Reigning MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner showed few signs of struggling with the new spec Bridgestone front tyre by finishing the first day of the British Grand Prix on top of the practice timesheets at Silverstone.

Following this morning's rain, the afternoon session was held in dry and blustery conditions, albeit with a brief rain shower interrupting proceeding after ten minutes.

The rain sent all riders back to the pits, but soon blew over and the final 20 of the 45-minutes saw constant track action.

Ben Spies, who fell this morning, was fastest at the time of the rain and returned to the top with 14 minutes remaining.

The Factory Yamaha rider, looking to kick-start his season after a string of race-day disappointments, remained in command until Stoner moved ahead in the final three minutes.

Spies, who took his first MotoGP rostrum at Silverstone 2010, also improved at the end of the session to finish just 0.034s from Stoner's Repsol Honda.

Stoner's best lap was 1.2s off the inaugural 2010 (800cc) race lap record, suggesting plenty of room for improvement should dry conditions continue.

San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista also led FP2 and finished a promising afternoon showing in third place, as the top satellite rider, 0.204s from Stoner.

Nicky Hayden, second to factory Ducati team-mate Valentino Rossi in the wet this morning, provided hope of dry GP12 form with fourth place (+0.562s).

But the same couldn't be said for Rossi, who dropped all the way back to eleventh and slowest of the manufacturer bikes in the afternoon.

The seven time world champion, who struggled badly in the dry sessions at Silverstone last year, was 2.334s from Stoner.

Last year's Moto2 winner Stefan Bradl put in two solid sessions to finish the day with 6-5 places, with Andrea Dovizioso leading the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 challenge in sixth.

Fellow Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow were the only other riders within one second of Stoner.

Lorenzo, who starts this weekend with a 20-point title lead over the Australian, was 0.697s slower than Stoner this afternoon. Crutchlow was 0.783s behind.

Silverstone is the first event where the new specification Bridgestone slick front tyre becomes the only construction available.

Although the majority of riders prefer the new tyre, which has been an additional option at recent rounds, Repsol Honda team-mates Stoner and Pedrosa have found the softer construction causes chatter problems.

And while Stoner seemed to ride around any issues, Pedrosa was one-second slower, leaving the Spaniard in ninth place this afternoon.

0.768s behind Rossi was the top CRT machine of Aspar's Randy de Puniet, followed by Gresini's Michel Pirro and Speed Master's Mattia Pasini. British rider James Ellison was 17th, two seconds from de Puniet.

Colin Edwards, on the podium at Silverstone last year as a Tech 3 rider, rode for just eight laps this afternoon.

Cardion AB Ducati's Karel Abraham will miss this weekend's event due to finger fractures in his left hand sustained in testing at Aragon.

Lorenzo (3) and Stoner (2) are the only riders to win races so far this year and also the only riders to win at Silverstone since the circuit rejoined the MotoGP calendar in 2010.

Friday practice (2):

1. Casey Stoner
2. Ben Spies
3. Alvaro Bautista
4. Nicky Hayden
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Jorge Lorenzo
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Dani Pedrosa
10. Hector Barbera
11. Valentino Rossi
12. Randy De Puniet
13. Michele Pirro
14. Mattia Pasini
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Aleix Espargaro
17. James Ellison
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Colin Edwards
20. Ivan Silva


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