The top three riders in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship standings all shaped up well on the first day of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland today as they topped the free practice timesheets at the Sachsenring.
Just as he does in the general classification
at present, Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner led the way in the second free practice run ahead of Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.
The Australian chipped 0.321s off his best morning effort, which was not beaten by the afternoon's second fastest rider Rossi - who lapped 0.346s slower than Stoner in the second session, while Pedrosa was 0.629s off the pace.
The next three riders on the timesheet all lapped within 0.064s of Spaniard Pedrosa, a good performance from French MotoGP rookie Sylvain Guintoli (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3) leaving him fourth overall, just ahead of Carlos Checa (Honda LCR) and Marco Melandri (Hondra Gresini).
In spite of a spectacular morning crash and some subsequent stitches in a resultant hand injury Alex Barros (Pramac d'Antin) went round seventh fastest, while the top ten was completed by Colin Edwards (Fiat Yamaha), John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) and Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki Racing).
After arriving at Sachsenring in a cheerful mood following his first podium of 2007 at Assen and some recent improvements to his RC212V set-up, World Champion Nicky Hayden will be disappointed to have ended the day 16th overall – as the only rider failing to improve his morning time in the afternoon outing.
DORNA / CAPSIS International