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Nov 9, 2012

De Puniet Tops Wet MotoGP Free Practice Two At Valencia (Updated)

Randy De Puniet (14).
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Valencia, Spain
November 9, 2012
Free Practice Two (wet conditions, all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Randy DE PUNIET, France (Aprilia-Aspar/ART), 1:36.965
2. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Honda-Gresini/FTR), 1:37.084
3. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:37.389
4. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), 1:37.782
5. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (DUCATI), 1:38.115
6. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (BMW-IODA/SUTER), 1:38.300
7. Ivan SILVA, Spain (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR), 1:38.304
8. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (Aprilia-Speed Master/ART), 1:38.905
9. James ELLISON, UK (Aprilia-PBM/ART), 1:39.837
10. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR), 1:40.497
11. Claudio CORTI, Italy (INMOTEC), 1:42.993

Not qualified (Out 107%) 1:43.752

12. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:44.384
13. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:44.564
14. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Japan (YAMAHA), 1:45.180
15. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (Aprilia-Aspar/ART), l:45.426
16. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:45.678
17. Colin EDWARDS, USA (BMW-Forward/SUTER), 2:06.873

Not Classified

18. Casey STONER, Australia (HONDA), no time recorded
19. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (YAMAHA), no time recorded
20. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), no time recorded
21. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), no time recorded
22. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), no time recorded

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Rain disrupts final race preparations in Valencia

A cool and wet start to the final round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia today prevented Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow from showing their usual high potential.

Dovizioso and Crutchlow were both eager to assess grip levels on a new surface at the tight and twisty track, but this morning's opening practice session took place in torrential rain.

Italian Dovizioso was still one of the most competitive on tra ck and a lap of 1.46.021 secured him the fourth quickest time. He completed 19-laps and the time on a wet track could be crucial, with rain currently forecast for Sunday's season finale.

Crutchlow also lapped comfortably inside the top 10 this morning, the British rider taking advantage of the soaking wet conditions to work on improving the rain setting on his YZR-M1 machine.

This afternoon's second session commenced under grey and gloomy skies, though there was no repeat of the earlier deluge. The new asphalt though was slow to dry and it wasn't until the final 15 minutes that a dry line started to appear and lap times began to tumble.

Dovizioso, who is making his final appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad this weekend, opted against taking to the track in less than ideal conditions.

Crutchlow only completed a short six-lap stint earlier in the session when the track was at its wettest before he returned to the pits. With the track still not fully dry and with little data to be gained by lapping on slick tyres, Crutchlow didn't take any further part in the action and he finished with a best time of 1.44.384.

Cal Crutchlow 12th 1.44.384 23 laps:

"Today wasn't a great day to be honest. I was looking forward to seeing how the new surface was in the dry but unfortunately the weather was a disaster. In this morning's session I should have been a lot faster and higher than eighth but I sat in the box for the last 10 minutes when the times were improving. I went out at the start of this afternoon's session but the conditions weren't wet enough for rain tyre s or dry enough for slicks, so it was best just to stop and not take any risks. Hopefully we can get more time on track tomorrow because I'm looking forward to finishing the season with a strong result."

Andrea Dovizioso 19th 1.46.021 19 laps:

"This morning was a strange session because this is the first time we have used the new asphalt and it was difficult to make any judgement in the rain. It took me a while to get a good feeling but at the end of the session I was happy with my pace and I am sure we have plenty of margin to improve and be faster in those conditions. That's very positive and important because the forecasts are predicting rain for Sunday. This afternoon it wasn't worth going out and I am sorry for the fans though that didn't get to see all of us on track today. I could have used slick tyres but the lap times would ha ve been six or seven seconds off the pace and you learn nothing and waste a set of tyres."

More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:

Grand Prix at Valencia under rainy conditions:
Fourth fastest lap of the day for Karel Abraham

Czech MotoGP Karel Abraham finished fourth in first two practice sessions of Grand Prix of Valencia at Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Abraham made his fastest lap making 1:47,777 which is 0, 817 second behind the fastest Randy de Puniet. Karel achieved his first World Championship victory at Ricardo Tormo Circuit and Valencia is the most unforgettable track for Czech MotoGP rider.

Karel Abraham
"The second session started one hour after light shower and the track was partly dry. But we couldn´t see it, because new tarmac on the track is very dark and we could only guess, if it´s dry or wet. We began on wet tyres as everyone, but it didn´t work. We must wait until the end of the session and we got back on the track only for some minutes. The track was partly dry, but I didn´t see it at all. After comparing our data I can see that I entered turn 1 very slowly, but that´s because I wasn´t sure that the tarmac is dry."

