Australian Casey Stoner has topped both Practice 1 and 2 ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in Spain.
Stoner was faster than Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) in both sessions, while Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) would have been third fastest both free practice trials until a last minute scorcher from Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) pipped the reigning world champion.
In the second session, Stoner set the early fast lap in the rainy conditions, with most riders lapping close to eight seconds slower than the Practice 1 times. As the rain continued, many riders retreated to the garages, while some, including Lorenzo, never ventured out until the last quarter of the practice session.
The rain allowed those who did venture into the slick conditions to see their names at the top of the timesheet throughout the session. Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) battled with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) for the lead time, both bettering each others fastest laps until the last 14 minutes, when the weather let up slightly and the time pressed the other riders into action.
The last 12 minutes saw Stoner top the time chart with a blistering 1m42.940s – the fastest time of the day.
Simoncelli, Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), Valentino Rossi (Ducati), Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Bautista rounded out the top 10.