Dovizioso Tops Rainy Free Practice in France
The day started off great for the MotoGP pack, as this was to be the first time this season a free practice session would last for a a full hour. However, the weather in France had other plans.
It was De Puniet who first set the pace at Le Mans, with Stoner slowly improving his lap times until finally improving the Frenchman's time by 0.099 seconds. A few minutes later, close to the 30-minute mark, Dovizioso scored a quick lap of his own, which was to become the last of the Friday action.
The rain started pouring down the French track mid-way through the session, causing all action to take a pause for a few minutes. Some riders decided to return to the track in the late minutes of the practice, but the rain worsened shortly after and caused the race official to black-flag the session.
The fourth best time of the day was scored by 2007 French GP winner Chris Vermeulen, followed by Honda's Dani Pedrosa and championship leader Valentino Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo, Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi and Colin Edwards completed the Top 10.
Here are the overall results of French GP's first practice session:
1. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:36.136
2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:36.194
3. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) 1:36.293
4. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1:36.301
5. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:36.476
6. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:36.751
7. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:37.024
8. Marco Melandri (Hayate Kawasaki) 1:37.024
9. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:37.224
10. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) 1:37.269
11. Toni Elias (Gresini Honda) 1:37.270
12. James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) 1:37.738
13. Mika Kallio (Pramac Ducati) 1:37.800
14. Sete Gibernau (Hernando Ducati) 1:37.875
15. Nicky Hayden ( Ducati) 1:38.032
16. Alex de Angelis (Gresini Honda) 1:38.323
17. Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda) 1:38.639
18. Niccolo Canepa (Pramac Ducati) 1:39.116