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MotoGP Losail: Stoner heads first practice; Rossi tenth

Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner had, predictably, set the fastest time in the opening MotoGP free practice session at Losail this evening but had to work hard to demote the works Yamaha of Ben Spies while Ducati's Nicky Hayden is a full second faster than Valentino Rossi in tenth.

Stoner lapped in 1'56.792, a second off the Losail pace, but had a fight on his hands as Yamaha's Ben Spies ld with ten minutes left and he had taken over from the satellite Monster Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow who ended up in sixth after the factory riders woke up.

Hayden was just over half a second slower than Jorge Lorenzo who led until, inevitably, the reigning champion came out for his final run. Lorenzo has only just deposed team-mate Ben Spies at the top of the tree as Hayen flew into third on a green track that will suit the former dirt-oval man.


Dani Pedrosa put in a late charge for fifth which knocked Cal Crutchlow down to fifth but the first of the privateers. The Isle of Man resident led on a 1'57.601 on the half hour and was only demoted to sixth when the works riders got into their stride.

Rossi, meanwhile, is 1.4s off the pace and a second behind his team-mate…

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