foundations are laid for a strong Grand Prix de France

Rainy conditions made life difficult for the riders on the opening day of the Grand Prix de France, with the majority setting their best laps of the day during the first free practice session when there was limited opportunity to use slick tyres. Only Andrea Dovizioso and Scott Redding managed to improve on a completely wet track in the afternoon, meaning Jack Miller holds on to top spot overnight at Le Mans, after lapping more than a second quicker than closest rival Marc Márquez with almost another second back to Johann Zarco in third. Miller is one of six Independent team riders in the top ten today, with two of them in the colours of the Pull&Bear Aspar Team.

It was a top ten start for both Karel Abraham and Álvaro Bautista, with the Czech rider particularly impressive considering that he did not ride at Le Mans last season. Abraham was in the top ten this morning and again this afternoon, up until a technical problem limited his track activity to just seven laps. Meanwhile the Spaniard finished ninth on a day that saw his crew introduce a modified base set-up compared to recent races. Bautista felt immediately more comfortable with the changes and will fight tomorrow for direct access to Q2.

6th Karel Abraham 1:40.528 (21 laps): “I think today was a very good day for us because this morning was my first time on the new tarmac here and my first time at the track for two years. We managed to use slick tyres at the end of the morning session and make our way into the top ten, which was important for us. The afternoon was also good for us, I was in around eighth place when I was on track but then we had a little technical problem so I had to stop while we solved it. I went back out for one lap just to check it but it didn't make sense to complete any more laps. The position in the afternoon doesn't look good because I am in second to last place but when I was on the track I was quite comfortably in the top ten. We're not looking at the result but at the performance and the performance was very good today."

9th Álvaro Bautista 1:41.024 (42 laps):“It was a bit of a strange day today. The track was drying out this morning and then in the afternoon it was wet. I am happy with the feeling, we have changed the set-up of the bike, which we have been wanting to do for the last couple of races. As soon as I went out on the changed bike I felt pretty good from the first lap. On the occasions it has rained so far this season I have not been so smooth but today I felt comfortable, the new set-up helped to give me more confidence on the bike. We finished ninth today but if it is dry tomorrow we will all be trying to push for a 'pre-qualifier'. We will have to work hard to find a good feeling because that's what you need when it is time to grit your teeth and push.”



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

SOGGY START TO LE MANS WEEKEND FOR MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales ventured out on the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit in the first free practice sessions of the weekend, riding in various conditions to secure eighth and tenth respectively in today's combined session timesheets.

Le Mans (France), 19th May 2017

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team riders started their quests at the Grand Prix de France today with the first free practice sessions, ahead of Sunday's race. Valentino Rossi showed a solid pace in the mixed conditions and landed eighth place in the combined session times, slightly ahead of teammate Maverick Viñales, who posted the tenth fastest time.

Rossi was true to his word, spoken in the run-up to the weekend in Le Mans. He wanted to make a strong start to the French GP and he quickly matched his pace with the front runners. Having breached into the top5, he shifted his attention to the setting of his YZR-M1. With the track drying and the pace picking up, he set a best time of 1'40.894s for eighth place, 3.427s from first.

The soaking wet conditions in the afternoon, didn‘t stop the Doctor booking progress. He quickly moved up to provisional second place and spent the remaining 30 minutes focusing on improving his setting before putting it to the test in the final stages. He wrapped up the second session with a tenth fastest time of 1'43.006s, 1.333s from the front and held on to eighth place in the combined standings, thanks to his morning time.

Viñales started the morning session with the goal to continue the progress made in the Jerez test and spurted to the top of the timesheets 15 minutes into FP1, with a 1‘42.546s. He spent the rest of the time comparing settings, bettering his fastest lap to a 1‘41.307s in the process, and finished in tenth place, 3.840s from the front.

