The opening day of the Grand Prix of Aragon was brought to an abrupt end this afternoon as a power failure in the local sub-station cut all electricity to the track. As a result there will be no second free practice, instead an extended third session tomorrow morning will compensate. Despite the shortened day reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up in good form, finishing second fastest, 0.449 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa in first. Team mate Ben Spies was also quick to find a good direction for his YZR-M1. The Texan rose to third whilst using the softer tyres, only dropping in the time sheets to 11th as the rest of the field switched to faster rubber. The results leave the team optimistic for a strong performance from both riders tomorrow.
Position 2nd – Time 1.50.730 – Laps 16
“This morning we started in a good direction, finishing second just four tenths slower than Dani who was top. It’s too early to make too many conclusions because the track is too dirty so tomorrow will be the real day to see who is fastest. We are very disappointed to not be able to make the second start, we have so many things we wanted to try but at least we have an extra half an hour tomorrow to take profit from.”
Position 11th – Time 1.51.911 – Laps 17
“This morning was actually quite a good session for us; we were up to third position and then we opted not to change tyres and work on the set up. It seems everyone else tried the harder tyre in the end which worked a lot better so we’re looking forward to using that. We picked which set up we are going to move forward on so the end result of the session was definitely not what the bike is capable of. Tomorrow should be good. I’m annoyed about this afternoon, it’s no one persons fault but it’s frustrating.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“The first practice went ok, everybody struggled a bit on grip but second place in the end wasn’t bad. We were looking forward to free practice two because the track changes a lot after some usage by the other classes. We were never able to ride due to the electricity problem so we’re looking forward to tomorrow morning to see what we can do.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We only had one practice and we didn’t want to use two sets of tyres for Ben in the first session so we stuck with one. The bike set up wasn’t so bad but the plan was to try it this afternoon with the right tyres. We’ve lost a day so we’ll see what happens tomorrow, it’s going to be a really busy day. Jorge started well, finishing second was a good beginning, we look forward to seeing what he can do tomorrow.”
Power cut disrupts practice for Edwards and Crutchlow
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow experienced a disrupted start to preparations for this weekend’s Motorland Aragon MotoGP race after a major power outage ended in the cancellation of today’s second practice session.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team pair were eager to get back on track after a positive and productive 45-minute opening practice when the disruption started minutes before the pitlane was due to open to commence this afternoon’s session.
Power was restored and the session was due to finally get underway over two hours later than scheduled at 420pm local time. But just as Edwards and Crutchlow got back into their leathers, the electricity supply failed again a nd organisers were left with little option but to postpone practice.
As a result of today’s disruption, Edwards and Crutchlow will take part in an extended practice tomorrow morning, which will be run over 75 minutes instead of the scheduled 45.
The power issues provided Edwards with an unusual start to his 150th MotoGP race, the American finishing ninth on the leaderboard this morning with a best time of 1.51.826. The 37-year-old was happy with the base set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and he’s confident modifications planned for this afternoon would have helped him significantly lower his lap times.
The cancellation of the second session was particularly frustrating for British rider Crutchlow, who lost valuable time in trying to build up his knowledge of the technical Motorland Aragon track.
Crutchlow had once again demonstrated his pr owess at learning new tracks with impressive speed with a lap of 1.52.580 leaving him close to the top 10 this morning. He finished 14th but he opted to use Bridgestone’s soft compound front and rear tyres throughout the whole session, while the best lap times were all set on the harder options. Crutchlow is confident had he used the harder compounds available he would have challenged for a place inside the top 10.
Position 9th – Time 1.51.826 – Laps 19
That was a pretty easy day and to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever been in and out of my leathers so many times in one day. This morning I felt pretty good and comfortable, which was immediately a good sign because I didn’t have a very good feeling with this track last year. We struggled for rear grip last year and I rode a soft front tyre in the race to try and find something that worked. But this morning I was happy right from the start on the hard front and rear and we know we can make the set-up better. We had a few ideas to help this afternoon but obviously there were some electricity issues and that’s a pity for the fans that came out to watch us today. It was the right decision so we’ll use the extra rest and come out strong tomorrow aiming to improve our pace.”
Position 14th – Time 1.52.580- Laps 19
“I was really happy this morning because it was a good solid start and I really enjoyed riding the track. It was a pity I couldn’t have lapped a little bit faster but I stayed on the soft front and rear tyres for the whole session. Most of the other guys used the harder tyres and when Colin changed he dropped his time by a second. I’m sure I could have done the same and then I’d be looking at being inside the top 10, which is always my goal. It is ob viously disappointing not to have the second session because it hurts me more than the other guys. I need to be out there learning the track and you lose the momentum gained. I felt really confident at the end of this morning and was looking forward to this afternoon, but now I’ve got to build up my pace all over again. There’s nothing I can do about what happened and I’m confident with more time on track I can climb further up the timesheets.”
2011 MotoGP Spain
Motorland Aragon 16/09/2011
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’50.281
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’50.730
3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1’50.806
4 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’50.893
5 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’51.091
6 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 1’51.376
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’51.418
8 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1’51.676
9 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’51.826
10 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’51.859
11 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’51.911
12 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’52.016
13 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’52.224
14 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’52.580
15 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’53.158
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 9/19/2010)
Last Years Winner: