JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN APR 27 – Avintia Blusens BQR FTR-Kawasaki’s Ivan Silva should frame the combined practice results from his home race in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Spaniard was one of only eight MotoGP riders to ride during the misty morning conditions at the Spanish Grand Prix and by far he was the fastest. No one could have known at the time that his lap of 1:48.674 would be the fastest of the day by more than two seconds.
Friday afternoon’s session was mostly wet, though the rain let up and there were a few dry patches before the rain resumed later in the session. Everyone was out in the afternoon and at their best, and the best of all was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
Pedrosa was fastest early in the session before being taken down by Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi, who had his most encouraging day of the year. More on that later. With 10:14 minutes to go in the 45-minute session, Pedrosa grabbed the top spot by a comfortable margin. There wasn’t a serious threat over the final 10 minutes and his time of 1:50.780 would be the fastest of the session.
“It has been a strange day due to the weather conditions,” Pedrosa said. “In the morning we decided to not go out because the track was not wet enough, then we had more or less the same conditions in the afternoon, but it was necessary to do some laps and get some rhythm. The first feeling on the bike was good for me-the bike felt good and I’m riding well-but I hope we have better weather tomorrow, full dry or full wet. Anyway, it is important for us to do a good qualifying practice tomorrow and we will need to be clever and quick because the conditions can easily change and in one minute can be the option to make the lap time for the pole and one minute later can be a disaster. So let’s keep focused and try to do a good job.”
Rossi spent more time at the top than anyone else. He went there early and again later and finished second at a gap of .660 of a second to Pedrosa. With the forecast calling for rain most of the weekend, this may be Rossi’s best chance for a podium all season. Teammate Nicky Hayden also had a good session, finishing with the fifth fastest time.
Lorenzo ended up .433 of a second behind Rossi and the fastest of the Yamahas. Teammate Ben Spies was ninth fastest and more than 2.6 seconds a lap down on Pedrosa.
Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner was fourth, 1.3 seconds behind his Repsol Honda teammate and a little over a tenth better than Hayden.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso was sixth with a time not much faster than San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, the seventh fastest rider. Dovi’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow.
Following Spies in ninth came Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards was the fastest CRT rider in the season-opening Qatar GP. Today he was 15th fastest and the third CRT machine behind Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar ART-Aprilia) and Mattia Pasini (Speed Master ART-Aprilia) – the only rider to crash in the wet.
De Puniet and Pasini were both faster than the prototypes of Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera, the Pramac Racing Ducati rider who was 14th. Then came Edwards and Ivan Silva, showing more typical form against the full field.
MotoGP Friday Practice Times:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:50.780
2. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:51.440
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:51.873
4. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:52.106
5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:52.254
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1:53.070
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:1:53.166
8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:53.352
9. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:53.409
10. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:53.409
15. Colin Edwards (BMW-Suter) 1:54.707