Valentino Rossi Leads Friday Practice | Catalunya MotoGP

Yamaha Factory Racing's Valentino Rossi

2013 Catalunya MotoGP Friday Free Practice Results

Valentino Rossi’s record at Catalunya is beyond impressive. In the modern MotoGP era, the nine-time World Champion has finished on the Catalunya podium 10 times in the premier class, including six wins.

Though Rossi did anything but impress the last two season while with Ducati, finishing 7th and 5th at Catalunya, he quickly returned to his reigning ways at the Spanish Circuit Friday aboard the Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1.

Under scorching conditions, Rossi put in a best lap of 1:42.297 during the second free practice at the 2.937-mile circuit containing 13 corners. To put this time into perspective, the fastest lap at Catalunya is a 1:41.186, which was set by Casey Stoner in 2008 (Ducati).

VR46 finished 0.49 of a second ahead of his teammate, two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo, and 0.260 of a second ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I love this track; it is one of the best. The M1 is always great here in Catalunya. It is just Friday but I am very happy to be in front, although we have still a lot of work to do. We have to decide which tyre to use and we have some corners and sections where we have to improve for tomorrow. Anyway, it is great to be back on top.”

Lorenzo, who won at Mugello, led the first free practice, and most of free practice two, but was passed by Rossi in the final moments.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “We started very well but we tried two settings that didn’t work so well. We stayed with the same tires for the whole practice to understand why they are dropping in this weather so we could solve this problem that I think all the riders are having.

“We have to try and improve the bike in order to let me have more confidence, then I can stay in the middle of the 42 second mark which is my target. We don’t focus so much on the classification because not all the riders kept on the same tires during the practice, a new tyre can give you half a second or more. We have to trust the pace and the pace is good, one of the best of the grid.”

The top 11 riders were all within a second of Rossi, including the rider who crashed with the Italian during the first lap at Mugello two weeks ago – GO & FUN Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. The Spaniard was 0.455 of a second off Rossi’s pace, and followed closely by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who has scored two consecutive podiums at the last two rounds (Mugello, Le Mans).

Sixth fastest was Pedrosa’s teammate, the rookie Marc Marquez. In pre-race statements, Marquez know Catalunya was going to be a tough round. Next up was the quickest Ducati GP13 – the factory Ducati piloted by Nicky Hayden.

The American was 0.593 of a second back, and en route crossed the speed trap at the start/finish line at 210.8mph, beaten the record set by the Brazilian Alex Barros in 2004 (Repsol Honda).

Rounding out the top 10 were Hayden’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, and fastest CRT rider in the first five rounds of MotoGP, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro.

As for crashes, Bradl suffered a hard fall at La Caixa curve after loosing the front under braking. Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was taken to the Medical Center for a check-up following an accident at the sweeping Turn 3.

MotoGP reports that much of the focus of the day was on tire choice for the race, with the majority of riders already stating that the harder option front is a certain choice, whilst many will be using Saturday to decide between the softer or harder option rear.

2013 Catalunya MotoGP Free Practice Two Results:

1 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 333.8 1’42.297
2 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 336.3 1’42.346 0.049 / 0.049
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 337.5 1’42.557 0.260 / 0.211
4 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 338.4 1’42.752 0.455 / 0.195
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 333.4 1’42.776 0.479 / 0.024
6 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 338.1 1’42.857 0.560 / 0.081
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 338.4 1’42.890 0.593 / 0.033
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 338.7 1’42.988 0.691 / 0.098
9 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 337.2 1’43.005 0.708 / 0.017
10 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 322.4 1’43.204 0.907 / 0.199
11 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 336.6 1’43.272 0.975 / 0.068
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 317.5 1’43.644 1.347 / 0.372
13 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 329.7 1’43.648 1.351 / 0.004
14 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 323.2 1’44.247 1.950 / 0.599
15 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 312.8 1’44.461 2.164 / 0.214
16 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 316.5 1’44.586 2.289 / 0.125
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 318.5 1’44.599 2.302 / 0.013
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 316.0 1’44.609 2.312 / 0.010
19 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 316.4 1’45.337 3.040 / 0.728
20 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 318.7 1’45.513 3.216 / 0.176
21 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 311.3 1’45.834 3.537 / 0.321
22 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 315.4 1’46.216 3.919 / 0.382
23 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 313.0 1’46.577 4.280 / 0.361
24 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 309.8 1’47.239 4.942 / 0.662



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.