The clouds are disappearing here at Indianapolis, and the sun is starting to warm the track up nicely, meaning the second session of free practice for the250cc class was run under vastly better conditions than yesterday's rain-soaked first session. The sun agreed with Marco Simoncelli, for the Italian was the fastest in FP2, beating Hector Barbera by a fraction. The 3rd fastest man in the morning was Mike di Meglio, who finished ahead of a surprising Ratthapark Wilairot.
The continuing rain threw up some interesting surprises during the first session of practice for the 250cc class at Indianapolis. Biggest surprise of all was the name at the top of the timesheets: Matteoni Racing's Jules Cluzel was the fastest of the session, proving that he can be fast when conditions equalize the field, as he has done on other occasions this year. Cluzel kept ahead of Hector Barbera, taking back the lead almost immediately whenever Barbera posted a faster time. Marco Simoncelli was 3rd fastest in the session, ahead of Cardion AB Racing's Karel Abraham.
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Result and summary of the 250cc race at Brno:
Marco Simoncelli has clawed back some very useful points at Brno by winning the 250cc race at Brno, but he had to hold off a very strong challenge from Mattia Pasini to do so.
Result of the 250cc warm up session:
Results and recap of qualifying practice for the 250cc class at Brno:
Marco Simoncelli will start Sunday's 250cc race at Brno from pole position, after taking a fabulous pole in the dying seconds of the session, and despite being held up by Alex Debon. Hector Barbera had once again dominated the early running, but with each session, his advantage has diminished. In the end, Barbera had to allow both Simoncelli and the Scot Honda of Hiroshi Aoyama ahead of him, Aoyama popping in a fast lap after the flag for the end of the session fell.
Spaniard Hector Barbera topped the timesheets in the 250cc class once again, leading the second session of free practice from the halfway mark. Barbera had taken the top spot from early leader Roberto Locatelli, and it took a late surge by the championship favorites to displace him from the top 4. Alvaro Bautista ended the session in 2nd, a tenth behind Barbera, while Hiroshi Aoyama set his fastest lap on his final attempt to jump up to 3rd, ahead of Bautista's Aspar team mate Mike di Meglio.
Hector Barbera started the weekend apparently determined to prove to all and sundry that he has earned his promotion to the MotoGP class with Aspar, and set about doing so by being quickest throughout the first session of practice for the 250cc class by a significant margin. The Spaniard was only bested briefly, in the dying seconds of the session, by Hiroshi Aoyama, but Barbera was not far behind, and back on top of the timesheets again.
The FIM today announced the provisional calendar for the 2010 MotoGP season. The provisional calendar looks broadly similar to this year, but there are a few key changes. Firstly, the British Grand Prix, now moved to Silverstone, is much earlier than its counterpart at Donington, moved up over a month to early June. This disrupts the traditional pairing of the Italian and Catalunya Grand Prix, with the Barcelona round being put back to early July, instead of the first or second weekend after the Mugello round.
One interesting point to note is the inclusion of a "reserve circuit". After the effects of the financial crisis, together with permit problems, meant that Balatonring circuit was not completed in time for the planned race in the middle of September this year, the FIM and Dorna have wisely elected to have a backup plan, in case the situation repeats itself. That is an entirely realistic prospect, as the Balatonring circuit continues to be dogged by problems.
Should the series need to switch to the reserve circuit, then it would mean that Spain would see four Grand Prix run on its soil. The Motorland Aragon Circuit is a brand new track which has been built near Alcañiz, Aragon, Spain, a couple of hundred kilometers inland from Barcelona. The circuit is trying to attract both Formula One and MotoGP, though whether the Spanish economy is strong enough to sustain four MotoGP rounds has to be in doubt.
Provisional 2010 MotoGP Calendar