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Circuit record smashed as Stoner takes charge in Sachsenring

Circuit record smashed as Stoner takes charge in Sachsenring

Casey Stoner broke the circuit record in Germany on Friday, with a time quicker than the fastest MotoGP pole lap of the Sachsenring circuit.

A new circuit record and a 1´21.582 lap of the Sachsenring circuit confirmed Casey Stoner´s credentials ahead of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, with the reigning World Champion heading both practice sessions and going round faster than the pole position record at the German track.

The reigning World Champion and winner of the past two MotoGP rounds, Stoner was once again the dominant force in the premier class on Friday, with his nearest rival some 0.745 slower than the Ducati Marlboro rider´s storming early afternoon lap. Only a brief run-off and a lowside in the final ten minutes of the day showed any signs of limits for the Australian, as Stoner kept up a fearsome pace throughout the entire day.

Alex de Angelis also confirmed his morning performance was no one-off, the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider the closest to Stoner´s rhythm with satellite machinery. The MotoGP rookie –on the 250cc podium at Sachsenring for the past three years- will tomorrow be expecting to qualify on one of the front three rows for the first time since his arrival in the premier class.

Tech 3 Yamaha´s Colin Edwards was the only other rider within a second of Stoner´s time, and he himself suffered a crash at the midway point of the session. The American feigned injury from the fall when cameras cut to him in the garage, before quickly revealing that no damage had been done.

Fourth on the timesheets was Valentino Rossi, the Fiat Yamaha rider once again fast but playing catch-up with Stoner. Rossi was some 1.214 slower than his title rival, and will need to find an extra second from somewhere between now and Sunday afternoon as he looks to keep up with the current pacesetter. He was unable to improve his time in the second Friday session.

The 2007 racewinner did not have an easy time of things. Dani Pedrosa was also unable to better his morning showing, and crashed his Repsol Honda RC212V after losing the front end early on in the session.

Second Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo made a late leap up in the standings in the final minute of the afternoon session, back to full fitness after a catalogue of injuries and looking to further regain confidence with his Yamaha M1. The Spaniard was sixth quickest on Friday, behind Pedrosa.

Shinya Nakano, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso and Randy de Puniet completed the top ten in the opening practice sessions for the Sunday race, with Dovizioso taking a high-speed lowside in the afternoon from which he emerged unscathed.

Returning to action in Sachsenring was Loris Capirossi, who picked up his pace before the end of the day, whilst James Toseland´s attempts to familiarise himself with the track were dealt a blow when he crashed in the morning session.


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