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Mixed weather in first free practice

Mixed weather in first free practice

Mixed weather in first free practice

Sete Gibernau was the fastest rider in a first free practice session for the Cinzano Australian Grand Prix which began with wet and cold conditions but ended in bright sunshine. The drying track paved the way for an entertaining end to the session, with riders swapping and changing positions at the top of the time sheets and several riders springing a surprise.

Local hero Troy Bayliss warmed the hearts of the freezing home crowd with a string of fast laps which put him in first place with just a couple of minutes remaining despite a minor crash. Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki also came unstuck on the slippery surface before the improving conditions saw Gibernau take control at the very end of the session.

Sebastián Porto set the pace in the 250cc class, where Manuel Poggiali made an encouraging return to action after two weeks out through injury. Poggiali was fourth fastest despite still having over 30 stitches in the leg wound he sustained in a freak squash accident in Qatar ago.

Casey Stoner was comfortably the fastest rider in the 125cc class, following on from his first victory of the season at Sepang on Sunday. Stoner was almost three seconds faster than his closest challenger, Gabor Talmacsi, in a clear statement of his intentions at his home Grand Prix.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, FP1

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