PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, OCT 15 - "I feel a little bit more free now," Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo said after setting fast time in brutally windy, cold, and wet conditions on the first day of practice at Phillip Island. "Outside of the track I feel better with this world title and I feel that I throw away some weight off my shoulders, so let's see what happens. I'm so happy to be quick today in the wet."Lorenzo was quick on a day when some riders felt much of the session was a waste of time. The hour's free practice started on a wet track in temperatures around 50 degrees. And as the session continued, the wind, which was gusting unpredictably, picked up, drying the track and forcing riders to alter their lines in a number of key corners, especially the last and first."They were very extreme," Lorenzo said after lapping in 1:41.146 mins. "It has been very cold, raining and windy and it made it difficult for everyone." Dangerous? he was asked, "Yes a little bit."The wind is very bad and the conditions change every lap. Also, because if you make a mistake and you go outside the track, it is difficult to stop the bike because you slide a lot with the wet grass."Lorenzo found the wind to be most unpredictable on the front straight. "Before the last corner it pushes the front a lot and also when you exit the first slow corner. That is where I don't have a good feeling with the wind."Like most riders, Lorenzo thought changing the date was worth consideration."Yes, without any doubt they need to look at this," he said. "Nobody likes the cold, so please change the date of the race." Preferably, earlier in the year. "Yes. This track is so beautiful to race in the sunny conditions and we don't want any rain race at this lovely track."

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Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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