Satellite Honda rider finds best pace on first day of practice ahead of factory rivals
Stefan Bradl jumped into the top spot of free practice on day one in preparation for the bwin Grand Prix České republiky with the LCR Honda rider stealing top spot from Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who led for most of the morning and afternoon sessions at Brno with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa a close third on the RC213V.
I think we have more potential than this.
The sixth fastest man today was Cal Crutchlow who registered a 1m 56.800s lap for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team and his teammate Bradley Smith was close behind with the rookie setting a best lap of 1m 57.351s. Alvaro Bautista finished in 8th place today with a 1m 57.401s lap on the Go&Fun Honda Gresini machine while rounding out the top ten were the two Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso (1m 57.754s) and icky Hayden (1m 57.896s). Andrea Iannone sits in 11th for the Energy TI Pramac Racing Team with a best time of 1m 58.039s and in 12th the best CRT rider of the day, Aleix Espargaro on a 1m 58.217s lap.
Michele Pirro who is substituting for Ben Spies on the Ignite Pramac Racing team set a best time of 1m 58.958s and that was good enough to stay ahead of Hector Barbera on the Avintia Blusens machine with on a best time of 1m 59.235s while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti sits in 15th after setting a lap time of 1m 59.288s to finish ahead of his teammate Colin Edwards (1m 59.390s). Yonny Hernandez (Paul Bird Motorsport) finished with a best time of 1m 59.539s to that of Hiroshi Aoyama and the Avintia Blusens machine who set a best time of 1m 59.613s.
Bradl was very happy with his first day but remains focused on improving to adapt his RC213V to the Brno circuit. He said, “We can be happy with this first place but I want to keep my feet on the ground. It looks good on the paper but I am still not 100% happy with the bike setting and this is the reason why we have struggled in the first free session this morning. We need to work on the front part of the bike as we do not absorb the bumps as good as I want. I think we have more potential than this but we need to be more consistent tomorrow because the other guys will push to qualify in the front.”
Pedrosa is still feeling some pain from his healing shoulder and is hoping to get more comfortable on his bike. He said, “Today was a little more difficult than expected, as I felt more pain than I have in the past few days. I was unable to ride at 100%, but still we were able to have two good sessions. We tried some different setups with the bike and different tyres. Let's see if tomorrow I feel better and can improve aspects of the bike to lower my time.”