Marco Simoncelli returned to the top of the field with the fastest practice lap on Friday ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.
Italian Marco Simoncelli led the MotoGP field with the fastest lap on Friday at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany. With a time of 1’22.225, Simoncelli outpaced Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.095 seconds as the Spaniard improved upon his first practice time by more than half a second. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa rounded out the top-three times for the day, finishing 0.207 seconds adrift of Simoncelli in the timesheets as the Spaniard continues to return to full fitness.
“Everything is going well although I am not totally happy because we have some rear traction problems on the left side that we are struggling to resolve,” said Simoncelli. “It seems everybody is in the same boat but we will be working mainly on this area tomorrow to try and improve the situation. Our other main aim is to get a clear idea about tire choice for Sunday’s race. Thirty laps is a lot here, especially because there is barely a single straight for you to relax on.”
“I am pretty satisfied because I have improved my lap times today,” said Lorenzo. “I am almost faster than last year and I look forward to making another step tomorrow. We have made some changes and I feel much better on my M1; faster and more competitive!”
More than two-tenths behind Pedrosa were his teammates, with Casey Stoner fourth and Andrea Dovizioso earning fifth on the charts. Once again Nicky Hayden was the fastest Ducati rider of the day in sixth, the American posting a time of 1’22.882 to outpace his American compatriot Ben Spies by just 0.012 seconds. Spies was the final rider to achieve a lap under the 1’23 mark.
Pramac Racing Ducati’s Randy de Puniet was eighth-quickest on Friday, the Frenchman finishing practice more than eight-tenths adrift of Simoncelli and 0.143 seconds ahead of Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista. Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham rounded out the top-10 times with a time of 1’23.352.
It was a slow start for Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. The Italian finished 12th in the order and is currently more than 1.3 seconds off the pace of the leader approaching Saturday’s qualifying. Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera suffered a crash toward the end of the session but managed to walk away. The 24-year-old Spaniard was followed on the timesheets by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who also crashed in Turn 11 before he remounted to finish 14th for the day.
Sachsenring MotoGP Practice Results 2011:
1. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’22.225
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’22.320
Dani Pedrosa: “We had a quite positive start despite the accident I had in the morning practice session. I crashed in the fast downhill right hand corner, like everyone else because the tire was very cold and I had no warning.”
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’22.432
4. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’22.542
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’22.654
6. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’22.882
7. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’22.894
8. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’23.037
9. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’23.261
10. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’23.352
11. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’23.431
12. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’23.533
13. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’23.625
14. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’23.760
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’23.906
16. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’24.304
17. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1’25.964
Swiss rider Thomas Luthi nailed the fastest lap of the Moto2 field in Friday’s practice. The Interwetten Paddock Moto2 rider was just 0.002 seconds ahead of Pons HP 40’s Aleix Espargaro, who had the fastest lap toward the end of the session before Luthi eclipsed the Spaniard’s time. Gresini Racing’s Yuki Takahashi posted the third-best time during the session, the Japanese rider finishing just 0.010 seconds adrift of Luthi. Overall, the session was extremely close with the top-12 riders coming in under half a second behind the leader.
Viessmann Kiefer Racing’s Scott Redding was fourth-fastest on Friday after a lap of 1’25.529. The Brit was followed by Viessmann Kiefer Racing’s Stefan Bradl, who was just 0.048 seconds behind Redding in fifth. Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol Marc Marquez, winner of last year’s event in Germany and who is currently second overall in the championship, finished the session sixth and only 0.170 seconds adrift of Luthi heading into Saturday’s qualifying.
“I am fairly happy, because we started this weekend following the same line as in the previous ones; in the first practice it is always difficult and in the second we are closer,” said Marquez. “I hope we can keep improving tomorrow, because it is clear that this circuit is a little unusual and it is very important to find the good set-up.”
Honda’s Marc Marquez, winner of the 2010 German GP, was only 0.170 seconds off the pace of Luthi during practice.
Sachsenring Moto2 Practice Results 2011:
1. Thomas Luthi (Suter) 1’25.458
2. Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex) 1’25.460
3. Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki) 1’25.468
4. Scott Redding (Suter) 1’25.529
5. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 1’25.577
6. Marc Marquez (Suter) 1’25.628
7. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) 1’25.632
8. Julian Simon (Suter) 1’25.647
9. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 1’25.667
10. Mika Kallio (Suter) 1’25.760
11. Claudio Corti (Suter) 1’25.793
12. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki) 1’25.833
13. Simone Corsi (FTR) 1’25.962
14. Jordi Torres (Suter) 1’26.030
15. Yonny Hernandez (FTR) 1’26.080