Spies Leads Title Rivals On Friday At Aragon

Ben Spies topped the timesheets in Friday Practice ahead of the Aragon Grand Prix on a day dominated by the weather. The American led title rivals Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo but no time was spent on the dry tyres, presenting few clues as the competitiveness of the respective manufacturers in race trim.

With the track at the awkward stage where neither slick tyres nor wet tyres would provide sufficient grip, only nine riders bothered to complete a lap in the morning session. Grip levels hadn’t been helped by an oil spillage during the preceding Moto3 session which had already delayed proceedings for an hour. For the record, Nicky Hayden led a Ducati 1-2 from teammate Valentino Rossi with Aleix Espargaro third for Power Electronics Aspar.

The rain intensified for second practice but that enabled the riders to gain some useful mileage on the wet tyres. Stefan Bradl was the early leader of the session on his LCR Honda but Pedrosa and Lorenzo overhauled him at the halfway mark, only for Spies to usurp the lot of them with a 2:02.096, half a second quicker than his teammate.

Lorenzo responded with a 2:01.855 but Spies was finding time with every lap that passed, eventually getting down to a 2:00.219 to comfortably outpace his teammate. Pedrosa managed to slot into the half second gap between the Yamahas to grab second while Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso pushed Bradl back to sixth.

Cal Crutchlow was a quiet seventh on the second Tech 3 Yamaha with Valentino Rossi eighth overall. Karel Abraham took his satellite Ducati to ninth with Alvaro Bautista completing the top ten. For the second race running, Jonathan Rea was denied dry track time on the opening day and was eleventh in the wet while James Ellison finished fourteenth for Paul Bird Motorsports.