Fast MotoGP News: Simoncelli a Legend, Hayden’s Surgery and Rain Hampers FP2 at Mugello

Nicky Hayden at Mugello 2014 1 photo
Friday, at the Mugello circuit in Italy, Marco “Super Sic” Simoncelli became the 21st rider to be inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame, and was posthumously appointed a MotoGP Legend. A 250cc World Champion back in 2008, Simoncelli was one of the new Italian rising stars of road racing, with an exceptionally promising career ahead of him.
Unfortunately, he lost his life after being involved in a horrific crash in the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix, on 23 October 2011. After coming off the bike at high speed and sliding along the track, he was hit full-on by Colin Edwards and his friend Valentino Rossi, both unable to swerve around him. Edwards also crashed and suffered a dislocated shoulder, while Rossi barely managed to remain upright and make it to the pits.

During his career, Simoncelli won 15 pole positions, stepped on the podium for 31 times and won 14 races in the three GP classes. Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta officially inducted Super Sic into the MotoGP Hall of fame in the presence of Simoncelli’s father Paolo and many others who came to honor the late rider. Sic is the third Italian MotoGP Legend, after Giacomo Agostini and Carlo Ubbiali.

Drive M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden needs to have surgery performed on his wrist next week, the doctors who examined him yesterday say. After overcoming the pain during the Le Mans round, Hayden has undergone an intense physiotherapy program using various techniques and including a hyperbaric chamber to speed up recovery, but it looks like things are even worse than they were in France.

Injured at Jerez and subsequently at Le Mans left Hayden with the only option of riding with painkillers, a situation he calls “not ideal”. He was one of the few riders who ventured on the wet Mugello track in Free Practice 2 yesterday, after having put in only six laps in the morning outing. A decision will be made later today, ahead of the Free Practice 3, as to whether he will try to race in the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM and risk further damage to his hand, or skip the round and have the wrist surgery as soon as possible for a faster recovery.

Finally, action came to a halt in MotoGP FP2 yesterday, with the rain making riding very hard. Only 4 pilots posted lap times in FP2: Ducati’s test rider Michele Pirro, Nicky Hayden, Alvaro Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama. FP2, as is was, saw Michele Pirro as the fastest rider, but comparing his 2’05.453 lap time with Marquez’ 1’48.004 or even his own former 1’50.030 lap in FP1 should be self-explanatory.

In case rain hampers FP3, scheduled to start in a couple of hours, the FP1 times will dictate the Qualifying 1 and 2 participation, with Marquez in the lead. Follow the link for the Mugello Free Practice 1 report and the corresponding time sheets. If FP1 times are determining Q1 and Q2, then we’ll see Dani Pedrosa fighting for the 11th or the 12th position on the starting grid in Mugello, as he posted FP1’s 11th best time.
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