Marco Grana, Cardion AB Motoracing chief mechanic
"žIt was a difficult day. There´s new asphalt on the circuit and we didn´t know, how much of grip does it have. Morning practice had been completely wet, and the afternoon session was strange because of combined condition. In the last ten minutes Karel got back on the track and did fourth best time of the day. We are quite happy, because he was able to stay with Valentino, he likes the bike and I´m sure that he could be still faster. I hope that we will have one day completely dry, because we have two or three setup possibilities from which we need to choose the best one for Sunday."

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:

The last race of the 2012 MotoGP season was yet another frustrating weekend opener for the MotoGP riders with mixed conditions making any valuable set up improvements impossible. A wet morning session allowed the riders to get a feel for the new tarmac surface of the circuit however with a half wet and half dry track in the afternoon there was little reason for them to venture out. 2012 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up the morning wet session in third position and didn't venture out onto the track in the afternoon.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga, standing in for the weekend in place of injured rider Ben Spies, took a tumble on the final corner in the morning's rain soaked practice but was unhurt and able to continue. The 2012 All Japan Superbike Champion ventured out for just two laps in the afternoon session, choosing to sit out the remainder of the session along with Lorenzo.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga Position : 14th Time: 1'45.180 Laps: 19

"Today the sessions were very strange with mixed weather. I had a small fall this morning and I'm very sorry for the extra work for my team to fix it. I was a little nervous but am much more relaxed now and hope to keep this mood for the weekend. Last year I finished sixth here in the race and I hope to improve on my performance this this Sunday."

Jorge Lorenzo Position : 18th Time: 1'45.945 Laps: 14

"Like a lot of times this year we've had quite an easy Friday with not so much training. In the morning we made a few laps but in the afternoon it was mixed so we decided not to take any risks. There is a new surface on the track and we need some time to test it, especially in the dry."

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"Again another tough Friday with not many laps done. This morning was quite wet and the feeling was not that bad in the conditions, not perfect yet but we're happy with the grip so far. It's pretty constant everywhere, which is a big improvement compared to the older surface. Let's see how the grip is going to be in the dry as we haven't been able to test it yet."

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director

"It's been another useless Friday, we didn't test anything really so we hope the weather forecast will be better over the next two days. We will see what happens tomorrow. Nakasuga-san had a crash on the last corner but was not hurt so he will be back and fighting tomorrow."

More, from a press release issued by Speed Master:


The eighteenth event for the MotoGP class in the 2012 season started off today, at the circuit of Ricardo Tormo in Cheste, Valencia.

The weekend began with a session on wet track: Rolfo and his crew took advantage of the occasion to try some options for the set up for bad weather, in case they had to deal with the same conditions in the next two days.

In free practice n. 2, the track started to dry up during the session. That allowed Rolfo and his technicians to use the last few minutes at disposal to start working on the dry set-up, looking into some choices for the Spanish track. The Italian ended the session in eighth position, with his best time of 1'38.905.

Roberto Rolfo #84 - 8th with 1'38.905
"The conditions of today were very particular. I'm not that satisfied with the session of this morning, in the beginning I didn't really have a good feeling, even if after completing a few laps we managed to improve. With these uncertain conditions it's tough to understand our effective potential on this track. In the afternoon, on the other hand, I had fun on track, when it started to dry up. Initially we put together a few laps to make some extra tests on rain tyres, whereas at the end of the session we used slick tyres, in order to have an basic idea of the situation, in case of good weather tomorrow. I'm quite happy with the second session, we were consistent in our choices and improvements. The times that were set today are still far from competitive ones for everyone, but at least we have some information for dry track."

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Valencia, 9th November: the 2012 MotoGP World Championship concludes this weekend with the traditional season finale in Valencia at Ricardo Tormo circuit with poor rain and cloudy skies marking the first day of track action for Stefan Bradl and his premier class colleagues.

On this morning rain-hit track the German riding the RC213V set the 11th lap time chasing the best adjustments of his Honda machinery but awkward track conditions affected the second practice with the majority of the riders sitting out the 45-minute session including Bradl.

Stefan: "Actually it was not a very productive day for us because in this morning first outing the surface was wet and very slippery because of the new tarmac and it took me a while to get the right confidence on the bike. After some laps I was capable to ride as I normally do finding a good speed and a good rhythm. Unfortunately this afternoon the track conditions were pretty bad and I preferred to sit out the whole session but I am not worried about the situation because I know that our potential is higher than our actual position".

