Casey Stoner started the weekend off well with the top time during practice. Only minutes after setting this time he crashed out in Turn 9 without injury.
MotoGP action at Jerez got underway with Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner setting the pace in Friday’s practice ahead of Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Stoner’s Ducati teammate, Nicky Hayden. Valentino Rossi’s shoulder seems to have been an irritant for him he managed to place fifth just behind Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
After a disappointing let down in Qatar, Stoner was able to bounce back by leading the times after just four laps at the Andalusian circuit for a best lap of 1’39.731. Although the 2007 champ reported problems in braking early in the first session, he was able to overcome them by comparing their two bikes. After setting his best time Stoner washed out with just two minutes left in practice. Luckily, the spill had no ill effects upon the Australian rider.
Lorenzo, who’s begun in the pole position at this race for the previous four years, was able to secure the second-fastest lap time on the circuit which was just over a tenth behind Stoner. Hayden closed out the top three times on a positive note, racing up 25 laps to clock just a fraction over 0.4 seconds from his Ducati colleague. He was happy with his overall performance during practice, noting how he’s struggled in the past with being fast out of the gate without prior testing.
Jorge Lorenzo was able to secure the second fastest lap time on the circuit of 1’39.875. Just a tenth off Stoner’s pace, Lorenzo was extremely happy with his performance during practice today.
Honda’s Pedrosa will look to capitalize on his home field advantage at the Spanish round this weekend, and he started off this endeavor well by earning a fourth-place in the hour-long free practice session. His RC212V took him around the track just half a second off Stoner’s best.
World Champion Valentino Rossi’s performance seems not to have been hampered by his injured shoulder which he sustained during a motocross training accident. The Italian was only 0.628 seconds off Stoner’s pace.
Although they both crashed during their sessions, there were some notable performances by Spanish rookies Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista. Their crashes resulted in no injuries, and they were able to place eighth and ninth respectively in qualifying times. Marco Melandri of the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team rounded out the top 10, with Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizoso and Randy de Puniet due up next on the timesheet.
MotoGP Friday Practice Results
Valentino Rossi was able to pull through despite his injured shoulder. His aim today was simply to judge how he felt on a bike after the accident. Clearly the Italian is in decent shape and was able to put in a solid 25 laps.
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1’39.731
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha) 1’39.875
3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1’40.148
4. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) 1’40.200
5. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team) 1’40.359
6. Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) 1’40.716
7. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1’40.913
8. Hector Barbera (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) 1’41.034
9. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) 1’41.093
10. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) 1’41.190
11. Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1’41.200
12. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda Team) 1’41.277
13. Randy De Puniet (LCR Honda MotoGP) 1’41.293
14. Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing Team) 1’41.297
15. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) 1’41.533
16. Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing Team) 1’41.742
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) 1’41.837
In the Moto2 class Spaniard Alex Debon headed the Friday timesheets on his home soil. The Aeroport de Casetello-Ajo rider was followed on the timesheet by Fimmco Speed Up’s Gabor Talmacsi and American Kenny Noyes riding the Jack & Jones by Antonio Banderas entry.
Rounding out the top five were Tech2 Racing’s Yuki Takahashi and Tenerife 40 Pons rider Sergio Gadea. In sign of the diversity in Moto2, there were nine different chassis manufacturers running in the top 10 during practice.
Moto2 Jerez Friday Practice Results:
1. Alex Debon (Aeroport de Castello) 1.44.419
2. Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up Speed Up) 1’44.880
3. Kenny Noyes (Jack & Jones by A.Banderas Promoharris) 1’44.920
4. Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing Tech 3) 1’44.977
5. Sergio Gadea (Tenerife 40 Pons Pons Kalex) 1’45.162
6. Yonny Hernandez (Blusens-STX BQR-Moto2) 1’45.199
7. Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team RSV) 1’45.229
8. Claudio Cortita (Forward Racing Suter) 1’45.351
9. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 Moriwaki) 1’45.352
10. Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing Suter) 1’45.384
Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha):
“I’m really happy with this first day. Everything has gone well and I don’t have any pain in my hand anymore. I feel as good on the bike as I felt last year when I got pole, although my aim is to make sure I don’t repeat the same mistake in the race this time! I always feel like I ride well here and I’ve already got a good pace; with some small modifications we can be even better. I don’t think the perfect MotoGP bike exists but our Yamaha is definitely nearly there, maybe we just need a bit more top speed… Tomorrow my aim is to improve my pace just a bit more to be consistently in the 39s; I’m excited about the weekend.”
Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha):
“The shoulder is a bit sore, especially in the two or three harder braking areas, but the most important thing is that I can ride! Of course this pain makes it more difficult but I was able to do 25 laps today without painkillers, and the pain didn’t get any worse as the session went on. I didn’t take any painkillers because I wanted to understand the level and so tomorrow and Sunday we will consider something for the pain. Today we used two different settings and now we will decide which direction to go in for the rest of the weekend. We need to find a bit more rear grip in order to be more competitive, because at this moment this is slowing us down more than the shoulder.”