Having only taken one podium during his seven previous visits to Valencia as a grand prix rider, Jorge Lorenzo is hopeful of finally breaking his win drought after finishing Friday practice for the 2009 season finale in second position.
The Fiat Yamaha rider, who needs only one point to guarantee second in the final world championship standings ahead of Casey Stoner, took over at the top of the timesheets from fellow home hero Dani Pedrosa at the halfway stage of the one hour practice.
But Lorenzo lost out to Stoner in the closing minutes, eventually finishing a sizable 0.382sec behind the Ducati rider. Both Lorenzo and Stoner have won four races so far this year.
Valencia is one of only three circuits on the calendar where Lorenzo has never won.
“This is one of the few places I haven't won in my career so I really want to try!” admitted Lorenzo. “Today was very good, I did many laps with a strong rhythm and with a consistent and fast pace. We are feeling strong and we hope we can continue to be competitive. Tonight we will look at the data from today and consider how we can make more improvements for tomorrow so that I can try to be on the front row once again."
"This was a very good start for us, as we've made at most races this season,” declared Daniele Romagnoli, starting his last weekend as team manager for Lorenzo. “We used the same Bridgestone tyre for the whole session and we had a good pace today, but we need to keep improving because we know that the eventual race pace will be faster than today's.”
Pedrosa was third fastest with Lorenzo's team-mate and newly crowned seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi fourth.