Champ Lorenzo slips into gear at Estoril

LISBON – World champion Jorge Lorenzo geared up for Sunday`s Portuguese Grand Prix by setting the fastest time over two practice sessions at the Estoril circuit west of Lisbon on Friday.

The Spaniard, who clinched the 2010 MotoGP title after finishing third in Malaysia on October 10, recorded a best time of 1min 48.522sec on his Yamaha.

American Nicky Hayden of Ducati was second fastest, 0.135sec back, with Lorenzo`s team-mate and six-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi 0.361sec off the pace in third.

Lorenzo is gunning for his third consecutive victory at Estoril, after wins there in 2008 and 2009, while Rossi has previously tasted success on four occasions.

"I love this track! I have won here both times in MotoGP so I am very happy to be here," Lorenzo told the official MotoGP website.

"Unfortunately the weather was terrible this morning and there was no point in riding, then this afternoon it was still very difficult, with a lot of water on the track and you had to be very careful."

With the first session falling victim to heavy rain and poor visibility, Lorenzo had to wait for brighter spells during the second session to lay down his best time on the 19th of his 20 laps.

"I felt good despite the conditions and step-by-step we improved so that at the end, when it was slightly drier, I was able to set a good time and we are on top," said Lorenzo.

" Saturday we will have two longer sessions so we will be able to recover some of the lost time. Let`s hope for no more rain!"

In Moto2, Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi of Speed Up was quickest with a time of 1:50.916, while Britain`s Bradley Smith (2:00.148) took the honours on his Aprilia in the 125cc category.

The Portuguese Grand Prix is the penultimate race of the 2010 campaign, ahead of the Valencian Grand Prix on November 7.

Bureau Report