Jorge Lorenzo leads way at ‘new’ Silverstone
Jorge Lorenzo set the pace on the opening day of the British Grand Prix with the fastest time in opening practice at Silverstone.
The Fiat Yamaha rider, who leads the MotoGP World Championship points table in the absence of injured team-mate Valentino Rossi, was quickest around the revamped Northamptonshire circuit with a time of two minutes 5.991 seconds.
Lorenzo, now title favourite after Rossi ended his season with a broken shin, quickly took to the new layout.
He said: "I'm happy with our first day's work here at Silverstone and I've really enjoyed the new circuit; it's fast and fun to ride.
"We've worked really hard and I've ridden a lot of laps in order to begin to understand every corner and every straight.
"Unfortunately it was cold today and the asphalt was cold too, which meant that without any reference points in the beginning it was quite difficult, but hopefully tomorrow and Sunday will be better.
"Then in the last three minutes it started to rain so we decided to stop. We made a good start and then step by step I improved, so I think we are in good shape for a good race weekend. We will continue in the same way tomorrow and aim for the front row."
Lorenzo set the best time ahead of Ducati rider Casey Stoner and the Repsol Honda of Andrea Dovizioso.
Early pacesetter Randy de Puniet eventually set the fourth best time on his LCR Honda with rookie Ben Spies fifth on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine after his best time put him 1.259 seconds behind Lorenzo.
The sixth fastest rider was Dani Pedrosa, Dovizioso's team-mate who kept the title race alive by winning last time out at Mugello to lie 25 points behind Lorenzo.
The top 10 was completed by Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing Ducati), Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro).
A trio of Spanish Derbi riders led the lap times in the 125cc class with Marc Marquez the quickest ahead of Pol Espargaro and Efren Vazquez.
British rider Bradley Smith was the fourth fastest on the Bancaja Aspar Aprilia.
The Moto2 practice saw Shoya Tomizawa fastest on the Technomag-CIP machine as the rain which had started at the end of the MotoGP fell more steadily.