Day one of the Czech Republic Grand Prix, round eleven of the 2005 MotoGP World Championship, has ended with Valentino Rossi fastest of all after his last lap of the Friday afternoon session prevented a Loris Capirossi clean sweep.

First practice this morning at Brno had seen Ducati's Capirossi on top after the Italian edged 0.182secs ahead of Movistar Honda's Sete Gibernau on his penultimate lap of the hour.

Meanwhile, world champion Valentino Rossi suffered a scare when he clipped the back of Camel Honda's Troy Bayliss and fell, without harm, on his way to fifth position behind Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden and his Gauloises Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards.

Into this afternoon and Capirossi's 1min 59.626secs morning best was effectively matched by Gibernau with 15-minutes gone, before team-mate Melandri moved from second to the top of the times with the fastest lap of the weekend so far, set just before the halfway mark.

The #33 then held command until the final 15-minutes began, at which point Capirossi - who had advanced from ninth at the halfway mark to second, splitting the Movistar machines - put his Desmosedici up front for the first time this afternoon.

The Capirossi, Melandri and Gibernau order would continue unchanged until Gibernau closed to within just 0.088secs of Loris, to claim second position inside the final five-minutes.

Meanwhile, Rossi had been fifth fastest at the halfway stage - and had slipped all the way back to eighth with two-minutes remaining, but any thoughts of a day one crisis were ended on his very last lap of the afternoon - when the #46 coolly jumped straight to the top of the times, 0.088secs ahead of Capirossi.

That pushed Melandri back to the 'phantom' second row, with Suzuki's Kenny Roberts finishing the hour a surprise fifth - having been fourth before Rossi's late advance.

Carlos Checa completed a promising start for Ducati with sixth, while Hayden, Edwards, Alex Barros and John Hopkins completed the day one top ten.

Brno specialist Max Biaggi was a disappointing eleventh, one place ahead of the top Kawasaki of Alex Hofmann, while Suzuki wild-card Nobuatsu Aoki began his MotoGP return with 16th - ahead of Honda mounted countryman Makoto Tamada.

Aoki's former team-mate Jeremy McWilliams finished his own return in 21st position on the 2004 Proton KR, powered by last year's Roberts V5 engine - putting the Ulsterman ahead of WCM's Franco Battaini.

Full times to follow...

Friday free practice (combined):

1. Rossi
2. Capirossi
3. Gibernau
4. Melandri
5. Roberts
6. Checa
7. Hayden
8. Edwards
9. Barros
10. Hopkins
11. Biaggi
12. Hofmann
13. Bayliss
14. Nakano
15. Elias
16. Aoki
17. Tamada
18. Rolfo
19. Ellison
20. Xaus
21. McWilliams
22. Battaini

 

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