The first day of MotoGP action at the A-Style TT Assen concluded with Ducati Marlboro's World Championship leader Casey Stoner looking comfortable at the top of the FP2 timesheet after an afternoon session in which he was the fastest participant by 0.212s.
rain forecast for Friday at the historic Dutch circuit, tomorrow's qualifying session for the ninth race of the season could be complicated by wet conditions, which would turn proceedings into something of a lottery.
However Stoner will be pleased with his day's work as he goes in search of what would be a remarkable sixth victory in nine races since he joined Ducati. The young Aussie worked on his race set-up today and already appears to be comfortably navigating the recently modified Assen circuit, as he lapped two tenths faster than nearest rival Randy de Puniet.
Kawasaki's Frenchman De Puniet has impressed with his recent form and he improved on his morning time by well over a second to climb the timesheet after finishing seventh quickest this morning.
Nicky Hayden was third fastest as his recent improvements were demonstrated again, whilst Valentino Rossi in his kitsch new Fiat 500 inspired livery and Hayden's Repsol Honda colleague completed the top five.
A big improvement in pace after a tepid 2007 so far from Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3's Makoto Tamada saw him sixth on the timesheet, a confidence building display even if this was only an early practice run-out.
Meanwhile, Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards went round seventh fastest, with Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins, Konica Minolta Honda's Shinya Nakano and Pramac d'Antin's Alex Barros completing the day's top ten.
Kawasaki's Anthony West finished 18th quickest and suffered a crash just after the half way mark of the session, but did not appear overly affected by his tumble.
DORNA / CAPSIS International