-- Practice Results
1 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1'39.551
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'39.579
3 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1'40.077
4 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1'40.176
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1'40.420
6 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1'40.429
7 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1'40.887
8 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 1'40.982
9 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1'41.058
10 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1'41.063
11 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1'41.292
12 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1'41.304
13 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1'41.601
14 Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 1'41.810
15 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1'41.854
Stoner fastest on day one at Jerez
Casey Stoner was the quickest rider on the opening day of the Gran Premio bwin de España at Jerez on Friday, as his time from the first practice session in the morning stood as the quickest of the day.
The Repsol Honda rider put down a best effort of 1’39.551 in FP1, with team-mate Dani Pedrosa the only other rider under 1’40” on day one, also during the first session. Indeed the top seven in MotoGP on Friday all set their best times in FP1, as strong wind during the afternoon’s second free practice made it hard to improve on lap times.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team), Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Jorge Lorenzo (Factory Yamaha Racing), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Ben Spies (Factory Yamaha Racing) were those who completed the top seven, with Dovizioso unaffected by a fall during the first session.
The sun was in full force on day one and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) both managed to improve on their lap times in the FP2 session to get into the combined top ten, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) tenth. John Hopkins, riding as a substitute for the injured Álvaro Bautista on the Rizla Suzuki team, made progress throughout the two sessions, eventually timing in 2.754s off the top time in his first competitive session MotoGP ride since Valencia 2008.
In Moto2 Tom Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) led the way with a best lap of 1’43.528, placing him 0.315s ahead of season-opening race winner Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing). The two set their times in FP1, with Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing), Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) and Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) posting FP2 times that placed them in the combined top five. Takahashi was clearly unaffected by a crash in the morning session as he went on to improve his lap time.
Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) completed the top ten across the combined sessions timesheet.
The 125s were the bikes most affected by the increased wind in the afternoon, with Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) setting the fastest lap of Friday during FP1 – a best effort of 1’48.384. Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) topped the later session to place second across both, 0.333s off Terol, with Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) third – he escaped uninjured from a FP2 crash which cut his session drastically short – and Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) fourth and fifth respectively across the combined times.
PEV-Blusens-SMX-Paris Hilton duo Sergio Gadea and Maverick Viñales, Luis Salom (RW Racing), Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) all set top-ten times on Friday.
- HRC Report
The first day of the Spanish Grand Prix showed once again the great level of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, who led the classification both in the first and second free practice sessions. The two Repsol riders rode below the circuit fastest time, set by Pedrosa last season, and finished with more than half a second advantage over their closest rival, Valentino Rossi.
In the morning session, Stoner and Pedrosa spearheaded the times classification riding at record pace and being the only ones to lap under 1 minute and 40 seconds. They were separated by only 28 thousandths after the Australian did 17 laps with a time of 1 minute, 39 seconds and 551 thousandths while Pedrosa did 19 laps with a time of 1 minute, 39 seconds and 579 thousandths.
When they went back to the track for the second session, they swapped positions and it was the Spaniard who led the classification. With a higher asphalt temperature (42ºC against 28ºC in the morning) and a high wind blowing the whole day in Jerez, the top seven riders were not able to improve their times of the first free practice. Pedrosa was the fastest, with 1 minute, 40 seconds and 101 thousandths, followed closely by Stoner, 188 thousandths behind.
Andrea Dovizioso, despite a minor crash without consequences at the Crivillé corner, finished the day in sixth place. The Italian did 19 laps in the first free session with a fastest time of 1 minute, 40 seconds and 429 thousandths. In the second session, the Repsol rider had some more problems and finished twelfth after 22 laps.
From this race on, the Repsol Honda Team riders Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will join their team mate Dani Pedrosa in the actions to improve the motorcyclists’ safety. As the Spanish rider did in all Spanish GPs last season, the three Repsol Honda riders will show the “Seguridad Honda” logo in their RC212V’s fairing during the four appointments in Spanish tracks scheduled for this year. The first will be this Spanish Grand Prix to be held in Jerez this weekend.
