Valentino Rossi Tops First Practice at Motegi
Stoner experienced a rather tough start of the weekend, as his Ducati made a couple of visits off-track in the first part of the session. Nevertheless, while managing to protect his bike in the process, the 2007 MotoGP champion was the first rider to score a time below one minute and 49 seconds on Friday.
Only the Yamaha riders were to challenge Stoner for the lead by the end of the first practice, as Jorge Lorenzo quickly set the pace in the following laps. He was, however, demoted to 3rd place after another few strong laps from teammate Rossi and Stoner.
Yamaha's satellite team Tech 3 had another strong run in practice, as American Colin Edwards confirmed his good pace this year by a remarkable 5th place overall. Hadn't it been for Rossi's former teammate, Suzuki would have trailed the Top 3 with duo Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi, in that order.
Andrea Dovizioso was the highest ranked Honda rider of the first practice session, ending the morning with the 7th best time. Teammate Dani Pedrosa had another disappointing outing on Friday, as he only recorded the 11th time of the pack.
Here are the overall results of the first practice session on Friday, Japanese Grand Prix:
1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:48.545
2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) + 00.056
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) + 00.420
4. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) + 00.837
5. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) + 01.152
6. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) + 01.435
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) + 01.485
8. Marco Melandri (Hayate Kawasaki) + 01.578
9. Toni Elias Gresini (Honda) + 01.664
10. James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) + 01.797
11. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) + 01.846
12. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) + 01.848
13. Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda) + 01.859
14. Sete Gibernau (Hernando Ducati) + 01.993
15. Alex de Angelis (Gresini Honda) + 02.056
16. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) + 02.124
17. Mika Kallio (Pramac Ducati) + 03.098
18. Niccolo Canepa (Pramac Ducati) + 03.384