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Barros on top after exciting first day at Sachsenring

Barros on top after exciting first day at Sachsenring

Barros on top after exciting first day at Sachsenring

Alex Barros set the fastest time despite crashing twice on an incident-packed first day of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring. Within the space of fifteen minutes of the afternoon session the Brazilian had dropped both his Honda RC211V machines in the final two corners of the notoriously tricky circuit, where Valentino Rossi had also tested the gravel traps with only his second crash of the year in the mornings opening session. However, Barros fastest time of 123.808 after just seven laps remained untouched and he tops the overnight time sheets ahead of tomorrows qualifying session.

Im a little disappointed about the two crashes but not too much because I am still very happy with the job we have done, said Barros, who holds the circuit record here with a time of 124.056 set in last years race. This morning the team gave me a bike that was very competitive and the first crash was probably caused by a little too much enthusiasm from myself over the first few laps. The second one is more difficult to explain because I wasnt pushing at all. Anyway Im fine, I didnt hurt myself at all and Im really looking forward to tomorrow.

Rossi was unhurt in his crash but his confidence was clearly damaged as he stuttered to the thirteenth fastest time at a circuit he yesterday claimed was one of my worst. Ruben Xaus and John Hopkins also crashed in the afternoon, with the American unable to build on the sixth fastest time in the morning and eventually dropping to twelfth overall. Xaus, meanwhile, ended the day in 19th place.

Sete Gibernau bounced back from the disappointment of crashing out of the lead at Donington Park five days ago to set the second fastest time in both of todays sessions. After trailing Nicky Hayden by 0.207 seconds in the morning Gibernau was exactly one tenth closer to Barros best effort in the afternoon as he chases a repeat of his victory at this circuit two years ago. Fellow Spaniard Carlos Checa was also on form, lapping fourth fastest in the morning and third fastest in the afternoon on the Ducati as he prepares to make the 150th Grand Prix start of his career.

Nicky Hayden was unable to improve his lap times in the searing afternoon heat, with ambient temperatures reaching 32ºC and 43ºC recorded on the track surface. However, the American held on to third place overall as he looks to repeat his podium finish from last season and return to the form that saw him take his debut victory less than a month ago at Laguna Seca. Elsewhere, Olivier Jacque made his return to competitive action for Kawasaki and lapped 15th fastest, two places ahead of his team-mate and local favourite Alex Hofmann.


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