Tomorrow, Saturday, the third and last free practice session will take place, as well as the all-important qualifying session that will shape the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Dani Pedrosa / 1'39.579 sec, 36 laps, 159 km.
"I think we are doing a good job. The bike was working OK, it was moving a little but maybe because the grip was not so good today; other riders were also struggling with it and we saw some crashes in all the categories. Also the strong wind played a part in the afternoon, it was more difficult to control the bike especially on fast corners and we couldn't improve the lap times. Let's see if the track conditions improve tomorrow and if we can do better. Regarding my physical condition, I'm struggling in the same way I did in the Qatar race because the situation has not changed, but I cannot do anything to feel better, so I'm just focused on riding as best as I can. I'm doing short runs because it's better for me and working on the bike to prepare for the race. We hope to improve tomorrow and do a good qualifying practice".
Andrea Dovizioso / 1'40.429 sec, 41 laps, 181 km.
"It was a difficult day. This morning I crashed on the very last lap because I lost the front, without any warning at Turn 11. The crash in itself was not too bad but then the wind in the afternoon made things worse. I think the second practice suffered due to these things put together and as a result I lost the feeling with the front. I couldn’t ride as I am able to do and it’s not a nice feeling but it’s useless to complain, we have to continue working. I hope tomorrow there will be less wind so that we can focus on the set up of my RC212V".
Casey Stoner / 1'39.551 sec, 32 laps, 141 km.
"The first session went well and I had a good feeling with the bike, we tried to repeat this in the afternoon session but the conditions weren't perfect, it was quite windy. It seems to be a little smoother to ride here than in the past, but it's a shame the weather wasn't better so we could spend some time working on the settings. In general both bikes we tried seemed to work pretty well and we'll pick up from there tomorrow to concentrate on the set-up. The grip level doesn't seem to be so good here, I think everyone is struggling with this so that's another element we need to work on tomorrow in time for qualifying".
- Ducati Report
Valentino Rossi posted the third-fastest time overall during the first day of practice in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Like the top seven in the results, he did it in the morning session, when conditions were slightly cooler and not as windy.
Nicky Hayden, on the other hand, was among the riders who improved in the afternoon, when he finished ninth, a little less than a second off his teammate in the combined results from both sessions.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3RD, 1:40.077
“I’m happy because this morning I did the third-fastest time, and in the afternoon, when the higher temperature hurt us a little, I was fifth. Anyway, most of the riders went a bit slower in the second session. Apart from the two Hondas at the front, we’re closer to everyone else, which was our goal. It was a good day. There’s still work to do; we’re trying to find the right balance, and that’s why we’re trying two settings that are a little different from each other as we work on weight distribution. We have to improve the front feeling a little; the bike that I prefer still doesn’t turn like we want it to, which means we’ll have to find a compromise between the two setups. As for my shoulder, I don’t have much strength, but in terms of endurance, it’s a little better.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th, 1:41.058
“We’re basically riding the same bike as in Qatar, obviously with a couple of small tweaks for this track; you need a stiffer front spring and a few other little differences. We feel closer than we were in Qatar. We made a little step forward this afternoon and it’s good because only a few riders improved in the afternoon session, though the wind was a lot worse. It’s the same for everybody, but the wind was really brutal today, especially around here where you’re leaned over in a lot of long corners. We’re still almost a second off of the front riders, but at least we’re inside a second, which wasn’t the case at Round 1. We’re not over here jumping up and down with joy, but we’re positive, and we’ll keep improving. There’s a few places I’m lacking, but we’re trying to just make small gains and not make too many big changes.”
- Yamaha Report
Round two of the 2011 MotoGP Championship got underway at Jerez today with Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies getting their first European track time of the season. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo spent the two free practice sessions testing a new set up for the circuit, improving from the mornings fifth place finish to wrap up the afternoons final session in third, 0.522 seconds from the front. The combined times placed him fifth today ahead of tomorrows qualifying heat. Jorges teammate Spies spent the two sessions working on different set ups between bikes, focusing on front end feel and differing electronic set ups. The Texan finished in seventh place for both sessions, unable to improve on his morning time of 140.887 in the afternoon as a windier session slowed all riders a little. Both Spies and Lorenzo will start tomorrow looking to find a set up that delivers better traction for the fast corners and rapid direction changes of the circuit.