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

The last round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship has had a slow start for the riders and fans at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit.

It was the first chance for the riders to test the new asphalt here, but unfortunately the variable weather has affected the first day of free practice of the GP of La Comunidad Valenciana. With rain in the morning session, the Repsol Honda riders only managed a handful of laps - Dani Pedrosa was second fastest with a top time of 1'45.490 and completed 17 laps. Teammate Casey Stoner, still wary of his ankle injury, completed just 14 laps with a fastest lap time of 1'47.527 and finished 10th.

In the afternoon's FP2 session with mixed conditions, Casey chose not to take to the track. Dani, completed an out lap, but returned to the pit box deciding nothing could be learnt.

DANI PEDROSA 16th 1'45.490

"We didn't have so much time on track today. We had our first experience on the new asphalt in the wet and it seems like there are still some bumps, the worst point is turn 1, but we must wait for dry conditions to be able to judge the grip level of the new surface properly. Today it was important to go out in the morning because the weather conditions are not clear and it's possible that we may have rain on Sunday. In the afternoon we decided not to go out, so let's hope we have at least one dry session tomorrow to better understand the changes in the circuit and work on the best setup for the race".

CASEY STONER 20th 1'47.527

"I went out this morning to get a feeling on the wet track but I'm still not willing to risk anything, especially in a wet practice session. Then this afternoon there was no point in going out, it was half wet half dry the whole session and not a lot to learn. It's a little bit disappointing but hopefully we can get some better weather tomorrow and see what the new surface is like in the dry"

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

De Puniet quickest in damp opening day at Valencia

Friday, 9 November 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Wet. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 14-16°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Wet. Ambient 18-18°C; Track 19-18°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Randy de Puniet topped the timesheets on the opening day of practice at Valencia as the Power Electronics Aspar rider set a time of 1'36.965 with slick tyres on a damp but drying track.

De Puniet was one of eleven riders who tested the new Valencia surface on slick tyres at the end of the second free practice session after a dry line started to appear, though lap times are still five seconds off what can be expected in optimal track conditions.

The morning FP1 session was run in cool and fully wet conditions in which Ducati's Nicky Hayden clocked the best time of 1'44.485. For FP2 all riders that took to the track at the beginning of the session did so on the soft compound wet tyres though the drying track meant an almost complete dry line began to emerge halfway through the session at which point tyre choice trended towards the softer option slick tyres front and rear. Despite the lack of rain in FP2 conditions remained overcast keeping track temperatures to a maximum of 19°C.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

"I was eager to see the condition of the track following the recent resurfacing and in this morning's wet session the lap times were quite quick, though some riders commented that the grip level of the tarmac wasn't the best. In the afternoon session the track began to dry out, but the cool track temperatures and some damp patches in the last sector of the circuit made conditions quite challenging for riders. It was positive to see that those riders that headed out on slick tyres at the end of FP2 were able to put in many laps and get up to speed quickly on the 2012 specification tyres. Hopefully tomorrow we get a completely dry session so riders can fully assess the grip levels of the new track surface before the race."

More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

On the first day of the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana that was marred with damp and awkward track conditions it was Power Electronics Aspar's Randy de Puniet who went fastest in the premier-class ahead of Michele Pirro and Nicky Hayden.

In drying yet damp track conditions in the afternoon session, not many of the top-runners set a lap time, leaving it to the CRT contingent to test the surface. And it was ultimately De Puniet who set the quickest time in the high 1.36s, before retiring with a mechanical issue three minutes before the end. This moved San Carlo Honda Gresini's Michele Pirro into second place, with the Italian just over a tenth of the French rider.

Ducati Team's Nicky Hayden, who had been fastest in the fully wet morning session, left it late to head out on track on a pair of slicks, as the leading duo had, and managed to jump up to third on the timesheets. Cardion AB Racing's Karel Abraham put in seven laps on his satellite Ducati, ultimately ending the day in fourth just over eight-tenths off the top.

Hayden's teammate Valentino Rossi was the first prototype to emerge out on track with slicks, yet took it relatively easy, before putting in a lap that saw him come in fifth. Came IodaRacing Project's Danilo Petrucci will be pleased to see his name in sixth on the time chart, with the Italian seemingly finding a good rhythm with his Suter-BMW machine.

