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Stoner starts homecoming weekend on top form

Stoner starts homecoming weekend on top form

On several occasions during his remarkable World Championship winning season Casey Stoner has gone on to dominate an entire weekend after starting Friday free practice in good form, and he will be hoping to do that again at Phillip Island over the next 48 hours having made a solid start to proceedings.

On several occasions during his remarkable World Championship winning season this year Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner has gone on to dominate an entire weekend after starting Friday free practice in good form, and he will be hoping to do that again at Phillip Island over the next 48 hours having made a solid start to proceedings.

Of course newly crowned Stoner rides at round 16 of the championship free of any major pressure in his home race at the GMC Australian Grand Prix, having clinched the title nearly three weeks ago in Japan, and the first Friday session for the MotoGP riders saw the young Aussie top the timesheet by a 1.339s margin.

Water on track from earlier rain and a brief shower during the morning run-out meant many of the riders were not running at full pace, but Stoner showed less cautiousness than his rivals to lap in 1'31.132s, just over two seconds below record pace at this venue.

Several riders only put in a handful of laps and although Frenchman Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki Racing) only went round eight times he was quick enough to end the session second fastest, ahead of Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) – who was 2.288s slower than Stoner.

John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) were also in the top five, whilst the top ten was completed by Motegi race winner Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro), Anthony West (Kawasaki Racing), Carlos Checa (Honda LCR), Toni Elias (Honda Gresini) and another home rider Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki).

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GMC AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, FP1

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