MotoGP Round 6 kicked-off at Silverstone on Friday in the cold and wet conditions that have proven favorable to Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. The Doctor topped the timesheet in Free Practice 1 just 0.077 ahead of teammate Nicky Hayden. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso held to third fastest and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner took fourth. Current points leader Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing posted the eighth-fastest time, over three seconds off Rossi’s 2:19.328.
Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, already wracked by ill fortune this season, went down late into FP1 and was taken to the medical center to check on his wrist. Spies suffered a similar fate in the GP at Silverstone last year. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista followed Spies’ lead soon after, going down on the same right-hand turn. Both riders were well enough to walk away from the incidents and both were able to return to post times in FP2.
Conditions improved enormously as the day wore on and the track was declared dry for FP2. Stoner led the way with the fastest lap of the day, shaving nearly 16 seconds off his time to take provisional pole position. Spies was able to return after his earlier crash and post the second-fastest time, just 0.034 off Stoner. Bautista also came to FP2 unfazed by his previous misfortune and logged the third-fastest time. Ducati’s Nicky Hayden heads up the the provisional second row, coming in fourth place though teammate Rossi didn’t fare as well, falling to 11th even though he was able to cut over 12 seconds off his FP1 lap-time.
Casey Stoner took provisional pole position late in Friday’s second free practice session after track conditions improved.
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl also made the provisional second-row in fifth followed by Doviziozo in sixth. Lorenzo and Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow took seventh and eighth respectively. Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa grabbed ninth and Pramac Racing’s Hector Barbera rounds out the top 10. The top eight riders were all within one second of Stoner’s lead time in FP2, a drastic change from FP1 where there was almost four seconds difference between the lead and eighth place.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy De Puniet led the CRT field in 12th followed by Michele Pirro of San Carlo Honda Gresini in 13th and Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini in 14th. American rider Colin Edwards of NGM Mobile Forward Racing was just one position short of last place, coming in 19th overall. Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham will not race Silverstone due to injuries he sustained during the Aragon test after last round at Catalunya.
2012 MotoGP Silverstone Combined Free Practice Times:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 2’04.791
2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 2’04.825
3. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 2’04.995
4. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2’05.353
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2’05.391
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 2’05.448
7. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’05.488
8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 2’05.574
9. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2’05.886
10. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 2’06.084
11. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 2’07.125
12. Randy De Puniet (ART) 2’07.893
13. Michele Pirro (FTR) 2’08.535
14. Mattia Pasini (ART) 2’08.975
15. Yonny Hernandez (BQR) 2’09.078
16. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 2’09.379
17. James Ellison (ART) 2’09.944
18. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda) 2’11.325
19. Colin Edwards (Suter) 2’11.600
20. Ivan Silva (BQR) 2’12.737