Circuit record smashed as Stoner takes charge in Sachsenring2008-07-11 16:57
A new circuit record and a 1´21.582 lap of the Sachsenring circuit confirmed Casey Stoner´s credentials ahead of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, with the reigning World Champion heading both practice sessions and going round faster than the pole position record at the German track.
The reigning World Champion and winner of the past two MotoGP rounds, Stoner was once again the dominant force in the premier class on Friday, with his nearest rival some 0.745 slower than the Ducati Marlboro rider´s storming early afternoon lap. Only a brief run-off and a lowside in the final ten minutes of the day showed any signs of limits for the Australian, as Stoner kept up a fearsome pace throughout the entire day.
Alex de Angelis also confirmed his morning performance was no one-off, the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider the closest to Stoner´s rhythm with satellite machinery. The MotoGP rookie –on the 250cc podium at Sachsenring for the past three years- will tomorrow be expecting to qualify on one of the front three rows for the first time since his arrival in the premier class.
Tech 3 Yamaha´s Colin Edwards was the only other rider within a second of Stoner´s time, and he himself suffered a crash at the midway point of the session. The American feigned injury from the fall when cameras cut to him in the garage, before quickly revealing that no damage had been done.
Fourth on the timesheets was Valentino Rossi, the Fiat Yamaha rider once again fast but playing catch-up with Stoner. Rossi was some 1.214 slower than his title rival, and will need to find an extra second from somewhere between now and Sunday afternoon as he looks to keep up with the current pacesetter. He was unable to improve his time in the second Friday session.
The 2007 racewinner did not have an easy time of things. Dani Pedrosa was also unable to better his morning showing, and crashed his Repsol Honda RC212V after losing the front end early on in the session.
Second Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo made a late leap up in the standings in the final minute of the afternoon session, back to full fitness after a catalogue of injuries and looking to further regain confidence with his Yamaha M1. The Spaniard was sixth quickest on Friday, behind Pedrosa.
Shinya Nakano, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso and Randy de Puniet completed the top ten in the opening practice sessions for the Sunday race, with Dovizioso taking a high-speed lowside in the afternoon from which he emerged unscathed.
Returning to action in Sachsenring was Loris Capirossi, who picked up his pace before the end of the day, whilst James Toseland´s attempts to familiarise himself with the track were dealt a blow when he crashed in the morning session.
Continuing the record-breaking theme of the Friday Sachsenring sessions, Marco Simoncelli set a new pole position milestone in the 250cc class with a 1´23.953 lap. The Italian continued his run of good form to take provisional pole for the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
He conceded the top spot for a matter of seconds to persistent rival Hector Barbera at the end of the opening qualifying session, quickly regaining it on his own amazing lap. Barbera had been experiencing front end problems with his Team Toth Aprilia during the afternoon, particularly when pushing hard for the front row places.
The duo were separated by just under two-tenths of a second, with series leader Mika Kallio a further half-second down as his lap record was broken. Both Kallio and Red Bull KTM teammate Hiroshi Aoyama also put their names into the hat for the front row places.
Fabrizio Lai, and Hector Faubel occupy positions on the provisional second row, alongside Julian Simon and Yuki Takahashi. Assen racewinner and poleman at the past three Grands Prix, Mapfre Aspar´s Alvaro Bautista could only manage the eleventh fastest time of the afternoon.
Having returned to form with victory at Assen, reigning 125cc World Champion Gabor Talmacsi continued from whence he left off with provisional pole for the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Last year´s poleman and racewinner at the Sachsenring, Talmacsi´s 1´26.623 lap may have been some way off his pole record, but it was enough to give the Mapfre Aspar rider the provisional top spot in the first lower cylinder category qualifying session.
The Hungarian took provisional pole ahead of Polaris World rider Bradley Smith, three tenths of a second faster than his British rival. Home competitor Stefan Bradl had been the fastest rider in the morning practice, but his hopes of repeating the feat in the afternoon run were ended by a last minute crash when chasing Talmacsi´s time. He also pencilled his name onto the front row, alongside title contender Simone Corsi.
Assen runner-up Joan Olive heads the second line after the first of two qualifying sessions, joined by Tomoyoshi Koyama, Esteve Rabat and World Championship leader Mike di Meglio.
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