Spies tops Aragon Free Practice washout

Rain affects both sessions during first day of practice at Spanish track

Ben Spies ended up on top of the timings on day one of the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón in Spain that saw the riders losing valuable track this morning. Damp track conditions prevented the teams from collecting any decent data while this afternoon’s session was at least wet enough so the riders could take to the track on wet rubber.

It was a good wet session so we’re happy with it.

Ben Spies

While the morning session saw a lot of the main protagonists in the championship not setting a time with the damp conditions not lending to the riders using dry or wet rubber. The morning session was also delayed because of an oil spill from a Moto3 machine that was out before the premier class riders. The only factory riders to go on track this morning was the Ducati Racing pairing of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi topping the timings ahead of some satellite, and CRT riders.

This afternoon was somewhat of a return to normal proceedings with Spies (2m 0.219s) leading Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (2m 0.285s) with Spies’ teammate Jorge Lorenzo in third with a best lap of 2m 0.746s. Hayden ended the afternoon session in 4th (2m 0.996s) while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso ended with the 5th best time of 2m 1.379s to finish ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl (2m 1.626s) with Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in 7th setting a best time of 2m 1.665s.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Rossi ended the day in 8th place with a best lap of 2m 2.412s while Karel Abraham lapped close behind and set a best time of 2m 2.632s for the Cardion AB Motoracing with Alvaro Bautista in 10th place with a best lap of 2m 3.263s. Jonathan Rea is taking part in his second race weekend with Repsol Honda where he is filling in for the injured Casey Stoner and the Northern Irishman ended day one in 11th with a best lap of 2m 4.046s.

The top CRT rider on day one was Randy De Puniet who set a best time of 2m 4.353s for the Power Electronics Aspar team with his teammate Aleix Espargaro in 13th (2m 4.423s). James Ellison ended up in 14th place for the Paul Bird Motorsport team (2m 4.542s) while finishing in 15th on day one was the Speed Master machine of Mattia Pasini with a best lap of 2m 4.722s. Yonny Hernandez sits in 16th on day one for the Avintia Blusens team (2m 4.858s) with San Carlo Honda Gresini CRT rider Michele Pirro in 17th with a best time of 2m 6.030s ahead of Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing) with a best lap of 2m 6.182s.

Danilo Petrucci (Came IodaRacing) finished in 19th with a best lap time of 2m 6.368s while David Salom, who is replacing Ivan Silva for the remainder of the season for the Avintia Blusens team ended day one in 20th (2m 6.593s). Colin Edwards finished in 21st on his NGM Forward Racing machine with a best lap of 2m 6.677s.

Spies was happy with his performance despite the tricky conditions. He said, “It was a good wet session so we’re happy with it, the bike feels good and we’re quick. We got a good setting with the bike sorted and we got some new information with the electronics so we’ll see what happens tomorrow with the weather. As long as everything keeps going smoothly then that’s all we need!”

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Pedrosa is ready for wet qualifying after seeing the ominous weather forecast for the weekend saying, “At least we had a full wet session this afternoon to work with the bike and I felt quite good. I was catching the pace step by step, even though the grip was not very high in the rear, and we still have to adjust the setting a little more to improve in some corners. It looks like the weather forecast is also bad for tomorrow, so it will be important to take advantage of the morning practice to be well prepared for qualifying.”

Lorenzo didn’t enjoy his first day on the Aragon circuit and struggled for grip. “In the morning we could have practiced but we preferred to stay in the box and save the engine life a little,” said the championship leader while adding, “This afternoon with full wet conditions we could go out and see what the feeling is with the bike in the rain in case we have a wet race on Sunday. The track is very slippery, we did a lot of laps trying to find the pace but we didn’t try to do one hot lap. Ben and Dani were very fast but the important thing is we made a good comfortable pace.”

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Practice reports
Tags aragon, featured, hatch, honda, lorenzo, pedrosa, repsol, spies, yamaha