Indy MotoGP | Stoner Tops First Practice

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2012 Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP

The 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix got underway Friday with the first of two practices at the 2.62-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway featuring 16 corners.

And leading the first free practice at Indy, which landed on the MotoGP schedule in 2008, was the man who was victorious at the track last season – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.

The Australian, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2012 MotoGP Championship, was quickest at the damp track, posting a 1:41.925. The RC213 pilot who won the last round at Laguna Seca was 0.181 seconds quicker than his teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Two Americans followed – the home favorite Nicky Hayden, who was 0.547 of a second behind aboard the Ducati Team GP12, and Ben Spies, who was 0.611 of a second behind on the Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1. Spies was the final rider to post within a second of Stoner, the Texan followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who finished 1.102 behind.

As for the current MotoGP points leader, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard finished in an unusual eighth. The 2010 MotoGP Champ spent the final moments of FP1 in the garage, unhappy with the setup on his YZR-M1.

Following Bradl was the satellite San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Baustista, who has been struggling with front-end grip. He was followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow in seventh, who suffered a crash during the 45-minute session. The satellite Yamaha rider was unhurt, and able to finish FP1 on his second bike.

Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who will be rejoining Yamaha in 2013, finished ninth aboard the Ducati GP12. In tenth was Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera, who was riding just 27 days after breaking his left tibia and fibula. But Barbera suffered a heavy highside in the session, causing it to be red flag for a short while. He was taken straight to the medical center where he was sighting chest and back pain, in particular in his vertebrae, which he had previously damaged very badly in a crash in Japan in 2008. He has been taken to Indianapolis Methodist Hospital for further checks.

CTR wildcards, Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp and GPTech’s Aaron Yates, finished 20th and 23rd respectively.

Photos by Ara Ashjian

 

2012 Indy MotoGP Free Practice 1 Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 325.7 1’41.925
2. 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 326.8 1’42.106 0.181 / 0.181
3. 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 326.9 1’42.472 0.547 / 0.366
4. 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 325.9 1’42.536 0.611 / 0.064
5. 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 322.9 1’43.027 1.102 / 0.491
6. 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 326.1 1’43.195 1.270 / 0.168
7. 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 322.2 1’43.295 1.370 / 0.100
8. 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 326.0 1’43.312 1.387 / 0.017
9. 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 328.7 1’43.345 1.420 / 0.033
10. 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 280.5 1’43.736 1.811 / 0.391
11. 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 324.8 1’43.745 1.820 / 0.009
12. 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 304.7 1’44.328 2.403 / 0.583
13. 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 306.9 1’44.714 2.789 / 0.386
14. 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 324.1 1’44.739 2.814 / 0.025
15. 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 309.4 1’44.913 2.988 / 0.174
16. 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 311.6 1’46.298 4.373 / 1.385
17. 22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 305.2 1’46.332 4.407 / 0.034
18. 51 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 306.0 1’46.480 4.555 / 0.148
19. 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 306.6 1’46.520 4.595 / 0.040
20. 15 Steve RAPP USA Attack Performance APR 286.5 1’46.619 4.694 / 0.099
21. 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 287.5 1’46.941 5.016 / 0.322
22. 77 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 296.7 1’47.506 5.581 / 0.565
23. 20 Aaron YATES USA GPTech BCL 1’48.054 6.129 / 0.548