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Bautista fastest in mixed Misano final free practice

Bautista fastest in mixed Misano final free practice

San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista went fastest in what was yet another wet and dry practice session at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini in Misano this morning in front of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, as riders tried to make the most of a slowly improving track.

The MotoGP™ grid endured the third frustrating practice session in a row as a part wet track once again threw up question marks for teams as to what was to gain by heading out. The majority of riders went out on track at the start of the session on wet tyres to test the surface and their number one bike. After around 15 minutes many came into the pits to give their number two bike a shakedown, albeit staying on wet tyres, despite more and more dry patches appearing.

It was only with 12 minutes to got that some teams prepared the bikes for the dry, as some glimpses of sun promised a dry line in the dying minutes. And it was Bautista who kept pushing until the flag to set the best time of the morning with a 1.42’393, however not going under the time set by Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham yesterday. Ducati Team’s Rossi, one of the first to switch to slicks, was a second slower than Bautista, as he looked to get in a few minutes in almost-dry conditions.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo on the other hand did not deem conditions dry enough, and stayed out as long as possible on his wet tyre, putting in consistent laps until just before the end. Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa had set his time even earlier, and also wasn’t going to risk a run out on the slick tyre, instead remaining in the pits with his best time good enough for fourth. Behind him in fifth was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, ahead of Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. San Carlo’s Michele Pirro, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden rounded out the top ten.

Riders will have once again learned very little in these conditions, which could make for a very interesting qualifying practice this afternoon, should conditions be dry as expected. The only team to have significant dry-time at Misano this year is Ducati, which carried out a test at the track with Rossi after the Brno round.


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