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
|1.||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||261.9||1’48.674|
|2.||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||261.3||1’54.641||5.967 / 5.967|
|3.||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||255.1||1’55.214||6.540 / 0.573|
|19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||267.5||1’56.398||7.724 / 1.184|
|54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||256.2||1’56.853||8.179 / 0.455|
|51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||253.8||1’59.239||10.565 / 2.386|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||254.4||2’02.868||14.194 / 3.629|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||232.6||2’05.991||17.317 / 3.123|
|1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
|8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati|
|9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda|
|11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati|
|26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART|
|46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART|
|99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha|
Free Practice 2
|1.||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||275.4||1’50.780|
|2.||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||275.9||1’51.440||0.660 / 0.660|
|3.||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||275.7||1’51.873||1.093 / 0.433|
|4.||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||277.3||1’52.106||1.326 / 0.233|
|5.||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||272.1||1’52.254||1.474 / 0.148|
|6.||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||276.1||1’53.070||2.290 / 0.816|
|7.||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||273.3||1’53.166||2.386 / 0.096|
|8.||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||272.7||1’53.352||2.572 / 0.186|
|9.||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||271.9||1’53.409||2.629 / 0.057|
|10.||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||273.3||1’53.409||2.629|
|11.||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||256.4||1’54.155||3.375 / 0.746|
|12.||54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||261.5||1’54.370||3.590 / 0.215|
|13.||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||273.4||1’54.378||3.598 / 0.008|
|14.||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||274.5||1’54.581||3.801 / 0.203|
|15.||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||260.3||1’54.707||3.927 / 0.126|
|16.||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||260.7||1’54.748||3.968 / 0.041|
|17.||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||259.0||1’54.915||4.135 / 0.167|
|18.||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||248.8||1’55.752||4.972 / 0.837|
|19.||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||259.1||1’56.067||5.287 / 0.315|
|20.||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||254.1||1’57.475||6.695 / 1.408|
|21.||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||257.3||1’57.789||7.009 / 0.314|