Jorge Lorenzo / Position 5th - Time 1'40.420 - Laps 23
This morning the track was perfect with no wind but in the afternoon it came so the riding was more difficult. Finally we finished third, the gap to the front is less than before and we hope to improve the bike more for tomorrow. After the good race at Qatar we are more motivated and this is one of the special rounds of the year so we hope to have a great race on Sunday.
Ben Spies / Position 7th - Time 1'40.887 - Laps 34
Its not been the best day today, Im not very happy. We need to make some changes and Im confident we can improve. Having said that, the feeling Im having with the bike right now with the speed were doing is not too bad. Im not feeling very comfortable with how the bike is handling but its only Friday. We have tomorrow and we have Sunday morning and Im confident we can get the bike working better. I think this track can be good for the M1, we just need to change the setting and see how tomorrow goes. Well work on it and come back in the morning and go faster.
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
Jorge finished in third position this afternoon finally and which was an ok result. We need to do more work for sure to make the next step up so we are not happy with it. We have a couple of ideas we want to try, especially for traction and turnability, both areas where we need to improve for tomorrows qualifying session.
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
On Bens side of the garage we are still trying to find the best bike set up, we tried some different solutions but after two practice sessions we are still not satisfied. We are going to check the data from both of his bikes and see what solutions we can try tomorrow morning to see if they will work and help him improve. Jorge had a better session this afternoon and moved closer to the front guys, the team are still not satisfied though and need to make another step forward. Im confident that both sides can make the necessary changes to give our riders the best opportunity in tomorrows qualifying.
Edwards and Crutchlow make promising start in Jerez
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team kicked off the European phase of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship in Jerez today, with Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow both posting competitive times on the opening day of practice.
In warm but windy conditions at the 2.748 miles circuit, Edwards set a best time of 1.41.063 to finish tenth overall on combined times.
Edwards continued his excellent start to 2011 in this morning's opening practice session, the experienced American once again the leading non-factory rider in eighth position as he concentrated on refining the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to gain more turning performance.
With track temperatures almost 20 degrees hotter for this afternoon's session, further set-up experiments gave Edwards and his crew valuable information to make further adjustments ahead of tomorrow's final practice and qualifying session.
Today presented Crutchlow with his first opportunity to acquaint himself with the challenging Jerez circuit. The British rider applied himself to the task with typical determination and enthusiasm and he posted a best lap of 1.41.854 to finish 15th on the timesheets.
Despite his minimal experience of the Jerez circuit, the 2009 World Supersport champion was able to demonstrate his undoubted potential by lapping faster than circuit specialists Hector Barbera and Toni Elias for the majority of the morning and afternoon session. He was one of only seven riders to lap faster in hotter conditions this afternoon and is confident overnight set-up tweaks will help him take another step forward tomorrow.
Jerez kicks off the long-awaited European leg of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship with a large and partisan crowd of over 100,000 expected to flock to the Andalucía venue.
Colin Edwards / Position 10th - Time 1'41.063 - Laps 39
We tried a bit of an experimental set-up with one bike we thought would work to help with the turning performance but it didn't quite give us the result we were anticipating. It worked in some areas but it created some other issues, so we'll go back to more of a similar set-up to what we ran in Qatar for tomorrow and we know that works. I was actually faster using the different setting but I just don't feel I can run that pace consistently over a race distance. What made it really difficult today was the wind. It was really gusting hard in some places, so you just had to be pretty careful because it was easy to get caught out. You just had to pay attention and get a feel for which way the wind was blowing because at least it was consistent in one direction."
