2011 Qatar MotoGP FP1 Result: Stoner Dominates, Barbera Surprises

Casey Stoner stamped his authority on the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Qatar, putting six tenths of a second on the rest of the field, and continuing the dominance he displayed in testing. The Australian was the only man to finish inside the 1'55 bracket, with his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. The surprise of the session was the Mapfre Aspar Ducati of Hector Barbera, the Spaniard blitzing to 3rd just a few hundredths behind Pedrosa.

Another couple of hundredths behind Barbera is San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli, another rider who had shown strongly in testing, whilst Valentino Rossi put in a strong last couple of laps to end the day in 5th, though still nearly three quarters of a second off the man who left Marlboro Ducati to go to Honda. Rossi will be pleased to have finished ahead of the factory Yamahas, Ben Spies beating 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo by nearly a tenth of a second. Lorenzo appears to have carried his mediocre form from Monday night's test over to the first day of testing.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 27 Casey STONER HONDA 1'55.752    
2 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'56.362 0.610 0.610
3 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'56.421 0.669 0.059
4 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'56.441 0.689 0.020
5 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'56.479 0.727 0.038
6 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'56.493 0.741 0.014
7 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'56.586 0.834 0.093
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'56.592 0.840 0.006
9 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 1'56.790 1.038 0.198
10 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'56.879 1.127 0.089
11 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'56.910 1.158 0.031
12 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'56.987 1.235 0.077
13 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 1'57.366 1.614 0.379
14 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'57.429 1.677 0.063
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'57.821 2.069 0.392
16 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'58.528 2.776 0.707
17 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1'59.087 3.335 0.559
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He was shadowing Hayden for a while. In fact he blew Nicky's fastest lap just before following NH around to do the same thing down the long straight and surprise, surprise posts a fast lap. Just look at the rest HB's times

A look at the top speeds explains everything

This should not come as a suprise; He did this a lot last year. Seems like most practices i'd see him scootin' around lookin for a tow.

If he got such a great tow off Hayden, why isn't Hayden up there with them?

where it was pretty clear. Not only was Barbara glued to Hayden, Hayden was posting faster sector times until the final sector where he obviously slowed down. No video footage of the final 2 corners so no idea why as he was on a very fast lap...

Stoner. Barbera. ROSSI.

'Nuff said..

p.s. Did you see JB grinning at the end of the session?

Glad to see Rossi up in the order, but still 3/4 of a second off the pace but at least it;s progress. I heard it was done on a hard tire?

Can't belive Elias's pace - 3 seconds or so off?

Feel terrible for Elias. He's obviously talented enough, it's just the bikes don't suit him properly. Hope he stays in GP til next year, maybe he'll have better luck. Hope he improves this year too of course.

the tires than anything. For years now its been talked about. Due to Elias' unique way of hanging off the bike, he isn't able to build up heat in the tires and thus he wont be able to push the bike.

Well, like all the rest, he needs to change his style and sit on the damn thing a little more. Ass in the saddle is only way its gonna work or he'll be dropped for good.

He has a 0.6 s margin but after him the times are really close with 8 riders (from 2nd to 8th) in 0.230 s!
Clearly, anything can happen and the cards are likely to be shuffled between these guys quite a few times.
Rossi in front of the factory Yamahas is a psychological blow, yet the times are close.

Stoner set at least four laps under 1.56, I wonder if others can respond during the weekend.

Dani was a match for him, every time Casey put down a quick time in the tests only a few days ago, won't show his true pace till it's too late for Casey to react, usually last 10-15 mins of qualifying, if previous seasons are an indication. first practice only..

What has happened in Japan is terrible but a reality. Factorys are having all sorts of troubles-power/supply,staffing,damage etc. So where does this leave the Japanese factories? Will Honda have enough spares for the "new" gearbox? let alone Moto2! Will this mean Ducati will have the upper hand in the long run? Well done to all riders for our early fix of action. Best wishes to all of Japan.

Elias is still 'surprising' too, but at the wrong end of the timesheet. Wonder what the problem is there? At this rate he'll be back in Moto2 next year.

Nice improvement by Rossi. He still appears to be the most professional rider out there, in that he comes through when it counts, and knows how to get the most out of the package -- bike, track, tires, weather.

Anyway, still expecting the race to be between Stoner, Pedrosa, and Lorenzo. But Stoner has to not fall off, which is always a question mark with him.

Nothing to do with being 'professional'. They found a setup that was working for them during the practice session, they were in trouble before then, there was no intentional sandbagging which would actually be more on the unprofessional side of things!

The rider with the highest motivation is surely Valentino Rossi. No doubt, motivation is one of the most significant factors, when the riders attempt to pursue something(e.g, win races and even the championship, actually I cited this from Gibernau, when he was asked to comment on Rossi`s switch to ducati about months ago, He believes that rossi can tame the ducati in the end, because he is having great motivation,

Its ironic that a racer wo just turned 32 and has 104 GP race wins and 9 Championships to his credit is still the most motivated. I guess that is the real "winners attitude". The other half of the formula is the fact that he is the most talented rider on the grid.

...he won so much because of his motivation (and talent).
But I believe there are other guys on the grid who will show they charisma, determination and talent very soon ... like Ben and Sic. And probably their generation will finally take the heritage.