Simoncelli sharpest in wet Assen FP1

Thursday, 23 June 2011

San Carlo Honda Gresini Team rider Simoncelli lead the field in front of Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner in the first practice at the Iveco TT Assen on Thursday morning.

Rain disrupted the MotoGP session from the start, but Simoncelli started the weekend in the best possible way, lapping 0.360s ahead of Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi who is on board the GP11.1 Desmosedici for the Dutch TT. Completing the top three was Repsol Honda rider and series leader Casey Stoner, who was close to half a second down on Rossi.

The two Italians had tussled to lead the timings early in the session, swapping first and second fastest positions until the Australian stepped into the mix. All three pulled out fast laps at the close of the session, with Simoncelli coming out on top. The three were followed by Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) in fourth and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) in fifth.

Cal Crutchlow, after breaking his collarbone only two weeks ago at his home Silverstone race, stuck in out for 13 laps to lay down a time that put him sixth in the standings.

Rookie Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) carried his form over from the weekend in Silverstone with the seventh-fastest time, finishing the practice ahead of Americans Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in eighth, Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) ninth and Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) in tenth. Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) followed with 11th place.

Hiroshi Aoyama who is replacing the injured Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda team, put in a 12th fastest time in the wet session.

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