Rossi fastest in first practice

Valentino Rossi emerged fastest in the opening free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, beating local hero Casey Stoner to the top spot

Rossi fastest in first practice

Keen to respond after his poor weekend in Portugal, Rossi took first place from early pacesetter Stoner (Ducati) after a quarter of an hour, and remained on top thereafter. Stoner stayed in second, 0.135 seconds behind, having narrowed the gap in the final minutes.

Equally good news for Rossi was that his Yamaha team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo had a tough afternoon. The Spaniard was a second off Rossi's pace, and his session ended with a minor fall at the Honda hairpin four minutes from the end. That left him sixth.

Dani Pedrosa took third for Honda, pushing Gresini Honda rider Alex de Angelis back to fourth.

The Tech 3 Yamaha riders sandwiched Lorenzo in fifth and seventh. In one of his strongest performances of the season, James Toseland had been in the top six early on, but dropped a few places after falling at MG corner. He pushed the bike across the infield to get back to the pits, then rejoined to reclaim seventh behind Colin Edwards and Lorenzo.

Niccolo Canepa is receiving treatment in the track's medical centre after hurting his right elbow in a heavy crash at the first corner. His Pramac Ducati team-mate Mika Kallio had a much less dramatic fall at the Honda hairpin, and was able to rejoin to take ninth.

Following a wet and windy build-up to the race, the riders had feared that practice would be marred by poor weather. But the skies cleared today and the session took place in near perfect conditions.

Pos Rider Bike Time Gap 1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m31.032s 2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m31.167s + 0.135s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m31.528s + 0.496s 4. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m31.786s + 0.754s 5. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m31.846s + 0.814s 6. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m32.077s + 1.045s 7. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m32.255s + 1.223s 8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m32.502s + 1.470s 9. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m32.572s + 1.540s 10. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m32.606s + 1.574s 11. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m32.771s + 1.739s 12. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m32.808s + 1.776s 13. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m33.304s + 2.272s 14. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m33.422s + 2.390s 15. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m33.504s + 2.472s 16. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 1m33.818s + 2.786s 17. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1m34.546s + 3.514s 
shares
comments
Stoner: Illness is no longer an issue
Previous article

Stoner: Illness is no longer an issue

Next article

Illness hampers Lorenzo in practice

Illness hampers Lorenzo in practice
Load comments
The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022 Plus

The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022

Rider salaries in the premier class have dropped significantly in the last four years, mainly due to the effects of the pandemic. But it has also changed due to a shift in the contractual model used by manufacturers, which is set to have a significant impact on the balance of power in 2022

Injury, COVID, camels and redemption: A MotoGP star's Dakar odyssey Plus

Injury, COVID, camels and redemption: A MotoGP star's Dakar odyssey

Danilo Petrucci’s decision to switch to rallying at the conclusion of his time in MotoGP at the end of 2021 raised many eyebrows. Deciding to make his rally raid debut at the Dakar courted scepticism. With his debut almost over on several occasions before it began, Petrucci’s Dakar odyssey was a wild affair full of ups, downs and a run-in with a camel. He sat down with Autosport to reveal all

MotoGP
Jan 25, 2022
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve Plus

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022 Plus

The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022

OPINION: MotoGP will get its own Drive to Survive-style series in 2022, airing on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a much-needed grab at the mainstream for MotoGP, but a paradigm shift in the series highlighted by one of its leading stars must be embraced and not overshadowed by a desire to replicate DTS’s popcorn drama

MotoGP
Jan 10, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Plus

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Plus

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Eight different riders won races across an ultra-competitive 2021 MotoGP season. Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and the world championship's returning king. Autosport picks out the year's 10 best riders

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Plus

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021