Rossi quickest in first Catalunya practice

Valentino Rossi led a Yamaha one-two in Friday practice for the Catalunya Grand Prix

Rossi quickest in first Catalunya practice

The world champion had sat in second behind his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo for most of the hour, but produced a 1m43.038s lap with five minutes to go to beat the Spaniard.

That put Rossi half a second clear, and although Lorenzo reduced the gap by two tenths, he had to settle for second.

The result will be a boost for Rossi after a difficult month that saw him crash at Le Mans and then only finish third at Mugello - ending a seven-year winning streak at his home track.

Casey Stoner took third for Ducati, despite having to switch to his spare bike following a fall at the hairpin at the end of the back straight. But the more significant result for the team was Nicky Hayden's encouraging sixth place on the second Ducati - his most competitive performance of the season so far.

The two Ducatis were split by Honda's Andrea Dovizioso and LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet, the latter showing his usual strong Barcelona form.

Loris Capirossi was the fastest Suzuki rider in seventh, ahead of Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards.

Dani Pedrosa took a tenative 14th on the second factory Honda as he nursed his injured hip, while his compatriot Sete Gibernau was 12th for Hernando Ducati as he returned after the collarbone breakage that forced him to miss Mugello.

Unsurprisingly given that his first taste of the bike came during the session, Scot Honda's new recruit Gabor Talmacsi was slowest of all. Amid rumours that Talmacsi will soon become the team's sole rider, his current team-mate Yuki Takahashi showed he will not relinquish the seat without a fight by taking ninth.

Pos Rider Bike Time Gap 1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m43.038s 2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m43.340s + 0.302s 3. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m43.636s + 0.598s 4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m43.684s + 0.646s 5. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m43.871s + 0.833s 6. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m44.152s + 1.114s 7. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m44.340s + 1.302s 8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m44.419s + 1.381s 9. Yuki Takahashi Scot Honda 1m44.484s + 1.446s 10. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m44.580s + 1.542s 11. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m44.649s + 1.611s 12. Sete Gibernau Hernando Ducati 1m44.678s + 1.640s 13. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m44.744s + 1.706s 14. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m45.043s + 2.005s 15. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m45.101s + 2.063s 16. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m45.126s + 2.088s 17. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m45.394s + 2.356s 18. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1m45.454s + 2.416s 19. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 1m47.654s + 4.616s 
shares
comments
Pedrosa hopeful about fitness for Spain

Previous article

Pedrosa hopeful about fitness for Spain

Next article

Rossi pleased to be back on the pace

Rossi pleased to be back on the pace
Load comments
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title Plus

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021