Behind him in seventh, Avintia Blusens' Iván Silva was the first man out on track in difficult conditions, and was leading much of the session when still on wet tyres. Continuing the theme of CRT bikes in the top ten, Speed Master's Roberto Rolfo finished the day in eighth place, ahead of Paul Bird Motorsport's James Ellison, who did well to recover from a crash in the morning session. Avintia's Hiroshi Aoyama made his return to MotoGP™ aboard the BQR-FRT machine in tenth.

Yamaha Factory Racing's World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso, as well as the Repsol Honda Team duo of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner were among those not to complete a flying lap, with very little to be learned in such conditions. Katsuyuki Nakasuga also crashed, but escaped unhurt, while Italian rider Claudio Corti made his GP debut on board Avintia Blusens' Inmotec chassis. He has also been confirmed as teammate to NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards for next season.


Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol's Marc Márquez was on record pace in the second free practice at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, finishing the day ahead of Pol Espargaró and Scott Redding.

Tuenti Movil HP 40's Espargaró had looked to take top spot in the session having already beaten the track record, yet it was Moto2™ World Champion Marc Márquez who put in a stunning lap in the dying seconds with a 1.36'090, just under four hundredths faster than his compatriot. Márquez's session was however not without incident, as a strong pass on Came IodaRacing Project's Simone Corsi saw the Italian crash, with the champion later heading to his pit box to apologise. He was later penalised by Race Direction, and will start Sunday's race from last on the grid. His team did not appeal against the decision.

In third, Marc VDS Racing Team's Scott Redding put in a good showing with a lap less than two tenths off the top, ousting Speed Master's Andrea Iannone into fourth. The Italian, who has been a bit off colour in recent races, will be pleased with his afternoon's form, as he looks to defend third place in the championship. JiR Moto2's Johann Zarco continued his good showing this weekend, although briefly dropped his bike in the gravel after running wide.

Interwetten-Paddock's Tom Lüthi came in sixth, ahead of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2's Nico Terol, who will hope to put on a good show at his home circuit, after having Turn 4 named after him. Blusens Avintia's Julián Simón, Technomag-CIP's Dominique Aegerter and Redding's teammate Mika Kallio completed the top ten, all within a second of the top spot. The only other crasher in the afternoon was TSR Galicia School wildcard Dani Rives, while in the morning, NGM Mobile Forward Racing's replacement rider Mattia Pasini crashed out of the session half way through, shortly after QMMF Racing's replacement rider Rafid Topan Sucipto. All crashers walked away unscathed.


In the second Moto3™ free practice for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana it was Caretta Technology's John McPhee who took advantage of the conditions to top the day's timesheets ahead of Jack Miller and Alex Márquez.

The afternoon Moto3™ session started wet, although the rain from earlier in the day had stopped. As riders went out on wet tyres, a dry line started to form, although the vast majority did not switch to slicks at the end with conditions still appearing a bit risky. It was however McPhee who thought otherwise and set a fast lap right at the very end on a pair of slick tyres to set the quickest time of 1.50'503, followed by teammate Jack Miller, who had also switched to those tyres.

Following the duo was Ambrogio Next Racing's Alex Márquez just over six tenths down, with RW Racing GP's Brad Binder in tow. Binder had appeared to be on a faster lap, yet was held up in the final few turns. In fifth, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3's Jonas Folger looked to be the quickest of the session throughout as he was consistently at the top of the timesheets when the track was still wet. He was almost evenly matched on pace by Blusens Avintia's Maverick Viñales, who will have to get a good result this weekend if he is to finish runner-up in the championship.

AirAsia-SIC-Ajo's Zulfahmi Khairuddin ended the day in seventh, followed by reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese. Cortese will aim to finish the season with another win, yet did not look to be risking anything in the mixed conditions. Racing Team Germany's Louis Rossi was ninth, just over 1.3s off the top, with Red Bull KTM Ajo's Danny Kent rounding out the top ten. The only crasher of the day was TT Motion Events Racing's Niklas Ajo in the wet morning session.

More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar Team:


POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team rider pushes through mixed track conditions to end the opening day of the final round of the season on top of the timesheets

The final action of the season started out on a wet Ricardo Tormo circuit this morning, with mixed conditions in the afternoon meaning the majority of MotoGP riders opted not to take part in the second session until the very latter stages. Still only sixteen riders turned a wheel this afternoon but none of them did so as quickly as POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team rider Randy De Puniet, who made history as the first CRT rider ever to end a day of MotoGP practice on top of the timesheets.

