The final free practice this evening (Friday) ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Qatar saw Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo set the MotoGP pace. The Mallorcan finished in second place in the penultimate practice session earlier in the evening, 0.214 seconds behind leader Casey Stoner as he continued to develop his set-up. A strong final session on hard tyres was then delivered before a softer rear option at the end provided the extra speed to take the top spot, 0.154 seconds ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in second.
Ben Spies experienced a less fortunate final practice session this evening. The Texan had embarked on a race simulation but lost the front end early on, possibly due to a cold front tyre. Spies was unhurt and returned to the garage to continue the session. Unfortunately his second bike then experienced a technical problem, preventing him from continuing.
“I am very happy with today because we improved a lot on yesterday’s lap time. I’m also happy for Cal in second, the bike seems much better than last year for us. I think we have even more potential for improvement tomorrow. We still have a few issues to solve, especially corner entry, but we managed to keep a good pace. I’m going to try my hardest for qualifying tomorrow and see what we can do.”
“It was a rough session tonight, we’ve had a good weekend up to now, unfortunately tonight was the most important session for us. I went out to do a race simulation and I think I didn’t let the front tyre heat up properly. I need to check the data to confirm it but I put the blame firmly on myself for it. Unfortunately the second bike just didn’t run right so a wasted session for us.”
Yamaha Factory Racing press release