Bautista quickest in wet afternoon practice
|3.||R. de Puniet||1:48.684|
4 November 2011 – Spain’s Álvaro Bautista has moved ahead in Friday afternoon practice for the MotoGP of Valencia. As rain continued to fall at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and its surrounding area, the Suzuki topped the timesheets from Nicky Hayden’s factory Ducati and the Pramac bike of Randy de Puniet.
Because of the conditions, the entire field cautiously took to the circuit as a damp track from the morning became a wet surface for the afternoon. Several riders are displaying tributes to the late Marco Simoncelli, although none is more conspicuous than team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama’s, whose Gresini bike is running with no livery.
Bautista’s best time came in the shape of 1:47.975, with Coventry’s Cal Crutchlow making the top five for Tech 3. Just ahead, in fourth position, was Karel Abraham, although his Cardion machine picked up noteworthy damage as it barrel-rolled across the Turn 1 gravel trap following a fall.
Also in sizeable trouble at the first corner was Ben Spies’ Yamaha, which went down after touching a slippery white line delineating the edge of the track. Toni Elías suffered an off at Turn 2 and Aoyama also found himself in the wars, although both men were able to walk away without a limp, unlike the aforementioned Spies.
The leading Repsol bike was this time that of Andrea Dovizioso in fourth spot, with Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa – who topped the first session – eighth and ninth behind Valentino Rossi. Josh Hayes, substituting for the recovering Colin Edwards, completed the top ten ahead of Katsuyuki Nakasuga, stand-in for Jorge Lorenzo, and Loris Capirossi at the start of the experienced Italian’s last MotoGP race weekend.
Saturday’s third practice session starts at 10:10am local time (GMT +1)