Friday, June 24, 2011

MotoGP Assen: Simoncelli leads Rossi in wet first practice

Simoncelli’s pace was only kept in check by Rossi

By MotoGP desk
Image by Honda Racing

Gresini Honda’s Marci Simoncelli has set the fastest lap in MotoGP first free pratice at a wet Assen this morning but was chased hard all the way by countryman Valentino Rossi on the new, hybrid Ducatu GP11.1.

Both the Italians spent a majority of the session topping the timesheets with occasional forays by the Repsol Honda of Casey Stoner but it was the big-haired HRC rider who finally bagged top spot with a 1’49.036. This was more than eight-tenths faster than leader Stoner before Rossi’s final circulation brought the deficit back down to half that.

Stoner’s 1’49.527 was only a tenth faster than team-mate Andrea Dovizioso while reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo just pipped an heroic Cal Crutchlow, who set a 1’50.386 just days after having his broken collarbone operated on.

Karel Abraham, on the Pacemaker Ducati. is in seventh with the second broken collarboned Monster Yamaha rider Colin Edwards in eighth but the tough Texan is nearly two seconds off the pace. Nicky Hayden, who is continuing with the GP11, is ninth while Ben Spies’ second works Yamaha is tenth.

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