It’s official, its back! This evening’s MotoGP first free practice session marked the opening of the 2013
MotoGP season, and it didn’t disappoint.
|Lorenzo stole the first session from Crutchlow and Rossi
Photo: Yamaha Racing
The track was dusty and grip needs to be improved so the riders didn’t waste anytime and all 24 of them took to the Losail International Circuit as soon as pit lane opened. Valentino Rossi impressed on his return to the Yamaha Factory team, setting the first sub 2.00 time of the session, and continued to lead the way for the majority of the 45 minute practice. Every time teammate and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo went faster, Rossi matched it.
Paul Bird Motorsport rider Yonny Hernandez was the only man to crash, sliding off at turn 12 early on in the session and walked away unhurt.
Repsol Honda had a calmer session; Marquez finished in fourth and Dani Pedrosa , finishing just ahead of top CRT Espargaro in 8th.
Things began to heat up after Andrea Dovizioso shot up into third position with seven minutes to go in his first free practice session aboard a factory Ducati, which was shortly followed by Yamaha Tech3 rider Cal Crutchlow setting the fastest time of the session, putting himself 0.08 seconds clear of Rossi with a 1.56.743. Not one to be left behind, Jorge Lorenzo pipped his fellow Yamaha riders to the post by setting the fastest time of the session with 1.10 to go, resulting in a Yamaha 1-2-3. Britain’s Bradley Smith put his Tech 3 Yamaha in 11th.
CRT times were looking competitive; top CRT rider was Aleix Espargaro in ninth and was only 1.158 off Lorenzo’s time. British CRT rookie PBM rider Michael Laverty finished 24th and five seconds off the fastest time in his first ever MotoGP session under floodlights.
Although, lets not forget these times are still 1.5 seconds off the lap record and 3 seconds off the pole position lap record. Free practice resumes tomorrow evening, with times set to drop and tensions to rise.
|1||Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’56.685|
|2||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’56.743|
|3||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’56.756|
|4||Marc MARQUEZ||Repsol Honda Team||1’57.276|
|5||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati Team||1’57.538|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||1’57.601|
|7||Stefan BRADL||LCR Honda MotoGP||1’57.670|
|8||Dani PEDROSA||Repsol Honda Team||1’57.749|
|9||Aleix ESPARGARO||Power Electronics Aspar||1’57.843|
|10||Nicky HAYDEN||Ducati Team||1’57.926|
|11||Bradley SMITH||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’58.369|
|12||Andrea IANNONE||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||1’58.559|
|13||Ben SPIES||Ignite Pramac Racing||1’58.575|
|14||Hector BARBERA||Avintia Blusens||1’59.608|
|15||Randy DE PUNIET||Power Electronics Aspar||1’59.633|
|16||Karel ABRAHAM||Cardion AB Motoracing||1’59.758|
|17||Colin EDWARDS||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2’00.341|
|18||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Paul Bird Motorsport||2’00.426|
|19||Hiroshi AOYAMA||Avintia Blusens||2’00.563|
|20||Claudio CORTI||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2’01.227|
|21||Danilo PETRUCCI||Came IodaRacing Project||2’01.438|
|22||Bryan STARING||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||2’01.942|
|23||Lukas PESEK||Came IodaRacing Project||2’02.079|
|24||Michael LAVERTY||Paul Bird Motorsport||2’02.135|