Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa stole the lead in the timesheets during the final minutes of free practice.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa earned the top time in Friday’s free practice session at his home circuit of Aragon. The Spaniard posted a lap of 1’50.281 to take the lead from Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the final minutes by 0.449 seconds.
“In the morning session we were basically trying to get the feeling from the race track and we started well, the bike was working okay,” said Pedrosa. “We saw that the softer compound is maybe too soft, so not really the one for the race if the high temperatures remain, so we also tried the medium compound and I felt comfortable.”
Meanwhile Pedrosa’s teammate, Casey Stoner, led at the start of practice but eventually placed third in the timesheets just 0.076 seconds behind the defending MotoGP champion, with San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli rounding out the top-four times more than six-tenths behind Pedrosa.
“This morning we started in a good direction, finishing second just four tenths slower than Dani who was top,” said Lorenzo. “It’s too early to make too many conclusions because the track is too dirty so tomorrow will be the real day to see who is fastest.”
Opening action at the Spanish Grand Prix saw Andrea Dovizioso finish just behind Simoncelli in the charts as Franchman Randy de Puniet proved the fastest Ducati rider of the day after nabbing sixth. American Nicky Hayden was just 0.042 seconds off the pace of De Puniet, as fellow
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo finished 0.449 seconds behind Pedrosa with Casey Stoner less than a tenth behind.
Ducati teammate Valentino Rossi debuted a new aluminum chassis in place of his carbon fiber setup. The Italian suffered a run-off early in the 45-minute session, but chose to stick with the aluminum chassis and eventually scored the eighth-best lap with a time of 1’51.676.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards was more than one and a half seconds off the pace of Pedrosa in ninth, followed by San Carlo Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama. Despite ending the session 1.63 seconds adrift, Yamaha’s Ben Spies experieced a productive session.
“This morning was actually quite a good session for us,” Spies said. “We were up to third position and then we opted not to change tyres and work on the set up. It seems everyone else tried the harder tyre in the end which worked a lot better so we’re looking forward to using that. We picked which set up we are going to move forward on so the end result of the session was definitely not what the bike is capable of.”
Behind the American was Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera, Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.
Friday’s second practice at Aragon was cancelled due to a series of power outages at the track. As a result Saturday morning’s practice session will be extended to make up for the lost time.
“The cancellation of a practice session due to a power shortage here at Aragon certainly doesn’t look good for a World Championship,” said Simoncelli. “They clearly need to look into it and make sure that things are repaired and that it doesn’t happen again.”
Aragon MotoGP Practice Results:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’50.281
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’50.730
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’50.806
4. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’50.893
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’51.091
6. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’51.376
7. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’51.418
8. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’51.676
9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’51.826
10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’51.859
11. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’51.911
12. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’52.016
13. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’52.224
14. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’52.580
15. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’53.158
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Marquez started his weekend on home soil with the fastest time in practice at Aragon. The Spaniard was just 0.023 seconds ahead of Pons HP 40’s Aleix Espargaro, who led during the first 10 minutes before being overtaken. Meanwhile Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone and Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding rounded out the top-four times in third and fourth, respectively, with Redding briefly holding the lead in the final minutes.
“I felt comfortable from the beginning, everything went well and I like this track,” Marquez said. “It is obvious that tomorrow everyone will improve, but it is good for us to be in front from the start. We will try to keep the same level during the weekend and tomorrow we will keep improving in some areas.”
Marc Marquez has the best lap during Moto2 practice and was just 0.023 seconds faster than Aleix Espargaro.
Aragon Moto2 Practice Results 2011:
1. Marc Marquez (Suter) 1’54.857
2. Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex) 1’54.880
3. Andrea Iannone (Suter) 1’55.160
4. Scott Redding (Suter) 1’55.173
5. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 1’55.382
6. Simone Corsi (FTR) 1’55.416
7. Antony West (MZ-RE Honda) 1’55.433
8. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 1’55.631
9. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) 1’55.656
10. Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki) 1’55.658
11. Mattia Pasini (FTR) 1’55.664
12. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki) 1’55.731
13. Pol Espargaro (FTR) 1’55.775
14. Thomas Luthi (Suter) 1’55.817
15. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1’55.877