Lorenzo pips Stoner in Assen practice
|By Matt Beer||Thursday, June 24th 2010, 13:00 GMT|
Championship 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