After a dismal weekend at Qatar three weeks ago, Valentino Rossi got Jerez off to a good start by seizing control of the second session of free practice and leading for much of it. The Italian held a clear lead until the final minutes of practice, when he was deposed by Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who dived under Rossi's time by nearly two thirds of a second. The factory Ducati man took 2nd, ahead of Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, and Pedrosa's Repsol teammate Casey Stoner.
Nicky Hayden also put the factory Ducati closer to the sharp end, taking 5th spot just over a tenth behind reigning champion Casey Stoner, while Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest of the satellite bikes, grabbing 6th on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, just ahead of San Carlo Gresini's Alvaro Bautista and Dovi's teammate Cal Crutchlow. Ben Spies continues to struggle, managing just the 9th fastest time, his best lap equaled by MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl.
Randy de Puniet was 10th and the best of the CRT bikes, as expected, both De Puniet and Mattia Pasini beating the satellite Ducatis of Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera into 13th and 14th.
The weather was once again a serious factor: the session started very wet, gradually drying out a little as the session progressed and the rain ceased, but the track was never fully dry. It was better than this morning, though, when the circuit was neither one thing nor the other, making for very treacherous conditions. More rain - and some dry periods - are expected for Saturday.
|11||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'54.155||3.375||0.746|