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MotoGP Indy: Stoner leads Pedrosa in first practice

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner has topped the first free practice session at Indianapolis but is more than two seconds off last year's race pace on a track that still needs to rubber in before meaningful times can be set.

The Repsol Honda man was two tenths faster than team-mate Dani Pedrosa on a 1'41.925 while Britain's Cal Crutchlow had to bounce back from an early crash at turn 14 to go seventh quickest. He slid off his Monster Yamaha after losing the front but rode it back to the garage and picked up his second satellite YZR-M1.

Local (for America) boys Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies were four-tenths slower than Pedrosa in third and fourth places while Stefan Bradl continues to impress in his rookie year, securing fifth place with a 1'43.027.


Fellow Honda man Alvaro Bautista is in his customary sixth place, one ahead of Crutchlow while championship leader Jorge Lorenzo is mired down in eighth place and nearly 1.4s off the pace. His new team-mate Valentino Rossi is ninth but only three one-hundredths further back.

Hector Barbera, who was out in the session to test his fitness, crashed out and was taken to the medical centre after a setting the tenth-fastest time. He is still recovering from a broken leg and the spill will not have done that any favours.

Andrea Dovizioso is a surprise down in 11th place and only one ahead of Yonny Hernandez on the leading CRT bike. Aleix Espargaro is second in the sub-class, ahead of prototype-mounted Karel Abraham, while Mattia Pasini is third and Randy De Puniet fourth.

Colin Edwards is down in 19th ahead of American wildcard Steve Rapp. James Ellison finished in 22nd and six second off the pace while veteran rider and utter hardcase Aaron Yates was 23rd on the GPtech bike but only half a second down on the Cumbrian.

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