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Stoner starts Estoril weekend on pace again

Stoner starts Estoril weekend on pace again

As has so often been the case in recent months Casey Stoner was the man at the head of the timesheet in the opening bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal MotoGP Free Practice session, as he went round 0.312s ahead of his closest rival.

As has so often been the case in recent months Casey Stoner was the man at the head of the timesheet in the opening bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal MotoGP Free Practice session, as he went round 0.312s ahead of his closest rival.

Indeed his closest challenger in the Friday morning outing in pleasant conditions at Estoril was Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, though the Italian would be the first to confess that it has been a struggle to get close to his Ducati Marlboro opponent of late.

Nonetheless The Doctor will be pleased to have shown early signs of competitiveness in this first outing of the weekend in Portugal as he continues to work with the new engine of his Yamaha M1 800cc prototype and attempts to give Stoner something to think about on the Atlantic coast over the next 48 hours or so.

Below the championship leaders on the timesheet was Kawasaki's Frenchman Randy de Puniet who has a good record at Estoril and lapped half a second behind Stoner. The top five, meanwhile, was completed by Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards and Carlos Checa of Honda LCR despite a slight crash.

The top ten also featured Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins, Repsol Honda colleagues Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden, Konica Minolta Honda's Shinya Nakano and Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, FP1

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