Stoner pips Pedrosa in first practice

Casey Stoner narrowly beat Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa to the fastest time in an intriguing first practice session at Jerez

Stoner pips Pedrosa in first practice

Though Stoner had assumed his habitual position at the top of the times early on, he was beaten first by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) before getting embroiled in a long battle with Pedrosa that saw them swap first place several times.

By the end of the 45 minutes, Stoner had got down to a 1m39.551s to beat Pedrosa by just 0.028 seconds, as their pace took them half a second clear of the rest.

Valentino Rossi had an extremely encouraging morning for Ducati, staying among the frontrunners throughout and taking third place ahead of Marco Simoncelli's Gresini Honda, and Lorenzo - who did not improve on his early time.

Andrea Dovizioso was back in sixth on the third factory Honda and was 0.8s off the pace. He also had a crash at Turn 11 on his final lap, but was unhurt.

Ben Spies (Yamaha), Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha), Randy de Puniet (Pramac Ducati) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati) completed the top 10.

On his return to MotoGP to deputise for Alvaro Bautista at Suzuki, John Hopkins was unsurprisingly at the foot of the times as he got back up to speed, but was just a few tenths of a second away from Pramac Ducati's Loris Capirossi and LCR Honda's Toni Elias.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m39.551s 2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m39.579s + 0.028s 3. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m40.077s + 0.526s 4. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m40.176s + 0.625s 5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m40.420s + 0.869s 6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m40.429s + 0.878s 7. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m40.887s + 1.336s 8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m41.063s + 1.512s 9. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 1m41.064s + 1.513s 10. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m41.233s + 1.682s 11. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m41.398s + 1.847s 12. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m41.601s + 2.050s 13. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 1m41.816s + 2.265s 14. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m41.949s + 2.398s 15. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m42.157s + 2.606s 16. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 1m42.313s + 2.762s 17. John Hopkins Suzuki 1m42.538s + 2.987s 
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Pedrosa on top in practice two

Pedrosa on top in practice two
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