Stoner tops opening practice at Silverstone Casey Stoner comfortably headed the MotoGP field during first practice at Silverstone this morning, with the Repsol Honda rider completing a personal best effort of 2:03.748 to finish over half a second ahead of nearest rival Marco Simoncelli. The Gresini rider posted a time precisely 0.659 seconds than Stoner on the timesheets, while reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo completed the top three.
Air and track temperatures of just 13°C (55°F) and 21°C (70°F) made life difficult for the riders as they took to the circuit for the first time, with a cold track surface offering little in the way of grip. Stoner ultimately carried on from where he left off in Spain, moving to the front in dominant style with the time he set on his 11th lap of the morning, a long way clear of Simoncelli and Lorenzo.
Nicky Hayden was the fastest Ducati runner in fourth place, just ahead of Andrea Dovizioso who is riding the only other factory Honda bike once again this weekend as Dani Pedrosa remains on the sidelines. Cal Crutchlow gave the home fans something to smile about as the session came to an end, with the Briton putting his Tech 3 machine ahead of works Yamaha rider Ben Spies.
Aspar’s Héctor Barberá occupied eighth place, just one tenth ahead of Álvaro Bautista who is making strong progress following his recent return from injury. Randy de Puniet rounded out the top ten for Pramac, while Colin Edwards finished 5.5 seconds off the leading pace at the rear of the field.
CASEY STONER – 1st 2'03.748 "I'm pretty happy with how the day has gone after mixed conditions, we've seen a dry track, a wet track and then a 50/50 track so it's been interesting to have these variants throughout the day, but in general the bike has worked well. We used both bikes today and in the wet one set up seems to work pretty well, but with wet weather forecast for the rest of the weekend we still have some things we want to improve to make the bike work better giving us some more edge grip and traction. The track seems pretty good but some of the older sections are retaining a lot more water which is causing difficulties as in some areas you could be out on slicks but other parts are drenched. Looking at the way the wet tires are working at the moment we shouldn't have too much of a problem though, the track seems to be kind on the Bridgestone tires and not destroying them and even after this afternoon's session we didn't have a too big a problem with them".
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