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Lorenzo pips Stoner in Assen practice

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha, Assen 2010Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo maintained his momentum in opening practice for the Dutch TT at Assen, beating Casey Stoner to the fastest time.

Stoner had been the first of the frontrunners up to speed, and the Ducati rider led the way for much of the session, while Lorenzo (Yamaha) gradually built up pace.

But going into the closing stages Lorenzo hit the front and started battling for the top spot with Stoner. Both improved several times and did their best laps on their last attempts of the hour, which saw Lorenzo end up on a 1m35.169s, just 0.011 seconds ahead of Stoner.

Ducati had both factory bikes in the top three with Nicky Hayden in third.

The American's compatriot Colin Edwards was a strong fourth for Tech 3 Yamaha, ahead of the two works Hondas.

Seventh was a superb result for Pramac Ducati's Aleix Espargaro, the Spaniard outpacing Silverstone podium finisher Ben Spies (Tech 3 Yamaha) and the Gresini Hondas.

Kousuke Akiyoshi was understandably off the pace as he made his MotoGP return for Interwetten Honda in place of the injured Hiroshi Aoyama. The Honda test rider was 6.2s adrift of Lorenzo, and 4s down on nearest rival Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki).

Pos  Rider             Team               Time       Gap
 1.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha             1m35.169s
 2.  Casey Stoner      Ducati             1m35.180s  + 0.011s
 3.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati             1m35.686s  + 0.517s
 4.  Colin Edwards     Tech 3 Yamaha      1m35.699s  + 0.530s
 5.  Andrea Dovizioso  Honda              1m35.868s  + 0.699s
 6.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda              1m35.922s  + 0.753s
 7.  Aleix Espargaro   Pramac Ducati      1m35.927s  + 0.758s
 8.  Ben Spies         Tech 3 Yamaha      1m35.942s  + 0.773s
 9.  Marco Simoncelli  Gresini Honda      1m36.002s  + 0.833s
10.  Marco Melandri    Gresini Honda      1m36.269s  + 1.100s
11.  Randy de Puniet   LCR Honda          1m36.294s  + 1.125s
12.  Hector Barberta   Aspar Ducati       1m36.735s  + 1.566s
13.  Loris Capirossi   Suzuki             1m36.786s  + 1.617s
14.  Mika Kallio       Pramac Ducati      1m37.261s  + 2.092s
15.  Alvaro Bautista   Suzuki             1m37.384s  + 2.215s
16.  Kousuke Akiyoshi  Interwetten Honda  1m41.332s  + 6.163s
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