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Lorenzo the pacesetter in Tuscan Friday sunshine

Lorenzo the pacesetter in Tuscan Friday sunshine

World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo went fastest on Friday at Mugello in beautiful conditions.

The first MotoGP free practice of the Gran Premio d’Italia Alice weekend went with form on Friday afternoon at Mugello, as the top four riders in the session finished in the same positions as they currently occupy in the World Championship standings.

That meant Jorge Lorenzo was the man at the top of the timesheet, his best time of 1’49.870 on the 20th of his 27 laps in the hour long session giving him an early psychological advantage.

Lorenzo was the only rider to go under the 1’50 mark, with his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi two tenths of a second behind him in second place. Rossi, the king of Mugello, will be out to stop his young colleague from gaining any further championship advantage over the next 48 hours.

In third place Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner kept the Ducatisti happy, his bright red Desmosedici GP9 gleaming in the beautiful Italian sunshine as he lapped 0.274 behind fellow youngster Lorenzo.

Fourth in the championship and making ground on the top three in recent weeks Dani Pedrosa was also fourth in the session with his best time of 1’50.808, putting the Repsol Honda man just under a second behind compatriot and rival Lorenzo, as several riders – including Pedrosa – went close to top speed records for the Italian track.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) set the fifth quickest FP1 lap time, with sixth fastest rider Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) lapping at a similar pace to the American and Pedrosa. De Angelis ran off track at one point at the circuit where he achieved his best result of 2008 in fourth place in his rookie campaign.

Veteran Italian rider Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) commenced his home GP in seventh place on the timesheet, whilst Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) showed his good form again in eighth place.

The top ten was rounded off by Italian pair Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing).

Niccolò Canepa (Pramac Racing) was the only crasher in the session as his home GP commenced in unspectacular fashion, the Ducati rider finishing 14th overall.


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