2011 Mugello MotoGP FP1 Result: Simoncelli Smashes Lap Record, Edges Stoner, Dovizioso

Marco Simoncelli has laid all the criticism and complaint to one side, topping the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Mugello and smashing the race lap record by well over half a second. The session became a battle of the Hondas, with Simoncelli and Casey Stoner swapping the lead, with the San Carlo Gresini rider coming out on top at the end. Stoner sits just four hundredths of a second ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso, Dovizioso getting a little help with his lap times by following Stoner around the track.

The factory Yamahas follow the factory Hondas, with Jorge Lorenzo a tenth ahead of his teammate Ben Spies, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards in a solid 6th spot. Dani Pedrosa returned to racing after three races away, and after taking his time to find his feet, finished in 7th, posting a strong time in his final lap. Nicky Hayden was the first of the Marlboro Ducatis in 8th, while Simoncelli's San Carlo Gresini teammate Hiroshi Aoyama ended the session in 9th, ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Rizla Suzuki much better in the hot conditions in Tuscany.

The man the crowds have come to see - there are a surprisingly large number of people here for a Friday morning - had a very tough start to the weekend. Valentino Rossi was running in mid-pack for most of the session, but two consecutive electrical problems on his Marlboro Ducati GP11.1 saw him relegated all the way down to 13th place. The fact that the GP11.1 is based on the developmental GP12, the bike to be next year, appears to mean that the bike is still being plagued by teething problems.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'48.987    
2 27 Casey STONER HONDA 1'49.027 0.040 0.040
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'49.088 0.101 0.061
4 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'49.251 0.264 0.163
5 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'49.364 0.377 0.113
6 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'49.810 0.823 0.446
7 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'50.104 1.117 0.294
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'50.203 1.216 0.099
9 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'50.629 1.642 0.426
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'50.658 1.671 0.029
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'50.683 1.696 0.025
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 1'50.729 1.742 0.046
13 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'50.780 1.793 0.051
14 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'51.153 2.166 0.373
15 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1'51.868 2.881 0.715
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'51.876 2.889 0.008

 

2011
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Comments

Teething problems or not, I doubt the Italian crowd will be satisfied with a mid-pack Rossi. Unless Ducati pull a rabbit out of the hat, their weekend is beginning to look awfully familiar.

Rossi only had 5 completed laps on the 11.1 and his best was also the best so far in the session.
I dont know how fast he went with the GP 12 but my guess is as fast as Simoncelli if not faster.
I guess that we will se him further up but the top 3 are going to be Honda bikes I am afraid.

"I dont know how fast he went with the GP 12 but my guess is as fast as Simoncelli if not faster."

Your guess? - You either know or you don't know.

Seeing how one session brings out the haters is a riot I can't help but chuckle. just as every other weekend only the race will tell the truth. GOOOOOO Nicky!!!!!!

Those with a slightly longer memory will recall when electrical problems and Italian motorcycles went hand-in-glove. A bit like Brit bikes with their Lucas electrics. But in the electronic age, it has been Italian bikes (Bimota & Ducati) leading the way (remember the YB4ei and the 851?) so it is quite a surprise to learn that this old bogey has raised its head. Did Valentino practice on the old (GP11.1) bike as well as the 2012 machine?

The table shows it was Simoncelli, then Stoner, then Dovizioso. However, the official site (MotoGP.com) says: "Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, who did not participate in the second session of the day, posted the second and seventh fastest times of the day, respectively..." That indicates Dani was ahead of Stoner. Then, Motomatters says: "Stoner sits just four hundredths of a second behind his Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso..." Again, the table shows the opposite. What is going on?

Posting the results happens in a flurry of activity, usually just as the next session is starting, or before rushing off to go and talk to riders. As a result, words are easily muddled and sentences mangled, usually with words, names and phrases being swapped around. The discrepancies between the text and the numbers is always a case of incompetence, rather than any conspiracy to change the face of history.

As the engineers say, always believe the numbers.