After lapping ninth fastest on the wet track this morning De Puniet showed his confidence to tackle the tricky conditions in the afternoon. The Frenchman is determined to finish the season with a good result at his team's home Grand Prix and he certainly showed his intentions today. His team-mate Aleix Espargaró raised eyebrows with the sixth fastest time this morning although he was wary not to take any risks this afternoon as he looks to avoid mistakes going into his date with CRT destiny on Sunday.

1st Randy De Puniet 1.36.965 (26 laps): "This morning I felt very comfortable with the bike and even though the track was wet and the rear was moving around I could tell that the new surface has good grip. The bumps have been taken out and it is easier to ride. The track conditions this afternoon were mixed but we tried to get a feeling for the slicks in the damp. It was hard to tell where the circuit was wet and where it was dry because the tarmac is dark. Even so I felt comfortable and I am happy because we finished the session on top. It's a shame we had an engine problem because it meant we had to finish four minutes early."

15th Aleix Espargaró 1.45.426 (22 laps): "I am happy with our work on the first day here at Valencia. I felt really comfortable on the wet track this morning and our hard work paid off with the sixth fastest time so we have to be happy with that. In the afternoon the track was dirty and neither wet nor dry so we weren't going to gain anything from riding so I preferred not to. Hopefully the conditions improve tomorrow so that we can pick up from our positive start to the weekend this morning."

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Third and fifth best times for Hayden and Rossi on wet Valencia track

The first day of practice for the GP de la Comunitat Valenciana repeated a script that has been seen on several occasions during the 2012 season: uncertain weather conditions, with a track that was wet in the morning and damp in the afternoon.

Nicky Hayden quickly came to terms with the conditions, posting the fastest time in the full-wet first session and the third-best in the nearly dry afternoon outing. Valentino Rossi was unsatisfied with the settings on which he started the day, so he and his team made some changes that showed promise in the afternoon and could be explored further in the case of more rain in the coming days.

Both Ducati Team riders approved of the resurfaced track, which is much smoother.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 3rd (1:37.389)
"Things went really well in the wet this morning. Since we switched to the new frame, I haven't had the same feeling in the wet as before, and it was clear after the wet race in Malaysia that we had to improve that. Today the team did a good job with a change to the rear, and I was able to go quite fast and had good feeling. It's nice to have that back. This afternoon, the track was patchy, and I just went out for a couple of laps at the end. They did a really good job with the surface, which is a lot smoother than before. We know our bike does better on smoother tracks, but we still have to see what it's like in the dry here. Tomorrow will be really busy because we'll have to take advantage of every bit of dry time possible."

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 5th (1:38.115)
"They did a great job with the resurfacing of the track because many of the bumps are gone. Grip still isn't fantastic, but that's pretty normal, as it takes some time. Anyway, the first impression is generally good. In the water this morning, we weren't ready with the setup, but we changed it and, in the few laps that I did at the beginning of the second session, I saw that it went much better. If it continues raining tomorrow, it would be interesting to continue working with that. Also, in the final minutes of the session, with the drying track and slick tyres, the feeling wasn't bad, but I didn't push too much because the conditions weren't ideal. Tomorrow we'll see what weather awaits us, and we'll continue in this direction."

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Good setting in the wet for Edwards

Complicated first day of free practices at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit for Coin Edwards and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team, only being able to take advantage of the morning session to work on the setting of the Suter BMW bike in wet conditions.

In the afternoon, with most of the MotoGP riders in the pits, Edwards tested the track and decided to not take unnecessary risks as the asphalt was not completely dry.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team has Claudio Corti riding this weekend with the Avntia Racing team on an Inmotec bike, sponsored by J.Juan.

Colin Edwards - 5

"Obviously we didn't get that much work done today, conditions seem to be following us around with this mixed sessions with rain. This morning the bike felt pretty good, didn't get enough laps in and this afternoon we were sitting around and waiting. We put tires in right at the end to get a couple laps to make sure that the bike was running. It was a day of sitting around, Hopefully tomorrow we'll get better weather, either rain or shine it doesn't matter, its about getting some track time in."

Sergio Verbena Crew Chief

"It's been a waist of a day due to the weather conditions. This morning we were able to have the first free practice in the rain: we used the same rain setting that we used and had worked really well in Sepang. Colin is satisfied but tomorrow we will have to work on the dry setting, let's hope that the weather allows it."

Claudio Corti 71

"It is a great feeling to be on track for the first time in the MotoGP category. I would like to thank NGM Mobile Forward Racing that has provided this opportunity for me to take part in this GP, I would also like to thank Avintia Racing and Inmotec for considering me. The weather conditions have complicated things and it takes a bit of time to be performing with a CRT but being here today in this category it's a great starting point."