Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lorenzo holds off the Hondas

Jorge Lorenzo FP2 Laguna Seca

Jorge Lorenzo completed day one of the Red Bull US Grand Prix on top of the field, ahead of the Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa in second and Casey Stoner in third.

Last year’s Laguna Seca race winner Jorge Lorenzo put in an remarkable run in the second free practice, leading the times with consistent laps from the early part of the session until ending on the top of the field with a time of 1'22.056, one tenth of a second quicker than the 2009 race winner Dani Pedrosa and four tenths faster than his own time set in FP1.

Third place in the combined free practice standings was Casey Stoner, who had an upset in turn 3 though saved his RC212V from a crash with his knee. After leading the first practice session, the Australian was 0.175s off the reigning World Champion’s leading time.

Andrea Dovizioso was the fourth fastest in the lineup, with a time of 1'22.537, moving him up one spot from his earlier fifth position. The first American in both sessions was Ben Spies on his Yamaha Factory machine kitted out in special anniversary livery, who improved on his time by two tenths of a second with a lap of 1'22.615 to put him in fifth place on his home turf.

Bigger time improvements were seen from position six onwards, starting with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) whose time of 1'22.803 was almost a half second improvement for the crowd favorite, and was 0.253s quicker than seventh place lap of Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who also made a half second step up from the earlier session.

Next came Randy de Puniet, whose Pramac Racing machine was the first Ducati in the field. The Frenchman jumped from 12th to eighth with a time of 1'23.135, followed by Americans Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and the fastest Factory Ducati in the pack, that of Nicky Hayden, who had both the GP11 and GP11.1 available to him and used the GP11.1 machine for the duration of the session.

Valentino Rossi, who has Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess back in the garages after a two race absence, followed his Ducati Team mate in eleventh position, ahead of Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in twelfth and MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in thirteenth, who ran off at the top of the corkscrew in both practice sessions during his first day at the California circuit, though had no series incidents.

Wildcard and MotoGP first timer Ben Bostrom riding the RC212V of the LCR Honda Team, who is doing double duty with MotoGP and AMA Superbike this weekend, knocked over a second off his times from the first session though trails 4 seconds off the leading time.

source: MotoGP Official Websitse

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