The whole of the MotoGP paddock was left frustrated at Aragon in Spain yesterday when a power outage at a nearby electricity station caused the cancellation of the afternoon’s practice session.
Álvaro Bautista (1’52.224, 18 laps) had made a solid start to this weekend’s proceedings in the morning session, recording the 13th fastest time and also getting through a large amount of work – on the same set of softer compound Bridgestone race tyres - as he tried to find a clear direction for the rest of the weekend. He was left disappointed at the decision to abandon this afternoon’s practice - despite the best efforts of the circuit’s organisers to re-instate the power to enable the session to go ahead – but also agreed that it was the only possible option due to safety concerns.
Bautista and the rest of the MotoGP riders will have a 75-minute session tomorrow morning - plus the usual hour of qualifying in the afternoon - to make up for some of today’s lost time.
Sunday’s 23-lap race is the 14th round on the MotoGP calendar and the main event gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
“This morning we started with the softer compound tyres on the bike to get a feeling of the track and up until the middle of the session we were doing ok, but I continued with the same set of soft tyres till the end and by then they were very worn and I could not improve my lap-time. The rest of the guys put in new harder tyres and went quicker than me so I was not too worried about this morning’s position. We have to try the harder tyre because I think the softer version is only really good for seven or eight laps and after that in these conditions it will drop off quite a bit. We are really disappointed with what happened this afternoon because we had many things to test, we had a new gearbox, the harder tyres and a new setting to try and get more grip from the rear, but now we have to wait for tomorrow. I know it was the right thing to do as race control couldn’t see what was happening around the track, but it was still frustrating that we couldn’t get on with our work. We won’t have much time between the sessions tomorrow to make many changes, so I hope we make the right choice with the direction in the morning, because we can’t afford to go in the wrong way with only two sessions. I am confident that we will still have a good weekend and I am looking forward to the race very much.”
Gran Premio de Aragon Free Practice Classification:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’50.281: 2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +0.449: 3. Casey Stoner (Honda) +0.525: 4. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +0.612: 5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.810: 13. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.943: