MotoGP – Friday Practice – 2011 Australian Grand Prix

October 15, 2011

125cc, Moto2, MotoGP

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MotoGP:

Day one of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix saw Casey Stoner lead both the morning and afternoon sessions to put his Repsol Honda machine three-tenths of a second clear of Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) in the combined times. Stoner’s morning time of 1’30.475 stood as fastest lap of the day as the Australian, who also had an early crash in the first session, joined the other third of the field who did not improve upon their FP1 times.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) stepped up his pace by four-hundredths to slot himself ahead of Lorenzo in the afternoon despite a repeat of his morning’s misfortune of an early crash. The Italian was followed by Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) with a time of 1’31.495, an improvement of four-tenths, though it was not enough to knock Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) out of fourth, leaving Spies to rank fifth behind his compatriot in the combined times.

Sixth for the day was Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) thanks to his time set in the morning, while team-mate Dani Pedrosa ranked seventh with a lap of 1’31.543. Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) ranked eighth for the day, with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) following the Japanese rider by 0.080s with his time set in the morning to place ninth.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) took the tenth spot ahead of Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), while Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) lingered in 13th, a second and a half behind leading man Stoner. Home rider Damien Cudlin, who is replacing an injured Héctor Barberá for the Mapfre Aspar team, paced one second behind Toni Elías on the LCR Honda in 16th.

Moto2:

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) was the fastest rider of the day in the intermediate class as his morning session time of 1’34.039 placed him just over four-tenths of a second ahead of Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) in the combined session times.

Bradl was the only rider in the top ten who did not improve his time in the afternoon session, and the German had a crash in the closing stages of the first practice. Slotting into fourth was Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing) with a time of 1’34.600, ahead of the British duo of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing).

Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing), who had ranked third in the morning practice finished the day seventh overall with his best lap of 1’34.964, with Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) following the Finn. Yuki Takahashi of the Gresini Racing team completed the top ten.

Championship leader Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol), who crashed twice in the first session with the final incident a collision with Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singha-SAG), ranked 17th overall. Wilairot was not able to participate in the afternoon session after being transferred to hospital for precautionary medical checks.

The incident was examined by Race Direction, who reprimanded Márquez for ‘riding in an irresponsible manner’ with a one-minute penalty to be added to his best lap time in tomorrow’s (Saturday) qualifying session. Márquez’s team lodged an appeal against the decision, following which FIM stewards confirmed the decision of Race Direction.

125cc:

Intact Racing Team Germany’s Sandro Cortese led the way in the afternoon 125cc practice outing with a best time of 1’38.530, three-tenths quicker than his morning time to place him at the top of the combined times for the day. Championship leader Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) was again second in the charts, following the German rider by 0.178s after an improvement of two-tenths on his morning time, while Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) stepped up to third with a lap of 1’39.104.

The wind picked up for the afternoon session which saw the lightweight bikes produce slightly lower top speeds, although about two-thirds of the field were able to improve on their lap times, with the biggest steps coming from Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) who ended the day fifth in the field, and Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) who ranked sixth fastest. Meanwhile Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) was unable to improve his pace and his morning time of 1’39.132 ranked him fourth.

Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) went wide in turn eight in the second outing, touching the grass and sliding out in a high speed tumble but was up and walking away immediately though his bike was too damaged for him to finish the session. He was seventh fastest of the day thanks to his morning lap time, with Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) eighth.

Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) was 0.239s behind the German rider while Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) recovered from his crash in FP1 to take the tenth spot just seven-thousandths of a second ahead of Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo).

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