If Jorge Lorenzo expected a transformation in form following the return of the 2013 medium rear tyre for Austin, he was to be left sorely disappointed after day one.
Having struggled with the new heat resistant 2014 tyres during pre-season testing and the Qatar race weekend, Lorenzo looked to be thrown a lifeline when Bridgestone revealed the 2013 medium compound rear would be back for the Americas event due to production delays.
But Lorenzo was only twelfth fastest in the morning session, then eighth in the afternoon, with a best lap time 1.486s behind Honda's Marc Marquez. Lorenzo, who fell from the lead on lap one in Qatar, was less than two tenths behind team-mate and top M1 rider Valentino Rossi.
“It looks like compared to the Hondas we are struggling, more or less the same as we were last year,” said Lorenzo, third behind the Repsol Hondas in the inaugural 2013 race.
“We made a big step from the morning session, when we tried some electronic modifications, which were worse, We are still too far from Marquez in first but close to second place.
“I haven't tried the hard [2014 spec] tyre yet. I just let Valentino and some other Yamahas try it today to see what will happen. We'll see if it is better [than the 2013 spec medium] tomorrow, but I don't think so.
“On the bike I feel a little tired, but compared to the morning session I feel happier.”
Team director Massimo Meregalli confirmed that Lorenzo is not fully fit. “Jorge made a big improvement from the first session, working as hard as possible despite still recovering from a flu virus.”