The weather has warmed up considerably at the Sachsenring, but no change at the top of the timesheet. Casey Stoner continued his terrifiying domination at the German track, over 3/10ths faster than his team mate, and big surprise, Loris Capirossi. Capirossi has been almost invisible for most of the sessions, and indeed, for most of the season, and with negotiations with Ducati stalled, needs a strong result to get his career back into gear. This looks like the first, tentative step on the way.
But Capirossi's small steps are as nothing compared to Casey Stoner's giant leaps. The Australian had one awe-inspiring run of 10 laps, 7 of which were in the 1'22 bracket. Of the 21 full laps he rode, 9 were 1'22s.
Where Casey's race pace seems to be in the high 1'22s, for the mere mortals of the field, such as Valentino Rossi, race pace will be somewhere in the low 1'23 bracket. The Sachsenring is known for close racing, but Stoner doesn't seem to appreciate that reputation.
Rossi was unable to improve his best time from yesterday, only managing the 7th fastest time ahead of team mate Colin Edwards. Between the Fiat Yamaha team and the Marlboro Ducati team were Marco Melandri, Randy de Puniet, Carlos Checa and John Hopkins, all riders who have looked strong all weekend.
The Repsol Honda team seemed to have lost their way a little again, with Nicky Hayden down in 10th (but well up from his dismal 17th spot from yesterday), and Dani Pedrosa down in 14th, behind French Tech 3 Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli. Guintoli has been surprising all weekend, and continues to shine.
Qualifying practice will be held this afternoon, with temperatures looking to be around 30 degrees C, the warmest they've been in Northern Europe, and a MotoGP round, for quite a while.
|4||14||Randy DE PUNIET||KAWASAKI||1'23.202||0.546||0.032|
|Fastest Lap:||Casey STONER||1'22.656||159.886 Km/h|
|Circuit Record Lap:||2006||Dani PEDROSA||1'23.355||158.545 Km/h|
|Circuit Best Lap:||2006||Dani PEDROSA||1'21.815||161.530 Km/h|