EMILIA-ROMAGNA, Italy – Danilo Petrucci and Karel Abraham led a pair of MotoGP practice sessions at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli that were plagued by unsavory conditions.
In the first session, the majority of the riders opted not to practice because the track was still damp from an earlier rain storm.
Only two factory riders took to the track in the form of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who went out for a brief spell to test conditions, but came back in very soon.
Petrucci, riding for the first time on the Ioda-Suter BMW machine, stole the headlines as he grabbed the top spot with a 1:43.178, just over one tenth ahead of compatriot Michele Pirro on board his San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda CRT machine.
Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison came in third, over two seconds off the top, ahead of Avintia Blusens’ David Salom, who was making his MotoGP™ debut, having replaced Iván Silva.
In the second practice, only 13 riders opted to take time on the partly dry circuit that continued to be hit by rain showers.
Top contenders such as Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa did not head out on track with nothing to be gained in the mixed conditions.
Karel Abraham’s time in the low 1.42s was sufficient to push Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison into second, with the Brit finishing the afternoon as top CRT.
Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro took third spot on his FTR-Honda machine, putting in the laps in front of his home crowd. Fourth place went to Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez, who was caught out by the track half way through as he lost the front and crashed out.
A time just under three seconds off the top saw Repsol Honda Team’s Jonathan Rea finish the day in fifth on his MotoGP debut.