MotoGP – Stoner Quickest Off The Mark At Valencia

November 5, 2011

125cc, Moto2, MotoGP

By MotoGP.com

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) was the fastest rider of the opening day of the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana on Friday, setting a best time of 1’45.513 in the morning practice session to lead the way.

The first practice was run on a cold and damp track following early morning rain and affected the pace of the riders, but further precipitation did hold off during FP1. It was a different story in the afternoon however as rain ensured trickier conditions, and the riders lapped around four seconds slower in FP2.

It was a Repsol Honda one-two on the timesheet as Dani Pedrosa followed his team-mate Stoner closely at just 0.223s behind, and the Ducati Team pairing of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden enjoyed a positive start to their weekends as they placed third and fourth respectively.

Running the number 58 in tribute to Marco Simoncelli, Loris Capirossi, who retires from Grand Prix racing after this weekend, was fifth fastest on his Pramac Racing Desmosedici, with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies the top placing M1 of the day. The American went on to have a crash in the afternoon which cut short his second session, as the wetter conditions caused further problems for the riders.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing), Toni Elías (LCR Honda), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completed the top ten. Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) was eleventh overall but topped the wet afternoon session, with Josh Hayes – standing in for the injured Colin Edwards at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – enjoying his MotoGP debut and lapping 15th fastest on day one.

Moto2:

It was a similar situation in Moto2 in which the riders were also forced to negotiate the track in a more cautious manner in the afternoon session, running around 10 seconds slower than they had done in the morning.

Stefan Bradl’s FP1 time of 1’41.777 placed the Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider at the top of the timesheet on Friday, as the Championship leader appears well on course to claim the title before Sunday’s race has even taken place.

His only remaining challenger for the title, Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) did not ride on Friday as he has still not recovered fully from the crash he had in Malaysia two weeks ago. There was confusion over whether the Spaniard, who sits 23 points off Bradl, would ride at all this weekend and his team have said a final decision on his participation in qualifying will be made on Saturday.

Back on track Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing) was second fastest behind Bradl at 0.329s off, with De Angelis the only other rider within a second of Bradl’s morning lap time and third.

Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), Kenny Noyes (Blusens-STX), Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP), Anthony West (MZ Racing), Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) completed the top ten.

125cc:

In the 125cc class the lap times were also predominantly faster in the morning owing to the conditions, and it was Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) who set the pace with a lap time of 1’56.928.

Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo), the only remaining title challenger to Championship leader Nico Terol – who he trails by 20 points – was second fastest at just two-thousandths of a second behind Cortese, with Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) a further four-tenths back in third.

Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo), Marcel Schrötter (Mahindra Racing), Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport), Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport), Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing), Danny Webb (Mahindra Racing) and Bankia Aspar’s Terol completed the top ten

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