Casey Stoner and John Hopkins were once again far and away the fastest riders on the track at Brno this morning, leading the timesheets within the first 10 minutes of practice, and staying there all the way to the end. Stoner was fastest by a small margin for most of the session, until 2 minutes from the end, the Australian Ducati man destroyed the existing lap record, set by Loris Capirossi last year. Suzuki's John Hopkins was the only man who could stay within range of Stoner, and the only other man capable of consistently running 1'58 second laps, which looks like being race pace.
The Yamaha men suffered very mixed fortunes, with Colin Edwards finishing in 4th spot, behind Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet, but Valentino Rossi way down in 12th position, nearly 2 seconds slower than the man he has to beat if he is to keep a chance at the title. Unless the team find something this afternoon, Rossi could be in serious trouble tomorrow.
The top men's team mates, Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen, also put on a strong showing all session, with Sylvain Guintoli once again popping into the top 10, taking 7th spot using a set of qualifiers. The Repsol Honda team mates finished in 8th and 9th spot, with Nicky Hayden faster than Dani Pedrosa for much of the session, the Spaniard only nipping ahead of the reigning world champion during the final minutes of the session.
Marco Melandri was once again absent, presumably still not fit to ride as a result of the nerve problems which reared their heads yesterday. It must be doubtful whether he will be able to race on Sunday.
|3||14||Randy DE PUNIET||KAWASAKI||1'58.939||0.937||0.286|
|Fastest Lap:||Casey STONER||1'58.002||164.834 Km/h|
|Circuit Record Lap:||2006||Loris CAPIROSSI||1'58.157||164.618 Km/h|
|Circuit Best Lap:||2006||Valentino ROSSI||1'56.191||167.403 Km/h|