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Rain makes the difference for MotoGP riders in Mugello

Rain makes the difference for MotoGP riders in Mugello

Heavy rain in Mugello leaves MotoGP riders unable to make afternoon progress, with Chris Vermeulen´s fastest lap some way off that of morning man John Hopkins.

Showers and overcast skies in Mugello meant that MotoGP practice for the Gran Premio d´Italia Alice got off to a stuttering start, with neither of the two Friday sessions likely to help when it comes to choosing dry race settings.

A wet track for the entirety of the afternoon session meant that morning times were difficult to improve, Kawasaki Racing´s John Hopkins not receiving any challenge to his timesheet-topping lap of 1´54.053. Said time had been recorded in the matutinal run, on a drying racing line, something not experienced second time around and reflected in the near ten-second difference in the Anglo-American´s respective hot laps.

Remaining in second place, Loris Capirossi was once again the quickest Italian representative on his home circuit. The Rizla Suzuki veteran ran his GSV-R off-track during the rainier of the two sessions, a fate also experienced by third placed rider and second Kawasaki competitor Anthony West.

San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Alex de Angelis and Shinya Nakano showed good early form for fourth and fifth on the timesheet, but the latter´s day was soured by a lowside in the final quarter of the afternoon. The light crash left the Japanese rider mud-sodden but uninjured, whilst some extensive repair work will be performed on his Honda RC212V.

The combined top ten also featured JiR Team Scot local boy Andrea Dovizioso, fastest rider of the completely wet run Chris Vermeulen, and the early World Championship contenders Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi. The latter was the highest placing Yamaha rider in tenth, with factory teammate and title challenger Jorge Lorenzo in fourteenth. Both Fiat Yamaha riders had some early wobbles on their M1 bikes, but managed to stay upright and on-track.

Riding the pneumatic valve Honda engine on his MotoGP wildcard return, Tadayuki Okada suffered a high speed lowside on the fast downhill section of the Mugello track, but escaped uninjured.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, FP2

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