Sepang : MotoGP – Day One
Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet was the man on the pace in the second MotoGP free practice session at the Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Friday, as he lapped a drying Sepang circuit in 2'02.917s to end the day at the head of the timesheets.
The Frenchman took plus three seconds off his morning best as the riders found the going easier than on their first outing, with all 20 participants improving on their morning times as the track dried out following a midday shower - having started the day on a surface which had also received some overnight rain.
De Puniet's best effort just eclipsed 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner's time by 0.011s, while the Ducati Marlboro rider was himself a sizeable 0.733s margin ahead of third quickest rider Marco Melandri (Honda Gresini). Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and De Puniet's Kawasaki team-mate Ant West were also in the top five.
One notable absentee from a top ten completed by Toni Elias (Honda Gresini), Sylvain Guintoli (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3), Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki), John Hopkins (also Suzuki) and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda), was Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi.
The five-time former premier class title winner lapped 16th quickest – and was slower than Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki on an early 2008 GSV-R800 prototype.
DORNA / CAPSIS International