2010 Sepang MotoGP FP1 Result - Rossi Makes His Point

Valentino Rossi has set out his stall in the MotoGP class at Sepang, setting the fastest time during the first session of practice. The Fiat Yamaha rider comes to Malaysia with two aims in mind: The first, publicly admitted goal was to test how his shoulder was holding up and get some data to compare with the testing data from February, to see how his injury affects his riding - the answer to that being not very much at all. The second is surely to press home the point he made at Motegi, and take away some of the attention from Jorge Lorenzo's first championship, which the Spaniard is almost certain to secure in Malaysia.

Rossi may have set the fastest time, but he had to hold off Andrea Dovizioso to do so. The Repsol Honda rider was blisteringly fast throughout the session, ending the day a tenth behind Rossi and upholding the honor of the Repsol team while Dani Pedrosa recovers from having his collarbone plated in Spain. Five hundredths behind Dovizioso came Jorge Lorenzo, not as fast as his Fiat Yamaha teammate, but much more consistent, his eyes now much more firmly on the prize than at Motegi, where he got drawn into a fight he would have been better staying out of.

Coming off the back of two consecutive victories, Casey Stoner's weekend did not get off to such a good start, the Australian crashing his Marlboro Ducati in the first half of practice. A couple of big rear-end slides showed that there is still work to do for the Ducati team, as does Nicky Hayden's miserable 15th fastest time. Alvaro Bautista continues to do his best to persuade Suzuki to stay in the series, setting an impressive 5th fastest time during FP1. Bautista's ride looks safe, with Suzuki almost certain to field at least one bike, but paddock rumors continue to suggest that Suzuki will not support a second bike next season. An announcement is expected within a couple of days.

Results: 

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 2'02.724    
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 2'02.833 0.109 0.109
3 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 2'02.898 0.174 0.065
4 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 2'03.160 0.436 0.262
5 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 2'03.338 0.614 0.178
6 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 2'03.393 0.669 0.055
7 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 2'03.438 0.714 0.045
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 2'03.471 0.747 0.033
9 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 2'03.477 0.753 0.006
10 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 2'03.539 0.815 0.062
11 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 2'03.680 0.956 0.141
12 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 2'03.717 0.993 0.037
13 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 2'03.760 1.036 0.043
14 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 2'03.769 1.045 0.009
15 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 2'03.947 1.223 0.178
16 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 2'04.023 1.299 0.076
Round Number: 
15
2010
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Comments

Let's hope he can continue that through the weekend. His form has been pretty consistent over the last few rounds, so it would be good to see a Suzuki in the mix. Shame their bogey track is next up though... the blue bikes have been woeful at the island for the last couple of years.
David you reported Paul Denning stated an announcement on the 2nd bike for next year would be made this weekend; are you expecting this after the race weekend or before the lights go out on sunday? Do you think results now will play a part in their decisions?

Taken from Nicky's website: http://www.nickyhayden.com/index.cfm/p/malaysia-2010#a_8AF96B0AC2

“We have picked up where we left off in Japan, which is not a good thing. We struggled a lot, right from the beginning, over the bumps mainly. I have a lot of front chatter, we got rear chatter too, and I cannot carry any good corner speed. We're 1.2 seconds off the top, which may not seem that much but the reality is that it is a lot when the field is as tight as it is right now. That kind of gap is pretty much going to send you to the back. We definitely need to do something for tomorrow because today was not good.”

To reiterate what's said below, I Really hoping he finds something for FP2/QP!!

Perhaps someone with experience can explain how two Ducatis can behave differently on the same track -- how Hayden's bike can chatter front and rear while Stoner's bike doesn't. Is their braking into and acceleration out of corners *that* different, such that it would be the cause? Something else?

Basically everything on these bikes are adjustable - rake, trail, height, length, acceleration electronics (by corner no less), engine braking, tire pressure, swing arm angle, etc. etc. etc.

If one rider gets it working to his liking most of the time it still won't work for his teammate due to riding style, weight, skill, bravery, etc. etc. etc.

I am really hoping for a good rain-filled race at both Sepang and PI - if only to put JLo to the test. And see how he stacks up against 27 and 46.

It's only FP1 but it is great to see Rossi at the top ... especially after the Rossi/Lorenzo battle last Sunday! I've watched (and re-watched) the last three laps of that race and, to this moment, can't understand why Lorenzo was so upset with Rossi. Of course he could have been knocked out of the race with a crash caused by the duel. But, if you look at the 'tape', he chose to engage Rossi when he didn't really need to! Great for fans of racing, if a little at odds with his overall goal.

Sad that we don't have Pedrosa in the mix. Good to see Dovi doing well out of the gates and Bautista in the top five so far. Can't understand why Hayden is so far off the pace and hope he improves during FP2 and QP.

GREAT site David! Along with motogp.com, THIS has become my favorite site for MotoGP news. It is fun reading the well-thought-out articles and apt postings from fans.

Probably everyone knows this ... but in case someone doesn't ... if you go to http://www.motogp.com/en/videos-nospoiler you can make the Videos No-Spoiler a 'Favorite' browser. When you click on this Favorite it takes you to all the practices/qualifying/races without revealing the results.

Let's not pretend that Rossi didn't throw his arm up in anger after Stoner pulled a Gibernau on him at the Sachsenring, there was contact between them and Rossi was clearly unhappy about it - enough to actually walk up to Stoner after the race while putting on a fake guise.

In close racing there is always a line that shouldn't be crossed and that's rough contact. Remember the Rainey-Schwantz battle at Brands Hatch in '87? There was contact between them in the last lap and neither of them were particularly happy about it. Motorcycle racing is dangerous and blatantly stupid riding shouldn't have to make it any more dangerous than it is.

I hope the rivalry between Rossi and Lorenzo doesn't degenerate to simply pushing each other off the track, but when precedents like last week are set there is every chance it could go that way.

Anyways great job from Alvaro. Really showing Loris the way right now. Does Loris even deserve a MotoGP ride anymore?

He has always been very fast and strong there. If Lorenzo can beat him there, then he might be able to do it anywhere. But I don't think he will this time, he'll keep an eye on the title and take it easy.