He has been under the weather in recent weeks, but Casey Stoner proved to be on top of conditions at the Sachsenring on Friday afternoon. A damp track following rainfall in the 125cc Free Practice session gave the riders plenty to think about in their first run for the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, but in the end it was the Ducati Marlboro man who proved most at ease.
Stoner was some three tenths of a second quicker than any other rider, with a time of 1’22.779. Whilst he was the standout rider, behind him was a group of three riders separated by less than a tenth of a second. Laguna Seca race winner Dani Pedrosa headed said pack, showing no fear in the face of a track that so viciously took him out of action on RaceDay last year.
World Championship leader Valentino Rossi and LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet also made their presence felt, whilst Alex de Angelis and Colin Edwards showed their versatility in preparation for an important race for their respective MotoGP futures.
Still feeling the effects of his qualifying crash in the United States, Jorge Lorenzo was nearly two seconds down on Stoner’s initial time. The Fiat Yamaha rider has had little time to rest after receiving the big knock under two weeks ago.
The only faller in the Free Practice session was Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen, who fell with fifteen minutes remaining in a highside that left him limping away, whilst James Toseland nearly came unstuck with a loss of rear grip early on.
|1||C. STONER||AUS||Ducati Marlboro Team||1'22.779|
|2||D. PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||+ 0.255|
|3||V. ROSSI||ITA||Fiat Yamaha Team||+ 0.309|
|4||R. DE PUNIET||FRA||LCR Honda MotoGP||+ 0.354|
|5||A. DE ANGELIS||RSM||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+ 0.503|
|6||C. EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+ 0.516|
|7||T. ELIAS||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+ 0.572|
|8||N. HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Marlboro Team||+ 0.588|
|9||A. DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||+ 0.591|
|10||M. MELANDRI||ITA||Hayate Racing Team||+ 0.687|
|11||J. LORENZO||SPA||Fiat Yamaha Team||+ 0.717|
|12||L. CAPIROSSI||ITA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+ 0.926|
|13||M. KALLIO||FIN||Pramac Racing||+ 1.311|
|14||J. TOSELAND||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+ 1.538|
|15||N. CANEPA||ITA||Pramac Racing||+ 2.129|
|16||C. VERMEULEN||AUS||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+ 2.382|
|17||G. TALMACSI||HUN||Scot Racing Team MotoGP||+ 2.637|