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Rossi on top down under
MotoGP action got underway at Phillip Island in Australian today and Championship leader Valentino Rossi was in menacing form, leading the way almost from start to finish in the first practice session. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished the day sixth fastest, escaping unhurt after sliding off his YZR-M1 in the closing stages.

After heavy rain for the last two days the coastal track was granted a reprieve today and the sun shone brightly throughout the day's action. Rossi, who has not won at what is his favorite track for the last three years, set off in strong style and continued to improve his pace throughout the session as he fine-tuned the setting of his Yamaha, shaking off the issues that troubled him last time out in Portugal.

Lorenzo meanwhile struggled today - he was feeling slightly unwell and also lacked grip, ending the session by sliding off at turn four. He was totally unhurt however and hopes that some overnight alterations to his setting and a good night's rest to recover his strength will see him on the pace tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 1stTime: 1'31.032Laps: 31
"Today we made a great start. We were concentrated and strong and I am really happy to start in front here at Phillip Island, which is somewhere that I love to ride. We were able to get a lot done in the practice session and try many different things and I was able to ride just how I wanted to. We can definitely improve more - even though we already have a good pace we will continue to work tomorrow and try to find a little bit more, but for the first day I think we can be very happy about our work."

Circuit Length: 4445m
Lap Record: 1'30.332 (Marco Melandri, 01/01/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1'28.665 (Casey Stoner, 05/10/2008)
Last Years Winner: Casey Stoner

Free Practice


Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1'31.032
2 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1'31.167
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'31.528
4 Alex De Angelis Honda SMR 1'31.786
5 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1'31.846
6 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1'32.077
7 James Toseland Yamaha GBR 1'32.255
8 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1'32.502
9 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 1'32.572
10 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1'32.606
11 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1'32.771
12 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 1'32.808
13 Toni Elias Honda ESP 1'33.304
14 Marco Melandri Kawasaki ITA 1'33.422
15 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 1'33.504

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