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Hayden continues on top in second MotoGP session

Hayden continues on top in second MotoGP session

Nicky Hayden was once again the top man in Valencia in the second 800cc Free Practice session.

Determined to take a pole position and race victory to sign-off his stay with Repsol Honda, Nicky Hayden took the initiative in the MotoGP Free Practice sessions on Friday. The American was the quickest in both the morning opener and matinee performance in preparation for the Gran Premio Parts Europe de la Comunitat Valenciana, the final race of the 2008 season.

Whereas in 2006 Hayden was getting soaked by Cava on the Sunday in Valencia after confirming the World Championship title, in this year´s initial pair of sessions the only spray was that thrown up from the track in a damp day of riding. The words `rainy´ and `foggy´ may bring back fond memories to motorcycle fans, but for the riders such conditions will make fine-tuning their setups extra difficult in preparation for race day.

Hayden recorded a 1´45.777 lap in the quicker afternoon session, edging out teammate and 2007 Valencia racewinner Dani Pedrosa by less than a tenth of a second. Pedrosa produced the fastest top speed of the session at 301.8km/h, over 6km/h more than any other rider.

Behind the factory Honda duo, Fiat Yamaha made their own collective charge for the top of the timesheet, led by Spanish rookie Jorge Lorenzo. The 800cc debutant is using a special white livery adorned with various flags this weekend, and with such an eye-catching design the onus is on him to go fast. He was just under two-tenths of a second down on Hayden´s time, at the scene of his first formal test for Yamaha one year ago.

Teammate and 2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi placed fourth in the session, although his day was blighted by a lowside crash on the final turn of the track. Unable to restart his M1, Rossi had to return to the garage by foot in order to ride the second bike, although he put his standby machine to good use with times faster than those of the morning session.

A crasher in the pre-lunch session, Ducati´s Casey Stoner was fifth quickest, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, Randy de Puniet, Sylvain Guintoli, Colin Edwards and Shinya Nakano. Over 1.5 seconds separated the top ten.

Also crashing in the session was Toni Elias, flung from his satellite Ducati bike early on.


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