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Wetter is better for Hopkins in Mugello practice

Wetter is better for Hopkins in Mugello practice

John Hopkins headed the timesheets in a damp opening MotoGP practice session on Friday morning.

Kawasaki´s John Hopkins was the quickest rider of the first MotoGP Mugello practice session, which took place under damp conditions courtesy of some early Friday downpours.

The Anglo-American´s 1´54.053 fastest lap came at the end of the session, relegating home rider Loris Capirossi to second place in the first timesheet of the Italian visit.

Capirossi –making his first home appearance as a Rizla Suzuki rider- was nearly half a second down on Hopkins´ time, in turn a further half second quicker than second Kawasaki rider Anthony West. Conditions regarded as less than favourable by some MotoGP riders will come as a welcome relief to West, who has struggled to find dry form with the Ninja ZX-RR so far this season.

Hailing from nearby San Marino, Alex de Angelis bounced back from an early run-off to finish fourth in the initial standings, onboard the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V. His teammate Shinya Nakano and JiR Team Scot´s Andrea Dovizioso completed the Honda satellite representation in the top six.

Rizla Suzuki man Chris Vermeulen was seventh, ahead of early title contenders Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi. The latter is the series leader and a rider unbeaten at Mugello in four stroke competition.

Marco Melandri twice ran off track in the early going, but had no further problems as a dry line emerged at the midway point of the session.


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