As the 2011 MotoGP paddock settled into the Czech Republic Friday it was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who posted the fastest pace in both practice sessions at Brno. The 25-year-old was 0.377 seconds faster than teammate Casey Stoner, the Aussie setting the only other lap under 1’57” to take second in the afternoon.
“The feeling was very good today from the beginning,” said Pedrosa. “The bike was working well from the first round and we could move ahead, improving little by little in both practice sessions. I think the main difference I felt is that I’m fresh after the summer break, the rest I had has helped me a lot.”
“Today hasn’t been that positive to be honest, we seem to be having a similar start to our weekend in Laguna and aren’t sure which direction to take at the moment,” Stoner said. “The feeling in the front is very vague, our corner entry and mid-turn isn’t that great.”
Following his crash at the end of the first session, San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli was third-quickest after posting a time of 1’57.136, which was just 0.038 seconds ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in fourth.
“Today’s sessions have not been exactly as we expected,” said Lorenzo. “We are struggling a bit on braking and we lose too much time over the lap. Tomorrow we will work hard to improve the bike in the morning to be ready for qualifying because at this moment we are pretty far from the front.”
Casey Stoner faces a threat from his teammate this weekend after being unable to outrun him in practice.
The third Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso, squeezed into the top-five times after finishing the session more than a second adrift of Pedrosa. Yamaha’s Ben Spies followed, the American recording the sixth-best lap less than a tenth behind Dovizioso.
“It was an ok day for us, I’m actually pretty happy with the results,” Spies said. “I’ve got a little bit of a pinched nerve in my neck and I’m struggling a little bit on the bike but I’m still giving it 100%. Lap times aren’t too bad I’m just not able to put too many laps together in a row.”
Ducati’s Valentino Rossi improved his first session time by more than a second to claim seventh in the timesheets. The Italian was chased by Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, who was more than 1.4 seconds behind Pedrosa. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Rizla Suzuki’s John Hopkins posted ninth and tenth respectively, with Hopkins just 0.021 seconds behind Crutchlow.
American Colin Edwards struggled more than 1.8 seconds off the pace to claim 12th in the charts. Frenchman Randy de Puniet trailed in 13th, with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden capping of his session in 14th a full two seconds adrift. Meanwhile MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham recorded 17th in practice at his home race.
Brno MotoGP Practice Results 2011:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’56.454
2. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’56.831
3. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’57.136
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’57.174
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’57.535
6. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’57.631
7. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’57.745
8. Alvaro Buatista (Suzuki) 1’57.857
9. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’57.859
10. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1’57.880
11. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’58.120
12. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’58.313
13. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’58.454
14. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’58.568
15. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’58.573
Stefan Bradl proved he is the man to beat in the Moto2 field by claiming a new circuit record ahead of Andrea Iannone and Alex de Angelis. Bradl was 0.158 seconds faster than Iannone on Friday after fending off the attacks of Gresini Racing Moto2’s Michele Pirro and Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding. After finishing the first session down in 18th, Marc Marquez finished fourth during the second session. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Julian Simon was fifth-fastest followed by Scott Redding, Ioda Racing Project’s Mattia Pasini and MZ Racing Team’s Max Neukirchner. Pons HP 40’s
Simone Corsi and Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter rounded out the top-10 times in ninth and tenth, respectively.
Brno Moto2 Practice Results 2011:
1. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 2’03.166
2. Andrea Iannone (Suter) 2’03.324
3. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 2’03.351
4. Marc Marquez (Suter) 2’03.923
5. Julian Simon (Suter) 2’03.983
6. Scott Redding (Suter) 2’04.066
7. Mattia Pasini (FTR) 2’04.163
8. Max Neukirchner (MZ-RE Honda) 2’04.207
9. Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex) 2’04.209
10. Simone Corsi (FTR) 2’04.217