Stoner On Top In Practice. Just.

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Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner continued his dominace over the rest of the field by topping the timesheets in free practice for this weekend’s Gran Premio bwin de España in Jerez. The Austrailian’s quickest time over the two sessions of 1:39.551s is 1s quicker than last years pole time. Stoner didn’t have it all his own way however, as teammate Dani Pedrosa was only 0.028s behind after exchanging the lead with Stoner throughout the sessions.

3rd place overall was a surprise in Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. The Italian set his time in free practice 1, just like Stoner and Pedrosa, where conditions were much cooler. The lead San Carlo Honda Gresini of Marco Simoncelli was 4th, with factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo in 5th.

The third Repsol Honda of Andrea Dovizioso was 6th, even after a fall in the first session. Dovizioso split the Yamaha’s with Ben Spies in 7th. The top 7 riders all set their times in the morning session, capitalizing on the cooler conditions. The Pramac Ducati of Randy De Puniet improved his time in the afternoon session to finish 8th on the combined timesheet, with the factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden in 9th, also after improving  in the afternoon.

The combined top ten was completed by the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 of Colin Edwards with his morning time. Hiroshi Aoyama was 11th on the second San Carlo Honda Gresini, with Karel Abraham putting in an impressive 12th place with a time set in the afternoon on the AB Motoracing Ducati.

Hector Barbera was 13th on the Mapfre Aspar Ducati followed by a disapointing start to the weekend for Loris Capirossi on the Pramac Ducati in 14th. Cal Crutchlow too had a difficult start to the weekend, having to cope with his hand injury and also learning the circuit. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider finished in 15th, ahead of Toni Elias on the LCR Honda, with Rizla Suzuki stand-in John Hopkins in 17th.

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