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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 05-02-2008, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Smile MotoGP >> Shanghai Free Practice


Rossi fastest in free practice

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi made a strong start to his Chinese challenge in Shanghai today, finishing on top of the combined standings as the only rider to dip under the 1'59 mark. High temperatures are set to continue tomorrow but a strong chance of rain on Sunday could turn the race into a mirror of 2005, when Rossi won a soaking inaugural Chinese Grand Prix.

The Fiat Yamaha Team rider was fast from the off this morning and topped the time sheets for the majority of the first session. This afternoon the track temperature increased and Rossi finished second to Casey Stoner, but his time of 1'59.906 from the morning was good enough to leave him at the top of the overall time sheets for the day.
Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo meanwhile had a bad crash this morning and injured both ankles; the 20-year-old will now wait for tomorrow before making a decision about riding.

Valentino Rossi 1st 1'59.906
"I'm quite happy with the start we've made. We were able to go fast from the start this morning and the bike setting and the Bridgestone tyres are working very well together. We were faster this morning because this afternoon the temperature of the asphalt reached more than 40 degrees and in these conditions the tyres start to slide a bit, which makes it harder. Anyway we have many different tyres to try, plenty of choices and I am quite relaxed. My rhythm is very good, I can ride more or less how I want and I think we're in good shape. It seems Stoner and I are a little bit faster than the others and so it looks like it could be another battle like last year!
Our bike has more top speed here now so this is important for the long straight, but my corner speed is also good. The problem could be that the weather on Sunday might be completely different to how it is now; as usual I prefer to race in the dry but I think we are in quite good shape in the wet as well. I am sorry for Lorenzo's crash, it was quite a bad one and now I hope that he is able to recover enough to try to race on Sunday."

Davide Brivio - Team manager
"Jorge's crash was very unfortunate and I hope that he is able to recover enough to try tomorrow; we wish him well. Valentino has had a good day because the bike worked very well from the start this morning and we were able to start to work on the details straight away. Now we just need to continue to fine-tune our setting and tyre choice for tomorrow afternoon and Sunday. The problem is that we're working on setting the bike for the hot, humid conditions we have at the moment and on Sunday it might be wet, but let's hope not!"

Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo has suffered a fractured left ankle and severe trauma and bruising to parts of the right ankle and foot after crashing in this morning's first free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The 20-year-old joint World Championship leader was thrown from his M1 during a dramatic high-side at the chicane after turn one, mid-way through the session, on just his tenth lap.

After an initial examination at the circuit clinic Lorenzo was taken to the Huashan hospital in Shanghai for an MRI scan and further detailed diagnosis, before returning to the track and spending the remainder of the day resting at the Clinica Mobile. His condition will be re-assessed in the morning before any decision is taken about riding.
Dr Claudio Costa of the Clinica Mobile said: "Detailed examination has revealed that Jorge has re-fractured the top of the malleolo bone in the middle of the left ankle. Furthermore, the MRI scan showed that there are severe impact oedemas to the right heel, the astragalo bone and the tibia, but fortunately no signs of further fractures. The diagnosis shows the violence of the trauma he suffered to both his feet in the crash and Jorge now faces a very difficult task to participate in tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race."

Danielle Romagnoli - Team manager
"It's a great pity this has happened, right at the start of Jorge's weekend; we were focused on his arm following his recent operation and we were quite confident that he could ride as usual. It was a very bad crash and it is not clear yet what happened because we lost all the data when the equipment was damaged at the time. As far as we can see from the TV, he lost grip on the rear. I do not know if Jorge will be able to ride tomorrow, but in any case we have lost two sessions and we will have to work today in order to prepare the bike with an ideal set-up for tomorrow. It will be hard, very hard, as tough as Jorge is!"

Colin Edwards
Edwards and Toseland upbeat as Shanghai showdown begins

Tech 3 Yamaha duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland are confident they can make big improvements after finishing 10th and 13th respectively on a hot and humid day of opening free practice in China. A best lap of 2.01.064 secured 10th place for American Edwards, who made big steps in improving front and rear grip on his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1. Edwards though is still looking to improve feeling with a new front tyre construction, which Michelin is using to cope with the specific demands of the Shanghai circuit, particularly intense heat build-up in the hard braking zones.
British rider James Toseland clocked a best time of 2.01.798 after he knocked 0.8s off his best time set in this morning's opening free practice. The Shanghai clash is another steep learning experience for Toseland, who has never raced on the 5.281km circuit, which features the longest straight on the world championship calendar showing once again what a fast learner he is, the 27-year-old was only 0.7s behind Edwards.

Colin Edwards 10th 2'01.064
"We've spent most of the day changing the bike to try and find grip and we haven't had to do that all year. We are kind of in territory we haven't been in, but we know what we need to make it better. But I'm having a bit of an issue with feeling from the front. Because we run so much temperature and there are so many hard braking points at this track, Michelin has to bring a different front tyre to what we normally run and I'm struggling with that. I can't run the lines I want because I have to deal with the harder construction that's been built to dissipate the heat. I feel like a lot of my problems are coming from the front and that is having a knock on affect for the rear. Grip could be better in the rear but when you are not carrying corner speed because of a lack of feel with the front, you hammer the throttle to make up for it on the exit and that just wears the rear tyre quicker.
We changed the wheelbase and made it better and we'll have a look at the computer tonight and have a chat with Michelin to see where we are. I have got five different spec rear tyres in my allocation and I only used three today so I've still got something in the bag and I'm sure it will be better for tomorrow. My guys at Tech 3 have been working as hard as ever and I'm sure we can find a solution."
James Toseland
James Toseland 13th 2'01.798
"This track is not too bad to learn but there are two or three places where you really need track knowledge. But I'm 0.7s off Colin on a track I've only done 40 laps on and its more than a two minute lap, so I'm pretty pleased and confident I can move much further forward tomorrow. The main issue is learning about the bumps and getting the bike to handle them. There are a few bumps in a few tricky places and they are big enough to really upset the bike. You have to be right on a good line always to get a good lap time.
Getting the bike to manage the bumps is quite tough. The set-up I had from Portugal was quite a way off for here. I was hoping the base setting I've got would really gel quickly on new tracks and if it doesn't it is quite difficult to develop the set-up, but my team are doing a great job with the time we have got. Because it is such a long lap I can't do many laps and I'm not coming back to the bits that I'm struggling on quickly enough to learn more about what I need to improve. One of the toughest places to master is the first corner. Because you are on full lean you can't brake that hard so if you are slightly too quick mid-corner for when it tightens up you have to pick the bike up and it ruins your corner speed."

Circuit Length: 5451

Weather: Sunny

2008 MotoGP China - Shanghai 02/05/2008

Free Practice Pos. Rider. Manu. Nat. Total Time

1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1'59.906

2 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 2'0.163

3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 2'0.361

4 Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 2'0.553

5 John Hopkins Kawasaki USA 2'0.591

6 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 2'0.607

7 Alex De Angelis Honda SMR 2'0.931

8 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 2'0.964

9 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 2'0.974

10 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 2'1.064

11 Toni Elias Ducati ESP 2'1.326

12 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 2'1.504

13 James Toseland Yamaha GBR 2'1.798

14 Marco Melandri Ducati ITA 2'1.913

15 Anthony West Kawasaki AUS 2'1.984

Yamaha Racing Communications
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