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Barros holds off Suzuki challenge in FP1

Barros holds off Suzuki challenge in FP1

Barros holds off Suzuki challenge in FP1

Alex Barros set the fastest time in the first free practice session for the Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal despite intense pressure from Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts and John Hopkins.

With a dry track but cool and blustery conditions, Barros set his best time of 1'39.829 on his second bike after escaping unhurt from a crash early in the session.

Roberts was second fastest, 0.374 seconds behind the Brazilian and just 0.012 seconds quicker than his team-mate Hopkins, who continued the encouraging practice form he showed at Brno two weeks ago. Valentino Rossi was fourth fastest whilst his main rival for the MotoGP title, Sete Gibernau, was fifth.

Sebastian Porto was the fastest man in 250cc practice, lapping just outside lap record pace to hold off Alex de Angelis and Toni Elias, the winner of the quarter-litre race last year. Series leader Dani Pedrosa gradually increased his pace and ended the session seventh fastest.

Chaz Davies, who recorded his best ever result with eighth place in Brno two weeks ago, was again impressive – lapping eighth fastest before crashing at the end of the session.

Casey Stoner was easily the fastest man in 125cc practice, setting the pace from the start of the session and ended over half a second quicker than his nearest rival, Mirko Giansanti. Series leader Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest.


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