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Stoner leads the way in wet early session

Stoner leads the way in wet early session

The opening MotoGP session of the Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix took place in wet conditions at Donington this morning with Ducati Marlboro's current World Championship leader Casey Stoner emerging on top of the first free practice timesheets.

Stoner leads the way in wet early session The opening MotoGP session of the Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix took place in wet conditions at Donington this morning with Ducati Marlboro's current World Championship leader Casey Stoner emerging on top of the first free practice timesheets.

A grey English June morning saw rain affecting the performances of the riders, with Fiat Yamaha's seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen and Honda LCR's Carlos Checa suffering crashes and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Gresini Honda's Toni Elias running off track.

Although Stoner's fastest lap was more than 15 seconds off record pace he will still be happy to have set down an important psychological marker at the start of another crucial Grand Prix weekend.

Another rider who is likely to be feeling good after his morning outing is current World Champion Nicky Hayden who as ever worked so hard in two days of post-Catalunya testing on his new Honda RC212V chassis, with some apparently positive results. The American was just 0.032s behind Stoner's best lap of 1'43.749s, recording his fastest time on the last of his 26 laps of the Donington track - in one of his best practice showings so far in 2007.

Randy de Puniet was another hard worker in Catalunya and after undergoing surgery to help relieve the swelling on his knee injury he will be more comfortable onboard his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR this weekend – the Frenchman was third quickest this morning, lapping half a second slower than Stoner and Hayden.

Vermeulen was fourth quickest, although 1.315s behind compatriot Stoner, while Pedrosa was fifth fastest and Rossi seventh despite their early mishaps, with Pramac d'Antin's experienced Brazilian Alex Barros finishing sixth on the timesheet.

Making an excellent start to a new chapter in his career with Kawasaki, MotoGP's latest Australian addition Anthony West lapped a confidence boosting eighth quickest and will look to continue his excellent work when the premier class riders return to the track at 1.50pm local time this afternoon.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, NICKEL & DIME BRITISH GRAND PRIX, FP1

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