HOHENSTEIN-ERNSTTHAL, GERMANY, JULY 11: Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner continues to roll. Coming off a pair of victories, first in England, then in Holland, the world champion raced to the top of the time sheets in the first practice for Sunday’s Alice Grand Prix of Germany at the Sachsenring. Stoner put a marker up early that no one could come close to matching. The gap was over a second for much of the hour, but narrowed down to .264 seconds at the end. Still, it was Stoner who was by far the most consistent with 12 laps of the 2.28-mile track in the 1:22’s and a best of 1:22.318 mins. The time was half a second shy of Dani Pedrosa’s 1:21.815 from 2006, the final year of the 990’s. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis put in his best lap near the very end of the one hour session. His 1:22.582 was one of only four laps in the 1:22’s. Far more consistent was Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi. The Italian racked up seven 1:22’s with his best of 1:22.617 coming on his final lap. He finished only .035 secs. behind de Angelis. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was fourth and in front of two other Honda riders, JiR Team Scot MotoGP’s Andrea Dovizioso and the second San Carlo Honda Gresini of Shinya Nakano. Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards was next, less than a tenth out of sixth, with Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden a shadow eighth and the final rider on the same second as Stoner. Then came the final Honda of LCR’s Randy de Puniet and Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. The session claimed two victims. First was Tech 3 Yamaha’s James Toseland, the Englishman who crashed early on and could only card the 16th fastest time out of 17 riders. Australian Anthony West, the lone Kawasaki rider in the absence of the injured John Hopkins, crashed late in the session. His was the 12th fastest time. Friday Morning Practice: 1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:22.318 2. Alex de Angelis (Honda) 1:22.582 3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:22.617 4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:22.759 5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:22.999 6. Shinya Nakano (Honda) 1:23.038 7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:23.132 8. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:23.214 9. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:23.360 10. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:23.449 11. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1:23.462 12. Anthony West (Kawasaki) 1:23.627 13. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:23.728 14. Toni Elias (Ducati) 1:24.086 15. Marco Melandri (Ducati) 1:24.117 16. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:24.486 17. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:24.646
Stoner Fast in Germany
Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor
Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.