Lorenzo starts strongly at Estoril
|By Steven English||Friday, October 2nd 2009, 14:10 GMT|
Jorge Lorenzo was comfortably fastest throughout the first practice session for this weekend's Portuguese MotoGP.
The Yamaha rider has fond memories of the Estoril circuit, having taken his maiden victory there from pole position last season in just his third race in the category.
He wasted no time in establishing his position at the head of the timesheet this afternoon and continued to chip away at his best time throughout the hour-long session.
Lorenzo finished up four tenths of a second quicker than the second fastest rider, Honda's Dani Pedrosa. Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner set the next best times as MotoGP's top four were reunited by the Australian's return.
Stoner matched Pedrosa and Rossi tenth for tenth through the session on his Ducati, but was unable to find the same improvement in the final minutes of the session.
The top four had been well clear of the rest until then, but Colin Edwards and Andrea Dovizioso both made significant gains on their last runs to close the gap to the leading quartet.
Randy de Puniet was seventh fastest on the first of the customer Hondas, while Edwards' Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate James Toseland was eight in his first session since announcing his return to World Superbikes next season.
Alex de Angelis and Mika Kallio completed the top 10, the latter having rejoined the Pramac Ducati team now that Stoner is back on the works bike.
Nicky Hayden was 11th on the second factory Ducati, with Loris Capirossi the best of the Suzukis in 12th.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap 1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m37.185s 2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m37.544s +0.359 3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m37.606s +0.421 4. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m37.966s +0.781 5. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m38.103s +0.918 6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m38.244s +1.059 7. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m38.385s +1.200 8. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m38.591s +1.406 9. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m38.629s +1.444 10. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m38.661s +1.476 11. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m38.850s +1.665 12. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m38.978s +1.793 13. Niccolo Canepa PRamac Ducati 1m39.033s +1.848 14. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 1m39.393s +2.208 15. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m39.567s +2.382 16. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m39.686s +2.501 17. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m39.757s +2.572