News 5 Nov 2011

Stoner fastest during Friday MotoGP practice at Valencia finale

Australia's world champ leads 2011 season into the final round.

Australia's Casey Stoner was quickest on Friday at Valencia.

Australia's Casey Stoner was quickest on Friday at Valencia.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) was the fastest rider of the opening day of the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana on Friday, setting a best time of 1’45.513 in the morning practice session to lead the way.

The first practice was run on a cold and damp track following early morning rain and affected the pace of the riders, but further precipitation did hold off during FP1. It was a different story in the afternoon however as rain ensured trickier conditions, and the riders lapped around four seconds slower in FP2.

It was a Repsol Honda one-two on the timesheet as Dani Pedrosa followed his teammate Stoner closely at just 0.223s behind, and the Ducati Team pairing of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden enjoyed a positive start to their weekends as they placed third and fourth respectively.

Running the number 58 in tribute to Marco Simoncelli, Loris Capirossi, who retires from Grand Prix racing after this weekend, was fifth fastest on his Pramac Racing Desmosedici, with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies the top placing M1 of the day.

The American went on to have a crash in the afternoon which cut short his second session, as the wetter conditions caused further problems for the riders.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing), Toni Elías (LCR Honda), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completed the top 10.

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) was eleventh overall but topped the wet afternoon session, with Josh Hayes – standing in for the injured Colin Edwards at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – enjoying his MotoGP debut and lapping 15th fastest on day one.

Click here for detailed results