Lorenzo tops first Mugello practice

Autosport

Jorge Lorenzo got Yamaha's Italian Grand Prix weekend off to a strong start with a commanding performance in the opening MotoGP practice session at Mugello.

The current points leader led the majority of the morning, eventually reaching a time of 1m48.131s with his final lap.

Lorenzo's closest challenger ultimately proved to be Casey Stoner. The Honda rider had a quiet start, spending much of the session near the foot of the top 10, before steadily improving his pace to end up half a second down on the Yamaha.

Sachsenring winner Dani Pedrosa lost second to team-mate Stoner late on, but remained third.

Ducati's home grand prix weekend started relatively well, with Nicky Hayden fourth and Valentino Rossi sixth.

The pair were split by Tech 3 Yamaha pair Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, as Crutchlow made it into the top five despite stopping on track with a mechanical problem on his main bike.

Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies had a minor fall when he ran wide through the gravel. There was a similar incident for Gresini Honda rider Alvaro Bautista, who tried his utmost to keep his bike running through the San Donato gravel before ultimately having to tip it onto its side.

That left Bautista at the back of the prototype pack - which is only 11 bikes this weekend with the injured Karel Abraham's Cardion Ducati absent.

Aspar's Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaro led the CRT field.

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