2011 Assen MotoGP FP1 Result: Simoncelli Tops Rain-Soaked Session

Marco Simoncelli has topped the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Assen, but all eyes were on Valentino Rossi and the new Ducati GP11.1. The first impression of the bike is that it works well, Rossi being either at or near the top of the timesheets all session, but given the soaking nature of the track, it is hard to tell how much of that is Rossi and how much is the new Ducati. Rossi did at least finish ahead of his bitter rival, Casey Stoner, the Repsol Honda rider being a little over a tenth slower than the Italain, while Stoner's Repsol teammate Andrea Dovizioso clocked the 4th fastest time. Jorge Lorenzo was the last man inside a second of Simoncelli, over a third of a second slower than Dovizioso.

The chance of rain during this afternoon's session of free practice is much lower, offering the tantalizing prospect of some dry track time. But this is Assen, and with nothing between the track and the North Sea but a few rows of trees and miles and miles of flat fields, the wind brings rain showers in fast here, so that could all change.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'49.036    
2 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'49.396 0.360 0.360
3 27 Casey STONER HONDA 1'49.527 0.491 0.131
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'49.640 0.604 0.113
5 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'49.995 0.959 0.355
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'50.386 1.350 0.391
7 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'50.413 1.377 0.027
8 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'50.968 1.932 0.555
9 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'51.277 2.241 0.309
10 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'51.590 2.554 0.313
11 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'52.646 3.610 1.056
12 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'53.132 4.096 0.486
13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'53.164 4.128 0.032
14 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1'53.323 4.287 0.159
15 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 1'53.348 4.312 0.025
16 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI HONDA 1'53.353 4.317 0.005
17 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 1'53.562 4.526 0.209

 

2011
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Total votes: 40

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Comments

Rossi looked very comfortable and surefooted, circulating at ease with Simoncelli, contrast this to Karel wringing the GP11's neck for his time.

It got very wet in the middle of the session when Casey was out, he did go out again at the end when the pooled water looked less, but didn't leave enough time for more than one hot lap.

Body language at the end told plenty, Valentino dead serious but happy inside, he knows he is back on track, Jorge is not cool, it's going to take more than go faster red stripes, and Casey was very relaxed and full of smiles. Didn't see Simoncelli, but he must be stoked, reeled off a whole batch of 1.50 laps.

I am really not looking forward to trying to predict my MotoGP Fantasy Finishing order this time round, it has all been turned on it's head!

What's the weather going to do?

Total votes: 57

I agree, Alastair58. Already at the press conference yesterday, Lorenzo said the pressure was now off but looked quite the opposite. And now he not only has a Honda missile in front of him, but possibly also a Ducati storming from behind? Rossi certainly looked very comfortable, can't wait to see what happens the coming sessions. Exciting stuff!

Total votes: 52

Did anyone check that Ducati remembered to put an 800 back in that GP12?

(Yes, I'm joking). Good to see him hopefully competitive again, even if I'm not entirely comfortable with how they did it. Should be good for the racing. Stoner will be nervous... Rossi could be close enough to take him out again now!

Total votes: 65

very curious to see what happens in (the drying) FP2 session....
as soon as they get (hopefuly all) the oil off the track.

We could be seeing Rossi back at the front. Meanwhile, are the Yams
still using the 2010 chassis?

Total votes: 48

Is that the VR 2010 yamaha??.. Only day one for Ducati and not a bad start, though unquestionably early days, but it is better to start in the top 3 and go forward that to start in the top 12 and go forward...

ps they are having zero luck this year, with rain, drizzle and cold every weekend since rossi got anywhere near half fit and now a session cancelled. They must be wondering what they have done..

Total votes: 48

I think the forecast for Saturday is good. So its doubtful if anyone was really trying. I will wait for tomorrow before thinking anything. Its not like he was pushing the front hard.

Total votes: 51

I'm pretty sure that at least Karel Abraham was really trying. Impressive riding again by that Czech 'rich kid'.

Total votes: 54

And yet again Spies' attitude astounds. 2 1/2 seconds back and he declares himself happy! Contrast that with Lorenzo's disappointment with coming in at 5th place. Huh?!

Total votes: 59