2011 Estoril Post-Race MotoGP Test Final Times - Simoncelli Edges Lorenzo

Marco Simoncelli ended the one-day MotoGP test at Estoril on top of the timesheets, building on a strong performance over the weekend of the race. The San Carlo Gresini Honda man finished a tenth of a second ahead of Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, and nearly four tenths faster than Casey Stoner. Cal Crutchlow posted a very impressive 4th fastest time, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider benefiting from a change the team had wanted to make to the bike for the race, but had not been able to test during warmup. Crutchlow's team had made the bike much longer, and the added stability had given the Tech 3 man a boost of speed.

Crutchlow finished ahead of Valentino Rossi, who had been testing a new chassis and a slightly different engine spec, both of which had greatly improved the bike. Crutchlow's teammate Colin Edwards ended the day in 6th ahead of factory Yamaha man Ben Spies, the two Texans finishing in front of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, but with little to choose between the four of them. Dani Pedrosa rounded out the top ten, but the Repsol Honda rider ended the test early, as his shoulder was still too painful after taking victory in Sunday's race.

The fastest times were all set on a new tire that Bridgestone brought to test, a tire which the Japanese firm expect to use in 2012, though the riders were unanimous in hoping that Bridgestone might agree to introduce the new tires earlier. The new tires got up to temperature much more quickly, and generally provided a little more feedback over the bumps.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 58 Marco Simoncelli Honda 1:36.211    
2 1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:36.316 0.105 0.105
3 27 Casey Stoner Honda 1:36.602 0.391 0.286
4 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:36.850 0.639 0.248
5 46 Valentino Rossi Ducati 1:37.382 1.171 0.532
6 5 Colin Edwards Yamaha 1:37.410 1.199 0.028
7 11 Ben Spies Yamaha 1:37.421 1.210 0.011
8 4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1:37.460 1.249 0.039
9 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1:37.463 1.252 0.003
10 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1:37.679 1.468 0.216
11 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1:38.032 1.821 0.353
12 17 Karel Abraham Ducati 1:38.087 1.876 0.055
13 24 Toni Elias Honda 1:38.412 2.201 0.325
14 65 Loris Capirossi Ducati 1:38.633 2.422 0.221
15 19 Alvaro Bautista* Suzuki 1:38.850 2.639 0.217

* Alvaro Bautista rode only a few laps, most of the testing work being done by Suzuki test rider Nobu Aoki.

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Wow, I'll be the first to admit I wasn't expecting too much but the guy is making a believer out of me! A lot would argue there were more deserving riders that could've been given a ride but I think he's ending that discussion.

I think is great news for the sport to see Simo on top. This will spice up the season considering his new stirred rivalry with the world Champion, and with many people thinking the outcome of 2011 would be very straightforward.

I´m not a Simoncelli fan, but his improvement will force the contenders to up their own level.

That man seems to be putting in some good times consistantly. The dude is looking to be the real deal.