After struggling to match the factory Hondas at the last two events, Jorge Lorenzo
turned the tables during day one of the Australian MotoGP.
The Yamaha star made a perfect start to the Phillip Island weekend by being fastest in both Friday sessions.
Lorenzo finished morning practice 0.088 ahead of runaway title leader Marc Marquez, then dominated the afternoon - dropping his lap time close to pole record pace on the resurfaced circuit and swelling his timesheet advantage to 0.477s.
“The truth is that here I feel more competitive than Aragon or Sepang,” confirmed Lorenzo, who joined his fellow riders in praising the new surface.
“Without the new surface maybe I would be one second slower. The grip is a little bit better, but the main difference is that the bumps are 95% better. Only turn six now has a big bump. Apart from this everything is much better, much more fun. It's a pleasure.”
Lorenzo confirmed that the flowing nature of the high-speed seaside circuit is also playing more to the Yamaha's strengths, although the next best M1 - of team-mate Valentino Rossi
- was only fifth on the combined Friday timesheets.
“I don't think [the Hondas] were so bad,” he stated. “We have to look after ourselves.”
Marquez, who holds a 43-point advantage over Lorenzo and has his first chance to clinch the title on Sunday, was second quickest overall courtesy of his morning time - having fallen and failed to improve in the afternoon. Pedrosa was fourth quickest, behind satellite RCV rider Alvaro Bautista.
Looking ahead, Lorenzo has only fine-tuning planned for Saturday.
“Tomorrow we will try to improve the front because of the wind. Try to stay a little more stable, more contact on the front. Just small details.
“I'm happier than lately,” he confirmed.