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Stoner leads wet warm-up at Jerez

Casey Stoner leads wet warm-up at Jerez, Valentino Rossi second.
Rain arrived on race day morning at Jerez, resulting in the first wet MotoGP track session of the season.

There was no sign of standing water, but light rain was falling steadily and the track consistently wet.

For most riders it was their first wet session since last year, but if Repsol Honda's rivals thought it might give them a chance to break the Casey Stoner/Dani Pedrosa monopoly of the 2011 timesheets they were to be sorely disappointed.

Stoner finished the warm-up session with a 0.591sec advantage over nearest rival Valentino Rossi, who enjoyed his best grand prix session as a Ducati rider in the slippery conditions.

Unfortunately for Rossi, seventh in round one in Qatar, he will starting from just twelfth on the grid after a crash in qualifying.

Stoner meanwhile will be seeking his second victory from pole in a row. The Australian set a best lap time of 1min 50.297sec this morning, which compares with his dry pole time of 1min 38.757sec.

One of Stoner's Repsol Honda team-mates, Andrea Dovizioso, was third fastest and Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden fourth. Like Rossi, both set their best time on their tenth and last lap of warm-up.

Yamaha's reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who will start third on the grid, was the final rider within one-second of Stoner, with Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli sixth for Gresini Honda.

Second-on-the-grid Dani Pedrosa was a cautious seventh on his Repsol Honda, while rookie Cal Crutchlow backed up his ninth in dry qualifying with eighth in the wet for Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies seemed to struggle in the rain and was only 14th quickest, 3.292sec slower than Stoner after his ten laps.

With the overcast conditions hard to judge, conditions could go either way by the start of this afternoon's race, but the 125cc race is sure to at least start wet.

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DJH - Unregistered

April 03, 2011 9:39 AM

Looks like the 1:50 bracket is more to Ducati's liking. I bet they'll be out behind the pits doing a rain dance, praying for the heavens to piss down some improvement... improvement that their R&D team haven't been able to deliver.

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