Rossi fastest in first Motegi practice

Valentino Rossi set the quickest time in the opening practice session for this weekend's MotoGP round at Motegi, knocking Casey Stoner off the top spot with his last lap of the session

Rossi fastest in first Motegi practice

It is the first time this season that a session has not been topped by Stoner's Ducati, although the Australian was fastest for the majority of the 45-minute practice.

Stoner had two excursions off track during the session, one at Turn 1 and one at the hairpin, but he escaped unscathed on both occasions and was the first rider to break into the 1m48s in the last quarter of an hour.

He returned to the pits with the best lap at the end of his final run, but reigning world champion Rossi found a chunk of time in the last sector of his last lap and posted a time half a tenth faster.

Jorge Lorenzo's factory Yamaha had a spell at the head of the timesheet, but was shuffled down to third as Rossi and Stoner trimmed their times at the end.

The works Suzukis ran well throughout the session, with Chris Vermeulen ending up fourth and Loris Capirossi sixth. They were separated by Colin Edwards' Tech 3 Yamaha in fifth.

Honda had a dismal session and rookie Japanese rider Yuki Takahasi spent most of it as the manufacturer's quickest representative on the fringes of the top 10, despite a trek through the gravel mid-way through.

The factory Hondas of Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa were well off the leaders' pace, although Dovizioso at least managed to salvage seventh place with his last lap of the session.

Marco Melandri was eighth quickest on the sole Kawasaki, ahead of Toni Elias's Gresini Honda and James Toseland's Tech 3 Yamaha.

The only faller was Mika Kallio, who had his first accident in MotoGP's top class when he was thrown from his Pramac Ducati in a high-side crash at Turn 3. The Finn landed awkwardly on top of his bike, but was uninjured and returned to the track later in the session.

Pos Rider Team Time Gap 1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m48.545s 2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m48.601s +0.056 3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m48.965s +0.420 4. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m49.382s +0.837 5. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m49.697s +1.152 6. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m49.980s +1.435 7. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m50.030s +1.485 8. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m50.123s +1.578 9. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m50.209s +1.664 10. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m50.342s +1.797 11. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m50.391s +1.846 12. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m50.393s +1.848 13. Yuki Takahashi Scot Honda 1m50.404s +1.859 14. Sete Gibernau Hernando Ducati 1m50.538s +1.993 15. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m50.601s +2.056 16. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m50.669s +2.124 17. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m51.643s +3.098 18. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1m51.929s +3.384 
shares
comments
Pedrosa in better shape for Japan
Previous article

Pedrosa in better shape for Japan

Next article

Lorenzo encouraged by strong start

Lorenzo encouraged by strong start
Load comments
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title Plus

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021