Simoncelli tops Estoril test

Marco Simoncelli went some way towards making amends for his Portuguese Grand Prix crash by topping the post-race test at the Estoril circuit today

Simoncelli tops Estoril test

The Gresini Honda rider had been fastest in Friday practice last weekend and then came close to a maiden pole, only to have an accident just four corners after the start of the race.

But he showed what might have been in today's test, setting the pace with a 1m36.211s lap to beat championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) by 0.105 seconds.

Casey Stoner was third for Honda, a further 0.2s off the pace.

Cal Crutchlow put in a spectacular performance to take fourth on the Tech 3 Yamaha, with his team-mate Colin Edwards also showing strong form in sixth. They were split by Valentino Rossi's Ducati and just ahead of Ben Spies (Yamaha), Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati).

Sunday's race winner Dani Pedrosa was only 10th. Although his shoulder had held up well enough for him to triumph in the grand prix despite recent surgery to remove a plate from his collarbone, he was feeling the effects of the weekend today and withdrew after 17 laps.

Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista, still recovering from a broken leg sustained in Qatar, also called a halt to his test early, handing the bike to development rider Nobuatsu Aoki.

Other men on the injured list were Pramac Ducati's Randy de Puniet, who suffered severe knee pain in yesterday's race in the wake of recent surgery to remove a screw from an old injury, and Aspar Ducati's Hector Barbera, who sustained a minor vertebrae fracture in a first-lap fall yesterday. Both chose not to run at all today.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m36.211s 2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m36.316s + 0.105s 3. Casey Stoner Honda 1m36.602s + 0.391s 4. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m36.850s + 0.639s 5. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m37.382s + 1.171s 6. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m37.410s + 1.199s 7. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m37.421s + 1.210s 8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m37.460s + 1.249s 9. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m37.463s + 1.252s 10. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m37.679s + 1.468s 11. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 1m38.032s + 1.821s 12. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m38.087s + 1.876s 13. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m38.412s + 2.201s 14. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 1m38.633s + 2.422s 15. Nobuatsu Aoki Suzuki 1m38.850s + 2.639s 
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