Pedrosa on scorching form on first day at Indianapolis

2012-08-17 19:00
On the first day of free practice for the MotoGP™ grid at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who was on scorching form in the premier-class as he topped the timesheets in the afternoon session ahead of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa’s superb time in the high 1.37s, breaking the previous track record, was sufficient to oust Yamaha Factory Racing’s charging Spies into second, who looked back to his old self as he lapped his home circuit. His teammate Lorenzo took third spot, yet aborted his final hot lap in the second session on the final turn, denying a true indication of his outright pace. He did however state that he is seeking improved front-end feel in corner entry. Fourth place went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who was only marginally behind Lorenzo on board his satellite machine. Casey Stoner’s best lap saw him finish the day in fifth, although the Repsol Honda rider had electronics and rear suspension issues during the session, meaning he spent the final five minutes on his number two bike.

British rider Cal Crutchlow took sixth spot on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, doing well to recover from a crash early on in the morning session.

In seventh, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista was over 1.2 seconds off the top time set by the factory Honda of Pedrosa, and will be looking for significant improvements tomorrow. Eighth place went to fellow Honda satellite rider Stefan Bradl, who is taking to the Indianapolis track for the first time on his LCR Honda MotoGP bike. Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi completed the top ten, after a disappointing session for the Italian outfit.

Top CRT spot went to Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, while the grid also welcomed GPTech wildcard Aaron Yates and Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp. Rapp was however garage bound for the afternoon session as his team struggled with bike issues. Both US wildcards finished at the bottom of the timesheets, yet showed promising improvement in their stints out on track. The majority of riders started the session on the softer option rear tyre, yet switched to the harder option as the track temperature increased. Pedrosa’s hot lap was set on the harder option rear during a seven-lap stint at the end. Much of the talk after the session was about how dirty the mostly unused track surface was, and that most expect lap times to drop the more rubber is laid down over the weekend.

Pramac Racing Team fielded Toni Elías for the afternoon session after Héctor Barberá had a big highside in the morning run out. Barberá, who crashed heavily in the final turn suffered fractures in his dorsal vertebrae 5, 6 and 8, rendering him unfit for this weekend. He is currently at Indianapolis Methodist Hospital, where his is undergoing further checks to vertebrae 5, which was previously damaged in a serious crash in Japan 2008. The Spaniard will be kept there overnight.


Moto2

Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró was on tremendous form on the first day of Moto2™ practice at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix as he set the fastest lap of the day in front of Marc Márquez and Claudio Corti in the afternoon session.

Espargaró made his intentions for the weekend clear with a record Moto2™ lap of 1.43’575 that was over half a second clear of Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Márquez, who went through some big set-up changes on his bike half way through the later session. Italtrans Racing Team’s Claudio Corti will undoubtedly be pleased with his showing in the afternoon, after the Italian posted the third fastest time of the day.

Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding looked to have found some pace as the Brit put his bike fourth, in front of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol, who looks reinvigorated after the long summer break. Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter cemented his good form of the day by finishing sixth in both outings, narrowly ahead of Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who improved significantly later in the day after a subdued morning session.

Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi steered his FTR machine to eighth in the combined timesheets, ahead of Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat, who suffered a crash in the afternoon’s session. Speed Mater’s Andrea Iannone, who finished third in the morning session, was unable to repeat that feat in the afternoon, and will be looking for a market improvement tomorrow.

As well as Rabat, Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi and S/Master Speed Up’s Alessandro Andreozzi also suffered crashes, though none were seriously hurt.


Moto3

On the first day of Moto3™ free practice at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who set the fastest time of the day in the afternoon session ahead of teammate Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira.

A time of 1.49’307 saw the German championship leader take top spot with the fastest lap ahead of Kent, who left it until the last few seconds to post his hot lap. Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira put in a terrific performance to finish third, just under three tenths off the top.

Blusens Avintia’s championship favourite Maverick Viñales had looked like he would take top spot yet was unable to improve his time significantly in the final few minutes as the top three bettered theirs. He however sits over a tenth ahead of RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom, who had a much-improved afternoon session to finish fifth. Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins also improved his positing from the first session by taking sixth spot, ahead of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 duo of Jonas Folger and Héctor Faubel. Folger will no doubt be pleased with his switch to the team, as he is once again showing the potential he had shown last year.

In ninth position, Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi endured a difficult day, as he not only had trouble starting his bike in the afternoon, but also crashed in both the morning and afternoon. JHK Laglisse’s Adrian Martín completed the top ten. Apart from Rossi’s crashes, Cresto Guide MZ Racing’s Toni Finsterbusch also slid off track, while TT Motion Events Racing’s Niklas Ajo and San Carlo Gresini Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli suffered the same fate late on in day. Fortunately none of the riders were hurt in the incidents.

Source: MotoGP

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