The MotoGP championship resumed in all it’s glory today in Estoril. And it was San Carlo Honda Gresini‘s Marco Simoncelli who drew first blood in free practice, topping the timesheets in both sessions, despite losing the front end of his Honda machine in the second session and having to use his reserve bike.
Yamaha rider and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo improved his time in the second session but still couldn’t beat Simoncelli and finished the day 0.061s behind the Italian with rival, Repsol Honda‘s Dani Pedrosa just another 0.003s behind in 3rd.
Fourth place was secured by Ducati’s Valentino Rossi whose time was identical to 5th place man Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. The pair both set a time of 1:38.102s in the second session. Monster Yamaha Tech3‘s Colin Edwards looked promising in 6th place, just 0.101s behind Rossi and Stoner. The trio will be hoping for a better weekend than in Jerez, after Rossi’s and Stoner’s coming together and Edwards will be hoping to push for a podium as he ended in the gravel in Jerez when looking set to claim the final step of the podium.
Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham posted an impressive 7th place in FP2, with the rookie having a 10th place finish at the circuit in 2010 in Moto2. After running off in the first session, Yamaha’s Ben Spies eventually secured 8th place in the afternoon. The second Ducati of Nicky Hayden finished in 9th place ahead of satelite Ducati rider Hector Barbera on the Mapfre Aspar machine rounding out the top ten.
Hiroshi Aoyama missed out on a top ten finish by just 0.034s on the second San Carlo Honda Gresini machine, ahead of the struggling Andrea Dovisioso on the third Repsol Honda machine in 12th with Monster Yamaha Tech3 Brit Cal Crutchlow placing in a solid 13th place, having never ridden around the circuit before.
Toni Elias had improved fortunes when compared to the previous two weekends, as he managed to place his LCR Honda in 14th place, ahead of the struggling Pramac Ducatis of Loris Capirossi and Randy De Puniet in 15th and 16th with Rizla Suzuki’s Ãlvaro Bautista starting his amazing comeback in 17th after completing both sessions.