Cal Crutchlow / Position 15th - Time 1'41.854 - Laps 36
I felt like I learned the circuit pretty quickly and I was happy with my performance this morning. But this afternoon I didn't really make the improvement I was looking for and that was a lot to do with the track temperature being much higher. You only have to look at the times of the fast guys to see the hotter conditions made it hard because nobody in the top seven was faster this afternoon. I was a little bit quicker, so I've improved and gained some time, but I needed to make a bigger jump than I did. With the track temperature a lot higher it made the bike feel quite a bit different compared to this morning. I'm sure I can improve the front-end feel because the wind was so strong it was blowing me off line. The front needs to be more planted so we've got some ideas to improve tomorrow. Considering my lack of experience at this track, I'm satisfied because the times are pretty close and I know we can improve.
- Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium
It was once again a Repsol Honda Team one-two after the first day of running for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend with Casey Stoner setting the fastest combined time from the two practice sessions ahead of Dani Pedrosa.
In the morning session, Stoner and Pedrosa were the only two riders to lap faster than the existing lap record, set by Pedrosa in 2010, and after only 45 minutes on track the pair were just 0.3seconds from last year’s pole time. In the cooler morning session, almost all riders tried both the softer and harder option slicks but in the afternoon, as the temperature rose, it was the harder option slicks that were preferred.
Track conditions were good today, although a strong wind hit the region in the afternoon which was a factor in making the afternoon laptimes a little slower.
Third fastest for the Ducati Team was a resurgent Valentino Rossi ahead of fellow countryman Marco Simoncelli of San Carlo Honda Gresini, with Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in fifth. The top seven riders all set their fastest lap of the day in the morning session, but Randy de Puniet and Nicky Hayden, who were eighth and ninth respectively, went faster during free practice two.
The final free practice session gets underway at 10:10hrs local time tomorrow, Saturday 2 April, before an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Whilst conditions today were fine and warm, the weather is expected to deteriorate over the weekend.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport
“Track conditions were good today, especially this morning, and the times at the front were already very fast. Riders got the chance to try both the softer and harder option front and rear slicks today in assessment for the race, although tyre choice on Sunday could be more affected by the weather conditions with the current forecasts. The times were a little slower this afternoon because the wind got considerably stronger, but throughout today we have seen that consistency and durability are good.
“This morning the air was warm but the track was still quite cool, yet we could see that the harder option slicks were working well despite the temperature and the laptimes were very fast. Many riders tried both specs in the morning and performance of each was good. As the track temperature rose by the afternoon, almost all riders chose the harder specs for FP2. I can also say that braking stability of both front tyre specs is adequate, so in general I am happy with tyre performance here today.”
- Suzuki Report
Hopkins is making his first appearance on a MotoGP bike since 2008 and was quickly up to a decent pace as he began his weekend as a substitute rider for the injured Álvaro Bautista. His main target today was to learn the characteristics of the Bridgestone control tyres and re-acquaint himself with the Suzuki GSV-R prototype. Hopkins made gradual steps throughout the day and - despite the strong winds that hampered all riders in the afternoon - he managed to finish the second session just over two seconds behind the fastest rider of the day Casey Stoner.
In the morning session most riders recorded their best lap-time and Hopkins was one of only a handful of riders that bettered their time during the afternoon, pointing towards him becoming more comfortable and confident on the machine. He is already looking forward to taking the next step and pushing for better times to make him more competitive.
Hopkins will have another practice session tomorrow morning, before he tackles an hour of qualifying in the afternoon to secure his grid position for Sunday’s 27-lap race.
“Today was basically just about getting a feel for the bike and getting used to being back in the team. I wanted to get comfortable today and I didn’t want to go out and do anything stupid – that’s for sure! Since I was last in MotoGP they’ve changed to 45-minute sessions so that was a bit different, I would have liked a lot longer on the bike to get a better feeling, but that was not possible. In the two sessions we altered some of the electronics, but we haven’t changed anything on the chassis because it felt great, there was no need to change the geometry because the base setting was so good. Obviously it’s where I expected to be position wise, it’s a tall order from not riding a MotoGP bike for so long and only having ridden about 150 to 200 laps on a superbike in the last seven months, there was certainly a lot to learn on the first day. I am actually quite confident that we can improve a lot tomorrow after I’ve had the chance to sit back, relax and think about things. I followed some people at the end of the day and I realised there are a lot of places where I need to change my lines, but that’s normal really.
