A cool and wet start to the final round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia today prevented Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow from showing their usual high potential. Dovizioso and Crutchlow were both eager to assess grip levels on a new surface at the tight and twisty track, but this morning’s opening practice session took place in torrential rain.

Italian Dovizioso was still one of the most competitive on tra ck and a lap of 1.46.021 secured him the fourth quickest time. He completed 19-laps and the time on a wet track could be crucial, with rain currently forecast for Sunday’s season finale. Crutchlow also lapped comfortably inside the top 10 this morning, the British rider taking advantage of the soaking wet conditions to work on improving the rain setting on his YZR-M1 machine.

This afternoon’s second session commenced under grey and gloomy skies, though there was no repeat of the earlier deluge. The new asphalt though was slow to dry and it wasn’t until the final 15 minutes that a dry line started to appear and lap times began to tumble. Dovizioso, who is making his final appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad this weekend, opted against taking to the track in less than ideal conditions.

Crutchlow only completed a short six-lap stint earlier in the session when the track was at its wettest before he returned to the pits. With the track still not fully dry and with little data to be gained by lapping on slick tyres, Crutchlow didn’t take any further part in the action and he finished with a best time of 1.44.384.

Cal Crutchlow – 12th 1.44.384 — 23 laps

“Today wasn’t a great day to be honest. I was looking forward to seeing how the new surface was in the dry but unfortunately the weather was a disaster. In this morning’s session I should have been a lot faster and higher than eighth but I sat in the box for the last 10 minutes when the times were improving. I went out at the start of this afternoon’s session but the conditions weren’t wet enough for rain tyre s or dry enough for slicks, so it was best just to stop and not take any risks. Hopefully we can get more time on track tomorrow because I’m looking forward to finishing the season with a strong result.”

Andrea Dovizioso – 19th 1.46.021 — 19 laps

“This morning was a strange session because this is the first time we have used the new asphalt and it was difficult to make any judgement in the rain. It took me a while to get a good feeling but at the end of the session I was happy with my pace and I am sure we have plenty of margin to improve and be faster in those conditions. That’s very positive and important because the forecasts are predicting rain for Sunday. This afternoon it wasn’t worth going out and I am sorry for the fans though that didn’t get to see all of us on track today. I could have used slick tyres but the lap times would have been six or seven seconds off the pace and you learn nothing and waste a set of tyres.”