But Stoner is Friday's fastest
Repsol Honda's Spanish star Dani Pedrosa (1'43.870s) was the fastest participant in Friday afternoon's MotoGP free practice session under the Leicestershire rain-clouds at Donington Park, but championship leader Casey Stoner (1'43.749s) was
quickest overall on day one in England courtesy of his time in the morning run-out.
After several crashes this morning on a rainy opening day of the Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix, the second session only saw French MotoGP rookie Sylvain Guintoli of Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 fall from his bike, but overall the pace was understandably way off what would be expected of the new 800cc bikes at this track in normal conditions.
World Champion Nicky Hayden is clearly enjoying riding his Honda RC212V with its new chassis and was second fastest in both sessions today - his and Stoner's morning times both quicker than Pedrosa's afternoon best to leave the American and his Repsol Honda colleague second and third on the combined timesheets respectively.
Fourth fastest overall today was Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet who was eighth in the afternoon session, the Frenchman unable to improve on his commendable morning performance, as his painful knee injury continues to heal following his Catalunya heroics.
The rest of the top ten riders on the combined timesheets all improved their lap times in the second outing with a similar amount of water on track in both sessions – with Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen looking ever comfortable in the rain as the fifth fastest overall today and Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards sixth.
An excellent showing from Kawasaki's new recruit Anthony West saw him end the day seventh quickest, a remarkable achievement so early in his 800cc career especially given that he lapped quicker than Suzuki's John Hopkins, Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri and seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi of Fiat Yamaha, who completed the top ten.