Stoner tops Friday timesheets at Estoril
Round 3: Portuguese MotoGP™ - Free Practice One and Two
Circuito de Jerez, Friday 4 May 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium; Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Wet (FP1) Dry (FP2). Ambient 16-19°C; Track 17-31°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner took over where he left off at Jerez by setting a benchmark time of 1m 38.396s in FP2 to top the Friday timesheets ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies and Monster Tech3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow.
Track conditions for Friday morning’s FP1 session were poor with large wet patches on track due to early morning rain and though the track dried towards the end of the session, conditions were still challenging for riders with a resurgent Ben Spies setting the fastest time in FP1 with a 1m 40.813s lap. For FP2 track conditions were dry, but cloud cover kept track temperatures low and as a result lap-times were slower than expected. After some exploratory runs using the combination of the soft compound front slick tyre and medium compound rear, most riders switched to the medium compound front slick tyre as FP2 drew to a close.
The next MotoGP™ session, FP3 takes place at 1010 local time (GMT+1) with the one hour qualifying session starting at 1355 local time.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“As often happens at Estoril, weather conditions were variable today with early morning rain causing the track to be wet for FP1. As there were just a few dry patches many riders decided to head out on track with wet tyres to begin with before switching to slicks later as conditions improved. In FP2 the track was dry but track temperatures were still quite low which affected grip levels, so most riders went for the soft rear slick tyre for its greater warm-up performance.
“There is a possibility of wet weather again tomorrow so we will make our main wet tyre, which at Estoril is the soft compound, as well as the alternative wet tyre in the hard compound available to enable riders to best deal with what could be inconsistent conditions. Regardless of what the weather brings, I think we will see a close qualifying session tomorrow as in FP2 the top ten riders posted similar lap-times.”