146 13050 +Motogp Catalunya Friday Practice Report+1
Rossi was the man of the day Friday at Catalunya, topping the FP2 practice sheets for the first time this season.
Jorge Lorenzo was second quickest on Friday at Catalunya, just 0.049 seconds behind teammate Rossi.
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was third quickest on Friday at Catalunya.
Valentino Rossi put his Yamaha Factory Racing M1 on top of the MotoGP practice sheets for the first time this season on Friday afternoon at Catalunya, slicing ahead with three minutes to go in the FP2 session and weathering assaults from numerous riders. Rossi cautioned—as did his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, just 0.049 seconds behind—that his time was done on a fresh soft compound tire, which masks the tire grip issues that everyone was experiencing once the tire began to wear in the hot conditions. Lorenzo did his time on the hard option rear, as did many riders who wanted to make sure they got enough time testing the harder compound in anticipation of hot weather for the race.
There were several crashes on Friday, with GO&FUN; Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith all going down. Bautista’s and Bradl’s crashes were somewhat harmless lowside falls, in contrast to Smith’s high-speed crash in the sweeping Turn 3 that forced him out for the rest of the session.
Despite knowing his time probably won’t hold up tomorrow, Rossi was all smiles after the FP2 practice session. “I love this track, is one of the best,” said the Italian. “The M1 is always great here in Catalunya. But you know, it is just Friday but I am very happy to be in front, but we have a lot of work to do. We have to decide which tire to use and we have in some corners and sections where we have to improve for tomorrow. Anyway, it is great to be back on top. But tomorrow to stay in front we will have to go faster.”
Lorenzo wasn’t concerned with the times set in practice because of the advantage a fresh tire offers. “It doesn’t have so much importance on the classification or the fast lap by the riders because some riders are using the same tires for all the practice while others are changing in the middle or the end,” said Lorenzo. “A new tire can give you half a second (to) one second faster. We have to trust the pace and at this point of the weekend, we are not very satisfied with the pace. But I think all the riders are suffering the same problems; when the rear tire (grip) starts to drop, it’s very hard to keep the pace from the beginning.
"We started very well but we tried two settings that didn’t work so well. We stayed with the same tires for the whole practice to understand why they are dropping in this weather so we could solve this problem that I think all the riders are having. We have to try and improve the bike in order to let me have more confidence, then I can stay in the middle of the 42 second mark which is my target."
“Today was very important for testing tires because it was sunny and warm,” said third-quickest Dani Pedrosa. “We were able to ride some laps with the soft tires and also the hards, in order to see which are best suited to the track. Getting the choice right is very important at this circuit, because it is always hot in the race and it is usually a key to managing this. The tires suffer a little when we lean the bike over, but we are working on this issue. We still haven't decided which compounds we will use, so we will see what tomorrow brings and then go from there"
MotoGP Catalunya Friday practice results:
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:42.297
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:42.346
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:42.445
4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:42.492
5. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:42.752
6. Marc Marquez (SPA) Hond 1:42.857
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:42.890
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati 1:42.988
9. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:43.005
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 1:43.204
11. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:43.272
12. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:43.644
13. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 1:43.648
14. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:44.247
15. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:44.461
16. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:44.586
17. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 1:44.599
18. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:44.609
19. Michael Laverty (GBR) ART/Aprilia 1:45.337
20. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:45.513
21. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 1:45.824
22. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 1:45.834
23. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 1:46.577
24. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 1:47.239