Dani Pedrosa set the standard in the first session of practice for the MotoGP class, the Repsol Honda rider taking over the top spot with a quarter of the session to go with a convincing lap under the 1'22 mark. As the session neared its end, Pedrosa came under pressure from future teammate Casey Stoner. The Marlboro Ducati rider had himself taken over the top spot from Jorge Lorenzo at the halfway mark, and looked to be dominating practice, until Pedrosa put in an extra burst of pace.
That the Ducati is working well at the Sachsenring was confirmed by Nicky Hayden, who nicked into the top three at the end of the session, displacing a surprising Ben Spies, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider showing very strongly at his first visit to the Sachsenring. Spies' 4th position made him the first Yamaha rider, with the factory Fiat Yamaha bikes of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi down in 6th and 7th, Lorenzo seemingly getting the timing of his last run wrong, and leaving the pits with not enough time to complete a flying lap. Sandwiched between Spies and Lorenzo was San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli.
Despite only setting the 7th fastest time, Rossi's return was impressive, very close to the pace of the front runners. But the Italian is clearly suffering, putting in ever shorter runs throughout the session. Rossi could qualify pretty well, but question marks remain over whether he could last the distance.
|8||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1'23.260||0.739||0.016|
|17||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||1'24.101||1.580||0.081|