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Stoner tops wet opening day in Valencia
The final round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship kicked off today under difficult conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.

The cold temperatures that reached a high of 16 degrees in the afternoon, mixed in with rain showers throughout the day, resulted in a very slick circuit making it almost impossible to take any direction in set up of the bike. Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa finished first and second respectively in the combined free practice times.

The final classification of this first day of free practice sessions was determined in this morning's FP1 when, with the track drying up in the last minutes, new World Champion Casey Stoner set a fastest lap of 1'45.513, closely followed by Dani Pedrosa with a 1'45.736 lap.

CASEY STONER – 1st 1'45.513
"It hasn't been a great day to be honest, we've never had a great feeling here in the wet. I love riding this circuit in the dry, but there seems to be some sort of oil or grease on the circuit, I'm not sure if it's due to a lot of car rubber down but it makes things hard for sure. It's been pretty useless in terms of finding a good set up, both sessions began with a little water and then drying out towards the end, when it's like this you're chasing the set up all day so we didn't do too much work on the bike. We tried a few small things to make it better in the wet, but then as it dried up we saw everything we had done was a waste of time. We'll wait and see what tomorrow brings and if it does rain again I hope it at least rains consistently so we can get a full wet session in."

DANI PEDROSA – 2nd 1'45.736
"This morning we had a very good run, but in the afternoon we had some issues on the bike with the rear shock and I only managed a few laps, spending a lot of time in the garage making changes. The track surface is quite old and very slippery, even when the track was drier it was still tough. The feelings are not so bad and I think we need to be ready for mixed weather conditions, improving the set up step by step. Let's wait and see if tomorrow we have some dry sessions to get out on slick tires, this would be important to better understand the direction to take on the set up of the bike".



Rider Time Nat Bike Team
1 Casey Stoner 1'45.513 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 1'45.736 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Valentino Rossi 1'45.828 ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
4 Nicky Hayden 1'46.073 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
5 Loris Capirossi 1'46.108 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
6 Ben Spies 1'46.259 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
7 Randy De Puniet 1'46.371 FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
8 Toni Elias 1'46.393 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
9 Andrea Dovizioso 1'46.402 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
10 Cal Crutchlow 1'46.581 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Alvaro Bautista 1'46.922 SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
12 Hector Barbera 1'46.967 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
13 Karel Abraham 1'47.079 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
14 Hiroshi Aoyama 1'47.581 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
15 Josh Hayes 1'48.037 USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
16 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 1'48.382 JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team

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