After a changeable couple of days at Motegi, Round 14 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, the weather for the opening practice session of the Japanese Grand Prix was dry and, as expected from this new October date, the ambient temperature was warm.
Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi secured his position at the top of the timesheets on his very last lap of the hour-long session, 0.2seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Rossi used the harder option Bridgestone slicks both front and rear as the track temperature reached 36 degrees Celsius, as opposed 22 degrees during Friday practice last year when the event was held in April.
The rain that fell so heavily yesterday affected the track conditions however, and with no morning practice and only the 125cc practice session before the MotoGP machines took to the track, the surface was still slippery.
After completing just two laps, Dani Pedrosa crashed heavily on the approach to turn nine, V Corner, and fractured his collarbone at a crucial time in the championship race between he and Jorge Lorenzo.
Third fastest was championship leader and Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo, just 0.007seconds ahead of Aragon winner Casey Stoner of Ducati.
Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “The recent rain affected track conditions today as the surface was dirty and some parts were still damp and slippery, especially under the bridge. Some riders used just one set of tires for the session so we could confirm race distance consistency even for the softer option.”
“Some riders tried both specs in preparation for their race tyre choice, and this also showed us that the harder options are working well even in these conditions, as Valentino was fastest using the harder front and rear slicks. Race tire choice is most likely to be decided based on tomorrow’s data however because the track conditions were not ideal today, but of course there is still the possibility of rain on Sunday.”
2010 Motegi MotoGP Friday Free Practice Results:
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’48.174
2. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’48.387
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’48.474
4. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1’48.481
5. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’49.302
6. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’49.357
7. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’49.377
8. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’49.544
9. Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1’49.568
10. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’49.581
11. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 1’49.620
12. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’49.644
13. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’49.882
14. Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 1’49.957
15. Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 1’50.158