Saturday, July 16, 2011

Simoncelli sustains lead in FP2

Following a cold and windy morning free practice that yielded 5 big crashes in the first half of the session, the MotoGP field entered the second practice on Friday on a substantially warmer track and slightly calmer winds. Simoncelli rode his San Carlo Honda Gresini bike to the top of the timings with a lap of 1’22.225, over half a second faster than his FP1 time, and 0.095s in front of defending World Champion Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) who mounted his own attempt to lead the field with fast lap of 1'22.320, an improvement of 0.726s over his FP1 time, though it was quickly outpaced by the Italian.

Dani Pedrosa demonstrated his climb back to full fitness is near completion with a third fastest time of 1'22.432, over a second faster than his time set in the morning session. The 25 year old from Sabadell was just in front of his two team mates, 0.110s ahead of Casey Stoner, and 0.222s quicker than Andrea Dovizioso.

The first Ducati Team rider of the session was Nicky Hayden, who posted a time of 1'22.882 to put him in sixth place, in front of fellow countryman Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) whose time of 1'22.894 was the last under the 1’23” mark.

Pramac Racing’s Randy de Puniet posted the eighth fastest time of the day with a 1'23.037, followed by Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) completing the top ten.

Ducati team’s Valentino Rossi entered the garages with electrical problems toward the end of the session, though the Italian was able rejoin the session to post the 12th fastest time, just behind the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 of Colin Edwards.

Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) crashed out at the end of the session but fortunately was unhurt. The 24 year old Spaniard was 13th in the session and 11th fastest for the day. He was followed by Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who suffered a crash in turn 11 but was able to reenter the track to post a time of 1'23.760.

Sylvain Guintoli stepped in for Loris Capirossi on the Pramac Racing team for the remainder of the weekend as Capirossi is still suffering from chest and shoulder pain following his crash in Assen.

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