MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo finished both of Friday's practice sessions for the US GP runner-up to nearest championship rival Dani Pedrosa.
Factory Yamaha star Lorenzo was just 0.074s from Pedrosa's Honda in the morning session, then finished 0.334s behind his fellow Spaniard during an afternoon practice briefly interrupted to repair an air fence.
“This afternoon we tried the hard rear tyre but it didn't work as well as the soft one this morning. We have to try the soft again tomorrow to improve the setting for the hard so we can decide which tyre to use for the race,” explained Lorenzo.
“We also tried a different setting in the last ten minutes of FP2 [after the restart] but it didn't improve anything so we lost that time. I'm hoping to improve both the feeling and also the lap time for tomorrow.”
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg is confident that Lorenzo has room to improve.
“It was a good first day, very consistent lap times from Jorge. Dani looks a little better at the moment but we are very good on pace,” said the Dutchman. “We have to try some things tomorrow to find out which tyre will work best in the hotter conditions.
“We have space to improve, we were as fast in the afternoon as we were in the morning and we believe there is still some space to step forward.”
Lorenzo, who leads Pedrosa by 19 points, has been on pole at Laguna Seca for the past three years. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa are former US GP winners.