Casey Stoner sets the pace in opening practice at Misano

Casey Stoner waited until the last possible moment of first practice to set the pace in the San Marino MotoGP at Misano as the HRC Hondas, as usual, set the standard

Casey Stoner sets the pace in opening practice at Misano

The world championship leader had spent much of the session trading times with team-mate Dani Pedrosa - and with five minutes to go the pair were only split by one thousandth of a second.

But then Ben Spies vaulted to the top of the times, the Yamaha man looking set to shake up the established form. At least until Stoner delivered his 1m34.180s lap - which put the matter beyond doubt.

Pedrosa ended up third fastest ahead of the last of the HRC bikes - that of Andrea Dovizioso. Marco Simoncelli made it four factory Hondas in the top five, while world champion Jorge Lorenzo completed the top six.

Hector Barbera was an impressive seventh quickest - and fastest Ducati rider - as he outpaced his old 250cc rival Alvaro Bautista on the Suzuki.

Colin Edwards was ninth and Karel Abraham tenth.

What of the factory Ducatis? Well Valentino Rossi, on home ground, still appeared to be struggling in 11th - some 1.6s off the ultimate pace - while his team-mate Nicky Hayden was 13th.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m34.180s 18 2. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m34.466s + 0.286s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m34.529s + 0.349s 4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m35.011s + 0.831s 5. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m35.088s + 0.908s 6. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m35.142s + 0.962s 7. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m35.480s + 1.300s 8. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m35.579s + 1.399s 9. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.589s + 1.409s 10. Karel Abraham Cardion AB Ducati 1m35.688s + 1.508s 11. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m35.745s + 1.565s 12. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.950s + 1.770s 13. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m35.960s + 1.780s 14. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 1m36.067s + 1.887s 15. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 1m36.513s + 2.333s 16. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 1m36.646s + 2.466s 17. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m37.308s + 3.128s 
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Casey Stoner not taking points lead for granted
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Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha get back in front in second practice at Misano

Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha get back in front in second practice at Misano
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