Lorenzo leads Friday practice in Portugal

After a month-long break, MotoGP was finally back in action today at Estoril in Portugal for the 14th round of the season. Carrying a special one-off 'Fiat Punto Evo livery for this race, the Fiat Yamaha pair of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a strong start to the weekend, finishing Free Practice in first and third respectively.

Temperatures were comfortably in the mid-twenties and both riders were happy to be back on board, using the time to reacquaint themselves with their YZR-M1s after the holidays and work on tire selection and set-up. Dani Pedrosa was on top for much of the first half of the session but with 20 minutes to go Lorenzo moved into the lead and he finished the session well inside the lap record and an impressive 0.359 seconds ahead of Pedrosa. Rossi was less than a tenth off Pedrosa in third and is confident that a little more time to work on set-up tomorrow will enable him improve the balance of his bike in the hard braking areas and close the disadvantage to his young team-mate.

Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1stTime: 1'37.185Laps: 27
"It's good to be back on the bike after one month but also quite hard! I enjoyed today though and we did a good job and made an encouraging start. After a bit of work we were able to do a very good time and I am happy to be in front, it's important at this stage of the championship to make a strong start this weekend. We have one or two things to improve but we are in good shape. I am happy to see Casey back and also to see that he is already strong. Finally I want to mention the special sticker I have on my bike this weekend for Lukas Sembera, a young Czech rider who had a bad accident two weeks ago – I wish him all the best in his recovery."

Pos Rider Time Nat Bike Team
1 Jorge Lorenzo 1m 37.185 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 1m 37.544 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Valentino Rossi 1m 37.606 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
4 Casey Stoner 1m 37.966 AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
5 Colin Edwards 1m 38.103 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
6 Andrea Dovizioso 1m 38.244 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
7 Randy De Puniet 1m 38.385 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
8 James Toseland 1m 38.591 GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
9 Alex De Angelis 1m 38.629 SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
10 Mika Kallio 1m 38.661 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
11 Nicky Hayden 1m 38.850 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
12 Loris Capirossi 1m 38.978 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
13 Niccolo Canepa 1m 39.033 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
14 Gabor Talmacsi 1m 39.393 HUN HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
15 Toni Elias 1m 39.567 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
16 Chris Vermeulen 1m 39.686 AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
17 Marco Melandri 1m 39.757 ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team

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