In fine sunshine at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on Friday, Ducati rider Casey Stoner started his weekend in the manner in which he hopes will secure a third straight race win as he recorded the best lap time in Free Practice 1.
After overcoming some early dissatisfaction with the response of his Desmosedici GP9, Stoner set a best time of 1’32.813 to leave Jorge Lorenzo next fastest.
Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo aims to secure second spot in the World Championship standings this weekend, ahead of Stoner, and followed the Australian by a margin of 0.382s.
In the wake of his confidence-boosting first wet podium in Malaysia, Dani Pedrosa was third on the timesheet as he kept a close tab on Lorenzo, timing his fastest lap at just 0.046s slower.
World Champion Valentino Rossi completed the top four fastest times after experiencing a run-off midway through the session. He came in almost half a second ahead of Randy de Puniet, who recovered from his high-side crash at Sepang to ride a good session and record the fifth-fastest lap.
Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) all recorded top-ten times in the session as well, with wildcard Ben Spies 15th on his factory Yamaha.