Casey Stoner is fastest again in the second session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Barcelona, improving his time from this morning to lead Marco Simoncelli by half a second. The track started out wet, with times very slow, but the rain stopped shortly after the session started, the track drying out as the session progressed. Stoner had been fastest by some two seconds in the wet, then taking back top spot from Simoncelli on a dry track at the session wound to a close.
Nico Terol topped the timesheets once again at Barcelona, this time on a much wetter track than this morning. A light drizzle has continued throughout the day, but Terol was unfazed by the conditions. The Bankia Aspar rider finished nearly eight tenths of a second ahead of Sandro Cortese, while Maverick Viñales set the 3rd fastest time, ahead of Johann Zarco in 4th.
Thomas Luthi led the way in the first session of practice for the Moto2 class at Barcelona, topping the timesheets for much of the session. Luthi finished an eighth of a second ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Pons Kalex, which pleased the crowd, Espargaro being a native of Granollers, just 5 kilometers from the Montmelo circuit. Mapfre Aspar's Julian Simon ended the session in 3rd, just edging Viessmann Kiefer's Stefan Bradl, Marc VDS' Scott Redding and Ioda Racing's Simone Corsi, while Aleix' younger brother Pol Espargaro set the 7th fastest time of the session.
Casey Stoner was the fastest out of the box at Barcelona, topping the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class. But the times were nothing to write home about, as cool temperatures and spots of rain made it an essentially meaningless session. The rain came very lightly a couple of times, first about halfway through, and then in the final 10 minutes, basically bringing the session to an early end.
Nico Terol's domination of the 125cc class continues apace. The Bankia Aspar rider finished the first session of free practice with his usual big advantage over the rest of the field, this time just under half a second. Sandro Cortese set the 2nd fastest time, just inching ahead of Efren Vazquez, while 4th place man Sergio Gadea is the last rider to be within a second of Terol.
The final batch of press releases prior to the Catalunya MotoGP round: Karel Abraham previews the weekend, LCR Honda announce a sponsor for the round, and FTR previews the Moto2 weekend:
Karel Abraham heads to Barcelona for the Grand Prix of Catalunya
The Grand Prix of Catalunya sees Karel Abraham ready and prepared to fight for the top ten finish.
Last year, Karel Abraham scored strong result at Barcelona and now he is hoping for the several success.
The penultimate chapter in the Simoncelli-Pedrosa saga (the closing chapter of which will see Pedrosa return to racing, either at Silverstone or more likely at Assen) has now been written. Marco Simoncelli has met with Race Direction to discuss the events of Le Mans, which saw Simoncelli and Pedrosa crash, injuring the Spaniard and the Italian awarded with a ride-through.
Here's the great question that plagues MotoGP: How come Formula One teams - even backmarkers - generate many tens or even a couple of hundred million euros in sponsorship, while the most successful MotoGP team of recent years fielding the current World Champion cannot persuade a title sponsor to stump up between 5 and 10 million? The answer, of course, lies in the way in which the sport is promoted. MotoGP has a very strong appeal to its core audience, but it has struggled to break through into the mainstream.
Press release previews of the Catalunya MotoGP round at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona from Bridgestone and Pramac Ducati:
Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 5: Catalunya, Catalunya
Tuesday 31 May 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Press releases from the Moto2 and 125 teams previewing this weekend's Catalunya MotoGP round at Montmelo:
Grand Prix of Catalunya
Barcelona, June 3rd – 5th, 2011
After a three-week break, the World Road-race Championship reopens at Montmelò, on the outskirts of Barcelona (Spain), on a classical, well-known and demanding circuit.
Dani Pedrosa is to miss his home Grand Prix at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona, Catalunya. After breaking his collarbone in the crash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans, Pedrosa faced a race against the clock to be fit for Barcelona, focusing all of his efforts on undergoing physiotherapy and physical rehab to make the plated collarbone strong enough so that he could race on it.
The aftermath of the crash between Marco Simoncelli and Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans is now spiralling rapidly out of control. The ride-through penalty awarded by Race Direction (for "riding in an irresponsible manner, which could cause danger to others") caused a good deal of controversy around the world, and just as the affair appeared to be dying down, the situation was reignited when Race Direction announced that Simoncelli would be called into a meeting with them at Barcelona.
The period between the Le Mans and Catalunya Grand Prix appears to have had a salutary affect on Marco Simoncelli. In the San Carlo Gresini Honda press release preview of the MotoGP round at Barcelona, Simoncelli has expressed his regret at the crash at Le Mans, in which he and Dani Pedrosa collided and Pedrosa broke his collarbone, and for which he was given a ride-through penalty. Read the official press release below:
SIMONCELLI LOOKING TO THE FUTURE IN BARCELONA