Valencia : 125cc - Day One
Sunny and warm conditions are expected to bless the ‘Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana', last round of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship, this weekend.
Crowned in Australia, Alvaro Bautista is looking forward to celebrating his title
with his home crowd.
The Spaniard is gearing up for a record ninth win of the season and, thanks to his brand new Aprilia, seems unbeatable.
In the first practice session the Master Aspar rider set the pace with a fastest 1'40''542 lap time. Nico Terol steered his Derbi up to second place, two tenths of a second behind Bautista, in front of Sergio Gadea who made it a one-two-three for Spain.
Gabor Talmacsi and Mattia Pasini rounded off the top five, ahead of Kallio, Faubel and Rabat. Pol Espargaro missed out on the top ten for a handful of thousandths.
It was quite the same story in the afternoon qualifying session as Bautista once again came on top of the timesheets. But he only took provisional pole in the last seconds, beating his team mate Mattia Pasini who had been leading for a few minutes.
It could well have been an all-Aspar provisional front row if not for Derbi rider Lukas Pesek.
The Czech set the third fastest time to edge out Spaniards Sergio Gadea and Héctor Faubel, the latter being thus relegated on the second provisional row alongside Terol (Derbi), Kallio (KTM) and Luthi (Honda).
The third provisional row is made up of Simon (KTM), Koyama (Malaguti), Pol Espargaro (Derbi) and Talmacsi (Honda).
Brit youngster Bradley Smith suffered a crash in the final minutes of the session but escaped uninjured.
Sandrine BOUCHARD © CAPSIS International