“I am just extremely pleased to be in the MotoGP paddock again and out there with the best riders in the world. There is a huge sense of gratitude from me because I never thought I’d be in this position so soon again in my career, so I want to say a big thanks to everyone at Rizla Suzuki for giving me this opportunity. I just want to be able to improve my position a bit more over the weekend and pay everyone back for giving me this chance.”
Tom O’Kane – Crew Chief:
“Everybody in the team is really happy with the way John has ridden today. Our target was for him to come here, learn about the tyres, learn about the bike again and have fun. In the afternoon session he closed the gap on the leaders – compared to this morning – and although the wind affected everyone this afternoon and John wasn’t 100% comfortable in the conditions, he still did a very good job. I think that once John has had a chance to sleep on things tonight, the corners won’t come up on him so quickly and he’ll be able to react better and find the lines to improve on his times.”
- Binder on pole for Red Bull Rookies season opener
Brad Binder sits on pole position for the first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season on Saturday. The 15 year old South African was just 2 tenths quicker than 14 year old German Philipp Oettl with French 16 year old Alan Techer 3rd completing the front row.
Binder admitted that it had not been easy, “Man I was trying hard there but the bike is working great and I was really enjoying it. Earlier in the day I was finding the wind a bit of a problem but I got used to it and wasn't worried in that last session. I think I can run that pace in the race, I'm going to try it, we'll see.”
It is Binder's third year in the Rookies Cup and on paper he is favourite but he knows there are 24 other riders out to prove the form book wrong. Looking super smooth and only a fraction slower than Binder, Oettl was happy with his day. “Yes the bike is working well, I feel very good. We worked on the set up through the day, lowered the pre-load on the rear because we had too much weight on the front and after that the bike was more stable on the brakes. It is good to be up the front of course, I'm perhaps a little surprised but the test in Estoril went well and I like the track here. I was happy at that pace and normally in the race I go a bit quicker so we'll see.”
Techer's third place was just what he needed on the return to the track where he badly broke his arm last year, an injury that ruined his season. “I am really enjoying it and happy with the way things are going. The bike is working well now especially after we hardened up the rear suspension. It was sitting down too much through the fast corners, now it feels great. The wind is a bit of a problem through the last section but that is the same for everyone.”
Italy heads the second row with 14 year old Baldassarri doing a fantastic job in his first Rookies event. “That was so much fun, I love the track and the bike is working well, we had to change the front suspension a bit because the rear wheel was coming up under heavy braking but that is OK now. It was tough through the last corners as the wind kept pushing us wide but still a lot of fun. I am so much looking forward to the race tomorrow I am sure that it will be a great fight and I can't wait.”
Fifth fastest is 17 year old Tomas Vavrous from the Czech Republic. “It is great to be towards the front, just what I needed to start the year. We got the bike sorted out and I was pushing very hard to get that time. Towards the end the rear tyre was quite worn and was sliding around quite a lot. I also had a bit of a problem with my left wrist, it was like that in the Estoril test but I think it will be OK for the race.”
Out of luck today was 14 year old Italian Kevin Argino, he missed the 2nd qualifying session after being stricken with a bad bout of hay fever that could not be immediately sorted out in the medical centre. He was struggling to breathe and though his situation has improved he will stay overnight in the hospital in Jerez for observation before hopefully returning to the track for the race.
Even in the extremely blustery conditions there were few fallers. James Flitcroft, Deni Cudic and Hafiq Azmi were three who went down but there were no injuries. Malaysian 14 year old Azmi missed the 2nd timed session because his bike was damaged but still qualified 10th fastest just behind fellow newcomer Kyle Ryde, the 14 year old Briton.
Combined Qualifying Classification
1. Brad Binder (RSA) 1 minute 54.297 seconds
2. Philipp Oettl (GER) +0.238
3. Alan Techer (FRA) +0.429
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +0.708
5. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +0.820
6. Florian Alt (GER) +0.893
7. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +0.896
8. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +0.909
9. Kyle Ryde (GBR) +1.040
10. Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +1.444
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