Casey Stoner took revenge in this afternoon's session of free practice, taking back the top spot that Valentino Rossi had taken in the morning. Stoner was quickest all session, taking a comfortable lead of well over half a second at one point. But on his last couple of laps, Rossi clawed back some time, getting to within 2/10ths of a second. It's hard to say at the moment, but it looks like Rossi is at least close to Stoner's pace. it was clear that Stoner was really pushing, though, as the Australian ran off track, and was forced to get off his Ducati to get the bike facing in the right direction.
Stoner wasn't the only rider to have off-track excursions. Randy de Puniet, Alex de Angelis, John Hopkins and James Toseland all suffered crashes. Toseland's was at very slow speed, tipping over in the gravel, but de Puniet managed to crash twice in the 60 minute session.
The Bridgestone's dominated once again, taking the top 6, and 9 of the top 10 places. Only Colin Edwards seemed to have some pace, at one point cracking into the top 3. After the drama at the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca, Michelin look to be in for a third disaster in a row, despite having tested on the new surface in June.
While Stoner and Rossi dominated, the good news for the rest of the field is that they managed to closte the gap. From over a second down, the rider in 3rd place is now just over three quarters of a second off Casey Stoner's pace. But that's still a long way from closing the gap.
Practice continues tomorrow, but the forecast is for cold, wet conditions, so the data is unlikely to be any use for the race on Sunday, which is expected to be warm and dry.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Manufacturer||Fast Lap||Diff||Diff Previous|
|1||1||Casey STONER||DUCATI||1'57.231|| || |
|5||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||1'58.264||1.033||0.036|
|14||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1'59.405||2.174||0.077|
|Fastest Lap:||18||Casey STONER||1'57.231||165.918 Km/h|
|Circuit Record Lap:||2006||Loris CAPIROSSI||1'58.157||164.618 Km/h|
|Circuit Best Lap:||2006||Valentino ROSSI||1'56.191||167.403 Km/h|