Yamaha Factory Racing riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo finally made a start to the 2011 MotoGP season tonight under the floodlights of the International Losail Circuit in Qatar. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo had a more fruitful evening session, making big progress from his test here a few days ago. The crew went back to a tried and tested set up from 2010 which delivered more confidence for the young Mallorcan. The data from the free practice give him a clear direction to improve towards qualifying on Saturday night. Lorenzo ended the session in seventh place, just 0.093 seconds behind his team mate.
As a mark of support for those suffering following the disaster in Japan both Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo will carry the message “With You, Japan” in both English and Japanese on their M1’s for the weekend.
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 7th, 1’56.586 (18 laps)
“Today we used a set up from last year here, I feel much more used to it so I am a lot more happy. I think if we improve the setting some more tomorrow we can really step forward. With the new chassis I can make faster corner speed here so the 2011 chassis is working well. I think we will all be closer to the front on Sunday night.”
Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A very good practice for us, even when the position is not so good. The last test we did a long run and Jorge was not so happy with the set up and was a bit disappointed. Finally the improvement and changes we made today have resulted in a good test and a better feeling for him. This means he can now be consistent, that is his strong point. From now on we will be moving forwards.”
Source: Yamaha Racing
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