Saturday, May 1


IN THE first hour long free practice session at Spain's Jerez circuit, Australian Marlboro Ducati rider Casey Stoner blasted around under Valentino Rossi's one year old lap record!

The Ducati Marlboro rider set the pace in the first practice of the Gran Premio bwin de EspaƱa, ahead of Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was fourth fastest, trying a new chassis, while multi winner at Jerez, Valentino Rossi, riding with a shoulder injury, was fifth, ahead of Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi. That made it four brands in the top six.

With another free practice session to go before Saturday afternoon's qualifying, lap times could take a hammering.

Full Friday free practice times from the Spanish MotoGP, round two of the 2010 world championship:

1. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 1m 39.731s
2. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team 1m 39.875s
3. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Marlboro Team 1m 40.148s
4. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1m 40.200s
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 1m 40.359s
6. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki 1m 40.716s
7. Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 40.913s
8. Hector Barbera SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 1m 41.034s
9. Alvaro Bautista SPA Rizla Suzuki 1m 41.093s
10. Marco Melandri ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m 41.190s
11. Ben Spies USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 41.200s
12. Andrea Dovisioso ITA Repsol Honda Team 1m 41.277s
13 Randy De Puniet FRA LCR Honda 1m 41.293s
14. Mika Kallio FIN Pramac Racing Ducati 1m 41.297s
15. Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m 41.533s
16. Aleix Espargaro SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 1m 41.742s
17. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Interwetten Honda 1m 41.837s

2009 Pole position: Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha 1m 38.933s
Fastest race lap: Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 1m 39.818s (2009)

MotoGP News in Brief

FORMER World 250 Champion, the mop-headed Italian Marco Simoncelli has a new fairing on his San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda V4 after doing wind tunnel tests in Japan with Honda Racing Corporation in a bid to improve the Italian’s top speed on his bike. Simoncelli says the modifications that were made to ensure he has a more comfortable, faster ride, including the small indentations on either side of his handlebars which allow him to now tuck his body in more effectively. Wags say if he cut his hair he could go one size smaller on his AGV helmet, and that may also reduce drag…

WHILE another former World 250 Champion made some great strides on the new chassis for his Repsol Honda V4, Dani Pedrosa’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was struggling in the first session at Jerez. He said he had quite a few problems entering the turns due to the difficulties he is having making his machine turn correctly when releasing the brakes. However, with all the pre-season tests and the data collected from the first session at Jerez, Dovizioso is confident that he can turn the situation around and recover the feelings that led him to be among the fastest in his class at the start of the world championship in Qatar. There his Honda could be seen ‘hobby-horsing’ as it entered the corners.

SAN Carlo Gressini Honda rider Marco Melandri was a bit more upbeat after the first session at Jerez, saying changes to the settings of his Ohlins forks had given him much more confidence in the front-end of the bike…

RIZLA Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi says the reason he is closer to the front-runners so far at Jerez is because he “took a big risk” and made a big change to the Suzuki’s chassis set-up. Meantime, over in the Monster Energy Tech 3 camp, Colin Edwards was ‘stiffening up” the suspension on his Yamaha while fellow Texan Ben Spies was content to figure out where the track went and what the fastest way around it was. It was noticed that Spies did not follow anyone, but was content to work it out for himself. He says he thinks he will be able to put some faster laps together in the second session.