Yamaha dominate on opening day at Mugello2010-06-04 13:43
Valentino Rossi laid down the gauntlet at Mugello today, by setting the fastest time in the opening free practice session. The Italian is looking to reclaim his crown as the King of Mugello, after Casey Stoner's win last year ended a run of seven consecutive victories in the Italian Grand Prix for the reigning World Champion.
Rossi's fastest lap was almost half a second faster than his Championship rival, and Fiat Yamaha teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, who posted the second fastest time to make it a Yamaha one-two at the top of the timesheet today.
Rossi and Lorenzo established themselves at the forefront of the timesheet early on and Rossi continually improved his time as the session reached its climax. With just 10 minutes of the session left to run the Italian, who is sporting a new Mohawk haircut for the Mugello weekend, finally broke the 1'50" barrier, setting a hot lap of 1'49.751.
Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi pushing up into third place with a late surge that left him just 0.608s off Rossi's blistering pace, but the Italian veteran then crashed uninjured in the San Donato turn, ending his session early.
Colin Edwards enjoyed a good opening session and was fourth fastest, just over a second off Rossi and only one thousandth of a second ahead of Dani Pedrosa who was the highest-placed Honda rider today.
Ben Spies impressed on his first outing at Mugello by registering the sixth fastest time, just over two-tenths behind Pedrosa. Casey Stoner had the worst possible start to the hour-long practice when he experienced a run-off at Turn 15. The Australian had to take his Desmosedici GP10 down into the gravel to avoid hitting the fence, and eventually placed seventh in the session as he completed 15 laps, the fewest of the field.
Andrea Dovizioso Nicky Hayden and Héctor Barberá all set top-ten times as well, the rookie running off at Bucine shortly after Casey Stoner had vacated the gravel trap at the same place. Rizla Suzuki rookie Álvaro Bautista made his return after sitting out the last race at Le Mans due to his collarbone injury, but was clearly still feeling some discomfort with a best time just over 5.5s off that of Rossi.
Alex de Angelis topped the timesheet after this afternoon's opening Moto2 free practice, lapping the Mugello circuit in a time of 1'56.422 aboard his Force GP210 machine. De Angelis set his best time on the 13th of his 22 laps, and was 0.217s quicker than second fastest, Sergio Gadea.
Tenerife 40 Pons rider Gadea pushed himself into that position with a best time of 1'56.639 on his penultimate lap, 0.076s faster than Julián Simón whose best effort came on his final lap of the Tuscan track. Andrea Iannone made it four different chassis manufacturers occupying the top four positions, as he came in just under two-tenths behind Simón.
Stefan Bradl, Jules Cluzel, Yuki Takahashi and Shoya Tomizawa â€” at present second in the Championship standings â€” were tightly grouped from positions five to eight, with Mike di Meglio and Gabor Talmacsi completing a top ten separated by just 0.918s.
Current Championship leader Toni Elías was only 11th fastest, 1.032 off the time set by De Angelis. British rider Scott Redding finished the practice in 19th position.
Pol Espargaró and Nico Terol reignited their Championship battle in the opening 125cc practice session of the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM on Friday afternoon, as the former set the fastest time of the session with his last lap of the Mugello circuit.
Bancaja Aspar rider Terol, who leads the Championship standings by two points from Espargaró heading into this weekend, looked to have done enough to take the first practice honours, but his Tuenti Racing adversary posted a time of 1'58.373 right at the end to edge himself 0.058s in front.
Third fastest was last year's race winner Bradley Smith, who found an immediate pace on his Aprilia, something which has not been the case regularly this season so far. At 0.650s off Espargaró's time there is still work to do for the Brit, who was just under two-tenths ahead of Efrén Vázquez in fourth place.
Completing the top five was Randy Krummenacher who matched Vázquez's time, while Marc Márquez was the sixth and final rider to get within a second of Espargaró's marker.
Esteve Rabat, Sandro Cortese, Tomoyoshi Koyama and Jonas Folger all recorded top ten times to get their respective weekends off to a good start.
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