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Lorenzo heads wet practice in Australia

New MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo fastest during delayed Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Newly crowned MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo dominated Friday free practice at a wet and wild Phillip Island in Australia.

The session was delayed by several hours due to surface water and mud on the track - and conditions weren't much better when the green light was finally given.

Battered by wind, rain and an air temperature of just 10 degrees, few could blame Ben Spies when he elected to remain in the pits for the first 15 minutes.

Spies later joined his rivals on track for a few laps, at a circuit he made his victorious WSBK debut at in 2009, but returned swiftly to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pits and was ultimately last on the timesheets.

By contrast, Spies' 2011 team-mate Lorenzo, now free from the pressure of a title fight, enjoyed a two-second advantage in the early stages.

Casey Stoner, winner of his home round for the last three seasons, then trimmed that down to 0.6sec by the halfway point of the hour, after which a dry line began to develop on track.

Stoner's Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden was the first to get within half a second of Lorenzo, before Stoner regained second.

Although the Australian was just 0.334sec behind the Yamaha rider, Stoner was unable to bridge the gap in the final twelve minutes - as conditions edged ever closer to needing slicks.

Hayden likewise remain third (+0.6sec) on the patchy track, with rookie Marco Simoncelli a strong fourth for San Carlo Honda Gresini.

Team-mate Marco Melandri, who won the first 'bike-swap' MotoGP race at Phillip Island in 2006, was the final rider within one-second of Lorenzo.

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ar - Unregistered

October 15, 2010 9:30 AM

Nothing like a few reactionary comments re Ben Spies. Don't let not knowing the full story stop you making stupid comments. I think Ben has already proven his work ethics and certainly doesn't deserve judgement by a few armchair *****s jumping the gun! I'm not even one of his fans - but I do know he's a very capable rider and hope he takes a good fight to Lorenzo at the factory team.

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