The Spaniard was quick to pick up where he left off during FP2, this time in full wet conditions after a midday downpour. He soon moved into the top4 as he continued to perfect the set-up of his YZR-M1. He saved his best for his last stint and dropped a 1'42.894s to end FP2 in eighth place, 1.221s from the top. Unable to improve on his fastest lap from this morning, he remained in tenth position in the combined standings.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

Today‘s morning conditions were exactly what we hoped to avoid. The track was still drying in the morning, which meant that we were unable to collect any really good information, like we did in the fully wet afternoon session. Even though it doesn‘t look like it‘s going to rain over the next two days, it‘s been important to ride in the wet, as this allowed us to make another step in terms of the set-up for rainy conditions. We expect that it will be dry from now on and we will start FP3 with the information that we collected two weeks ago during the Le Mans test, especially concerning Maverick. Vale will continue to evaluate the two different settings he compared in FP1 which gave him a good impression.

VALENTINO ROSSI

For sure it's more difficult in these conditions, but for us it's also very important to try to understand the feeling of the bike in the wet, because in Jerez we suffered also a lot in these conditions. In the end I'm just tenth, so the position is not fantastic, but the feeling with the bike improved and throughout the practice I was always in a good position. I think that at the end with the new tyre I needed a few more laps to get some heat in, but the feelings are better. We worked a lot on corner entry and it's not so bad, but now we have to understand our pace in the dry and we hope for good conditions tomorrow.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

For me it was a good day, because we could improve the bike a bit in the rain and I feel comfortable already with the bike. I think step by step we are improving in the rain. In the end, I didn't put in the soft tyre, I was too late, I could only get two laps in on the dry tyres. For me, ultimately, the position doesn't matter, it's the feeling in the wet and that we improved the bike that counts. I hope it will stay dry so we can work well. Our bike is working good here, so we can do a good result again.



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini:

THE APRILIA MACHINES DO WELL IN THE WET AT LE MANS

SAM LOWES FINISHES FP2 IN THE TOP TEN FOR THE FIRST TIME

The weather, traditionally unpredictable at Le Mans, conditioned the first day of free practice ahead of the French GP on Sunday.

The morning session (FP1) was characterized by the uncertain asphalt conditions which, initially wet, dried out gradually but without ever getting to the point of being able to use slicks or to conditions that would allow optimum use of rain tyres. In this situation, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders preferred reducing their track time, finishing in 19th place with Lowes and 22nd with Espargaró, but putting in a total of just 15 laps.

In true wet conditions, the two riders took advantage of the second practice session (FP2) with Sam Lowes finishing in ninth place (at 1’42.988) and Aleix Espargaró in eleventh (1’43.177). For Lowes, this is his best placement in a session since his MotoGP début, a sign of the confidence that the English rider is gaining with the bike and the category. It is also a confidence booster in view of tomorrow's decisive sessions.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"This morning the track was in mixed conditions, so FP1 was not particularly useful. In the afternoon we were competitive enough in the wet. The new track surface provides good grip and I can't wait to try it when it's dry. Tomorrow it will be important to use our heads. We'll need to evaluate the track conditions and find the right time to use the slicks and push. It would be nice to go through to Q2, but if that doesn't happen, the important thing will be to work well in view of the race on Sunday."

SAM LOWES

"With the conditions this morning I did not feel particularly good, so we decided not to go out much. But in the wet I had a good feeling straight away with the RS-GP. Being in the top-10, even if it is in the rain, is an important step for me. Obviously I would like to maintain that position on a dry track too. It won't be easy, but already in Jerez, if we don't count the race, I had a good weekend. The important thing is to continue progressing and working hard."



More, from a press release issued by Octo Pramac Racing:

Grand Prix de France - Le Mans - Free Practices

Petrux and Scott put on a show under the rain of Le Mans: 3rd and 4th respectively in FP2

Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding confirm to be very fast in wet conditions. In the FP2 of the Grand Prix de France the Octo Pramac Racing riders dominate for almost the entire session then ending up in third and fourth place respectively. Unfortunately the unstable weather conditions of the FP1 did not allow them to reach the TOP 10 (Petrux 15th and Scott 16th in the combined standing). As a result they will have to fight in tomorrow’s FP3 to win direct qualification to Q2.

After the FP1 raced entirely with rain tires and finished 4 tenths of a second from the Top 10, Danilo Petrucci played a spectacular FP2. Feeling of being able to beat Dovizioso's quickest time of the session, Petrux remained on track until the end but he had to surrender due to lack of gasoline that forced him back to the garage.

