Mugello MotoGP | Lorenzo Leads Friday

2012 Mugello Free Practice Results

The 2012 Italian Grand Prix at Mugello began Friday with the first two of three practice sessions held under dry yet windy conditions. And most riders were quickly up to speed, the top 10 covered by a mere second in the second free practice.

Leading the group was the current MotoGP Championship leader after eight of 18 rounds, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. The YZR-M1 rider who won last year’s Mugello MtoGP ended the day with a record-beating 1:48.076 lap around the 3.259-mile circuit containing 15 turns.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m really happy because from the beginning we’ve been quite fast. We haven’t had to make many changes to the bike, the feeling is great with the track and it’s working well. I feel good with the suspension, throttle and braking. Everything seems quite clear, we have to work on some small details but we’ve made an excellent beginning.”

But not far behind the Spaniard was his fellow countryman, Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda RC213V rider, who won last weekend’s Sachsenring MotoGP, was only 0.31 of a second behind Lorenzo. The quick times arrive a day after Repsol Honda announced it had re-signed Pedrosa for another two years (along with 2010 125cc Champion Marc Marquez).

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We had some troubles with the tyres in the morning, but in the afternoon we made a step forward that I’m happy with in order to keep improving tomorrow. We struggled to get up to the pace a little in FP1, but during the day we were getting closer to Lorenzo, who seems to have the set up quite clear from the beginning.

“In the afternoon we wanted complete the 12 laps Bridgestone requested on the standard hard option tire. I went out planning to make this long run on my first exit but I couldn’t complete it due to the red flag. Anyway, we finished the day quite well and we have some ideas for tomorrow; we need to find some more grip and better braking to gain three or four more tenths.”

Posting the third quickest time was Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden. The American piloted his Ducati GP12 to a 1:48.157, which was 0.81 of a second behind Lorenzo.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “Things started out pretty well this morning. I did a 14-lap run with times that were steadily pretty good. From there, we haven’t really made a big step with the hard tire.

“My best time was with the soft, which we tried for a couple laps just to make sure there are no surprises when we put it in for qualifying. We’re struggling a bit with grip on rear entry, which hasn’t been the case lately, but we have some ideas to try. This track is tough, but I like it, and there’s still time to improve before Sunday.”

Fourth went to Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera, who suffered a huge crash in FP2 that briefly brought out the red flag. Barbera was followed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso, who will be seeking his fourth podium this weekend, and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.

The reigning MotoGP Champion, who crashed out of last weekend’s Germany GP on the final lap, struggled with getting his harder Bridgestone tires up to temperature.

Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies was seventh quickest, 0.464 of a second behind the leader. Spies, who had a slight crash in the morning, was followed by Dovizioso’s Cal Crutchlow. The Brit encountered some technical problems aboard the YZR-M1, which the team sorted out by day’s end.

Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi finished ninth quickest, likely disappointing many of his home fans. The Ducati Team rider was followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who was the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo, the German 0.946 of a second behind.

The top CRT spot went to Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró, who finished 11th quickest. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista had a day to forget as he crashed out at turn one in both practice sessions, while Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez also crashed out of the afternoon session with just over 20 minutes remaining. None of the riders were hurt in the incidents, MotoGP reports.

The grid is lacking a rider, also – Cardion AB Racing Ducati’s Karel Abraham. The Czech’s doctors advised him not to participate in this weekend’s MotoGP due the hand injury he sustained while testing at Aragon. Unfortunately, the team could not find a substitute rider in time for the race.

There is one significant change this weekend that must be mentioned; MotoGP says Bridgestone has provided the MotoGP grid with a special construction hard rear slick tire for the Mugello circuit, which can cause exceptionally high tyre temperatures. Yet with an allocation of only four per rider, they will be used sparingly throughout the weekend, and only should track temperatures rise significantly. Today, the majority of riders tested the regular hard compound tire for use in the race on Sunday.

2012 Mugello Free Practice 2 Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 340.8 1’48.076
2. 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.9 1’48.107 0.031 / 0.031
3. 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 343.6 1’48.157 0.081 / 0.050
4. 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 346.7 1’48.254 0.178 / 0.097
5. 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 340.4 1’48.308 0.232 / 0.054
6. 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.1 1’48.527 0.451 / 0.219
7. 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 339.5 1’48.540 0.464 / 0.013
8. 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 340.8 1’48.650 0.574 / 0.110
9. 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 344.1 1’49.017 0.941 / 0.367
10. 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 338.3 1’49.022 0.946 / 0.005
11. 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 337.4 1’49.208 1.132 / 0.186
12. 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 322.1 1’50.015 1.939 / 0.807
13. 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 318.0 1’50.269 2.193 / 0.254
14. 51 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 321.5 1’51.130 3.054 / 0.861
15. 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 316.3 1’51.322 3.246 / 0.192
16. 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 320.5 1’51.384 3.308 / 0.062
17. 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 327.9 1’51.857 3.781 / 0.473
18. 77 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 321.2 1’51.966 3.890 / 0.109
19. 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 302.6 1’52.109 4.033 / 0.143
20. 22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 317.3 1’52.558 4.482 / 0.449