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Cautious MotoGP start in Turkey

Cautious MotoGP start in Turkey

The first MotoGP session of the Grand Prix of Turkey weekend saw several riders make a tentative start to proceedings at a circuit where they have not previously tested their new 800cc machinery and with overnight rain still to dry from the track.

The first MotoGP session of the Grand Prix of Turkey weekend saw several riders make a tentative start to proceedings at a circuit where they have not previously tested their new 800cc machinery and with overnight rain still to dry from the track.

The clear and sunny weather which greeted the riders as free practice got underway at 10am local time should mean the track dries out as the day progresses, but several participants in the morning outing only completed a limited number of laps, whilst there were also a few light crashes.

The quickest rider on track was Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards who himself went round the Istanbul Park circuit just eight times, setting the pace on the last of those laps with a time of 1'57.422 – approximately five seconds off the track record.

Edwards' team-mate and early season World Championship leader Valentino Rossi was taking no risks at all, drinking coffee in the pit-box during the first half of the session as the track started to dry, and completing just ten laps as the 17th fastest rider of the morning.

Behind Edwards at the head of the timesheet was last year's pole man Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen who managed 14 laps and was 0.372 seconds behind the American, again demonstrating his ability in slippery conditions. The top five featured riders on machinery from four different manufacturers and was completed by Vermeulen's team-mate John Hopkins, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Alex Hofmann of Pramac d'Antin Ducati.

The sixth best time was recorded by Marco Melandri who fell from his bike on the tricky first turn, with Casey Stoner and Randy de Puniet joining the twice Turkish Grand Prix winner in taking aa tumble, although all three sustained no notable injuries and will be back on track this afternoon.

Only three participants completed 20 laps or more, one of those being Shinya Nakano who at one stage suffered a mechanical problem involving a cloud of smoke emitting from his Konica Minolta Honda RC212V machinery - meaning he completed the session on his second bike.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAND PRIX OF TURKEY, FP1

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