The first session of free practice at Le Mans was eagerly awaited by a lot of the MotoGP riders, as it would see a return to the full one hour length. The original decision to cut practice to just 45 minutes was reversed at a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission at Jerez, and Le Mans was to be the first chance to take full advantage of the extra practice time. The weather gods thought otherwise, though, the rain and drizzle making conditions difficult for the last 25 minutes of the session, the track too dry for a wet setup, and too wet for slicks. The rain eased up slightly with 10 minutes to go, only to start again a couple of minutes later.
At the end of the confused session, it was Andrea Dovizioso who topped the timesheets, deposing Casey Stoner with half the session left. But it had taken Casey Stoner 25 minutes to take the top spot, the Australian going out for very short runs before coming back into the pits. Local boy Randy de Puniet made his bid for immortality by leading the session early on, finally finishing in 3rd place.
With the rain disrupting so much of the session, it is hard to draw any conclusions from the times set so far. We shall have to wait until tomorrow, and a couple more full hours of practice and qualifying before we know just how the relative strengths of the field stand.
Results of MotoGP FP1 at Le Mans:
|3||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1'36.293||0.157||0.099|
|16||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||1'38.323||2.187||0.291|