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Jerez hums to the sound of MotoGP™

Jerez hums to the sound of MotoGP™

Jorge Lorenzo got off to a flying start at the final 2012 pre-season MotoGP™ Test at Jerez on Friday, laying down the fastest lap by the midway point of the opening day and with Dani Pedrosa, Ben Spies and Casey Stoner all within three-tenths of a second of the Yamaha rider.

With the first practice session of the 2012 MotoGP™ season-opener in Qatar now less than a fortnight away, the final Test at Jerez kicked off on Friday morning in pleasant conditions, with the 21-rider premier class field wasting little time in getting going under sunny skies and very light wind.

The track opened at 10am local time and within 20 minutes Ducati Test rider Franco Battaini, Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo and CRT rider James Ellison (Paul Bird Motorsport) had all been out to see how conditions fared. Shortly after, Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies and another CRT man, Iván Silva (Avintia Racing), joined them as a steady trickle of riders emerged from Pit Lane.

By 2pm local time, precisely halfway through the day, Lorenzo had lapped the quickest in a time of 1'40.118, with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa +0.080s down on the 2010 World Champion. Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies was just 0.094s off him, with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) 0.263s off the Spaniard's marker. Nicky Hayden was the highest placing Desmosedici on his Ducati Team GP12, at just over 0.4s off Lorenzo's pace as the Yamaha rider concentrated on electronic settings in order to improve acceleration.

Cal Crutchlow was the fastest non-factory rider. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was sixth quickest by the midway point in a time of 1'40.649, with Valentino Rossi three-tenths further back in a time of 1'40.956 on his Ducati.

With the CRT machines all out on the same track at the same time for the first occasion this pre-season, Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar Team) was the quickest of the entire nine-rider selection, taking his ART machine round in a best time of 1'41.564 by 2pm. The Frenchman has ridden his Aprilia twice at the track already in this pre-season however.

De Puniet was one of two riders who crashed during the opening half of the day, the other being Álvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini), and both fell without major consequence.

You can follow regularly updated live times from the circuit here. A full end-of-day report will also appear on once the track is closed to riders at 6pm local time.

MotoGP, 2012

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