2015 Motegi MotoGP FP2 Result: Lorenzo Waits For An Answer

Jorge Lorenzo used the Friday's second free practice at the Motegi circuit in the same the way he used the first: To determine if anyone -- particularly title rival Valentino Rossi -- had the consistent speed to stay with him in Sunday's race. So far, no one has answered.

Well, almost.

Late in the session, Dani Pedrosa became the second rider to dip into the 1'44s with a 1'44.858 that put him only a tenth of a second slower than fellow Spaniard Lorenzo. It's a good sign for Pedrosa who has shown terrific form of late. But as close as he got to Lorenzo, he didn't run the same consistently quick laps. Andrea Iannone, on the mend from injuries, climbed into third with a 1'45.043. His Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso -- the pole setter last year with a 1'44.502 -- was right on his heels with a 1'45.059. He, too, was closely followed by Bradley Smith.

And where was points leader Rossi who saw his championship lead shrink to 14 points following Lorenzo's win at the prior Aragon round? He managed to climb into eighth late in the session but remained nearly a second behind his teamate and title rival. It remains to be seen if Rossi can find something extra for Saturday's practice and qualifying. But perhaps Rossi's help won't come from the team or the bike setup; Maybe it will come from the sky.

Rain is predicted for Sunday. 



Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.  
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'44.731    
2 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'44.859 0.128 / 0.128
3 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'45.043 0.312 / 0.184
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'45.059 0.328 / 0.016
5 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'45.250 0.519 / 0.191
6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 1'45.348 0.617 / 0.098
7 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'45.492 0.761 / 0.144
8 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'45.554 0.823 / 0.062
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'45.597 0.866 / 0.043
10 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'45.645 0.914 / 0.048
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'45.846 1.115 / 0.201
12 45 Scott REDDING Honda 1'46.074 1.343 / 0.228
13 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 1'46.464 1.733 / 0.390
14 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'46.477 1.746 / 0.013
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'46.563 1.832 / 0.086
16 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'46.648 1.917 / 0.085
17 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 1'46.649 1.918 / 0.001
18 72 Takumi TAKAHASHI Honda 1'46.650 1.919 / 0.001
19 50 Eugene LAVERTY Honda 1'46.770 2.039 / 0.120
20 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 1'46.827 2.096 / 0.057
21 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati 1'46.934 2.203 / 0.107
22 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 1'46.974 2.243 / 0.040
23 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha 1'47.096 2.365 / 0.122
24 76 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward 1'47.219 2.488 / 0.123
25 24 Toni ELIAS Yamaha Forward 1'47.689 2.958 / 0.470
26 15 Alex DE ANGELIS ART 1'48.572 3.841 / 0.883
27 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda 1'48.769 4.038 / 0.197


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I like how VR, arguably the GOAT, has assumed the role of underdog likely to win this season!

On another note, not sure if these times mean much as even Aleix Espargaro is faster than VR here. And we all know what happens in the race. So, lets just wait and watch. I am rooting for the underdog! :)

Rossi was on tires that had done ~8-10 consistent 1:45.6 laps if I remember correctly. He had done 4 laps before everyone else set their times in that late push. Don't think he went back in to change tires, just saw himself slipping down the order and pushed a little harder on his last lap to jump a few spots.

I think with the forecast being what it is for Sunday, Valentino is working to his own program during FP's and concentrating on race pace (as per usual) in case the weather does stay dry.

I was mega impressed that even in his obvious physical pain Lorenzo was reeling off laps ~.5+ sec faster than most. Take it easy buddy... you're gonna need that strength (although at least for him it's his left side).

JL seems to have a strong base to work from and VR always seems lost and have to find a way to make his bike work on every cirquit. its quit strange. on sunday hes fast but i dont get it why JL always find his setting so easy while VR seems to struggle to find what he is looking for.

I think that the whole issue of "settings" is as much about raw motorcycle performance as it is feel. As regards the latter, I think that Lorenzo is generally more confident and at the same time less sensitive than Rossi. I suspect that if Rossi doesn't feel 100% well on the bike, he finds it difficult to really get in the "zone".

Just my two cents...

