Simoncelli fastest amid Honda crashes

Marco Simoncelli was fastest again in the extended Friday morning practice session at Assen - while all three factory Honda team riders had big crashes in quick succession

Simoncelli fastest amid Honda crashes

In the space of just two minutes during the riders' opening runs, first Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso had violent high-sides at the De Bult left-hander, then their temporary team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama did likewise at the left-hand part of Ruskenhoek.

While Stoner was able to quickly get back to the pits and rejoin on his spare bike, Dovizioso and Aoyama both required trips to the medical centre for checks before they were cleared to continue - Dovizioso having been taking away by stretcher initially and a limping Aoyama needing help from the marshals.

Stoner eventually made it up to second, 0.2 seconds behind pacesetter Simoncelli's Gresini Honda.

Yamaha duo Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo were next up, with Valentino Rossi fifth as he tried the new Ducati for the first time in the dry.

Cal Crutchlow continued his brave form to take sixth ahead of his Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards, Dovizioso, Ducati's Nicky Hayden and a stronger run from Toni Elias (LCR Honda).

The session was extended from 45 minutes to 90 minutes to make up for the cancellation of Thursday afternoon practice due to an oil spill. Though the first half of this morning's running was dry, the rain returned with a light shower with 42 minutes to go, and then heavier precipitation 20 minutes later. Conditions started to dry out in the closing moments, and a handful of riders managed to get slicks back on for a few laps, but positions remained unchanged.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m36.149s 2. Casey Stoner Honda 1m36.342s + 0.193s 3. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m36.409s + 0.260s 4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m36.745s + 0.596s 5. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m37.247s + 1.098s 6. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m37.332s + 1.183s 7. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m37.386s + 1.237s 8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m37.661s + 1.512s 9. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m37.724s + 1.575s 10. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m38.276s + 2.127s 11. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 1m38.282s + 2.133s 12. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m38.427s + 2.278s 13. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m38.929s + 2.780s 14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m39.032s + 2.883s 15. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1m39.197s + 3.048s 16. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 1m40.243s + 4.094s 17. Kousuke Akiyoshi Gresini Honda 1m40.991s + 4.842s 
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