Spies Fastest In MotoGP First Practice

Ben Spies. (Photo: MotoGP)
Ben Spies on top early in Estoril. (Photo: MotoGP)

ESTORIL, Portugal — In a similar vein to the first practice session in Jerez, the Portuguese MotoGP weekend started with a part-wet circuit, which was drying out throughout the session under partial sun. Only a handful of riders started the practice on wet tyres, until almost the entire field went out on slicks with ten minutes to go.

In the dying seconds, Spies set the fastest lap with a 1.40´813, stealing first spot from Ducati Team´s Nicky Hayden, who looks to be continuing his practice form from Spain. His teammate Valentino Rossi will be buoyed by his third place finish at the mostly-dry track, after struggling in such conditions at the previous round.

Repsol Honda´s Casey Stoner was just under a second off the pace in fourth, followed by San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista. Monster Yamaha Tech 3´s Cal Crutchlow was a further three tenths behind Stoner, and once again outpaced his team mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Behind him, Repsol Honda´s Dani Pedrosa finished eighth fastest, ahead of surprise inclusion Yonny Hernandez aboard his Avintia Blusens CRT bike. Rounding out the top ten was Cardion AB Motoracing´s Karel Abraham.

Yamaha´s current championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and Pramac Racing Team´s Hèctor Barberá opted not to set a time in the session.

Much like at Jerez, this session gave very little indication of actual form, as many riders will not have been pushing for a competitive lap.

1Ben SpiesYamaha Factory RacingYamaha M101:40.8
2Nicky HaydenMarlboro Ducati TeamDucati GP1201:41.1
3Valentino RossiMarlboro Ducati TeamDucati GP1201:41.5
4Casey StonerRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V01:41.9
5Alvaro BautistaHonda GresiniHonda RC213V01:42.2
6Cal CrutchlowYamaha Tech 3Yamaha M101:42.3
7Andrea DoviziosoYamaha Tech 3Yamaha M101:42.3
8Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V01:43.1
9Yonny HernandezBQRBQR-FTR01:43.3
10Karel AbrahamCardion AB MotoracingDucati GP1201:43.3
11Randy De PunietAspar Team MotoGPART01:43.3
12Michele PirroHonda GresiniFTR01:43.5
13Stefan BradlLCR Honda MotoGPHonda RC213V01:43.5
14Colin EdwardsForward RacingSuter01:44.9
15Danilo PetrucciIoda Racing ProjectIoda01:45.1
16Akeix EsparagoAsparVART01:45.6

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