Valencian GP: Repsol Honda Friday practice report

The rain got heavier and heavier today at Valencian Ricardo Tormo track on this the first day of free practice for the Comunitat Valenciana GP. In spite of the complicated weather conditions and numerous falls - Julian Simon in 250cc and Esteve ...

The rain got heavier and heavier today at Valencian Ricardo Tormo track on this the first day of free practice for the Comunitat Valenciana GP. In spite of the complicated weather conditions and numerous falls - Julian Simon in 250cc and Esteve Rabat in 125cc both felt the hardness of the asphalt in Valencia - Nicky Hayden completed two sessions of great riding in MotoGP free practice, setting the best time in both the sessions; the first of with a difference of over 7 tenths of a second over the rider classified second.

His teammate Dani Pedrosa, who is making good progress with his riding in the wet, was 4th in the first free session in the morning, and 2nd behind the American in the afternoon.The two were satisfied with the performance of their Honda RC212V in these complicated track conditions.

In the 250 category there was a good performance from Julian Simon who was riding among the best in the category the whole time. The Repsol rider was 4th in the morning and set the 6th best time in the afternoon classification. In spite of being third two minutes from the end he was not able to improve his time on his last lap and he was overtaken by three other riders at the very end. Simon had been conditioned by a fall earlier on and that made him lose quite some time in the pits. Halfway through the session, on corner eight, the front wheel on Simon" KTM FRR 250 lost adherence and he was not able to avoid a fall. The riders with Repsol technical support, Hiroshi Aoyama and Mika Kallio, also put in good performances, finishing second and third respectively.

In the 125cc category Esteve Rabat ended the day in 20th position after starring in a complicated classification session that began with a fall. The Repsol rider had a good practice in the first free session, finishing 8th but when the classification session began his KTM 125 FRR skidded when he opened the throttle after the first corner, and he was thrown off the bike just after the start of his second lap. He quickly returned to the pits and he went out on his second motorbike. But he entered the pits again when he finished the following lap, because the slider was in ther wrong position, a result of the fall. In the end, in spite of having little time, he was able to improve his times. He finished the session unhappy with the final result and some problems with the set-up on his KTM which was still skidding too much at the rear end.



Dani Pedrosa >> 1'45.864 sec, 46 laps, 184 Km.

"Conditions were difficult today. It rained pretty much the whole day and the asphalt was quite slippery.

In these conditions we couldn't work so much on the set-up, but anyway we were able to find a good compromise that allowed us to be quite fast. During the afternoon session the track dried out a little bit up, so we were able to improve our lap times and ride with a good rhythm. My Bridgestone wet tyres worked well today, but I hope that we can have two dry sessions tomorrow so that we can work on the set-up in preparation of the race."

Nicky Hayden >> 1'45.777 sec, 38 laps, 152 Km

"It was pretty soggy out there, just rain all day. The bike, the team, everything was on point today, now we've just got to keep it rolling, because nobody's going to remember who was quickest Friday come Sunday night.

The bike and tyres and everything worked pretty good straight away today. We've been using basically the same rain settings I've been using since Sachsenring, they've worked at different tracks and they're working good here, though this track doesn't have a lot of grip, so to go any faster we need to sweeten it up a bit. I like being fastest and if it means staying wet all weekend then that would be fine for me, but honestly I hope it dries up. It's going to be a hard weekend, just trying to stay on top, everybody's pushing hard, but we're off to a good start and I'm having fun. If it dries up tomorrow we don't think finding a set-up should be too difficult, because the last couple of races we've been using relatively the same settings. The main thing is going to be tyre choice, that's going to be real tough, because there's not going to be much dry time, but it's the same for everybody."


Julian Simon >> 1'50.581 secs, 38 laps, 152 Km.

"It has been a difficult day for this Grand Prix since weather here is usually good, but today the conditions were not at all favourable. The track is slippery, since the asphalt with the water doesn't have a lot of grip.

This morning we rode well and we finished 5th, adjusting the set-up little by little. In the afternoon, we quickly found a little improvement, and I was immediately able to set good times. I had a little fall that conditioned my practice a little, but I went out again and I was up with the fastest pace on the last few laps and up at the top end of the classification. Anyway, we have some room for improvement and tomorrow we will try to do better. Hopefully tomorrow it won't rain; we should also find a good set-up in the dry with the aim of getting a good position for Sunday."


Esteve Rabat >> 2'03.197 secs, 30 laps, 120 Km.

"It has been a very complicated day, although it has also been good fun. The morning went quite well. When I went out I took things calmly and I had a good time riding the bike.

In the afternoon, I do not know what happened on the first lap, when I opened the throttle after the first corner the motorbike skidded, it threw me off and I went flying through the air. Then I went back to the pits to go out on the second bike, but I had to return to the pits again straight away, because I had dropped the slider that had been loosened in the fall. I did what I could, but it was complicated. Riding in the wet in Valencia is always fun, although the track is slippier when it stops raining as a large amount of water is left on the track."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Julian Simon , Mika Kallio , Hiroshi Aoyama , Dani Pedrosa