2012 Le Mans MotoGP FP1 Result: Stoner Takes Charge

On the morning after announcing his retirement from the sport, Casey Stoner is back to business. In the first session of free practice at Le Mans, the Australian set the fastest time early, then led for the remainder of the session, ending nearly six tenths ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. Andrea Dovizioso put in a strong final few minutes to end FP1 in 3rd on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, while Ben Spies picked up the pace towards the end as well, finishing the first session of free practice in 4th. Pramac's Hector Barbera set the 5th fastest time, though he gained some speed by following Stoner around, but Barbera sneaked ahead of Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo. Cal Crutchlow finished the session in 7th, and was the last man to get within a second of Stoner.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 1 Casey STONER HONDA 1'34.321    
2 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'34.908 0.587 0.587
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 1'35.065 0.744 0.157
4 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'35.202 0.881 0.137
5 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'35.213 0.892 0.011
6 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'35.239 0.918 0.026
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'35.318 0.997 0.079
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 1'35.336 1.015 0.018
9 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'35.403 1.082 0.067
10 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'35.829 1.508 0.426
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'36.291 1.970 0.462
12 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 1'36.500 2.179 0.209
13 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'36.935 2.614 0.435
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'37.916 3.595 0.981
15 54 Mattia PASINI ART 1'38.140 3.819 0.224
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 1'38.209 3.888 0.069
17 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 1'38.255 3.934 0.046
18 77 James ELLISON ART 1'38.943 4.622 0.688
19 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 1'39.110 4.789 0.167
20 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 1'39.729 5.408 0.619
Not qualified (Out 107%) 1'40.923
  7 Chris VERMEULEN SUTER 1'41.398 7.077 1.669


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...For him to dominate all Practice and Qualifying and win every race before retiring. THAT would be going out with a bang...

I would have thought that the 1000's would be faster at Le Mans of all places with the stop & squirt nature of the track but in similar conditions to last year they are slower.

Looking for the right words but can't find anything better than:
a remarkable man.

And to think we only have another 15 rounds to witness this type of brilliance to come out of the pits and go bang chase that lap time down boys cause i can do that all weekend long no matter what setting.


A suggestion: Please list equivalent lap times from the previous season. This would give us a interesting comparison on where the bikes are - whether they've made progress or have gone backwards. I suspect Honda have gone backwards in terms of lap times; due in part to the rule changes that disadvantaged them.

A good suggestion, but one that I think is drawing a false comparison. The weather is never comparable between two weekends, and the state of the track can differ massively. Even if the weather is similar, the amount of rubber on the track from previous events - either cars or bikes, or nothing at all - can make the comparisons fairly meaningless.