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Rossi tops Friday MotoGP practice
Valentino Rossi stamped his authority on the opening MotoGP practice of the weekend with the fastest time of Friday afternoon at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, lapping the Barcelona track on his Fiat Yamaha M1 in 1’43.038.

The Italian star has never finished outside the top three in a premier class race at the Mediterranean venue and he signaled his aspirations for victory at round six, having not won since the third race of the year at Jerez, by starting the weekend on the front foot.

Behind Rossi on the time-sheet was his factory Yamaha colleague Jorge Lorenzo who was 0.302s off the World Champion’s pace on a far better Friday than last year at his home track – where he crashed in practice and missed the race due to concussion.

Third on the timesheet was Mugello race-winner and 2007 Barcelona victor Casey Stoner who went round just over half a second slower than Rossi on his Ducati Desmosedici, despite a small crash near the end of the session.

Fourth on the timesheet, just as he has been in the last two MotoGP races, Andrea Dovizioso put in a similar time to Stoner. Dovizioso’s injured Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was down in 14th place as he tested the condition of his injured hip.

At one of his favorite tracks Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) was fifth fastest, whilst a big improvement by Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden saw him finish sixth quickest in one of his best sessions of the season so far – around a second off the pace.

Veteran riders Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) were seventh and eighth respectively. Yuki Takahashi was number nine on the timesheet, trying to push hard after seeing new MotoGP recruit Gabor Talmacsi join the Scot Racing Team on Friday.

Talmacsi was unsurprisingly the slowest participant in his first 800cc session, four seconds behind Rossi, whilst satellite Yamaha rider James Toseland completed the top ten.

Pos Rider Time Nat. Bike Team
1 Valentino Rossi 1m 43.038 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 1m 43.340 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Casey Stoner 1m 43.636 AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
4 Andrea Dovizioso 1m 43.684 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
5 Randy De Puniet 1m 43.871 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
6 Nicky Hayden 1m 44.152 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
7 Loris Capirossi 1m 44.340 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
8 Colin Edwards 1m 44.419 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
9 Yuki Takahashi 1m 44.484 JAP HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
10 James Toseland 1m 44.580 GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
11 Marco Melandri 1m 44.649 ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team
12 Sete Gibernau 1m 44.678 SPA DUCATI Grupo Francisco Hernando
13 Chris Vermeulen 1m 44.744 AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
14 Dani Pedrosa 1m 45.043 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
15 Toni Elias 1m 45.101 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
16 Alex De Angelis 1m 45.126 SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
17 Mika Kallio 1m 45.454 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
18 Niccolo Canepa 1m 47.654 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
19 Gabor Talmacsi HUN HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
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