The first MotoGP practice session of the 2011 season got underway quickly at Losail International Circuit for the rider who dominated there at the beginning of the week’s pre-season test, Casey Stoner.
The Repsol Honda RC212V rider posted a 1:55.752 in Free Practice 1 (FP1) on Thursday, which was a 0.071 of a second slower than his fastest time in the Qatar pre-season MotoGP test earlier this week.
The competition was running extremely tight in FP1 for the MotoGP season opener this Sunday; the gap between second and eight place was only 0.230 of a second.
The Australian was followed by his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, who was 0.610 of second behind. The Spaniard was also quick at the Qatar test, topping the first day (and followed by Stoner).
Taking third was Hector Barbera, carrying the fastest time for Ducati on his Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP GP11. He trailed Pedrosa by only 0.059 of a second.
Fourth was sophomore MotoGP pilot Marco Simoncelli aboard the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V. The Italian just edged out his fellow countryman Valentino Rossi by 0.030 of a second.
This was Rossi’s best performance to date on the Ducati Team GP11. He spent the pre-season MotoGP test near the back of the pack, not adapting that well to the Ducati machine.
Following Rossi was his former teammate, the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha Factory Racing M1. Just behind Lorenzo was Ben Spies, who has impressed with his performances so far this year on the factory Yamaha.
Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was eight fastest, followed by Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) and the American Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The last American in MotoGP, Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden, was 11th fastest aboard his Ducati Team GP11.
2011 MotoGP: Qatar FP1 Results:
|1.||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||323.5||1’55.752|
|2.||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||320.4||1’56.362||0.610 / 0.610|
|3.||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||326.6||1’56.421||0.669 / 0.059|
|4.||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||320.2||1’56.441||0.689 / 0.020|
|5.||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||319.8||1’56.479||0.727 / 0.038|
|6.||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||317.9||1’56.493||0.741 / 0.014|
|7.||1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||316.7||1’56.586||0.834 / 0.093|
|8.||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||321.3||1’56.592||0.840 / 0.006|
|9.||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||316.4||1’56.790||1.038 / 0.198|
|10.||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||321.7||1’56.879||1.127 / 0.089|
|11.||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||321.6||1’56.910||1.158 / 0.031|
|12.||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||320.8||1’56.987||1.235 / 0.077|
|13.||65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||317.3||1’57.366||1.614 / 0.379|
|14.||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||317.2||1’57.429||1.677 / 0.063|
|15.||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||322.5||1’57.821||2.069 / 0.392|
|16.||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||316.7||1’58.528||2.776 / 0.707|
|17.||24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||317.9||1’59.087||3.335 / 0.559|