Estoril MotoGP Practice 2011

April 29, 2011
Matt Davidson
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One of the costliest crashes at Jerez was by San Carlo Hondas Marco Simoncelli. The Italian was on pace to secure his first ever premier class victory when a highside on Lap 11 shattered the opportunity.
Honda’s Marco Simoncelli led the MotoGP field during practice at Estoril ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa.

San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli grabbed the fastest lap in both practice sessions at the Estoril circuit on Friday. The Italian finished just 0.061 seconds ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the afternoon session despite crashing halfway into the 45-minute run. After hopping on a second bike, Simoncelli went on to dominate the field by posting his best lap of 1’37.663 for the day. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa rounded out the top-three times and was only 0.003 seconds adrift of Lorenzo.
Ducati’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner managed a tie for the fourth-quickest lap during practice, the Aussie spending a lot of time in the pits during both sessions. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards continued to post times in the top-10 this season with a lap of 1’38.203, earning him sixth in the pecking order. Just behind the American by 0.101 seconds was rookie Karel Abraham aboard Cardion ab Motoracing. The Czech rider was seventh-fastest and was 0.810 seconds off the pace of Simoncelli.
Yamaha’s Ben Spies got off to a difficult start in Portugal by crashing in the first practice. At the end of the afternoon he was 0.9 seconds off the pace, followed by Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera. After earning his best finish in MotoGP during the previous round, Hiroshi Aoyama posted the 11th-best time just 0.034 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista returned for the first time since breaking his femur during the season opener at Qatar. Although he was more than 2.5 seconds off the pace, the Spaniard confirmed he will continue riding for the rest of the weekend after a successful practice.

2011 MotoGP Estoril Practice Results:
1. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’37.663

Yamahas Jorge Lorenzo earned the third-fastest lap on Day 1 and was 0.48 seconds adrift of Stoner.
Jorge Lorenzo scored the second-best lap 0.061 seconds behind Simoncelli and only 0.003 seconds ahead of Pedrosa.

2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’37.724
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’37.727
4. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’38.102
5. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’38.102
6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’38.203
7. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’38.473
8. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’38.563
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’38.596
10. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’38.611
11. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’38.645
12. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’38.658
13. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’38.760
14.Toni Elias (Honda) 1’38.912
15. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’39.021
16. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’39.137
17. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’40.173