Rossi on top as Malaysian GP practice begins Valentino Rossi was the fastest MotoGP rider in the first practice session at Sepang on Friday with a best time of 2’02.724 on his Fiat Yamaha M1 machine. The Italian, who sealed last year’s title in Malaysia, was just over a tenth of a second clear at the top of the timings as he started his weekend in promising style.
Andrea Dovizioso had led the session but his best time of 2’02.833 left the sole Repsol Honda rider for this weekend in second position, as he continued to show the kind of form which secured him his first premier class pole in the previous round. Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who could take the title this weekend with a finish of ninth place or higher in the race, was third in the session and the final rider under 2’03”.
At 0.436s off Rossi’s pace Casey Stoner was fourth in the practice. The Ducati rider had a crash ten minutes into the session when he lost the front end of his Desmosedici GP10 at turn four, but he was back on track shortly after. Álvaro Bautista’s final lap of the session slotted the Rizla Suzuki rookie into fifth position in an encouraging step up, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards completing the top six.
The top ten on Friday also included Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), Aleix Espargar¢ (Pramac Racing), Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda).
The session took place in typically humid conditions with an ambient temperature of 38§C, whilst the track surface measured 54§C. The MotoGP riders return to action at 9.55am local time on Saturday for the second practice.
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