Lorenzo Leads MotoGP Circuit De Catalunya Friday Practice


Jorge Lorenzo photo courtesy Bridgestone

Jorge Lorenzo photo courtesy Bridgestone

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The MotoGP circuit makes a visit close to Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo's home--and in his home country of Spain this weekend--for the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, so it's appropriate the point leader would set the fastest time of the day after two practice sessions were completed.

Lorenzo put together a lap of 1:42.099 seconds in the second session, ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, showing great form in front of his home crowd, too and finishing as the top Honda rider with his 1:42.306-second lap just 0.207 seconds behind Lorenzo.

Cal Crutchlow came third on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha at 1:42.557 (0.348 behind) ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso at 1:42.592. Pramac Racing Team's Hector Barbera was fifth--and quickest Ducati--at 1:42.639 for the satellite team.

The balance of the top 10 today were reigning champion Casey Stoner on the Repsol Honda, setting his best lap of 1:42.775 in the first session, Yamaha Factory Racing's Ben Spies (1:42.802), Dani Pedrosa on the second Repsol Honda, also setting his best lap in the first session at 1:42.875, Stefan Bradl's LCR Honda and Nicky Hayden on the first Ducati Team factory motorcycle.

Lorenzo dominated the second practice on this warm and sunny day and noted, "The feeling is good today, we started this morning two tenths behind Casey, then this afternoon from the beginning we've been in first position. We tried the hard rear tire, which is very important for this track because it's a real possibility for the race on Sunday. We must improve some little details, especially the braking as we are arriving in the corners at a very high speed, but generally we are good. This is special race for me so close to my home--I really want to be fighting for the podium and the victory for the fans who have come to see me."

Alvaro Bautista photo courtesy Bridgestone

Alvaro Bautista photo courtesy Bridgestone

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Bautista was circumspect about his results on the Montmelo circuit today: "It has been a really good start and the guys have done a great job. This morning I was struggling for rear traction but this afternoon it improved a lot. Tomorrow we'll try to see if we can do full race distance on the soft (Bridgestone)  tire because it would be a great option for us if we can."

Spaniard Aleix Espargaro led the CRT racers on his Power Electronics Aspar in 13th with teammate Randy de Puniet just 33-hundredths behind. American Colin Edwards made a good return after his injury to place 16th.

There is a single practice on Saturday ahead of qualifying; the official track record is 1:42.358, set in 2008 by Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda.

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