|Lorenzo struggled to maintain pace in Austin
Photo: Yamaha Factory Racing
Yamaha Factory Racing team had a tough opening day in Austin, Texas ahead of the inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas.
Friday’s first free practice was difficult for all riders due to cooler track temperatures and very little grip around the 3.426 mile circuit. However, reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo finished FP1 just 0.253 seconds behind fastest man Marc Marquez.
FP2 brought warmer air and track temperatures doubled. Riders began to shave seconds off times set in the morning and Lorenzo was no exception The Majorcan brought his time down from a 2.09 to a 2.06, and he finished the session in fourth position, 1.606 seconds off Marquez’s time.
Lorenzo said “In the morning we were competitive compared to our rivals but this afternoon when the track improved they had a better feeling and a better confidence to improve much more than us. We were unable to make profit from the improved track conditions. We need to improve the bike to gain some seconds. The track was better for everyone but for the moment it gives our rivals more confidence to go faster. We are better but still not enough.”
Both Lorenzo and Rossi were present at the pre-season test in March and they are working to reduce the gap between themselves and the Honda’s.
The nine times world champion finished FP1 in sixth position and could only improve this by one place in the afternoon for FP2, moving up to fifth, despite dropping his lap time from a 2.10.828 to a 2.06.868.
Rossi revealed “The practices are not so bad because we improved a lot compared to this morning and we could stay close to Jorge. Unfortunately the Hondas are very fast which we already knew from the test. We hope to make it better this weekend but especially Marquez is very fast and also Pedrosa and Bradl are faster than us so we have to work and try to improve for tomorrow.”