New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Championship leader Stoner quickest in Mugello Friday rain

Championship leader Stoner quickest in Mugello Friday rain

There was a repeat of the Le Mans downpour at this afternoon's MotoGP second free practice at Mugello, with the rainfall so heavy early on that the start of the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice session was delayed by ten minutes.

There was a repeat of the Le Mans downpour at this afternoon's MotoGP second free practice at Mugello, with the rainfall so heavy early on that the start of the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice session was delayed by ten minutes.

This season free practice and qualifying sessions have been notable for the close times between the riders in the competitive new 800cc era, but that all went out of the window today with the rain separating quickest rider, Casey Stoner, from the slowest participant, Sylvain Guintoli, by more than 29 seconds.

That Guintoli only managed two laps says it all about this waterlogged outing, while Stoner's time of 2'07.107s - on the last of just seven laps he completed as the rain began to fall slightly less heavily – was still more than 18 seconds off the circuit best lap time, illustrating the conditions facing the riders.

Although not a huge amount should be read into times or performances Ducati Marlboro's Stoner will be satisfied to have come out on top, while second fastest rider John Hopkins was just 0.018s behind the Aussie and is becoming increasingly consistent in both practice and races this year.

Hopkins Rizla Suzuki team-mate Chris Vermeulen, who enjoyed the rain immensely while earning his career-first win at Le Mans, was third quickest – lapping just 0.102s slower than compatriot Stoner.

Former five-time World Champion Valentino Rossi was 1.346s behind Stoner as the fourth quickest participant and suffered the indignity of a crash at his home track, losing the front end close to the conclusion of the session. The Italian slid off track and across the gravel but he was immediately back on his feet and will aim to win his sixth Italian Grand Prix in succession on Sunday.

Fifth fastest on the timesheets was Kenny Roberts Jnr who completed a healthy 19 laps as the first rider out on track, testing the ground before his competitors joined him under the Tuscan rain clouds. The American was less than two seconds off Stoner's time and would probably be more than happy with finishing fifth in qualifying tomorrow, whatever the weather.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, FP2

Other updates you may be interested in ›