Stoner dominates first Qatar practice

Casey Stoner began his bid to reclaim the MotoGP title in commanding style by dominating the first practice session of the year in Qatar

Stoner dominates first Qatar practice

The Ducati rider was unstoppable in the opening session at the floodlit Losail track. He hit the front from the start with an early 1m57.7s banker lap, and later improved to a 1m57.053s - putting him over a second clear of the field at the time.

Stoner's arch-rival Valentino Rossi soon started narrowing that gap, although even the Yamaha rider's best effort left him 0.386 seconds down on the Australian. But the duo were more evenly matched on longer runs, both lapping consistently in the mid-1m57s region.

Colin Edwards had a superb night for Tech 3 Yamaha, beating works Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo to third place.

Alex de Angelis was a surprise fifth on the satellite-specification Gresini Honda. His team-mate Toni Elias's factory-standard bike was back in 12th, 0.6s slower.

Suzuki's strong form continued as Loris Capirossi burst into the top six on his final run, although this team also saw a big gap between its riders, with Chris Vermeulen only 14th.

Pramac Racing's rookie Finn Mika Kallio maintained his position amongst the frontrunners having impressed greatly in the final pre-season test at Jerez. The 250cc graduate lurked around the top eight throughout the 45-minute session, ending the night in seventh place and as comfortably the best rookie.

Andrea Dovizioso kept the beleaguered works Honda team in the top three at first, but was later pushed back to eighth. His injured team-mate Dani Pedrosa was slowest of all as he took to the track for the first time since his massive testing accident a month ago.

Marco Melandri gave the Hayate Racing squad some encouragement with a very promising ninth place on his Kawasaki, ahead of LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet.

Further back, Nicky Hayden remained off the pace on the second works Ducati and was only 13th, while Sete Gibernau (Francisco Hernando Ducati) began his comeback with 16th position.

Pos Rider Bike Time 1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m57.053s 2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m57.439s + 0.386s 3. Colin Edwards Yamaha 1m57.835s + 0.782s 4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m58.272s + 1.219s 5. Alex de Angelis Honda 1m58.452s + 1.399s 6. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m58.468s + 1.415s 7. Mika Kallio Ducati 1m58.499s + 1.446s 8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m58.506s + 1.453s 9. Marco Melandri Kawasaki 1m58.757s + 1.704s 10. Randy de Puniet Honda 1m58.771s + 1.718s 11. James Toseland Yamaha 1m58.850s + 1.797s 12. Toni Elias Honda 1m59.094s + 2.041s 13. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m59.158s + 2.105s 14. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m59.348s + 2.295s 15. Yuki Takahashi Honda 1m59.437s + 2.384s 16. Sete Gibernau Ducati 2m00.595s + 3.542s 17. Niccolo Canepa Ducati 2m00.597s + 3.544s 18. Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m01.435s + 4.382s 
shares
comments
MotoGP 2009: Runners and riders

Previous article

MotoGP 2009: Runners and riders

Next article

Suzuki promises more speed to come

Suzuki promises more speed to come
Load comments
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
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021