Nicky Hayden has topped the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Valencia. The rain which started falling at the start of the session meant there was enough water on the track for wet tires, and as the last moments of the session ticked away, Hayden jumped ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who had been leading for most of the session. Hayden's lap was impressive, putting over a second between himself and Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda man having to settle for 2nd. Jorge Lorenzo took 3rd spot, nearly half a second behind Pedrosa, and only fractionally ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso, while Alvaro Bautista nabbed 5th on the San Carlo Gresini Honda.
Aleix Espargaro used the rain to his advantage, the wet weather rendering the acceleration disadvantage his Aprilia CRT machine has over the factory prototypes irrelevant. Espargaro ended the session a tenth of a second ahead of Valentino Rossi on the second Factory Ducati, while Cal Crutchlow took 8th. Espargaro's Aspar teammate Randy De Puniet was equally fast, setting the 9th time ahead of the retiring World Champion Casey Stoner.
More wet weather is expected throughout the weekend, though the forecast is highly unstable at the moment.
|9||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'47.039||2.554||0.200|
|Not qualified (Out 107%) 1'51.799|