Andrea Dovizioso put himself in the driving seat for this afternoon’s MotoGP qualifying run, recording the fastest wet time of the weekend in the final free practice.
A frantic finale to the third MotoGP free practice session saw Andrea Dovizioso walk away with the fastest time of the Saturday morning run. The JiR Team Scot rider was the only participant unable make improvements in yesterday’s afternoon outing, but was back on form as the soaked Donington track threw up a new challenge for the riders.
Dovizioso's quickest time was a 1´43.957 lap of the British circuit, ahead of another rider whose ability to compete to the fullest was in doubt. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa had taken a heavy bump in Friday’s second session, but continued unabated on the spring valve engine-supported Repsol Honda RC212V at just 0.038 slower than Dovizioso.
Second factory Honda rider Nicky Hayden once again showed himself to be more suited to the pneumatic valve version of the Japanese factory’s motor, half a second down on his teammate in third and with reason to be optimistic ahead of qualifying.
MotoGP’s `Rain Man´, Anthony West had no complaints about the typically British showers as he gave his best practice performance of the year. The Kawasaki rider has spent the gap between Catalunya and Donington testing in Japan, and seems to have gone some way to addressing his previous rear-grip problems.
After the indignity of finishing below debuting replacement Ben Spies in yesterday’s combined timesheet, Sylvain Guintoli bounced back as the fastest Ducati rider in fifth, ahead of 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner who led the way for most of the session.
Alex de Angelis was once again at the sharp end of the standings, ahead of the Fiat Yamaha duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi and Spies himself.
Whilst no rider in the top ten took a tumble, there were crashes for five participants as they fell foul of the slippery track. Randy de Puniet, Chris Vermeulen, John Hopkins, Shinya Nakano and home rider James Toseland all had inconsequential falls.
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