Dorna press release:
GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE ESPAÑA
MotoGP Free Practice Nr. 1 Classification
Pos. Rider Nation Team Lap time
1 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 1’39.647
2 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 0.364
3 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team + 0.621
4 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 0.794
5 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team + 0.954
6 C. EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1.056
7 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 1.219
8 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1.416
9 M. MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team + 1.535
10 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 1.561
11 J. TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1.814
12 S. GIBERNAU SPA Grupo Francisco Hernando + 1.884
13 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 1.910
14 M. KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing + 1.937
15 T. ELIAS SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini + 2.089
16 Y. TAKAHASHI JPN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 2.251
17 N. HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team + 2.269
18 N. CANEPA ITA Pramac Racing + 2.416
The action at the Gran Premio bwin.com de España got underway on Friday afternoon at the Circuito de Jerez, with Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi setting the pace in Spain and sending a May Day warning to those looking to beat him this weekend.
Happily for the riders the session took place in fine conditions, under brilliant blue Andalusia skies and on a dry surface, with similar conditions forecast for the rest of the weekend -after two rain-affected GPs so far this year in Qatar and Japan.
Rossi started the Spanish visit with a best effort of 1’39.647 on the 16th of the 21 laps squeezed into the 45-minute first free practice session, continuing the good pace he demonstrated in the Official MotoGP Test at the same track in March.
Three other riders who also performed well in the final preseason test at Jerez, namely Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi (1’40.011), Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner (1’40.268) and Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo (1’40.441) lapped second to fourth quickest, respectively, whilst Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was around a second adrift of Rossi’s pace to complete a top five which featured four different manufacturers.
The likes of Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki), Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) all registered top ten times, Pedrosa lapping a second and a half off the quickest pace.
Losing out on being the fastest rider of the recent Jerez test in a faux qualifying clash with Marco Simoncelli, Mapfre Aspar’s title hopeful Álvaro Bautista got things underway in style in the 250cc outing.
The popular Spaniard registered a best time of 1’43.429 and was half a second faster than any of his rivals until the final few seconds, when in-form Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Team) closed the gap to just over 0.1s to finish second quickest.
Whilst Metis Gilera’s World Champion Simoncelli was down in eighth position, approximately a second off Bautista’s pace, the likes of Thomas Luthi (Emmi – Caffe Latte), Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia) and Gabor Talmacsi (Balatonring Team) were all in the top five.
Karel Abraham (Carbion AB Motoracing) and Mike di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar Team) were marginally quicker than Simoncelli, with Spaniards Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team Aprilia) and Álex Debón (Aeroport Castello-Blusens) rounding off a top ten comprising eight Aprilias.
Bancaja Aspar’s Bradley Smith was the quickest rider in the first 125cc free practice, with his late 1’47.385 surge putting him at the head of the timesheets, three tenths of a second ahead of his Spanish team-mate Julián Simón.
Third fastest participant Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A) suffered a crash in the last sector of the track as the practice concluded, though fortunately he walked away from the incident. Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten) and Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar) were also in the top five.
Esteve Rabat (Blusens Aprilia), Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia), Joan Olivé (Derbi Racing) and Stefan Bradl (Viessman Kiefer Racing) were also at the business end of the timesheet, whilst Danny Webb (Degraaf Grand Prix) made sure there were three English names in the top ten, behind aforementioned compatriots Smith and Redding.