2012 Estoril MotoGP FP1 Result: Spies Leads Ducati Duo on Drying Track

Ben Spies has topped the first session of practice for the MotoGP class at Estoril, the Texan getting the best of the tricky conditions to top the timesheets. The track started damp, but was drying rapidly under the Portuguese sun. Most of the riders stayed inside their garages waiting for the track conditions to improve - for Hector Barbera and birthday boy Jorge Lorenzo, they didn't improve enough, the two Spaniards choosing to sit the first session of practice out - but by the end, the majority of the field felt the track was good enough to provide useful data.

After a couple of tough weekends, Spies put in a lot of laps working on the setup he had been struggling with, and was rewarded with a fastest time. Behind the Factory Yamaha rider, the two Ducatis also had a good session in conditions which suit them - marginal grip and a drying track - to take 2nd and 3rd, while Casey Stoner leaped up the standings at the end of the session to end in 4th. Alvaro Bautista was the fastest of the satellite bikes, just keeping ahead of Cal Crutchlow, who was in turn just a fraction faster than his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa ended the session in 8th, ahead of the first CRT rider Yonny Hernandez.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'40.813    
2 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'41.086 0.273 0.273
3 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'41.502 0.689 0.416
4 1 Casey STONER HONDA 1'41.943 1.130 0.441
5 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 1'42.230 1.417 0.287
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'42.291 1.478 0.061
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 1'42.343 1.530 0.052
8 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'43.078 2.265 0.735
9 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 1'43.256 2.443 0.178
10 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'43.265 2.452 0.009
11 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'43.277 2.464 0.012
12 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 1'43.511 2.698 0.234
13 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 1'43.527 2.714 0.016
14 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 1'44.909 4.096 1.382
15 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 1'45.148 4.335 0.239
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'45.636 4.823 0.488
17 54 Mattia PASINI ART 1'46.004 5.191 0.368
18 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 1'46.271 5.458 0.267
Not qualified (Out 107%) 1'47.869
  77 James ELLISON ART 1'52.429 11.616  
  8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI      
  99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA      


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Hopefully this means Ben is 'back on the case'. The early lack of form this year has been a surprise.

Yet again, Ducatis good in the wet, Rossi's probably got enough money to pay for an aircraft to carry out some cloud-seeding on Sunday to ensure rain.

Awesome to see Ben sitting at the top of the pile! I really hope that this is an indictation that he is back on form; I've really missed seeing him scrapping it out with the frontrunners in the last two races.

Then again, he's around 5 seconds off the fastest lap set by Jorge in "08. However, that was set in better conditions and on the old 800cc (I think? I've only been watching MotoGP since last year, so I'm not as clued up on the previous seasons as I would like to be...)

And Rossi is in third...refreshing...

So, we'll just wait on the second free practice session and see what happens. Go Jorge! ;P

Thanks David for the nice quick coverage. It seems just the sort of thing you expect from FP1 in unsettled weather conditions: midfielders and backmarkers doing better than usual because the playing field is levelled and/or the aliens aren't really bothering or don't want to risk their necks/bikes in conditions that more than likely won't apply on race day.

Spies went fastest only on his very last lap - and seemed to struggle against Hayden over his previous laps. Hayden on the other hand was consistently close to his best time for at least 3-4 laps prior. In the time available.