Scott Redding dominated the first 30 minutes of the FP2 by lighting up an endless series of “red helmets”. The English rider lapped fast in all sectors as confirmed by his ideal time that would secure his second position in front of Marquez. With Andrea Dovizioso, Scott Redding was the only rider to improve in the FP2 the time set in the morning.

15th – Danilo Petrucci - 1’41.887

"I had so much fun. I'm really happy. In the end I was thinking of doing it but I finished the gasoline. We made some adjustments after the first exit of FP2 and I started to lap very fast. I found back confidence in wet conditions and I am very happy because I feel that we are really competitive. Now I just hope the track will be dry tomorrow morning because I want to make the Q2".

16th – Scott Redding - 1’41.925

"I am very happy about how things went in FP2. Just a shame for what we have done in FP1: we tried a set-up for mixed-conditions but getting out with the medium-rear was not the right choice. I tried to push but I could not put the rubber in the temperature. In the afternoon we decided to use that set up and things went really well as we went on track with the used rear-rain of the morning lapping very fast".

.



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Mixed results for Repsol Honda Team in cold and wet Le Mans

Cold temperatures and intermittent rain showers throughout the opening day of the French GP produced mixed results for the Repsol Honda Team in Le Mans.

Marc Marquez, who used the new exhaust on both his bikes, was second fastest in wet-but-drying FP1 and then again in fully wet FP2, showing that he is already quite comfortable on his RC213V despite the tricky mixed conditions.

Dani Pedrosa suffered more in the cold conditions, struggling to put temperature into his rear tyre, and he set the 13th fastest time in the morning and the 21st in the afternoon, ending the day 14th in the combined standings.

The weather forecast for tomorrow and Sunday is better, and both Marc and Dani look forward to some dry track time in order to best prepare for the race.

Marc Marquez 93

2ND FP2 (2ND COMBINED) 1'38.755

“It’s positive to have started well today, as here in Le Mans it’s important to be ready for any kind of conditions. This morning there were mixed conditions with the track drying toward the end, allowing us to do the last exit on slicks. The feeling was good already, but the most important thing was to be able to be fast in the full wet in FP2. We worked a bit on the rain settings and in our second run I started to feel really good on the bike. We’ll see how the conditions are tomorrow; it looks like it will be dry and I hope that’s actually the case because it seems that the race also will be a dry one and it will be important to set up the bike well. The new surface is incredible, at least from what we could see in the wet. The grip is very good and even if it’s not easy to put temperature in the tyres, when you do get it you can be really fast.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

21ST FP2 (14TH COMBINED) 1'41.854

“Today it was a little bit difficult because in the morning we had quite changeable conditions, starting on the wet and finishing on an almost dry track. I changed to slicks a little bit too late and I couldn’t improve my lap time. This afternoon for some reason we weren’t able to put the right temperature into the rear tyre, so I had no grip. We tried to fix it but we couldn’t. We would like to understand why that happened but in any case we’ll focus on tomorrow. It seems we’ll have an improvement in the weather and therefore in the track conditions for the rest of the weekend, so we’ll work to improve our feeling and prepare well for the race.” 



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Zarco finishes as top Yamaha on first day of home GP

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo kicked off the team’s home Grand Prix with two determined performances on day one as they battled against the challenging weather in Le Mans. Johann Zarco pleased his fans as he notably completed the day in 3rd overall after an accomplished start in the morning practice whilst the track dried. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger ended up 12th in the combined standings due to his solid FP1 time, and he now confidently looks on to tomorrow where he aims to improve further.

