On the first day of the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana that was marred with damp and awkward track conditions it was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet who went fastest in the premier-class ahead of Michele Pirro and Nicky Hayden.
In drying yet damp track conditions in the afternoon session, not many of the top-runners set a lap time, leaving it to the CRT contingent to test the surface. And it was ultimately De Puniet who set the quickest time in the high 1.36s, before retiring with a mechanical issue three minutes before the end. This moved San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro into second place, with the Italian just over a tenth of the French rider.
Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who had been fastest in the fully wet morning session, left it late to head out on track on a pair of slicks, as the leading duo had, and managed to jump up to third on the timesheets. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham put in seven laps on his satellite Ducati, ultimately ending the day in fourth just over eight-tenths off the top.
Hayden’s teammate Valentino Rossi was the first prototype to emerge out on track with slicks, yet took it relatively easy, before putting in a lap that saw him come in fifth. Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci will be pleased to see his name in sixth on the time chart, with the Italian seemingly finding a good rhythm with his Suter-BMW machine.
Behind him in seventh, Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva was the first man out on track in difficult conditions, and was leading much of the session when still on wet tyres. Continuing the theme of CRT bikes in the top ten, Speed Master’s Roberto Rolfo finished the day in eighth place, ahead of Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison, who did well to recover from a crash in the morning session. Avintia’s Hiroshi Aoyama made his return to MotoGP™ aboard the BQR-FRT machine in tenth.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, as well as the Repsol Honda Team duo of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner were among those not to complete a flying lap, with very little to be learned in such conditions. Katsuyuki Nakasuga also crashed, but escaped unhurt, while Italian rider Claudio Corti made his GP debut on board Avintia Blusens’ Inmotec chassis. He has also been confirmed as teammate to NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards for next season.