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Stoner quickest in sun-drenched Catalunya first free practice

Stoner quickest in sun-drenched Catalunya first free practice

In stunning conditions it was Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner who went quickest in the first practice session of the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner, who won at the Catalan track in dominant fashion last year, set the quickest time of 1.42’775, just narrowly ousting his local teammate Pedrosa by a tenth. As the Repsol Hondas dominated, it was championship leader Jorge Lorenzo who was third fastest on-board his Yamaha Factory Racing machine. Fresh off the back of his dominant wet weather win, Lorenzo will be looking to get one over on the Hondas once again to extend his lead at the top.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who is now running with the same spec brakes as his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, was fourth quickest, with Yamaha Factory’s Ben Spies closely in tow. Spies will be looking for a solid weekend, after much discussion about his below-par form this season. In sixth place, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl continues to impress with his satellite machine, as he was just over four tenths off the top, despite a small crash early in the session.

Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden was the fastest of the Ducatis as he finished within the same hundredth as Bradl. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham looked to have regained some confidence after coming in just behind Hayden in eighth. Crutchlow’s teammate Dovizioso was ninth quickest, with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista rounding out the top ten. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi finished in 11th.

Apart from Bradl’s crash, there were only minor incidents in the session, as Bautista’s teammate Michele Pirro and Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy De Puniet ran off track briefly, while Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez had to switch bikes after a mechanical issue.


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