Valencia MotoGP: Randy de Puniet leads quiet practice in damp
|By Sam Tremayne||Friday, November 9th 2012, 14:06 GMT|
Randy de Puniet went fastest in a largely futile second MotoGP practice for the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix.
As has been the case numerous times this year, conditions were in the uncertain corridor between wet and dry, leading to most of the typical frontrunners opting not to go out at all.
In their absence the battle for top spot - at least once slicks became useable - came down to a fight between CRT riders Ivan Silva, Michele Pirro and de Puniet.
It was the Frenchman who shaded it, his fastest time of 1m36.695s just over one tenth faster than Pirro's best.
Silva, the first man to try the soft slick, had lowered the benchmark several times in the closing stages but ultimately paid the price for being in the pits in the final minutes, when conditions were at their best.
As a result he was bumped down to seventh, behind the Ducatis of Nicky Hayden, Karel Abraham and Valentino Rossi and also the Ioda Suter of Danilo Petrucci.
Rossi had been fastest in the wet early exchanges, while Hayden opted to go out only in the final five minutes.
That was still more than the other prototype riders managed.
After a brief excursion, seemingly aimed more at entertaining the crowds than data gathering, newly crowned champion Jorge Lorenzo spent the rest of the session giving pitlane interviews.
There was a scarcity of action in the Honda camp too, with neither Dani Pedrosa nor Casey Stoner heading out.
Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow did at least manage a few laps, but only in the early stages in the wet. As a result he wound up down in 12th position at the flag, some seven seconds off de Puniet's pace.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m36.965s 2. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m37.084s + 0.119s 3. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m37.389s + 0.424s 4. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m37.782s + 0.817s 5. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m38.115s + 1.150s 6. Danilo Petrucci Ioda Suter-BMW 1m38.300s + 1.335s 7. Ivan Silva Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m38.304s + 1.339s 8. Roberto Rolfo Speed Master Aprilia 1m38.905s + 1.940s 9. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 1m39.837s + 2.872s 10. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m40.497s + 3.532s 11. Claudio Corti Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m42.993s + 6.028s 12. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m44.384s + 7.419s 13. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m44.564s + 7.599s 14. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha 1m45.180s + 8.215s 15. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m45.426s + 8.461s 16. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m45.678s + 8.713s