Once again it was Casey Stoner who was fastest during the early session of Free Practice, ahead of this evening's official qualifying session. And once again, it was Jorge Lorenzo who was second fastest, just as the Spaniard was last night. But behind Lorenzo was his team mate and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who took nearly 8/10ths off his previous fastest lap time.
More importantly, it wasn't all the Stoner Show this session, with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo both holding top spot during the session, albeit briefly. Stoner is obviously fast right from the off, but others seem to be improving behind him.
Alex de Angelis was the other rookie to be quick, finishing in 4th, and giving Bridgestone 3 of the top 4 spots. The Bridgestone tires are quicker in the earlier part of the evening, when the track still has some heat left in it, but get worse in the depths of night. Which is unfortunate for the men on Japanese rubber, as that is when the race is due to be won.
With Andrea Dovizioso in 6th, the first factory Honda is Dani Pedrosa in 7th place, forced to see two satellite Hondas ahead of him. But Pedrosa is faring better than his team mate, as Hayden is languishing down in 15th spot, ahead of Marco Melandri, who must be wondering what he's doing wrong.
Qualifying begins at 11pm local time, when more will be revealed.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Manufacturer||Fast Lap||Diff||Diff Previous|
|4||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||1'55.659||0.473||0.061|
|9||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1'56.371||1.185||0.263|