Casey Stoner picked up at Jerez where he left off at Qatar, by grasping the first session of free practice for the MotoGP riders by the scruff of the neck and leading almost from his first lap. The Marlboro Ducati rider remained virtually unchallenged throughout. Stoner's only mistake was losing the front at the Dry Sack corner, sliding out unhurt with just a few minutes of the session left.
But the big lead that Stoner pulled out in the early part of the session did not last. Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo whittled away at it slowly, taking off a tenth here and a tenth there until he ended the session in 2nd spot, just 0.144 seconds off Stoner's time. Nicky Hayden's form from Qatar also continued, setting the 3rd fastest time, four tenths behind his Australian teammate and just ahead of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa looked a good deal smoother here than at Qatar, the bike bucking and weaving significantly less than three weeks ago. Valentino Rossi's shoulder appears to be slowing the Fiat Yamaha rider down, the Italian ending in 5th place, just over six tenths off Stoner's time.
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