Sunday, July 31, 2011
Following a cold and windy morning free practice that yielded five big crashes in the first half of the session, the MotoGP field entered the second practice on Friday on a substantially warmer track and slightly calmer winds.
Marco Simoncelli rode his San Carlo Honda Gresini bike to the top of the timings with a lap of 1:22.225, over half a second faster than his FP1 time, and 0.095s in front of defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), who mounted his own attempt to lead the field with fast lap of 1:22.320, an improvement of 0.726s over his FP1 time, though it was quickly outpaced by the Italian.
"Everything is going well, although I am not totally happy because we have some rear traction problems on the left side that we are struggling to resolve," Simoncelli said. "It seems everybody is in the same boat, but we will be working mainly on this area tomorrow to try and improve the situation. Our other main goal is to get a clear idea about tire choice for Sunday's race. Thirty laps is a lot here, especially because there is barely a single straight for you to relax on."
"I am pretty satisfied because I have improved my lap times today," Lorenzo said. "I am almost faster than last year and I look forward to making another step tomorrow. We have made some changes and I feel much better on my M1; faster and more competitive. The slow corners are tough, but in the faster ones I take some tenths, especially T3 and T4. I hope tomorrow the temperature can be even hotter and we can fight for the first row."
Dani Pedrosa demonstrated his climb back to full fitness is near completion with a third fastest time of 1:22.432, over a second faster than his time set in the morning session. The 25-year-old was just in front of his two teammates, 0.110s ahead of Casey Stoner, and 0.222s quicker than Andrea Dovizioso.
"We had a quite positive start despite the accident I had in the morning practice session," Pedrosa said. "I crashed in the fast downhill right hand corner, like everyone else because the tire was very cold and I had no warning. Fortunately I didn't hurt myself, which is good, and in the afternoon I was able to improve my lap times because in the morning, after the crash, we didn't have much time on track.
"In the second practice, with sunshine and a little more temperature on the track, we had better grip especially in these critical turns on the right, although the track conditions still are not great. Anyway, times are pretty good compared to last year, though the track conditions are worse. We'll keep working on the bike tomorrow and I'll probably try the new swing arm I tested in Mugello on Monday."
The first Ducati Team rider of the session was Nicky Hayden, who posted a time of 1:22.882 to put him in sixth place, in front of fellow countryman Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), whose time of 1:22.894 was the last under the 1:23 mark.
Pramac Racing's Randy de Puniet posted the eighth fastest time of the day with a 1:23.037, followed by �lvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) completing the top 10.
Ducati team's Valentino Rossi entered the garages with electrical problems toward the end of the session, though the Italian was able rejoin the session to post the 12th fastest time, just behind the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 of Colin Edwards.
H�ctor Barber� (Mapfre Aspar) crashed out at the end of the session but fortunately was unhurt. The 24-year-old Spaniard was 13th in the session and 11th fastest for the day. He was followed by Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who suffered a crash in turn 11 but was able to reenter the track to post a time of 1:23.760.
Sylvain Guintoli stepped in for Loris Capirossi on the Pramac Racing team for the remainder of the weekend as Capirossi is still suffering from chest and shoulder pain following his crash in Assen.
The first day of the Sachsenring weekend saw Interwetten Paddock Moto2 rider Thomas L�thi posting the fastest Moto2 time of the day, a 1:25.458, nearly a second quicker than his FP1 time. He was pursued by Aleix Espargar� (Pons HP 40), a frontrunner for much of the second practice session who clocked a fast lap of 1:25.460, an improvement of 0.811s over his earlier time. Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) made the top three of the day with a lap of 1:25.468, which was 0.651s faster than he went earlier in the day.
Fourth fastest was Englishman Scott Redding of the Marc VDS Racing team, setting a time of 1:25.529, followed by current Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), who set a lap of 1:25.577 to rank fifth fastest of the day on his home turf.
