Casey Stoner was fastest in this morning's warm up session at Laguna Seca, seemingly unhampered by the injuries he suffered in the highside during yesterday's qualifying practice. Stoner hobbled to his bike, looking very stiff, but once aboard, was flying. He took the fastest time within the first ten minutes of practice, then went back into the pits and did not emerge again.
The other of the walking wounded, Jorge Lorenzo, was clearly much less comfortable than Stoner. Lorenzo had great difficulty walking, but still managed to ride the bike for 13 laps, setting the 5th fastest time in the process, just under 0.6 seconds behind Casey Stoner's time. The question of whether Stoner and Lorenzo will race looks settled, though it remains to be seen whether they can actually last for 32 laps round Laguna's physically exhausting circuit.
Valentino Rossi was 2nd fastest, just 0.08 off Casey Stoner, but that belies the real difference between the two men. Rossi was blistering in the first three sectors, over a tenth faster in each, but losing out big time in the final sector, running through Rainey back to the finish line. Rossi was between a quarter of a second to nearly half a second slower through those final turns, offering an interesting confrontation between the Australian and the Italian once again. Rossi will need some more of Jeremy Burgess' magic to find another tenth or two in T4.
Dani Pedrosa finished the session in 3rd place, ahead of a promising Colin Edwards on the Tech 3 Yamaha. Andrea Dovizioso was 6th fastest, ahead of Nicky Hayden.
The session saw a number of crashes, with Marco Melandri crashing heavily in Turn 6, while Toni Elias took a trip through the gravel at Turn 2.