Jerez MotoGP: Pedrosa Tops Friday Times

2012 MotoGP

Remember last year’s MotoGP at Jerez held under extremely wet conditions? It was the same scenario for the first of three practice sessions (FP1) at the Spanish circuit Friday for round 2 of the 2012 MotoGP Championship.

Due to temperatures in the low 60s and sporadic rain, more than half of the 21-rider grid didn’t head onto the track for FP1, including last year’s Jerez winner and current points leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), the reigning MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) and the man who has won eight times at Jerez, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi.

One of the CRT (Claiming Rules Teams) riders, Ivan Silva, was the only one to lap consistently around Jerez during FP1 during first shakedown of the new BQR-Inmotec CRT. He topped the timesheets with a 1:48.674.

But when the second free practice began, Rossi immediately put in a charge, the nine-time World Champion previously stating he and the Ducati GP12 would be fast in wet conditions.

But by the time the 45-minute session was complete, a home favorite beat Rossi to the top time – Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard was able to post a quickest lap of 1:50.780.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It has been a strange day due to the weather conditions. In the morning we decided to not go out because the track was not wet enough then we had more or less the same conditions in the afternoon, but it was necessary to do some laps and get some rhythm.

“The first feeling on the bike was good for me, the bike felt good and I’m riding well but I hope we have better weather tomorrow, full dry or full wet. Anyway, it is important for us to do a good qualifying practice tomorrow and we will need to be clever and quick because the conditions can easily change and in one minute can be the option to make the lap time for the pole and one minute later can be a disaster. So let’s keep focused and try to do a good job.”

Rossi trailed Pedrosa by 0.660 of a second, and was the only rider to post within a second of Pedrosa.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “We go pretty well in the wet. We’re happy to be second this afternoon because it confirms that the GP12 has the same good feeling in the wet that last year’s bike did, and that’s important. I felt good immediately today.

“We worked on the setting a bit but because we had already started with a good feeling, I was able to immediately ride at the limit and do some good times. Now we have to wait to see what the weather does tomorrow, and especially on Sunday.”

And although Lorenzo only completed 13 laps, the man who won the Qatar season opener was able to post the third fastest time. Lorenzo, another home favorite, posted a 1:51.873, just over a second slower than Pedrosa.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “This morning we couldn’t practice and this afternoon it was wet and then finally drying at the end. In these conditions we are not so good because the middle of the tyre is dropping a lot, after eight or ten laps we don’t have any more grip so we have to slow the pace.

“We have to work on that for Sunday if the conditions are going to be the same as today. If it rains with a lot of water then that’s one story but if it’s like today we are not the fastest so we need to gain some grip on the rear.”

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner was fourth quickest, 1.326 seconds behind Pedrosa, with Hayden fifth, 1.474 seconds behind Pedrosa. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso was seventh quickest, but much further back than the top five. Dovi was 2.290 seconds behind Pedrosa, 0.816 of second behind Hayden.

Rounding out the top 10 were San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Racing’s Ben Spies and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl.

The quickest of the CRT bikes was Power Electronics Aspar´s Randy de Puniet, who was 11th quickest; the Frenchman 1:54.155, 3.375 of a seconds behind Pedrosa.

The riders will return to the Jerez circuit Saturday for the third and final free practice session ahead of an hour-long qualifying session.

2012 Jerez MotoGP Free Practice Results

Free Practice 1

Pos.Num.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
1.22Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR261.91’48.674
2.6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda261.31’54.6415.967 / 5.967
3.14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART255.11’55.2146.540 / 0.573
19Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda267.51’56.3987.724 / 1.184
54Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART256.21’56.8538.179 / 0.455
51Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR253.81’59.23910.565 / 2.386
68Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR254.42’02.86814.194 / 3.629
5Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter232.62’05.99117.317 / 3.123
1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha
8Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati
9Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda
11Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha
17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati
26Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda
35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha
41Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART
46Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati
69Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati
77James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART
99Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha

Free Practice 2

Pos.Num.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
1.26Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda275.41’50.780
2.46Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati275.91’51.4400.660 / 0.660
3.99Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha275.71’51.8731.093 / 0.433
4.1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda277.31’52.1061.326 / 0.233
5.69Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati272.11’52.2541.474 / 0.148
6.4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha276.11’53.0702.290 / 0.816
7.19Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda273.31’53.1662.386 / 0.096
8.35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha272.71’53.3522.572 / 0.186
9.11Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha271.91’53.4092.629 / 0.057
10.6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda273.31’53.4092.629
11.14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART256.41’54.1553.375 / 0.746
12.54Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART261.51’54.3703.590 / 0.215
13.17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati273.41’54.3783.598 / 0.008
14.8Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati274.51’54.5813.801 / 0.203
15.5Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter260.31’54.7073.927 / 0.126
16.22Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR260.71’54.7483.968 / 0.041
17.68Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR259.01’54.9154.135 / 0.167
18.9Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda248.81’55.7524.972 / 0.837
19.51Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR259.11’56.0675.287 / 0.315
20.77James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART254.11’57.4756.695 / 1.408
21.41Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART257.31’57.7897.009 / 0.314