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Simoncelli stays on top at Estoril

Marco Simoncelli, Gresini Honda, Estoril 2011Marco Simoncelli continued to set the pace in second practice for the Portuguese MotoGP event at Estoril, despite a crash during the session.

The Gresini rider, using the same bike as the works Honda men, posted a best time of 1m37.663s early in the session, and that remained unbeaten until the chequered flag.

Simoncelli's session was interrupted with 20 minutes to go, when the Italian crashed at Turn 3 after losing control of his Honda. He walked away from the accident and returned to action a few minutes later.

In a very close session, world champion Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest with the Yamaha, the Spaniard just 0.061 seconds behind Simoncelli. Factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was third quickest, 0.003 seconds behind Lorenzo, after posting his best time of the day on his very last lap.

Valentino Rossi was fourth on the top Ducati, with Casey Stoner completing the top five on the second works Honda.

The 45 minutes were largely trouble-free, with Simoncelli's crash the only significant incident.

The Portuguese circuit was hit by rain as soon as the session ended.

Suzuki's sole rider Alvaro Bautista continued with his acclimatisation in his return to action after his injury, although the Spaniard was again slowest, over a second behind his closest rival Randy de Puniet.

Pos  Rider                 Team/Bike       Time       Gap        Laps
 1.  Marco Simoncelli      Gresini Honda   1m37.663s             17
 2.  Jorge Lorenzo         Yamaha          1m37.724s  + 0.061s   21
 3.  Dani Pedrosa          Honda           1m37.727s  + 0.064s   19
 4.  Valentino Rossi       Ducati          1m38.102s  + 0.439s   21
 5.  Casey Stoner          Honda           1m38.102s  + 0.439s   15
 6.  Colin Edwards         Tech 3 Yamaha   1m38.203s  + 0.540s   22
 7.  Karel Abraham         Cardion Ducati  1m38.473s  + 0.810s   20
 8.  Ben Spies             Yamaha          1m38.563s  + 0.900s   21
 9.  Nicky Hayden          Ducati          1m38.596s  + 0.933s   20
10.  Hector Barbera        Aspar Ducati    1m38.611s  + 0.948s   21
11.  Hiroshi Aoyama        Gresini Honda   1m38.645s  + 0.982s   21
12.  Andrea Dovizioso      Honda           1m38.658s  + 0.995s   22
13.  Cal Crutchlow         Tech 3 Yamaha   1m38.760s  + 1.097s   19
14.  Toni Elias            LCR Honda       1m38.912s  + 1.249s   21
15.  Loris Capirossi       Pramac Ducati   1m39.021s  + 1.358s   20
16.  Randy de Puniet       Pramac Ducati   1m39.137s  + 1.474s   20
17.  Alvaro Bautista       Suzuki          1m40.173s  + 2.510s   21

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