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Checa twists again in Jerez

Checa twists again in Jerez

Another strong showing from Spaniards Carlos Checa and Dani Pedrosa, in the Gran Permio bwin.com de España MotoGP third free practice session this morning in Jerez, will raise expectations of a home victory amongst the expectant public gathering at the Andalusian track.

Another strong showing from Spaniards Carlos Checa and Dani Pedrosa, in the Gran Permio bwin.com de España MotoGP third free practice session this morning in Jerez, will raise expectations of a home victory amongst the expectant public gathering at the Andalusian track.

Yesterday afternoon's session saw the Spanish trio of Checa, Pedrosa and Toni Elias end the day at the business end of the timesheets and in today's session, which concluded at 11am local time, Checa was again the man on the pace with a 1'40.659 lap shaving 0.192 seconds off his best Friday time.

Pedrosa was second quickest yesterday and third fastest this morning with a best time 0.411 seconds behind Checa's hot lap.

In between the two Spaniards on the timesheet sits Brazilian veteran Alex Barros who found his groove to improve vastly on yesterday's showings, recording the top speed of 271.5 kmph on the rapid Ducati Desmosedici GP07, going round just 0.182 off Checa's pacesetting time and lapping half a second quicker than yesterday.

The Honda Gresini pair of Marco Melandri and the aforementioned Elias were the fourth and sixth fastest respectively, while the fearless John Hopkins again impressed observers with the fifth best performance of the outing, just 0.516 off the pace despite the persistent pain in his injured right wrist. Hopkins is bound to have the backing many neutral observers in Sunday's race after his valiant fourth place finish in Qatar.

Improving his best time from yesterday by less than two tenths of a second was good enough to move World Champion Nicky Hayden up from 13th overall on Friday to 8th quickest in the morning outing.

Furthermore, the rare sight of five-time World Champion Valentino Rossi languishing down in 18th place on the timesheets, despite completing 26 laps of the 4.423 km Jerez circuit will raise a few eyebrows in the paddock and perhaps give hope to Hayden and the rest of the MotoGP grid ahead of Sunday's race.

However, although he is apparently struggling to achieve the required grip on the Southern Spanish track, given his propensity for mind games and trickery it would not be a huge surprise if that result was a mere blip and the Doctor pulls the rabbit from the hat in qualifying this afternoon.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE ESPAÑA, FP3

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