The second practice session for the single cylinder class was held under sunny skies and warmer temperatures than the day's earlier session, with a breeze of 22km/h blowing steadily across the track. Nico Terol set a time of 1:28.483, 0.375s faster than his earlier time, to jump ahead of his team mate H�ctor Faubel by seven thousandths of a second. Faubel, who had dominated the timings for most of the 40-minute practice, posted a time of 1:28.490, which was 0.635s quicker than his FP1 fastest lap.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Press release previews ahead of this weekend's World Superbike round at Silverstone:
John Hopkins has demonstrated his competitiveness by topping the timesheets in the first session of free practice for the World Superbike class at Silverstone. The Samsung Crescent rider has been given a wildcard for the British round of World Superbikes, and was fast throughout FP1. Hopkins is not the only surprise at the top of the timesheets, with Aprilia's Leon Camier taking the 2nd spot and BMW Italia's James Toseland - still recovering from major wrist surgery - taking 4th, with only Czech rider Jakub Smrz spoiling the British party in 3rd on the Effenbert Liberty Ducati.
Championship leader Carlos Checa was 5th fastest on the Althea Ducati, while the factory BMWs of Troy Corser and Leon Haslam got off to a strong start in 6th and 7th. Checa's championship challengers did not do so well, however: Yamaha's Marco Melandri was just 14th fastest, a second off Hopkins and two-thirds of a second behind Checa, while Aprilia's Max Biaggi was way down in 16th, nearly a second slower than Checa, and over a second behind his teammate Leon Camier.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
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With nine races left this season, the 24-year-old Spaniard trails Australian Casey Stoner by 15 points in the overall standings and would dearly love to trim that deficit further with another triumphant display on Sunday.
Lorenzo made up some ground on Stoner when he snatched second place for Yamaha at last week?s German Grand Prix, one place better than the Australian.
?We are very strong at the moment and we will try to continue to reduce our gap behind Casey,? Lorenzo said on Friday.
?I have had great moments at Laguna Seca, above all last year when I won but also in 2009 when I got pole position even with a big crash and at the end got a podium.?
Two years ago, Lorenzo took pole position despite crashing and partially dislocating his collar bone in qualifying. He finished the race third behind winner Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi after a gutsy performance.
Twelve months ago, the Spaniard again started on pole but this time he benefited from a spectacular crash by compatriot Pedrosa on lap 12 before powering across the finish line 3.517 seconds ahead of Ducati?s Stoner.
?That win was very special,? Lorenzo said of his 11th MotoGP triumph. ?Winning at Laguna Seca was something I?d always dreamed of.?
Lorenzo is certain, though, to face heated competition on Sunday from 2007 US Grand Prix champion Stoner and Pedrosa.
?It?s a circuit I?ve always enjoyed quite good results at and we?ve always been naturally quite fast on it,? said Stoner, who has finished on the podium in his last seven races. ?We?ll be looking to improve our results from the past three weekends. Podiums are great but I?m here to win races.?
Pedrosa, who sealed his return from injury by winning the German Grand Prix on Sunday, is another long-time fan of Laguna Seca, which is scenically laid out in rolling hills overlooking the Monterey Peninsula.
?The atmosphere there is special and I?d like to close the first part of the season with a good feeling,? the 25-year-old said.
Minichamps: FIGURINE V. ROSSI RIDING 2007 MOTOGP, "LAP OF HONOUR "GP JEREZ 1:12 Scale Detail
Figurine of V. Rossi for 1:12 scale bikes
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Casey Stoner has topped the final session of free practice at Laguna Seca, but he has Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and factory Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo hot on his heels. Less than five hundredths of a second separate Stoner from 3rd place man Lorenzo, with Pedrosa 0.017 behind the Australian. Stoner's lap was set early in the session, but Lorenzo's pace was most impressive of all, the Spaniard posting 10 laps in the 1'21s, more than either Stoner or Pedrosa could manage.
But Lorenzo's outstanding performance was marred by a huge crash at the end of the session: the reigning World Champion had come into the pits and then gone out with 1 minute left to go. He then stopped to do a practice start after the session was over, and as he tipped it in to the following corner and gassed it up, the bike spat him off in a big highside, Lorenzo landing heavily, then being hit by the bike as it rolled through the gravel. The Spaniard was transported to the medical center, where he checked out OK and was passed fit to ride, his main injury a nasty knock to his hip from being struck by his M1.