Lorenzo and Rossi second and sixth as they adjust to Laguna Seca

A sun-soaked Laguna Seca welcomed the MotoGP paddock to American soil today, where Jorge Lorenzo looked on good form to finish the opening session in second and his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi made a solid start for sixth position. The Fiat Yamaha M1s are running in a special livery here to celebrate the forthcoming launch of the Fiat 500 car in the United States, which features the faces of 500 fans on both bikes and the riders' leathers.

Lorenzo has had an eventful time at this track in his two previous visits here but today was much more routine, as the 23-year-old quickly found a good rhythm and was on the pace from the start. He finished the day just 0.233 seconds off leader Casey Stoner but he admits he needs to make some adjustments to his riding style tomorrow to better suit the peculiar nature of this track.

After his sensational return from injury in Germany, Rossi found he was in a little bit more pain at this track, especially in the braking area before the infamous Corkscrew. Aside from his physical worries the World Champion was happy with his first day's work and is confident that the information he and his team gathered today will help them to climb the order tomorrow.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2ndTime: 1'21.932Laps: 31

"This was a good first practice and everything came quite easily; we didn't find any big problems and I was able to be at the front from the start. That said it looks like Casey is very strong here and we will have to work hard to catch him! I think I need to make some small changes to my riding style tomorrow rather than big changes to the bike setting and hopefully this will help us to find a few tenths and make sure we can fight on Sunday. A lot can change and I hope we can improve some more tomorrow."

Valentino Rossi - Position: 6thTime: 1'22.660Laps: 31

"This track is a bit harder for me than Sachsenring and I have more pain than I had there, mostly in the ankle but also in the shoulder at the breaking point before the Corkscrew. Aside from that I think we can be better tomorrow; we haven't put everything together yet to be at our full potential on the track and if we had a few more laps today we could have been a bit further up. We used the hard tyre at the end but the track was maybe a bit dirty for it. Tomorrow we will try the soft tyre also in the front. I like the special livery; it's something different and fun. Tomorrow I will have a helmet to go with it!"

Fast start for Edwards and Spies on home soil

Ben Spies made a blistering start to his home race at Laguna Seca this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider ending an opening practice session run in sunny conditions with the fifth quickest time. Aided by an upgraded YZR-M1 engine specification delivered by Yamaha for his all-important home race at the breathtaking California circuit, which features the incomparable and famous Corkscrew section, Spies was less than one-tenth-of-a-second away from fourth position.

Laguna Seca is the first race 2010 where Spies has previously raced in MotoGP and he put his vast track knowledge to good use immediately, the 26-year-old quickly establishing himself in the top ten. Spies, who is running a special livery for his home race featuring the Texas state flag, led home a strong American contingent while also finishing fastest non-factory rider as he edged out reigning world champion Valentino Rossi by 0.020s.

Spies is confident that planned overnight set-up changes to improve the stability of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with Laguna Seca's bumpy surface will allow him to challenge for a top grid position in tomorrow's qualifying session ahead of the ninth round of the 2010 MotoGP world championship.

It was a fruitful session for Colin Edwards too, the 36-year-old instantly taking advantage of the upgraded engine specification to put himself in the top five for much of the session. Edwards ran several laps on both soft and hard front and rear Bridgestone options in preparation for Sunday's 32-lap race. And he was immediately able to lap much quicker using the hard front option, the significantly improved stability helping Edwards secure eighth position with a best time of 1.22.971.

Ben Spies - Position: 5thTime: 1'22.660Laps: 33

"It is funny but I know this track so well, yet having not been here for a while it took me a bit of time to remember it. I'm pretty happy to be in the top five after the first session and I'm also pleased with the lap times by the end. Coming home and being in front of my home crowd, I can't be disappointed with my position after the first day. I'm sure we can make the bike a lot better because I had a couple of small issues that are easy to fix. I want the bike to absorb the bumps a little better but it is nothing that is really holding me back too much. We got an upgrade and I'm grateful to Yamaha for that and I'm definitely in the ballpark for th e rest of the weekend. I need a few tenths per lap but I think I can be much closer to the front tomorrow. At the end I put in a string of laps that weren't super-fast, but I was really consistent and I'm happy with that."
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