2011 AMA Pro Racing
The penultimate round of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing series got underway Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with the first practices held under clear, California skies for the Superbike and Daytona SportBike classes, and the first qualifying for SuperSport.
Valentino Rossi may have had a donkey on his helmet today but it was ‘The Doctor’ riding the bike once again, as the Italian hero bounced back from his Indianapolis mistake with an emphatic home victory at Misano. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished a strong second, making this the fifth one-two finish for the team this season.
After the boiling heat of the last two days the temperature today was brought right down by a strong wind, which meant track conditions were quite different to how they had been so far.
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo looked ready for business at Misano on the Italian Riviera today, putting in some impressive times and finishing the day first and second, several tenths ahead of the next fastest rider. This was despite the uncomfortably hot and humid weather, although a forecast late rain shower tonight promises to cool things down a little for tomorrow.
It was Lorenzo, fresh from his victory in Indianapolis just five days ago, who looked in command for the early part of the session as he immediately found a good setting and set about improving his time lap by lap.
The Fiat Yamaha team were hard at work in Brno today and topped the standings in a one-day test, the final chance they will have to test outside of a race weekend before the end of the season. Jorge Lorenzo shrugged off any effects of yesterday’s crash to put in some brilliantly quick times and finish the day fastest, whilst yesterday’s race winner Valentino Rossi was close behind him in second.
Valentino Rossi put in a faultless display to claim his fifth win of the season at Brno today, 13 years almost to the day after he took the first of his 102 Grand Prix wins. The Italian’s 160th career podium also moves him ahead of Giacomo Agostini to top the all-time podium list. It was a devastating day for his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, as the Spaniard crashed out with just five laps to go when sparring with Rossi at the front.
A stunning day in the Czech Republic saw 130,000 fans make the trip to watch what was expected to be another thrilling duel between the Yamaha pair.
For the second time this season, Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were embroiled in a thrilling head to head battle to the flag at the German Grand Prix in Sachsenring today. As at Catalunya earlier this season, it was the eight-time World Champion Rossi who emerged the winner, but his young team-mate pushed him every step of the way and finished just 0.099 seconds behind, an almost identical gap to that of Catalunya. Rossi’s 101st win means he equals Agositini’s all-time podium record of 159 in all classes.
A soaking wet Sachsenring held no fears for Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo today, who took pole and second on the grid amidst heavy rain at the German Grand Prix. It is the sixth time the pair has shared the front row this season and Rossi’s third pole of 2009 is also his first ever in the premier-class at this track.
A torrential downpour which ended just as the first free practice session began at the Sachsenring today made for a mixed opening to the German Grand Prix, with Valentino Rossi finishing a promising third and his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo ending the day in 11th, but just seven tenths off the lead.
The session began on a soaking track, which gave the riders an opportunity to work on their wet settings for the early part of the hour, before the tarmac rapidly began to dry out in the warm conditions and a dry line started to appear.
Yamaha World Superbike superstar Ben Spies showed more of his unbeatable talent today, flying through the three Superpole sessions with ease. Despite rain drops starting to fall as the third and final session got under way, the American rider hit the track with an incredible display of speed and put down a pole grabbing lap less than two tenths off the Best Lap record put down in the dry by Fabrizio in the previous session. He was the only rider to drop under the 1.30 mark in the final session.
Valentino Rossi wrote another chapter in his extraordinary career in Holland today, becoming only the second rider in history to reach 100 Grand Prix wins. 13 years after his very first victory in 125cc, the Italian took the hat-trick of pole position, fastest lap and race win with a perfect display in front of a huge Assen crowd to pass the century mark.
Valentino Rossi, who is looking for his 100th career victory tomorrow, took his second pole position of the season in the Netherlands today with a commanding display at the Assen TT circuit. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo filled the third grid spot after just missing out with his final flying lap. Dani Pedrosa will start from second whilst Casey Stoner, who is joint championship leader along with Rossi and Lorenzo, will head the second row.
The sun shone in Assen today as the 61st Dutch TT got underway, the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship.