Stoner sets the pace on first day at Silverstone

2012-06-15 23:26
On a day that saw all three MotoGP™ classes having to cope with some very mixed weather conditions, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who set the fastest time of the day in the premier-class of the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of Ben Spies and Álvaro Bautista.

Set in dry conditions towards the end of the afternoon session, a lap in the high 2.04’s was enough to oust Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies into second place, who recovered well from a crash in the wet during the first practice. Another victim of the bad weather this morning was San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who put in a much improved showing this afternoon to finish third on his satellite Honda.

Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden finished fourth fastest, having seemingly recovered from his hand problem last time out in Spain, while fifth place was occupied by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who left it late to put in his impressive lap, finishing just sixth tenths down on Stoner. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso ended the day in sixth, yet will be looking for more pace if he is to replicate his podium from Catalunya.

Seventh spot went to Spies’ championship-leading teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who had a somewhat subdued afternoon session, ahead of Tech 3’s British home favourite Cal Crutchlow in eighth. Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá complete the top ten. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, who was fastest in the wet this morning, had a disappointing session finishing as last prototype in 11th, sighting set-up issues as the main problem.

Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet finished as the top CRT rider in 12th, just ahead of Bautista’s teammate Michele Pirro. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham was declared unfit to race this weekend due to a fracture of the 5th and 3rd metacarpal of the left hand, sustained in a crash in testing in Aragón on Wednesday last week.


Moto2™

It was Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró who topped the Moto2™ combined timesheets of the first day at the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of local riders Scott Redding and Bradley Smith.

The rain stayed away and the track was dry for the afternoon session in the intermediate class, during which all riders set their most competitive times. And it was towards the end of the day that a lap of 2.08’826 was enough for Espargaró to displace Marc VDS Racing Team’s Redding into second place. Completing the top three was Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith, who looked in good form in front of his home crowd, and will no doubt look to repeat his podium at the track from last year.

In fourth, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez was unable to break into the top three, yet was only marginally off Smith. Fifth place went to JiR Moto2’s Frenchman Johann Zarco, who is now becoming somewhat of a regular in the top ten. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis, who was just under a second off the pace, ousted Mapfre Aspar Team’s Toni Elías into seventh.

Italtrans Racing Team’s Claudio Corti set the eighth quickest time, and was followed by Speed Master’s compatriot and last race winner Andrea Iannone. Competing the top ten was Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi, the sole FTR rider in the top ten.

The only crasher in the afternoon session was Interwetten-Paddock’s championship leader Tom Lüthi, who fortunately walked away from the crash unscathed. In the morning however it was a different story, as track conditions were still very wet when practice began. Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Angel Rodriguez was caught out early on with a crash, followed shortly by GP Team Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher. JiR Moto2’s debutant, 16-year-old Brazilian Eric Granado, also crashed out on his maiden run towards the end of the session, followed by Espargaró’s teammate Axel Pons.


Moto3™

In the Moto3™ class at the Hertz British Grand Prix in Silverstone it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who set the quickest time of the opening day ahead of Efrén Vázquez and Romano Fenati.

The Moto3 grid was greeted by sunshine for their afternoon practice session, where championship leader Cortese, fully recovered from his hand injury from Catalunya, set the quickest time of 2.19’063, over three tenths faster than JHK T-Shirt Laglisse’s Vázquez. Third placed Fenati, on board his Team Italia FMI machine, was back on the pace once more, finishing under a tenth down on the Spaniard.

Fourth spot was occupied by Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins in front of Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, who will be looking to claw back some points on Cortese this weekend. Cortese’s teammate Danny Kent, who was quickest in the wet in the morning practice, set the sixth fastest time.

Seventh place went to Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi, while eighth was occupied by RW Racing GP’s Luis Salóm. Completing the top ten were Bankia Aspar Team’s Alberto Moncayo and Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou. The whole top-ten were separated by less than 1.5s, promising a close race should conditions stay dry.

Wild card entrant John McPhee of the Racing Steps Foundation KRP was an early crasher in the afternoon, while Ivan Moreno on board his Andalucia JHK Laglisse bike also crashed out. Mahindra Racing’s Marcel Schrotter suffered an oil leak early on in the session, which the team was unable to fix in time to set a competitive lap. In the wet morning session, Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou, Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb, Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati, AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin and San Carlo Gresini Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli all came off their bikes, yet no one was injured in the crashes.

Source: MotoGP

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