Marco Simoncelli stays fastest

Marco Simoncelli maintained his authority over the rest of the MotoGP field at the Sachsenring this afternoon, topping the timesheets with an improved effort of 1:22.225. The Gresini rider led reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo by just under one tenth of a second, while Dani Pedrosa recovered well from his fall this morning to claim third.

After an eventful first session, fans witnessed much less drama this time out. Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner, who in the morning crashed heavily, set the fourth fastest time, just ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. Nicky Hayden showed promise for Ducati once again, edging ahead of fellow countryman Ben Spies.

Randy de Puniet grabbed ninth ahead of Spain's �lvaro Bautista, while Karel Abraham completed the top ten. Technical problems confined Valentino Rossi to 12th, two places in front of Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow who fell at Turn 11.

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was left feeling upbeat after finishing third fastest at the Sachsenring on Friday, despite suffering an early fall in the first of two practice sessions at the German venue. The Spaniard says he was uninjured in the crash, going on to explain that the handling of his bike improved significantly as the day progressed.

"We had a quite positive start despite the accident I had in the morning practice session," the 25-year-old commented. "I crashed in the fast downhill right hand corner, like everyone else because the tire was very cold and I had no warning.

"Fortunately I did not hurt myself which is good and in the afternoon I was able to improve my lap times because in the morning, after the crash, we didn't have much time on track. In the second practice, with sunshine and a little more temperature on the track, we had better grip especially in these critical turns on the right, although the track conditions are not great.

"Anyway, times are pretty good compared to last year although the track conditions are worse. We will keep working on the bike tomorrow and I will probably try the new swing arm I tested in Mugello on Monday."

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