Johann ZARCO

Position: 3rd - Time: 1'39.248 - Laps: 41

"For me, it was a good opening day to my home Grand Prix. FP1 was positive because we started in wet conditions but then it dried and I finished on slick tyres and on my dry bike. This meant that I could ride a solid lap, which may help for qualifying tomorrow and this is very important. In the afternoon, it was totally wet but we completed a lot of laps and learnt how the new asphalt is in these conditions. In order to be confident in the wet I need time, so step by step, I got better, yet the first guy was incredible today. However, I now have some points to work towards and I will stay cool so that I can improve in the future in similar conditions. It was great to ride in front of my fans, and this gives me good motivation because I like the feeling of saying hello to everyone and seeing the fans all standing up around the circuit. Furthermore, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to get around the paddock on the scooter due to all of the fans, but this is definitely a good thing! I have to also say that it is really nice to already know that I will continue with Monster Yamaha Tech3 next year because we are improving at every race which is important, and if I keep progressing, then we can have a nice target."

Jonas FOLGER

Position: 12th - Time: 1'41.644 - Laps: 30

"It was a day of two halves but I am certain that we can achieve what we need to in order to have a successful time on Sunday. FP1 went well even though the circuit was drying at the end and we didn’t alter the bike too much at all. In addition, the new track surface is great and I really like it. However, in the afternoon, we had some issues in the rain and we struggled with the rear grip. I was trying to push but we have to search for another setting because I am loosing too much time on the entry to the turn, and mid corner also. Throughout the practice, I did my best, but in the end, we couldn’t find a solution. Yet, everything else is ok with the bike so now we need to analyse the data and make some plans, but I am sure that we can improve tomorrow."



More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:

Loris Baz shines in mix conditions on the first day at Le Mans

The weather forecast for the first day of free practice for the French Grand Prix was correct and it started to rain today at the Le Mans circuit. The 45 minutes morning session started in fully wet conditions, but the new tarmac dried out quite quickly and Loris Baz was the first rider to make the change for Michelin slick tyres on his bike. The Reale Avintia Racing rider obviously improved his lap times to hold second place in the final minutes of the session. He finished within the top group of riders, showing once again that he is one of the best MotoGP riders in mixed conditions. In the afternoon, it didn’t stop raining throughout the session and Baz finished 12th overall.

It was not the best day for Hector Barbera, who came to Le Mans looking forward to confirm the positive feelings from the recent test at Jerez. The Spaniard did not use Michelin slick tyres in the morning and finished 21st. In the afternoon in fully wet conditions, he worked hard to find a better feeling, but to no avail. If the weather forecast is correct again and it stays dry tomorrow, the Reale Avintia Racing rider expects to confirm the progress achieved at Jerez.

Loris Baz | 1'40.427 | P5

“The first day here at Le Mans was good, even though the conditions were a bit strange. This morning, the track dried up and we were the first team to change for slick tyres. But we didn’t take a lot of risks, we just pushed enough in order to be within the fastest group for Q2, just in case it was going to rain in the afternoon and on Saturday morning again. All in all we did a good job. In the afternoon, we did many laps in the wet and we tried to improve the feeling with the bike, which aren’t as good as last year. We made a big step forward and I am happy with what we achieved. Now we have to wait and see if the track is dry tomorrow so we can prepare ourselves for the race on Sunday”.

Hector Barbera | 1'42.953 | P21

“It was a difficult day. After the good feeling that I had during the test at Jerez, I didn’t expect these difficulties. Maybe it was due to the weather conditions that I didn’t find back to this feeling that we are looking for with the bike, because rain conditions always amplify this kind of problem. There is no doubt that I lacked feeling for the front end again and that I wasn’t able to push the way I would have liked to. In the morning, we didn’t change for slick tyres and we finished the session lower than usual in the classification, but in the wet afternoon session, my feeling wasn’t exactly great either. It looks as if it’s not going to rain tomorrow, which would be good for us. Our aim is to get the maximum out of each practice run and to recover the good feeling with our bike.”



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

IANNONE FIFTH ON WET CONDITIONS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FRENCH GP

There were positive vibes for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR after first day at the French GP. Andrea Iannone managed to improve his feel on the GSX-RR, and had two positive sessions; placing 11th in this morning’s mixed weather session and 5th in the afternoon with heavy rain falling. The debutant Sylvain Guintoli improved as well and went from P20 to P16, reducing his gap by nearly 2 and a half seconds.

Weather conditions affected the day and in particular the morning session. With the track starting off wet at the beginning of the 45 minute session, it later went on to dry up, leaving many riders on rain tyres and others switching to higher performing slick tyres.

