Casey Stoner got straight back down to business at Misano on Friday morning, resuming his position at the top of the timesheets. Just five days after dominating the Indianapolis Grand Prix, the championship leader set about laying down a marker in San Marino, although the field seem a little closer to him at this point.
In fact, at the time the chequered flag came out, Stoner wasn't quickest at all after Ben Spies pulled out a 1:34.466 to usurp Dani Pedrosa. But right on cue, the Australian struck back with a 1:34.180, two tenths quicker than Pedrosa's circuit record.
Despite leading much of the session, Pedrosa had to settle for third but the 2010 winner will still feel confident about his chances having set his fastest time just after the halfway point in the session.
Behind the top three came a half second gap to Andrea Dovizioso in fourth. Marco Simoncelli ensured that Honda locked out four of the top five positions on his San Carlo Gresini machine which forced Jorge Lorenzo to make do with sixth. Worryingly for the Spaniard, the gap to his teammate Ben Spies was over half a second, much like it was for most of the Indianapolis weekend.
The first of the Ducatis lined up in seventh but surprisingly it came in the form of Hector Barbera on the Mapfre Aspar bike. More worryingly for the home supporters, the next Ducati wasn't painted red and yellow either with Karel Abraham finishing tenth quickest, just behind Alvaro Bautista and Colin Edwards. As a result, Valentino Rossi was all the way back in 11th with Cal Crutchlow separating him from teammate Nicky Hayden in 13th.
Hiroshi Aoyama, despite finishing just half a second away from Barbera's Ducati, finished down in 14th ahead of the two Pramac machines of Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet while Toni Elias brought up the rear.
GP Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini: Free Practice 1 Result
|1||Casey Stoner||AUS||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:34.180|
|2||Ben Spies||USA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+0.286|
|3||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+0.349|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+0.831|
|5||Marco Simoncelli||ITA||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+0.908|
|6||Jorge Lorenzo||SPA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+0.962|
|7||Hector Barbera||SPA||Ducati||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||+1.300|
|8||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Suzuki||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+1.399|
|9||Colin Edwards||USA||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+1.409|
|10||Karel Abraham||CZE||Ducati||Cardion AB Motoracing||+1.508|
|11||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+1.565|
|12||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+1.770|
|13||Nicky Hayden||USA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+1.780|
|14||Hiroshi Aoyama||JAP||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+1.887|
|15||Loris Capirossi||ITA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+2.333|
|16||Randy de Puniet||FRA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+2.466|
|17||Toni Elias||SPA||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||+3.128|