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.
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.”
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 – Yamaha Factory Racing 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 – Yamaha Factory Racing 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.”
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.
Position 12th – Time: 1.44.384 – Laps 23
“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.”
Position 19th – Time 246.021 – Laps 19
“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.”
2012 MotoGP Spain
1 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’36.965
2 Michele Pirro FTR ITA 1’37.084
3 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’37.389
4 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’37.782
5 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1’38.115
6 Danilo Petrucci Ioda ITA 1’38.300
7 Ivan Silva BQR ESP 1’38.304
8 Roberto Rolfo ART ITA 1’38.905
9 James Ellison ART GBR 1’39.837
10 Hiroshi Aoyama BQR JPN 1’40.497
11 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’44.384
12 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’44.564
13 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 1’45.180
14 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’45.426
15 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’45.490
17 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’45.945
18 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 1’46.021
(Marco Melandri, 1/1/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Valentino Rossi, 10/29/2006)
Last Years Winner: