Casey Stoner was quickest out of the blocks in first practice for the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, setting the pace with just his sixth lap of the weekend. The World Championship leader hit the front eight minutes in the session and was never headed, although teammate Dani Pedrosa did finish just a tenth behind in second.
The Sachsenring winner did have a slight off at turn two early in the session which saw him tip the bike up in the gravel. After a bump start, he was back on his way and all but matched Stoner's 1:22.300, ending up 0.102s adrift.
The chasing pack behind Stoner was led for the most part by Jorge Lorenzo, as is the case in the championship. The Yamaha number one put in a solid run of laps midway through the session, all in the mid to late 1:22s range. The Spaniard finished up 0.120s down on Stoner with Ben Spies backing up his teammate in fourth.
They were followed by two more factory Hondas as Andrea Dovizioso took fifth with Marco Simoncelli so far avoiding the accidents that blighted his only previous visit to Monterey to finish sixth. Laguna Seca specialist Nicky Hayden was the leading Ducati in seventh after trying both the GP11 and GP11.1 during the session as the Italian squad continue their search for pace.
Colin Edwards ensured that three of the four home riders finished in the top ten by going ninth for Tech 3. His flyer late on pushed Valentino Rossi down to ninth after the seven-time MotoGP champion spent much of the session in the garage making adjustments to his GP11.1.
Alvaro Bautista managed to get the sole Suzuki into the top ten, edging out Hector Barbera's (Mapfre Aspar Team) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) on a pair of customer Ducatis.
Cal Crutchlow spoke in the build-up of his excitement to take on the Corkscrew but that nearly came back to bite him as he took to the gravel at that very corner before finishing 13th. Toni Elias was next up ahead of the returning Loris Capirossi and Laguna rookie Karel Abraham with Hiroshi Aoyama and debutant Ben Bostrom completing the 18-man field.
2011 Red Bull U.S Grand Prix: FP1
|1||Casey Stoner||AUS||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:22.300|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+0.102|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||SPA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+0.120|
|4||Ben Spies||USA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+0.506|
|5||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+0.611|
|6||Marco Simoncelli||ITA||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+0.910|
|7||Nicky Hayden||USA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+0.997|
|8||Colin Edwards||USA||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+1.159|
|9||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+1.167|
|10||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Suzuki||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+1.229|
|11||Hector Barbera||SPA||Ducati||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||+1.296|
|12||Randy de Puniet||FRA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+1.507|
|13||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+1.718|
|14||Toni Elias||SPA||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||+2.024|
|15||Loris Capirossi||ITA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+2.266|
|16||Karel Abraham||CZE||Ducati||Cardion AB Motoracing||+2.382|
|17||Hiroshi Aoyama||JAP||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+3.025|
|18||Ben Bostrom (WC)||USA||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||+4.986|