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Melandri leads the way in Turkey

Melandri leads the way in Turkey

Melandri leads the way in Turkey

The MotoGP riders took the chance to rack up as many miles as possible in the first free practice session of the Grand Prix of Turkey, held at the brand new Istanbul International Circuit. The session was specially extended to 90 minutes to allow the riders to get to grips with the track.

Movistar Honda's Marco Melandri - who is currently second overall in the Championship, tied on points with Nicky Hayden - set the best time with a lap of 1'54.639, ahead of MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, while Suzuki's John Hopkins was third fastest on the Bridgestone-shod GSV-R.

Melandri was almost half a second fastest than Rossi, but the rest of the top 10 was covered by little more than a second. Max Biaggi was the rider who made the most of this session clocking up 36 laps of the new circuit for a total of 192,2 km / 119.9 miles.

Learning the new circuit didn't come without a few problems as many riders went off at the first corner at the end of the downhill straight. With less than half an hour remaining the session was interrupted as gravel brought on to the track by those who had gone off had to be cleared.

Melandri's team-mate Sete Gibernau was fourth fastest ahead of American riders Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden, while Spanish rookie Toni Elias took seventh, followed by Frenchman Olivier Jacque, Ducati Marlboro's Carlos Checa and Shinya Nakano.


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