In these conditions Iannone was able to focus on looking for improvement with the wet setup, but was not able to take advantage of the slick tyres for a proper time attack at the end of the session. The result left him out of the top ten by just 0.255 seconds. The rain that fell in the afternoon made track conditions more congruent to wet tyres, allowing riders to focus on specific setups, and Andrea was able to improve his performance, ending in 5th.

Guintoli is still learning the potential of the (for him) relatively new Michelin tyres and the behaviour of the GSX-RR in wet conditions. His improvements have been solid, and he managed get closer to the top 15.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“We had a positive day of work today. With Andrea today, we worked positively and he was able to make many good laps that gave us important information for the continuation, as we have the direction in which to work tomorrow. He was able to improve step by step and and finished in 5th place in full wet conditions, just half second slower than the morning in full dry conditions, which is not bad at all. The only bitter note of the day is that this morning we missed the top ten by just a little bit. He worked the whole session with wet tyres and couldn’t attempt a time attack run with slick tyres, but for the moment we can consider ourselves to be happy because of the work we’ve done and the information we’ve collected. They will be very useful to further improve. Sylvain made a very positive debut as well with our GSX-RR. He is consistently making progress and he better understands how the bike performs, and he is getting closer and closer to the fastest riders.”

Andrea Iannone

“My feelings are not bad at all, since this morning I have had a positive feeling. Last time in wet conditions, in Austin, we struggled a lot more than here. While here, I already feel we are a lot better. Since Jerez we started to improve consistently and this positive path gave me more confidence to perform better. I’m very happy to see that we work better and better. Maybe with a little more time we could also be in a better position in the classification, but for now the important thing is to have improved.”

Sylvain Guintoli

“Today has been another learning day for me, only the second time for me on this GSX-RR and in very variable conditions. Today for me was all about getting the feeling with the tyres and the bike in wet conditions, and I felt good. We managed to improve the pace step by step, and towards the end of the second session I could start to feel the limits, which means I’m getting on point. We need to carry on improving on the pace, but I am already faster than some other guys, so for the moment I can call myself happy.” 



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Andrea Dovizioso ends first day of free practice for French GP at Le Mans in 13th after going quickest in rain-hit FP2 session, Jorge Lorenzo in overnight 17th place

Andrea Dovizioso was classified thirteenth with his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo seventeenth after the first two free practice sessions for the French GP held today at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.

Dovizioso had an excellent afternoon FP2 session, which was held in pouring rain, and he topped the timesheets with a lap of 1’41.673. This morning however the Ducati Team’s Italian rider did not fit slick tyres towards the end of the FP1, when the track was already drying out and he remains for the moment outside the top 10.

Lorenzo’s morning session on a dry track was a positive one, but he did not make the most of the slicks fitted at the end and he finished the day down in seventeenth place, after not being able to establish a good feeling with his bike in FP2.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’41.673 (13th)

“I’m pleased to have finished FP2 in first place, and just as well I brought the bike back to the box all in one piece because I almost crashed on the last laps! I was pushing hard because I knew that a time of 1’41.3 would have been enough to get into the top 10, and I tried right until the end, but I exaggerated a bit and lost the front under braking at the final corner. Apart from that, today the conditions were rather difficult but the track grip is good. Our Ducati goes well in the wet and we tackled the two sessions calmly: the feeling improved lap after lap and I set some good times. I’m satisfied with my FP2 but hopefully the track will be dry tomorrow.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’41.947 (17th)

“This morning, with the track a bit damp, I immediately found a good feeling with my Desmosedici and, without pushing hard, I was always amongst the quickest riders, relatively easily as well. However, when the lines dried out towards the end of the session, we fitted slicks a bit late and I didn’t find the right feeling. There were still some damp patches and I didn’t want to take any risks, so for the moment I am out of Q2. In the afternoon on the other hand, in the heavy rain, I didn’t have a good feeling, especially because I was lacking grip in the rear, but tomorrow morning we’ll try and find the right setting, which will allow us to be competitive in any weather and track conditions.”