That's an unusually poor position for Marquez - presumably the hand injury is having quite an effect. And maybe he's having the sense to take it easier now there's no hope of taking the title.

Rossi is known for being able to ride around problems such as lack of grip. That, to me, points to Lorenzo being more sensitive. Maybe Rossi tries tinkering too much? So many adjustments you can make can also possibly lead you off into the woods.

I think the biggest thing in FP2 was that Rossi was running consistently within 3-4 tenths of Lorenzo's pace until the softer tires came out in the last 10 minutes. I heard the BStone guy telling Dylan Gray that there was a thought that the softer tires could do race distance. But Lorenzo's pace on the softs may not back that up.

Lorenzo made better use of the soft on one lap, but then his times started going upwards rapidly. So, if it comes to using the medium option, Rossi is close enough on pace as of now to make it a fight. Possibly even on the softs if he keeps Lorenzo in sight long enough.

The question is where will Rossi qualify and how will he get off the line.....

Is far more accurate than the article here.

A quick look at the results summary from motogp.com tells a much different story as the members here have accurately stated.

Lorenzo's pace was mid 1.45, Rossi was similar. Lorenzo pulled off one or two quick laps.

In FP2, Lorenzo did 10 full laps. 2 were 1'44s, on the soft tire. 6 were either 1'45.4, 1'45.5, 1'45.6, all of which were consecutive, spread over two runs.

Rossi did 14 full laps. He did 1 1'45.5, 1 1'45.6 both on a soft tire. He did 3 1'45.7s, none of which were consecutive, and a total of 7 laps under 1'46.

Lorenzo's pace is fast and consistent. Rossi's was slower, and less consistent. Pretty much as the article states. Of course, that's not the whole story, but that's not the point.

Within a couple of tenths is similar, which is what I made of it. Particularly seeing as neither did a very large run.

The inference and narrative here is again that Rossi is nowhere and needs the heavens to open to have any chance, my summation of it based on the analysis is much different.

And what of the rubber here this weekend, heat treated or not? I did read the medium is actually softer than usual? Can't be good for Rossi with his record of not being able to make the normal medium last race distance

Seems the tyre allocation is a lucky for Lorenzo as the rain may be for Rossi

saying Lorenzo had the fastest pace today, it's a fact. Rossi being not that far behind just being another one. Who cares anyway ? it's only Friday.

Like David noted, the timesheets show Rossi as both slower and less consistent than the man he's fighting for the championship. There was no inference (or narrative) that Rossi was "nowhere." It was simple, direct reporting that he was off the leader's pace. Which he was. We'll see what he does on Saturday. As for the rain, it's been Rossi's best friend this year when he's been off Lorenzo's pace in the dry. If he doesn't close the gap Saturday and can't qualify within the front two rows, my guess is that he'd welcome the rain given Lorenzo's uncertain pace when conditions get tricky -- and blistering pace recently in the dry.


The only proviso I would say is that you are comparing everyone elses pace to Jorges practice routine not their own. If you check previous results and FP2s you will see that Jorge always does a consistent run under Rossi's pace even when he was well beaten. Even at Assen(FP2) you can make the same comparison where Jorge has a run of laps well under Rossi's best time. Not saying he isn't quicker just the basis for comparison is flawed. Rossi's actual best friend has been having no edge treatment tyre. it has made him quicker under conditions that are considerably easier to predict. The rain is a lottery even for the guy who is fastest
I have read analysis where Rossi didn't use the soft tyre in FP2. His best time coming at the end of a run of 6 laps not exactly the throwing a soft tyre in and going for banzai lap suggested above. I have campaigned motogp for a few years now, regularly emailing them asking for the tyre choice to be added to the screen and times ala F1 it would really add to the information and analysis, the number of laps on the tyre would be even better.. The fact there can be say 5 10ths(ish) diff between the two makes times meaningless without it. As above it is only practice. Jorge was further ahead at Aragon and on race pace there was nothing in it. The first 4 to 5 laps will be crucial for Rossi as Jorge is lightning off the mark, hoping for a real race between them.
ps I would to get a psychologists view on Jorge's secret minimoto injury suddenly making its own movie just after Rossi has a very public huge off with a veritable media blanket.