Pirro fastest in futile final session


Sat, 07 Jul 10:40:16 2012

Michele Pirro was the surprise name at the top of the timesheets in what was a largely meaningless final practice ahead of MotoGP's German Grand Prix.

Several riders, including joint championship leaders Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, opted not to go out at all as track conditions fluctuated in the grey area between dry and wet conditions. Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow also elected not to complete a single lap.

Pirro was able to get out in the final minutes, and with the factory teams all calling an early halt to their own programmes the improving conditions allowed him to go top with a 1m30.692s on his Gresini FTR-Honda.

Fellow CRT rider Mattia Pasini (Speed Master), victim of a heavy pitlane crash on Friday, also banged in one lap at the flag to move into second, ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden, who had set the pace in the wet.

Hayden ended more than two seconds down on Pirro, emphasising the late gains available due to the rain abating in the final seven minutes.

The mixed conditions led to a jumbled order throughout.

Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso was fourth, while Pramac's Hector Barbera - the only man to set a time in the first 10 minutes and consequently long-term leader - slipped to fifth, ahead of the works Yamaha of Ben Spies and Franco Battaini, deputising for the injured Karel Abraham at the satellite Cardion Ducati squad.

Ducati's Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) rounded out the top nine, with Avintia's Ivan Silva and Paul Bird's James Ellison knocking Honda's Dani Pedrosa down into 12th.


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