Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo continued his fine form at the Valencia Circuit on Friday when he set the fastest time in the second free practice session of the season finale. The Spanish rider ame out fighting to set a blistering pace from the outset and secured top spot in both of the combined session times.
This weekend holds great significance for Lorenzo, as it marks his last appearance for Yamaha. The Mallorcan is set on finishing his nine-year run on the YZR-M1 on a high and made his intentions clear when he took over at the top of the leaderboard just 15 minutes into FP1 and held the position for a large part of the session. With a few further tweaks made to his bike‘s setting, he upped the pace at the end of FP1 and dropped a 1‘31.045s to reclaim first place in the final minutes.
The local hero carried his speed straight into the afternoon session, leading from the start. When his rivals upped the pace at the end of FP2, Lorenzo didn‘t hesitate to respond. The last ten minutes then became a flurry of activity but the Spaniard had the last laugh when he delivered an impressive 1‘30.463s, the first lap under the 1‘31 mark of the weekend, to finish first in the combined times. He was 0.247s faster than his closest rival.
“I feel very good and I think the tarmac has a lot of grip. Michelin brought very good tyres for the front and the rear,” Lorenzo said. “We tried the new front and it's different; it has more movability in the corner and the rear has a lot of grip and it warms up quickly.”
“I felt good with it. Finally we put in the soft rear tyre to see if it is possible and better to use for qualifying and we saw that it‘s clearly better than the hard one and I set a good lap time, so I‘m satisfied. “
“For the moment we have started the last weekend with Yamaha in the best way possible: first and first. Marquez is very strong too and Viñales is very fast as well, it will be very close on Sunday if it‘s a dry race, but we are not sure because the weather is uncertain.”
2016 champion Marc Marquez was second quickest overall with the Suzuki of Maverick Vinales third. Pol Esparago was fourth fastest ahead of Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso in fifth. Aleix Espargaro, Andrea Ianone, Valentino Rossi, Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding rounded out the top ten.