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Randy de Puniet tops opening MotoGP practice
LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet sprang a surprise in the first MotoGP practice session for the Alice TT Assen, occupying the top spot on the timesheet with a 1’37.842 lap that came from out of nowhere late in the session.

For the majority of the hour-long run, Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo had resumed their inter-team tussle by trading fastest laps, but eventually the duo were usurped by flying Frenchman De Puniet and then Lorenzo by Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner –the rider with whom the leaders are tied on 106 points in the overall classification.

Just five-thousandths of a second divided De Puniet and Rossi, with Stoner a further three-hundredths down and Lorenzo only just unable to breach the 1’38 barrier. Trailing the early pacesetters were Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso & Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards, all under half-a-second down on De Puniet.

Adjusting to the track in the first practice run, many riders took a trip into the run-off areas in their quest to find the limit of their 800cc machinery. However, only one rider came off his bike, namely Scot Racing’s Yuki Takahashi. The Japanese rider suffered a highside that left him shaken but apparently uninjured.



Rider Time Nat. Bike Team
1 Randy De Puniet 1m 37.842 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
2 Valentino Rossi 1m 37.847 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Casey Stoner 1m 37.877 AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
4 Jorge Lorenzo 1m 38.061 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
5 Andrea Dovizioso 1m 38.092 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Dani Pedrosa 1m 38.194 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
7 Colin Edwards 1m 38.205 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
8 Chris Vermeulen 1m 38.350 AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
9 James Toseland 1m 38.379 GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
10 Loris Capirossi 1m 38.429 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
11 Alex De Angelis 1m 38.495 SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
12 Nicky Hayden 1m 38.928 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
13 Mika Kallio 1m 39.464 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
14 Marco Melandri 1m 39.597 ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team
15 Toni Elias 1m 39.642 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
16 Sete Gibernau 1m 40.151 SPA DUCATI Grupo Francisco Hernando
17 Yuki Takahashi 1m 40.185 JAP HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
18 Niccolo Canepa 1m 41.020 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
19 Gabor Talmacsi 1m 41.380 HUN HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP

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