Casey Stoner maintained his half a second advantage from this morning’s first free practice session over the rest of the field this afternoon, setting a best time of 1.28.253.
Stoner, who qualified on pole last time out at Catalunya, powered to the top of the timesheets early on, and maintained his dominant pace to beat off his closest rival this afternoon, the pneumatic valve-powered Nicky Hayden.
Hayden, whose best qualifying of the season came in Barcelona as well with a third position start, locked onto the rear of Valentino Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha in the closing stages of the session on the Repsol Honda RC212V.
Rossi had gone provisionally second quickest but was immediately demoted to the third spot by Hayden following him, who bettered his morning time by 0.9 of a second to leap-frog up from fifth.
Rossi held onto third, and if he keeps it that way tomorrow it’ll only be the fourth time he starts from the front row this season.
Both Hayden and Rossi jumped ahead of Colin Edwards and the ever-impressive Alex De Angelis who’d set quick times earlier in the session, and Dani Pedrosa suffered yet another crash just inside the 20-minutes remaining marker to add to the back injuries he picked up at the Catalunya test just over a week ago.
James Toseland made vast improvements on his morning time, knocking half a second off his morning’s best with a 1.29.341. But with everyone else going quicker at the 2.5 mile circuit this afternoon, he’s dropped back one position to eighth.
Ben Spies continued his steady progression in his MotoGP debut with Rizla Suzuki, lying 17th overall and 2.5 seconds behind Stoner.
Donington Park MotoGP free practice two results:
1. Casey STONER Ducati Marlboro Team 1'28.253
2. Nicky HAYDEN Repsol Honda Team + 0.576
3. Valentino ROSSI Fiat Yamaha Team + 0.656
4. Colin EDWARDS Tech 3 Yamaha + 0.716
5. Alex DE ANGELIS San Carlo Honda Gresini + 0.739
6. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team + 0.954
7. Shinya NAKANO San Carlo Honda Gresini + 0.954
8. James TOSELAND Tech 3 Yamaha + 1.088
9. Chris VERMEULEN Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1.157
10. Randy DE PUNIET LCR Honda MotoGP + 1.180
11. John HOPKINS Kawasaki Racing Team + 1.188
12. Anthony WEST Kawasaki Racing Team + 1.413
13. Andrea DOVIZIOSO JiR Team Scot MotoGP + 1.469
14. Marco MELANDRI Ducati Marlboro Team + 1.603
15. Toni ELIAS Alice Team + 2.015
16. Jorge LORENZO Fiat Yamaha Team + 2.037
17. Ben SPIES Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 2.513
18. Sylvain GUINTOLI Alice Team + 2.678