Making his first track appearance since winning the MotoGP title in the searing heat of Sepang, Jorge Lorenzo finished on top of the timesheets during very different weather conditions at Phillip Island in Australia.

Friday practice had to be delayed by two hours after part of the track flooded and, when the riders did get out on track, they faced strong winds, rain and cold temperatures.

But not even the miserable weather could dampen Lorenzo's spirits, and the 23-year-old took just a few laps to take command of the session, where he remained - despite the track drying a little in the later stages.

"Today was the first day on the bike after we won the title and I am still very happy," said the Fiat Yamaha rider. "We can't stop now, we have to keep going and finish this season in the best way possible, working for the future.

"The conditions today were really hard - wet, cold and windy. I am very happy to be so fast in rain, because it didn't use to be this way, but we need to be prepared because it could be a hard weekend. I would like to ride in the dry, of course, but we will have to wait and see what happens."

"It's very wet and very cold, so not ideal but in fact Jorge already has a very good pace in the wet here and he was quickest after just a few laps," added team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.

"Later on when it was drying no one improved because it was still very slippery, but it was good to be strong on a very wet track and this was an important practice. We learned a lot about our setting; we're happy and feeling good."

Lorenzo finished the hour 0.334sec in front of Casey Stoner, winner at Phillip Island for the past three years, with the other factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden in third. Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi was seventh.


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