Johann Zarco has ended the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class on top of the timesheets. The French JiR rider dominated the session from the halfway point onwards, leading by over 1.6 seconds at one point. Towards the end of FP1, the pack started to close in, Speed Up's Andrea Iannone finishing up in 2nd, nearly nine tenths behind Zarco, and just a fraction ahead of Xavier Simeon, the Belgian Tech 3 rider impressive in the wet.
The weather moved in to disrupt the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Jerez, causing almost the entire session to be lost. The session started with just a few drops of rain, making the track greasy, but not really wet. The conditions meant that there was nothing to be learned going out, and much to be lost: too dry to get any useful wet setup data, too wet to get any useful dry setup data, and just slick enough to increase the risk of crashing and injuring yourself.
Romano Fenati continues to impress on his debut in the Moto3 class, the European 125cc champion topping the first session of free practice at Jerez. Fenati led throughout, leaving title favorite Maverick Vinales to settle for the 2nd fastest time, a quarter of a second behind Fenati. Sandro Cortese was the first of the KTMs, taking 3rd, some half a second off the time of the FTR Honda of Fenati, while Miguel Oliveira ended the session in 4th.
Though the night race at Qatar is spectacular, the paddock at Jerez feels like a proper paddock. There is a bustle missing from Qatar, and the return of the hospitality units means that it is an altogether more colorful place.
The final round of press release previews from the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez:
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM READY FOR CRT'S EUROPEAN DEBUT
MotoGP begins continental road trip as Jerez hosts second round of season
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's race at Jerez:
Top five the target for Redding and Kallio in Jerez
Gosselies, Belgium - 24 April 2012: The Marc VDS Racing Team return to Jerez this weekend, the scene of two extremely successful preseason tests for both Scott Redding and Mike Kallio and the venue for the second round of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship.
After the opening of hostilities in the black of the desert night in Qatar, the 2012 MotoGP season gets underway for real - or at least, what feels like for real - this weekend in Jerez. The paddock finally full, not of Nissen huts, but of sleek and shiny hospitality units and race trucks; the stands full of fans, and spread all around the track, not huddled together at one end of Qatar's single grandstand; the bikes displaying their natural glory in daylight, not the fluorescent glare of Qatar's admittedly spectacular floodlit goldfish bowl.
Press release previews from Factory Yamaha, Repsol Honda, Gresini, Bridgestone, Ducati, NGM Forward and PBM ahead of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez:
MotoGP Returns to Europe for Round Two at Jerez
Despite the fact that the 2012 MotoGP season has only just got underway, teams in all three classes of the series have started to do the chassis shuffle. The major player in the dance is British chassis maker FTR, the Buckingham-based firm gaining in Moto3 what they are losing in Moto2 and MotoGP.
When I entered the media center at Losail a few weeks ago, I happened to be thinking about how many people contribute to our enjoyment of MotoGP. From the journalists who write the background stories and race reports, to photographers who show us things we can't see on video, to the large number of people who produce the TV feed, each has his or her role in bringing us closer to the racing and increasing our enjoyment of what we see.
Brett McCormick, who fractured two vertebrae in the huge crash he suffered on Sunday at Assen, will make a full recovery, according to updates on the Canadian's website posted by his father last night and earlier today. McCormick is recovering well, and will be moved to either Italy or Canada, before being assessed whether any surgery is required to stabilize his fractured vertebrae. Below is the update posted on McCormick's website:
Monday, April 23, 2012
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the races at Assen this weekend:
A round-up of the day's events at the Assen round of World Superbikes.
Unfortunately, the weather played another role in today's events. Canadian Superbike Champion Brett McCormick suffered a heavy crash in race two today. He was diagnosed at Assen hospital with a fractured fifth and sixth vertebrae and has been transferred to Groningen hospital for further treatment. We wish him a rapid recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family, friends and fans. More info here.
Canadian rider Brett McCormick has suffered serious injuries to his face and spine in a crash during the second World Superbike race at Assen on Sunday. After examination at the medical center, McCormick was removed to the nearby hospital in the city of Assen, before being moved to a larger hospital in Groningen to stabilize his injuries. The Canadian appears to have escaped damage to his spinal cord in the crash, according to his team.