Lorenzo on Top in Laguna Seca Practice

As the mist cleared over the hills of Monterey this morning racing fans were treated to the rare sight of Yamaha Factory Racing’s special 50th anniversary red and white livery on track for the 2011 Grand Prix of USA at Laguna Seca.

Jorge Lorenzo
Position 1st - Time 1.22.056 - Laps 23
"I am very happy to be back riding here at Laguna, a track I love. Today went pretty well, the bike felt ok. P1 I'm happy with but we need to try to improve corner entry for the bike because there are some tenths in that and it will give me more confidence turning in. It's not so bad to begin and we will try to go faster tomorrow!"

Ben Spies
Position 5th - Time 1.22.615 - Laps 34

"Today hasn't been bad, we've worked on a lot of different set ups. We haven't found a perfect one, we've found a compromise so far but tomorrow we have a pretty good game plan on what we're going to fine tune from the bike we ended on today to get a bit of a better set up for front feel. I'm feeling good, I can tell the bike has it in it, you can see that from Jorge we're just not getting the maximum from it yet."

**Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager **
"Today was a nice practice day, we thought we would improve a little bit more but first is first which is the main thing. Jorge was quite consistent and feeling good. I think we have finished with the best position to start from tomorrow but we still have some things to solve."

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"The overall results are not so bad, Jorge had an impressive pace and he seems very confident on the bike. Ben is still working on the set up, he is not as confident with it yet as he would like to be. We will work tonight and tomorrow we will bring a new set up and look to make another step forward. We just have to fix some small details and we will be ready to race."

Edwards and Crutchlow make solid start in America
Colin Edwards kicked off preparations for his home race at Laguna Seca today in encouraging fashion, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider finishing the opening day of practice for the US Grand Prix in ninth position.

In cool and overcast conditions this morning, Edwards commenced the second half of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship by setting the eighth quickest time, the popular Texan finishing just over 0.2s away from the top six.

This afternoon's session took place under clear blue skies and hotter conditions, with temperatures hitting a pleasant 22 degrees after a chilly 18 degrees this morning.

Track temperature increased too by 15 de grees this afternoon and cheered on by a passionate home crowd, Edwards knocked almost 0.3s off his personal best from this morning to clock a lap of 1.23.183. That put him ninth on the combined timesheets but in a close fought session, he was just over a second away from the fastest pace.

Today's two 45-minute sessions saw Cal Crutchlow tackle another steep learning curve, the British rider quickly getting to grips with another new track in his impressive rookie campaign.

Crutchlow set a best of 1.24.018 this morning, the 25-year-old confidently building up his speed on the Laguna Seca track, which includes the world famous Corkscrew section, one of the most technically demanding corners on the calendar.

Working on a revised weight distribution setting to improve his confidence with the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine, Crutchlow lowered his time to a 1.23.70 7 in the second session.

He was easily the best of the Laguna Seca newcomers today, finishing ahead of Karel Abraham and Hiroshi Aoyama, who were also sampling the short but technical layout for the first time.

Colin Edwards
Position 9th - Time 1.23.183 - Laps 47

"Today was a decent start and I'm happy with the way things went. In terms of the position it is not my best start to a weekend at Laguna Seca, but I'm actually happier with the feeling of the bike than I have been for a long time at this track. The bike felt really good from the start, though we can make some improvements to the rear tomorrow just to make it feel a bit smoother and a bit less nervous. I'm confident for the rest of the weekend because I'm pretty close to the top six and we know we can go faster. I want to say a big thanks also to Bridgestone. They a greed to bring some softer tyres for this weekend and it was definitely the right choice. When it was cool this morning we really needed the softer tyres, so everybody could just get a feel for the track and get comfortable without taking too many risks. We ran the harder tyre this afternoon and that will definitely be the race tyre, and we got some good information with that too, so I'm optimistic that I can put on a good show for the American fans, who have been amazing already this weekend."

Cal Crutchlow
Position 13th - Time 1.23.707 - Laps 47

"It wasn't a bad day at all although obviously I want to be much higher up than 13th. At the moment it is quite difficult to do the lap time. I know going fast never comes easy but it feels like I'm quite close to the limit and I'm still over 1.6s behind. I'm the best of the rookies and that's a good start but it seems we've taken a step si deways and everybody else has taken a step forward. The bike feels better than Germany last weekend but we can still make it better. We're not far away and we've got some ideas to work on tonight but it also a lack of track knowledge that doesn't help. Trying to learn the track and go fast at the same time is not easy, but I'm making progress. The track itself is really good fun. The Corkscrew is pretty amazing although I've run off there twice. The key part is the approach and it is weird running up to it, because you can't even see it as you climb the hill. But it is a pretty amazing corner and it feels like you're dropping off the end of the earth."

2011 MotoGP United States
Laguna Seca 23/07/2011

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1'22.056

2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'22.197

3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1'22.231

4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1'22.537

5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1'22.615

6 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1'22.803

7 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1'23.056

8 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 1'23.135

9 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1'23.183

10 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1'23.195

11 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1'23.369

12 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1'23.424

13 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1'23.707

14 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1'23.811

15 Toni Elias Honda ESP 1'23.830

Circuit Length:
3610
Temp:
22
Weather:
Dry
Lap Record:
1'21.376
(Casey Stoner, 01/01/2010)
Fastest Lap Ever:
1'20.700
(Casey Stoner, 20/07/2008)
Last Years Winner:
Jorge Lorenzo