De Puniet quickest in damp opening day at Valencia
Randy de Puniet topped the timesheets on the opening day of practice at Valencia as the Power Electronics Aspar rider set a time of 1'36.965 with slick tyres on a damp but drying track.
De Puniet was one of eleven riders who tested the new Valencia surface on slick tyres at the end of the second free practice session after a dry line started to appear, though lap times are still five seconds off what can be expected in optimal track conditions.
The morning FP1 session was run in cool and fully wet conditions in which Ducati’s Nicky Hayden clocked the best time of 1'44.485. For FP2 all riders that took to the track at the beginning of the session did so on the soft compound wet tyres though the drying track meant an almost complete dry line began to emerge halfway through the session at which point tyre choice trended towards the softer option slick tyres front and rear. Despite the lack of rain in FP2 conditions remained overcast keeping track temperatures to a maximum of 19°C.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“I was eager to see the condition of the track following the recent resurfacing and in this morning’s wet session the lap times were quite quick, though some riders commented that the grip level of the tarmac wasn’t the best. In the afternoon session the track began to dry out, but the cool track temperatures and some damp patches in the last sector of the circuit made conditions quite challenging for riders. It was positive to see that those riders that headed out on slick tyres at the end of FP2 were able to put in many laps and get up to speed quickly on the 2012 specification tyres. Hopefully tomorrow we get a completely dry session so riders can fully assess the grip levels of the new track surface before the race.”