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Stoner and Lorenzo Lead First Practice at Qatar

All the hype and speculation has come to an end. The first practice session has been held for the first round of the year in Qatar, and Casey Stoner (Honda) led the timesheets followed by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha). Not much of a surprise, frankly, although there were a few surprises from other riders.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati), who won a MotoGP championship on the big bore 990cc bike several years ago stormed through to the third quickest lap, despite the fact that teammate Valentino Rossi was down in 10th position. Hayden had switched to a soft tire towards the end of the session, while Rossi rode the same hard tire throughout. Ben Spies (Yamaha) followed Hayden in fourth, with Dani Pedrosa (Honda) fifth.

Of course, this is just the opening practice session, but the CRT bikes are quite slow, more than 3 seconds off the pace, in fact. We will bring you additional reports this weekend. Stay tuned.

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 334.5 1’56.474
2 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 329.9 1’56.648 0.174 / 0.174
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 334.2 1’56.924 0.450 / 0.276
4 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 326.7 1’56.982 0.508 / 0.058
5 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 332.9 1’57.130 0.656 / 0.148
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 329.2 1’57.395 0.921 / 0.265
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 336.8 1’57.512 1.038 / 0.117
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 330.0 1’57.547 1.073 / 0.035
9 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 337.2 1’57.912 1.438 / 0.365
10 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 334.3 1’57.914 1.440 / 0.002

6 Comments

  1. Vrooom says:

    Surprised to see Hayden almost a second faster than Rossi. I’d like to have seen Spies a bit faster, but it looks like the Stoner/Lorenzo show is on.

  2. Kane says:

    I have always been a fan of Nicky and I hope he actually gets a good run this year. I don’t expect him to win another championship but I would love to see a race win and a few podiums.

    • blackcayman says:

      he doesn’t lack the stones…he seems to usually be right at the front in the rain… I don’t like going to the track in the rain – I admit I am a fair weather track day rider. My hats off to all of them!

      I have to say it would be great for the sport if the Ducatis can keep pace with the Hondas and Yamahas.

      Can you imagine how it would be if they were all on the same bike – less the setup???

  3. MGNorge says:

    Those CRT bikes may be a liability to the safety of the fast GP bikes. More obstacles than threats to the podium.

    • Tim says:

      Or, the may slow Stoner down just enough to make things interesting. I would love for there to be no run away wins like the last couple of years.

      I only wish Lorenzo was on a Honda, then we’d really see some competition between he and Stoner.

    • Fred M. says:

      Stop being a drama queen.

      The difference between first and last qualifying positions in the 1000cc British Superstock practice at Brands hatch was over 4.2 seconds. The fastest lap was 47.7 seconds. Thats a 9% difference.

      The difference between first and last in MotoGP practice 3 at Qatar was 5.2 seconds with a fastest lap of 1:55.3. That’s a 4.5% difference.

      In 2004 MotoGP qualifying at Qatar, the spread was over 6.5 seconds. In 2005, it was 4.7 seconds. In 2006, it was 4.05 seconds. In 2007, it was 4.7 seconds.

      Hopefully, laying out these facts will put an end to these silly predictions that the inclusion of CRT bikes is going to result in some unprecedented level of danger in modern motorcycle racing.