Tentative first day back on the bike for Simon
There were Friday falls in MotoGP and 125cc beforehand, and the Moto2 practice sessions were no exception. Their morning runout was undertaken on a wet track that at least dried out before the end of the session, although the afternoon Free Practice was a completely wet affair after a heavy downpour. Stefan Bradl was the fastest in the morning, Andrea Iannone in the afternoon and the former obviously placing highest on the combined timesheet. Bradl leads the World Championship and can be crowned title winner tomorrow, should only rival Marc Márquez continue his absence from the Valencia GP.
Julián Simón was back in action on Friday, after almost a month and a half away from the series. The Spaniard has had another operation on his troublesome right leg since taking his leave of absence, and was cautious on his comeback. Sixteenth fastest in the morning, he rode just five laps in the afternoon in order to avoid running the risk of a crash. He will save his strength for Saturday’s double bill of practice and qualifying.
Jordi Torres was also prudent, stil bearing the marks on his fingers from some recent crashes. He clocked the 27th fastest time overall and hopes to take a big step forward tomorrow.
Elena Rosell continued to reward the MAPFRE Aspar Team’s faith in her, adapting quickly to some unfamiliar conditions with her Moto2 machine. She made quick improvements at the end of the afternoon session.
16th Julián Simón 1.46.714 (19 laps): “It was great to be back on the bike, and today I was able to see that my leg is definitely in better shape than before the operation. We worked well in the morning, but I didn’t want to take any risks in the afternoon when the track was wet. I only completed five laps in FP2. The last thing that I wanted in my condition was to risk a crash. After today we know more or less what is required in the wet. We didn’t try much more in order to play it safe and conserve the tyres for if it rains again tomorrow. I am hoping that qualifying is dry, so that I can get a good grid position.”
27th Jordi Torres 1.49.428 (34 laps): “It is an honour to be able to ride here at the Valencia GP with the MAPFRE Aspar Team. Today wasn’t a nice day, but we hope that tomorrow conditions are better and we can also improve. I think that we have the chance to have a good race in the dry. At the end of the morning session the track dried out a little, but the asphalt was still slippery. Today I took things easy, because I didn’t want to push too hard and crash after my recent falls. I had a couple of scares, but this first day has been fairly positive. I hope that the sun comes out tomorrow, and that we can push hard.”
35º Elena Rosell 1.52.098 (29 laps): “There were some pretty strange conditions all day, but things went ok for us. The track dried out a lot in the morning, but a downpour just before the afternoon session went against us. We worked hard and picked up a bit of ‘feeling’ with the bike on this track. It is a shame that it rained, because we need to get as many miles under our belts as we can. These conditions affect us more than others, but we have to wait and see if things improve tomorrow. This track is very slippery, so we have to be cautious and maintain concentration; the smallest blip can be very costly.”
Source: Mapfre Aspar Team