Round five of the FIM MotoGP championship takes place in Catalunya, Spain this weekend and the battle continues to heat up between defending World Champion Casey Stoner and Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.
While the Repsol Hondas of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were on top of the leaderboard in this mornings first free practice (Casey Stoner lead with a time of 1:42:775), it was Jorge Lorenzo who smashed the charts in the second free practice of the day, with a time of 1:42:099.
Second in this afternoon’s free practice was San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, who after showing impressive form, laid down a laptime of 1:42:306. Third place went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who has once again been strong all weekend, and will no doubt be hunting his first ever podium on Sunday.
Behind Crutchlow by just over one tenth of a second was his Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who showed significant improvement from his eighth place in the morning session. Fifth place in FP2 went to Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who was just over half a second down from Lorenzo. Yamaha’s Ben Spies saw improvements over the morning session by coming in 6th place in FP2 with a time of 1:42:802.
Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa rounded out 7th place as the Spanish rider appeared to be working on set-up in the afternoon session. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was only marginally behind his factory counterpart, followed by Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who in the afternoon session could not match his morning practice boast of top Ducati.
In tenth spot, Pedrosa’s teammate Casey Stoner appeared to be working on set-up issues, as he was the only rider not to go faster than in the morning session. Valentino Rossi’s podium last time out was not a sign of things to be as he finished the session almost 1.5s off the top in 12th, after having switched to his second bike with different gear ratios shortly before the end. Top CRT spot went to Power Electronics Aspar’s local rider Aleix Espargaró in 13th.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards also returns to action at Catalunya this weekend, following time off from an injury sustained to his left collarbone during qualifying at Estoril, Portugal . Edwards was 16th quickest in FP2 with a time of 1:45:868 aboard his CRT machine.
Currently, Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo leads the series championship by 8 points over defending World Champion Casey Stoner.