Australia MotoGP: Friday Practice Results

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Phillip Island MotoGP

Typical of Phillip Island, the MotoGP Grid had to wait out heavy rains and wind before getting onto the track and practicing for the Iveco Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday.

But when everything got underway two hours later, it was the 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who set the pace, a blistering 1:41.146, which also became the new fastest lap at Phillip Island.

The Fiat Yamaha rider set the quickest times a few laps into the hour-long practice while the track was still wet, and even after the track dried nobody could catch the 23-year-old Spaniard.

Jorge Lorenzo says: “Today was the first day on the bike after we won the title and I am still very happy. We can’t stop now, we have to keep going and finish this season in the best way possible, working for the future. The conditions today were really hard – wet, cold and windy. I am very happy to be so fast in rain, because it didn’t use to be this way, but we need to be prepared because it could be a hard weekend. I would like to ride in the dry, of course, but we will have to wait and see what happens.”

The man second fastest on a soggy track was the home favorite, Casey Stoner. The Australian piloted his Ducati Team Desmosedici GP10 to a time only 0.334 of a second slower than Lorenzo.

Casey Stoner says:
 “The conditions were difficult today and obviously we had the big delay too, which is not the ideal way to prepare. Also we would prefer a fully wet session but it started to dry towards the end and that denied us the opportunity to confirm the settings or get a full understanding of the conditions.”

“Other than the wind, which made things very difficult, it was quite a successful day. We made a couple of changes and I feel we made a little improvement with the bike but again because of the conditions we weren’t able to get much of a direction. Hopefully tomorrow we get consistent weather, whatever it may be, so that we can get a proper idea of our set-up in either the wet or the dry.”

The third-fastest rider was the other factory Ducati man, Nicky Hayden. The American posted a 1:41.631, just 0.151 of a second off his teammate’s time. Hayden set his quickest lap when the track began to dry.

Nicky Hayden says: 
”Those were nasty conditions… I mean nasty. It wasn’t so much the wet but the wind. It was really strong and for me it took a little while to get comfortable with being blown around so much. Other than that the bike worked well in the wet. We made a little bit of a change to help the bike turn, keeping some weight on the front, for the second run and I was able to go okay. My pace wasn’t too bad.”

“Obviously it could be all for nothing if the forecast is right and the conditions are dry from here on but at this track you have to be prepared for anything and take advantage of every situation. We’re in the top three and very close in the wet so that’s a good sign. Anyway, we’ll see what the conditions are like tomorrow and try to take advantage of whatever they are.”

Fourth and fifth fastest were the San Carlo Honda Gresini teammates, the last riders to post within a second of Lorenzo. The rookie Marco Simoncelli posted a 1:41.881, and Marco Melandri at 1:42.982.

The Italian who finished second in the previous two races at Sepang and Motegi, Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, set the sixth fastest time (1:42.271). Just 0.355 of a second behind Dovi was last week’s race winner Valentino Rossi.

The nine-time world champion said he was cautious under the wet conditions, and feels like the his M1 has a good base setting for Saturday practice and qualifying.

Rounding out the top ten were Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki).

The returning Dani Pedrosa only completed seven laps aboard his Repsol Honda RC212V, and the rookie Ben Spies three laps aboard his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. Both riders were being cautious in the wet conditions.

The riders will be back on the track Saturday morning for another practice session (FP2) and qualifying.

2010 MotoGP Phillip Island Friday Practice Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 296.7 1’41.146
2. 27 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Team Ducati 304.8 1’41.480 0.334 / 0.334
3. 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 296.4 1’41.631 0.485 / 0.151
4. 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 290.8 1’41.881 0.735 / 0.250
5. 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 297.1 1’41.982 0.836 / 0.101
6. 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 304.5 1’42.271 1.125 / 0.289
7. 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 296.6 1’42.626 1.480 / 0.355
8. 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 288.1 1’43.013 1.867 / 0.387
9. 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 294.4 1’43.476 2.330 / 0.463
10. 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 289.8 1’43.984 2.838 / 0.508
11. 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing Team Ducati 293.6 1’44.179 3.033 / 0.195
12. 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Interwetten Honda MotoGP Honda 297.5 1’44.704 3.558 / 0.525
13. 40 Hector BARBERA SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 290.7 1’45.695 4.549 / 0.991
14. 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 277.8 1’46.160 5.014 / 0.465
15. 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 271.9 1’48.127 6.981 / 1.967
26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 265.4 1’51.210 10.064 / 3.083
11 Ben SPIES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 249.8 1’58.613 17.467 / 7.403