2012 Silverstone MotoGP FP1 Result: Rossi Leads Ducati 1-2 In The Wet

Valentino Rossi has topped the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Silverstone, taking advantage of the soaking track as the rain continues to fall here. Rossi led a Ducati 1-2, with Nicky Hayden finishing in 2nd, less than a tenth behind his factory Ducati teammate. Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest Yamaha, taking 3rd nearly eight tenths slower than Rossi, and staying ahead of both Casey Stoner on the Repsol Honda and his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Cal Crutchlow.

Stefan Bradl completed another impressive session, ending FP1 in 6th, ahead of the second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa, while championship leader Jorge Lorenzo set the 8th fastest time. Alvaro Bautista - who crashed halfway through the session - set the 9th fastest time, while Hector Barbera rounded out the top 10. Bautista was not the only crasher: Ben Spies also crashed at the same place as the Spaniard, after posting respectable times during the first half of practice. Both Bautista and Spies had big highsides, but both men walked away relatively unhurt.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 2'19.328    
2 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 2'19.405 0.077 0.077
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 2'20.127 0.799 0.722
4 1 Casey STONER HONDA 2'20.321 0.993 0.194
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 2'21.263 1.935 0.942
6 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 2'21.917 2.589 0.654
7 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 2'22.713 3.385 0.796
8 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 2'23.174 3.846 0.461
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 2'23.326 3.998 0.152
10 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 2'24.150 4.822 0.824
11 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 2'24.214 4.886 0.064
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 2'24.360 5.032 0.146
13 54 Mattia PASINI ART 2'24.390 5.062 0.030
14 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 2'25.012 5.684 0.622
15 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 2'25.051 5.723 0.039
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 2'25.065 5.737 0.014
17 77 James ELLISON ART 2'25.150 5.822 0.085
18 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 2'25.298 5.970 0.148
19 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 2'28.615 9.287 3.317
Not qualified (Out 107%) 2'29.081
  5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 2'31.468 12.140 2.853
Not Classified
  17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI      


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Total votes: 81

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When was the last time that happened? Did anyone get the slow down lap celebration on tape? Does this mean Ducati will be producing a " Friday Morning Silverstone" Multistrada rep in celebration? It's a funny old world.

Total votes: 83

He ended right at the back of the grid last year, was 6th in the race. He even binned it on Sunday morning warm-up; he did not look his usual 'perky' self as he walked off.

Perhaps Rossi / Duc is the perfect combination for a British summer!

As we are going this tomorrow and Sunday though, I rather hope the weather improves...

Total votes: 74

I for one would be perfectly happy to see Vale and Nick check out while the rest of the field goes Duc hunting.

Total votes: 77

WHY are the Ducs so awesome in the wet?!

(Webbed feet notwithstanding, of course.)

Total votes: 63

It's funny to me that even the riders themselves don't have an answer to why the Duc is such a great wet weather bike. I thought about this for a bit, and tried to be as objective as possible in my thought process. What is it that is different on race day? Duh, obviously it's wet. What else is different? Duh, rain tires. Other than a "wet map" for the fueling, and some rain gear not much else is different. Wet pavement is cooler so that's got to be a factor as well. So, on the surface anyway, there are 4 separate factors. Pavement temperature, less available traction ('cause it's wet) rain tires and a "wet map"

Of those 4 things 3 are the interface of the GP12 with the pavement. Since the wet map can obviously be tested anytime, that must not be a determining factor. So of the 3 remaining factors of lower grip level, rain tires, and pavement temperature, one or more of these things must be the difference in why the Ducati is good in the wet. Let's rule out pavement temperature first. It's obviously the same temperature for everyone, and the other two Ducati's don't seem to generate the same success in the wet.

That leaves the lower grip level and rain tires. Since the lower grip level also is the same for everyone, for the moment anyway, let's eliminate that too. That leaves the rain tires. Does anyone have any information on the construction of the rain tires?

I would contend that the difference in the rain tire construction is the source of the Ducati's wet weather strength. A number of years back, I read that to test the wet weather tires, the test riders took to a dry track and rode them until they went off. At that time, they were able to go a full race distance and then some before the tires started to go off. At that time, only Ducati and Suzuki were running Bridgetone tires. Is it just possible that the construction of the rain tire is similar to tires that Bridgestone made specifically for Ducati back then? If that's so, why is it that the other two Ducati's finish essentially where they do in the dry in a wet race? Nicky stated something that kind of gave a bit of insight there. He said that they always knew that the bike was better at getting heat into the tires. If that's true, and the version being ridden by Barbera and Abraham is no different to the GP0 from the beginning of last season I think the tires are the answer. Or at least a big part of it.

Finally, back to the wet map. It's not as aggressive in inital application which is something that Rossi has repeatedly mentioned. Not only in the GP12, but also in the R1 when he test rode the WSBK machines. I think, there is not a single factor why, but rather a combination of the 4 factors I point out. Combining the effects of each, the GP12 becomes a tiny bit less of a beast. Just enough that it can be tamed by a good rider.......sean

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