Stoner Gets It Going In Germany

Cycle News Staff | July 17, 2009

The opening day of action at the Sachsenring in Germany was a mixed bag as the session featured both wet and dry track conditions. While the MotoGP men started on rain tires after a downpour, they ended it on slicks and with Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner atop the time sheets.Stoner ended up with a 1:22.779, some 10 seconds quicker than what the top riders had started the session doing on the treaded rain tires. Stoner, who was recently diagnosed with gastritis and anemia, did his best time with eight minutes to go and nobody was able to improve upon it. Last year, Stoner won the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring in wet conditions – his only wet-weather win of the year.Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa maintained the momentum gained with his victory in the U.S. Grand Prix two weeks ago by putting the Honda second in the session. Pedrosa didn’t get into the 22s, however, and ended with a best of 1:23.034.Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi ended up third, the Italian looking to tie Giacomo Agostini this weekend with 159 career podium finishes if he puts the Yamaha in the top three. Rossi, who has won four GPs at the Sachsenring in his career, was just .309 of a second behind Stoner.LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet ended up fourth on the day with fellow Honda rider Alex de Angelis fifth on the San Carlo Honda RC212V.Then came Colin Edwards on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, the Texan leading San Carlo Honda’s Toni Elias and Marlboro Ducati’s Nicky Hayden. Hayden had been impressive in the wet conditions and led most of it before the track dried and the teams went to slicks. Even with the slicks, he continued to be on pace and he ended up just over half a second behind Stoner. Hayden always goes well at Sachsenring and he’s finished on the podium there more than any other circuit, finishing third for four straight years in the German Grand Prix – 2004 to 2007.Tenth ended up going to Hayate’s Marco Melandri.Jorge Lorenzo, who suffered foot and shoulder injuries in his qualifying crash at Laguna Seca two weeks ago, ended up 11th with Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi 12th.Capirossi’s teammate Chris Vermeulen, meanwhile, was the victim of a crash near the end of the session. He ended up 16th fastest.

Moto GP Practice

1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:22.779

2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:23.034

3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:23.088

4. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:23.133

5. Alex de Angelis (Honda) 1:23.282

6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:23.295

7. Toni Elias (Honda) 1:23.351

8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:23.367

9. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:23.370

10. Marco Melandri (Kawasaki) 1:23.466