Lorenzo and Rossi Second and Sixth as They Adjust to Mazda Raceway
Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix

A sun-soaked Laguna Seca welcomed the MotoGP paddock to American soil today, where Jorge Lorenzo looked on good form to finish the opening session in second and his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi made a solid start for sixth position. The Fiat Yamaha M1s are running in a special livery here to celebrate the forthcoming launch of the Fiat 500 car in the United States, which features the faces of 500 fans on both bikes and the riders’ leathers.
Lorenzo has had an eventful time at this track in his two previous visits here but today was much more routine, as the 23-year-old quickly found a good rhythm and was on the pace from the start. He finished the day just 0.233 seconds off leader Casey Stoner but he admits he needs to make some adjustments to his riding style tomorrow to better suit the peculiar nature of this track.

After his sensational return from injury in Germany, Rossi found he was in a little bit more pain at this track, especially in the braking area before the infamous Corkscrew. Aside from his physical worries the World Champion was happy with his first day’s work and is confident that the information he and his team gathered today will help them to climb the order tomorrow.

Thoughts from Valentino Rossi
“This track is a bit harder for me than Sachsenring and I have more pain than I had there, mostly in the ankle but also in the shoulder at the breaking point before the Corkscrew. Aside from that I think we can be better tomorrow; we haven’t put everything together yet to be at our full potential on the track and if we had a few more laps today we could have been a bit further up. We used the hard tyre at the end but the track was maybe a bit dirty for it. Tomorrow we will try the soft tyre also in the front. I like the special livery; it’s something different and fun. Tomorrow I will have a helmet to go with it!”

Thoughts from Valentino Rossi
“This was a good first practice and everything came quite easily; we didn’t find any big problems and I was able to be at the front from the start. That said it looks like Casey is very strong here and we will have to work hard to catch him! I think I need to make some small changes to my riding style tomorrow rather than big changes to the bike setting and hopefully this will help us to find a few tenths and make sure we can fight on Sunday. A lot can change and I hope we can improve some more tomorrow.”