MotoGP – Pedrosa Fastest On Day 1 At Motegi

October 1, 2011

125cc, Moto2, MotoGP


Dani Pedrosa led a Repsol Honda top three on day one of the Grand Prix of Japan, with Casey Stoner second and Andrea Dovizioso following in third on the timesheet.

The MotoGP class headed out for the second free practice session on Friday afternoon under cloudier skies than the morning run, and all but one of the riders in the field improved upon their earlier times with the top four spots of the day going to Honda machines.

Pedrosa took over the top spot with 21 minutes to go and set a new fast lap of 1’46.790 ahead of team-mate Stoner by a margin of 0.054s. Dovizioso followed with a 1’46.952, an improvement of eight-tenths over his FP1 time, with San Carlo Honda Gresini Team’s Marco Simoncelli occupying the fourth spot after leading in the early part of the session.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) was fifth in the combined times, posting a lap of 1’47.310, six-tenths better than his earlier time, while Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), who had been third in FP1, bettered his earlier time by four-tenths to end the day in sixth.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) stepped up his pace by a full second, putting the Japanese rider seventh with a time of 1’47.785, two-tenths ahead of Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi in eighth. Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) ended the day ninth just 0.02s ahead of Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in tenth.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies was the sole rider who did not improve in the outing. The American ended the session early having completed just five laps after exhaustion got the better of him – he had been taken ill on the flight to Japan. Spies visited the medical center and will try to rest enough to participate in tomorrow’s sessions.


Interwetten Paddock Moto2 rider Thomas Lüthi put in a strong performance on Friday posting the fastest time of the day with a 1’53.002 in the afternoon outing. Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) stepped into second in the combined times with a 1’53.182, and Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) laid down a flyer in the last seconds to land him third.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), who celebrates his 21st birthday today, topped the session at the 15-minute mark and held the lead spot with consistent fast laps until getting bumped down the line and ending up one-tenth of a second behind the Japanese rider to end the day in fourth.

Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) picked up his pace by a second from the morning to take fifth in the combined times, 0.057s ahead of the morning’s fastest rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing). Seventh went to Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), whose time of 1’53.583 was five-hundredths quicker than Championship contender Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol), followed by Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) in ninth and Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) in tenth.

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) was unable to improve on his FP1 effort, lapping a tenth slower to land him 11th for the day, followed by Xavier Simeon (Tech 3 B) and Takaaki Nakagami, who replaces Claudio Corti on the Italtrans Racing team for this round.


Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) streaked to the top of the 125cc afternoon session, only the remarkable rookie’s second session around the Japanese track. The 16 year-old posted the best lap of the day with a 1’59.273, which placed him 0.163s faster than Championship leader Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar).

Terol, whose best effort of the day came in the morning session, was 0.083s quicker than Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) who was third in the combined times having posted the second-best lap in the afternoon.

Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) was fourth quickest overall, posting a time of 1’59.850, with Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Banca Civica) trailing by four-tenths behind the German to end the day in fifth.

A tightly bunched Spanish group followed with Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) just 0.027s ahead of team-mate Héctor Faubel, with Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) trailing just seven-thousandths of a second behind Faubel.

Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) was ninth in the combined times with a 2’00.506 with Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) ending up tenth for the day after crashing early in the afternoon session and being taken to the medical centre for a check up.

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