Crash.Net MOTOGP News
Abraham leads another 'lost session' at Misano
14 September 2012
The opening day of the San Marino MotoGP has ended with only 13 of the 21 riders registering a lap time after two cold and damp practice sessions at Misano.
Nine riders, seven of them in the privateer CRT class, had completed a lap in the morning session - and conditions were almost identical for the start of the afternoon 45-minutes.
The CRT riders that took to the track early in FP2 were confident enough to run slicks, while the initial prototype appearances - by Andrea Dovizioso (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) - were with wet tyres.
World Superbike star Jonathan Rea, making his MotoGP debut in place of the injured Casey Stoner at Repsol Honda, then rode his first lap of a grand prix session on soft slicks after five minutes.
The 25-year-old Ulsterman, who has had three days of testing prior to this weekend, then briefly moved to the top of the pile after ten minutes.
But lap times were still over ten seconds from full dry pace and the frontrunners showed no intention of emerging from the pits - especially when spots of rain began to fall once again.
An accident shortly after for Avintia's Yonny Hernandez confirmed the dangers, although a further deterioration in the weather spurred a few more riders into action with wet tyres in the final ten minutes.
Ultimately only eleven riders were credited with a lap time this afternoon, the best of which was a 1m 42.030s by Cardion AB Ducati's Karel Abraham.
Abraham, who is considering CRT options to remain in MotoGP next year, was the only rider to beat the 1m 43.178s by Danilo Petrucci in the morning session. Petrucci and his Ioda team are making their BMW-Suter debut this weekend.
World championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who starts this weekend with a 13-point advantage over Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, spent part of the session chatting with Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read in the Factory Yamaha pits.
Lorenzo and Pedrosa never looked like taking to the track today, meaning - like their rivals - they will have to cram in their usual preparation into the three track sessions that remain prior to Sunday's grand prix.
Local hero Valentino Rossi, making his final home appearance as a Ducati rider, took to the track at the midway stage of the afternoon, but rain spots sent him back into the pits without crossing the finish line.
Rossi has a new chassis and swingarm to try this weekend.
Fortunately, the Misano weather is forecast to improve as the weekend goes on.
Rea is riding with the #56 this weekend, his usually #65 in WSBK having been retired by MotoGP after Loris Capirossi's final race.Friday practice (2):
1. Karel Abraham
2. James Ellison
3. Michele Pirro
4. Yonny Hernandez
5. Jonathan Rea
6. Danilo Petrucci
7. David Salom
8. Ben Spies
9. Randy De Puniet
10. Mattia Pasini
11. Alvaro Bautista