Pedrosa fastest and Rossi competitive in Sachsenring practice There was great excitement at the commencement of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland on Friday as the focus at the start of the opening practice session revolved around Valentino...
Pedrosa fastest and Rossi competitive in Sachsenring practice
There was great excitement at the commencement of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland on Friday as the focus at the start of the opening practice session revolved around Valentino Rossi's return to action after six weeks out. The Italian made his comeback on his Fiat Yamaha M1 and was seventh fastest, in an hour-long session which was topped by Dani Pedrosa (Respol Honda).
Setting his time of 1'22.521 on his final lap, having led for the last minutes of the session, Pedrosa was 0.274s faster than Casey Stoner, who placed second on the timesheet as he vied for top spot throughout the session with consistently fast lap times. Joining the pair in the top three and the final rider under the 1'23" marker was Stoner's Ducati Team colleague Nicky Hayden, +0.462s down on Pedrosa thanks to a late effort.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took the best part of the session to feel his way around the track and survived a run-off at turn 10 a quarter of the way into the session, but towards the end he posted an impressive time of 1'23.189 to place fourth. Another rookie in the shape of Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completed the top five.
In sixth and at +0.703s down on Pedrosa was Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, with the Fiat Yamaha rider timing in with a best effort of 1'23.224, just two-hundredths off Simoncelli. Rossi, making his return to great fanfare, completed 29 laps in total, and was only 0.02s off his team-mate's time.
Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) overcame a dramatic moment with the front end of his bike early on, controlling his RC212V admirably in the midst of a big wobble to go on and lap eighth fastest. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) completed the top ten.
The MotoGP riders will be back on track on Saturday morning at 9.55am local time for the second practice, ahead of the afternoon qualifying session.