Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was fastest in the morning and he was fastest in the afternoon today at the Mugello Circuit in Italy, the site of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, but things tightened up considerably in the afternoon session.

Lorenzo managed to keep his spot at the top after going .4 of a second faster than his morning best, the Spaniard ripping off a 1:48.076 despite tip over at low speed in a gravel trap at one point in the session.

"I'm really happy because from the beginning we've been quite fast," Lorenzo said. "We haven't had to make many changes to the bike, the feeling is great with the track and it's working well. I feel good with the suspension, throttle and braking. Everything seems quite clear, we have to work on some small details but we've made an excellent beginning."

So how close was the second session? The top 10 were all within a second of Lorenzo and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who just signed a two-year contract extension with Honda, ended up second - and just .031 of a second behind Lorenzo

Third place was somewhat of a surprise with Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden's 1:48.157 putting him just .081 of a second behind the World Championship points leader and just .050 behind Pedrosa, who sits second in the title chase.

Pramac Ducati's Hector Barbera ended up fourth quickest, despite a crash earlier in the session that brought out the red flag to allow corner workers to clean debris from the racetrack. Barbera was just .178 behind Lorenzo.

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizisio was fifth on the opening day of his home Grand Prix, the Italian also close to Lorenzo with his 1:48.308.

Then came World Champion Casey Stoner, the Repsol Honda rider ending up sixth after putting in the second fastest time in the morning session. Stoner was just .013 of a second ahead of Texan Ben Spies on the second factory Yamaha. Spies had suffered a crash in the morning session.

Then came Brit Cal Crutchlow, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider eighth and a tick over half a second slower than Lorenzo. LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl rounded out the top 10.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards finished the day in 17th and sixth best CRT.

Friday Practice

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:48.076

2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:48.107

3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:48.157

4. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1:48.245

5. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1:48.308

6. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:48.527

7. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:48.540

8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:48.650

9. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:49.017

10. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:49.022

MotoGP Headlines

By Cycle News Staff

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