2012 Estoril MotoGP FP2 Result: Stoner Seizes Control From Yamaha Hordes

Casey Stoner has taken charge of the second session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Estoril, taking a clear lead over the Yamahas of Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow. On a dry track, though with conditions still some way from perfect, the Repsol Honda man stepped up the pace towards the end of the session to take over from Spies and leave himself over three tenths clear of the Yamahas.

After two miserable opening races, Spies has rediscovered himself at Estoril, topping the morning session of practice before leading much of the afternoon's FP2 session. In the end, he was forced into 2nd behind Stoner, and just fractionally ahead of Cal Crutchlow, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man continuing to impress. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa posted a fast lap at the end of the session to jump up to 4th, putting himself ahead of the second factory Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo. Alvaro Bautista was the first of the satellite Hondas, putting his San Carlo Gresini bike ahead of a gaggle of Ducatis. At the head of the Bologna fleet was Nicky Hayden, with Hector Barbera behind him in 8th, using a tow to gain a couple of places, while Valentino Rossi looked set to improve his position until the final sector of his last lap, where he lost a lot of time, leaving him in 9th just under a second behind Stoner. Andrea Dovizioso rounds out the top 10.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 1 Casey STONER HONDA 1'38.396    
2 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'38.717 0.321 0.321
3 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'38.742 0.346 0.025
4 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'38.797 0.401 0.055
5 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'38.930 0.534 0.133
6 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 1'38.959 0.563 0.029
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'39.029 0.633 0.070
8 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'39.193 0.797 0.164
9 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'39.357 0.961 0.164
10 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 1'39.615 1.219 0.258
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'40.207 1.811 0.592
12 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 1'40.898 2.502 0.691
13 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'41.088 2.692 0.190
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'41.634 3.238 0.546
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 1'41.638 3.242 0.004
16 54 Mattia PASINI ART 1'41.973 3.577 0.335
17 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 1'42.252 3.856 0.279
18 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 1'42.587 4.191 0.335
19 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 1'42.804 4.408 0.217
20 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 1'42.984 4.588 0.180
21 77 James ELLISON ART 1'43.665 5.269 0.681


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Yay for Spies! And it's awesome to see Cal mixing it up there at the front. Dani's right on his tail though; 0.055 isn't very much...

Glad to see him up there in FP1 and FP2. Friends have been wearing me out with statements lie, "What's up with your boy Spies?". Cal Crutchlow is nipping at his heels though. Saw FP1 but not FP2. Nicky Hayden seems to be getting the most out of that Ducati compared to everyone else. Stoner.....what else can be said. He is making it look too easy. Surprised to see Lorenzo so far back. Waiting for FP3 tomorrow before I get to making any predictions in my mind. But I will say, Ben Spies looks more mentally on than I have seen him in the last two races.

Practice is nice but Qualifying is the Bread and the Podium is the Meat for that Sunday Meal! My call for Sunday's results: Stoner, Cal, Dani, Jorge, and then Spies. If there are arm-pump issues: Dani, Cal, Stoner, Jorge, and then Spies! I hope I'm wrong for Spies' sake! Ben needs a very solid result after the 1st couple of races. The man to watch is Cal though. He's so hungry right now, I wouldn't want to be the guy he's chasing for a win especially if it's close on the last lap.

I guess he is working out how to qualify well, but other riders have a low opinion of those who regularly two themselves up the time sheet. Best watch out if he can get close enough to Stoner to gain a tow. Might get more than he bargains for, sore arms or not!

Watch FP2. Barbera did follow Stoner after geting in Stoners way in the final sector. Stoner past him shaking his head...

Barbera's fastest lap was not behind Stoner that time at least.

I've used the tow concept when I have gone to new tracks I've never raced before. Find a local and get in behind them to see what line they might be using to judge my own.

Barbera just takes it to a new level, seemingly needing to do it every weekend on tracks he's ridden many times.

David we're seeing three years of generally the same scenario from Spies, any thoughts on why? Granted it hasn't all been due to the same specific problems re-occurring each time. I suppose it could be chalked up as mere coincidence, but three in a row...

First year - hey he's a rookie
second year - That's just some crappy luck
third year - again really?

I'm a fan, not trying to bash the guy, I'm just rather surprised to see the same thing repeat itself 3x. Sure it hasn't all been his fault, but it seems as if his crew and himself require a few races to shake off the cobwebs or something. Consider his time in ASBK and WSBK things like this didn't occur....save for that lil bit down in the South Afrika race, which they immediately made a crew change thereafter and brought Woody in.

Im not a huge spies fan, actually hes one of the boringest people I've listened to. He speaks in a monotone and is a sponsor repeater.
That being said, year one he was a rookie, year two he had some nasty luck, year three the bikes and tires are totally different. He's a front end rider as well, and the new engines are beasts.
Plus add in that the electronics cut power to ensure the rider will finish, and it puts bigger riders at even more a disadvantage than the midgets --sorry aliens.

And the sun was in his eyes... :) Plus I want to be a professional basketball player, but being 5 foot 9 caucasian - I don't see it happening. Probably the other guys that a taller then me should play laying down, so it is fair :).

It is interesting that the negative comments directed at Spies have never been made about Nicky Hayden, despite the fact that in nine (9!) years on factory bikes in MotoGP Nicky only has three (3) race wins to his name. In Spies' rookie GP season (2010) he beat the late and very much lamented Marco Simoncelli. At Losail this year it turns out the rear sub-frame on Spies Yamaha was cracked. Not a good thing for a factory team to do - send a rider out on a broken bike. Other insiders say Ben has been suffering a lack of confidence, but with two-front-end loses at Losail in practice when the other Yamahas appeared to be on rails, one has to wonder whether his team is setting the bike up properly. Remember too he took two bruising high speed falls late last year, one at Phillip Island and another at Sepang. If he gets away well at Estoril and gets a good result, he may well surprise later in the season.