His bike may have been all black, but his first day on the Ducati has been anything but. A positive first approach for Jorge Lorenzo on a Tuesday that he probably won't forget in a hurry. At 10am this morning, all eyes were on the Borgo Panigale garage. No-one wanted to miss this particular event. Some looking for a picture, others wanting to get an idea of his first impressions, even if just a look.
Lorenzo, after making three laps, returned to the garage. Surrounded by the team and by Casey Stoner, the garage doors were quickly pulled down to allow them their privacy. A few minutes later Paolo Ciabatti broke the silence, explaining #99's first impressions, which appeared to be positive. The first hurdle successfully jumped.
By the end of the day, the Majorcan had completed 60 laps, 0.122 of a second from the front, having put in a new tyre in the final stages. On his best lap, the 53rd, he lost a little in the third and fourth sectors, but it's of little importance. At the end of the day, he makes no official statement but, according to sources in the garage, the Spaniard has spoken positively about the new bike's engine brake, and particularly about the stability at the front. There's work to be done on corner entry however, a crucial aspect of the Ducati. Today he was on track with the GP16, before carrying out a “shakedown” with the new bike, used during the day by Andrea Dovizioso (+0.201), who closes fifth behind Marquez (+0.172).
Looking down on everyone from above is Maverick Vinales, thanks to a best time of 1’30”930, set on his 55th lap. The Spaniard needed little time to adapt to the Yamaha, and was confident with the acceleration and cornering of the M1. Maverick wins the first 'in-house' round against Valentino Rossi, 0.020 ahead of the Doctor. In the afternoon, Rossi took the 2017 version of the bike for a spin, a bike that boasts a slight hump on the tank. He suffered a crash during the session but without consequences.
Andrea Iannone also crashed, but this error did nothing to tarnish The Maniac's Tuesday. He too has passed the test, gradually stitching the new Suzuki to fit him. He files this opening day with the seventh fastest time, a little over two tenths from the front (+0.235).
Times were close, with twelve riders closing within one second of each other. The top ten also includes Cal Crutchlow, sixth despite a crash, Redding in eighth place (+0.312), ahead of Barbera (+0.356) and Pedrosa (+0.376). Thirteenth for Pirro (+1.138), between the Aprilia of Aleix Espargarò and the Avintia Ducati of Loris Baz.