Spaniard Dani Pedrosa continued his impressive form to top the second MotoGP practice session at a blustery and cold Silverstone this morning.
Pedrosa clocked a best time of 2.04.944 on his Repsol Honda RC212V to finish 0.297s clear of French rider Randy de Puniet in a session dominated by a series of high-speed crashes.
Pedrosa, who won the last race in Mugello to spark his title challenge into life, was the only rider to duck under the 2.05 barrier with Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo in third place.
The Fiat Yamaha rider ended with a best time of 2.05.348 to finish 0.404s adrift of Pedrosa.
Fourth quickest was factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner, the Australian lapping over 0.5s slower than Pedrosa with a best time of 2.05.539.
Andrea Dovizioso was fifth on his spare Repsol Honda machine after the 2009 British GP winner was the first casualty of much cooler conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit this morning.
The Italian fell heavily at the new Vale right-hander, the former 125GP world champion appearing to brake on the kerb.
He ended with a best time of 2.05.594 to finish 0.650s outside of Pedrosa’s pace.
Dovizioso was second when he crashed out.
Just over half the session had elapsed when Spaniard Hector Barbera suffered a big high-side at the Becketts Corner. He was able to walk away unhurt and finished 12th.
Ben Spies had another tough session after the Texan was high-sided at the fast new Farm Curve left-hander. The reigning World Superbike champion landed heavily and hobbled away in pain having aggravated the left ankle he first injured during practice for the French MotoGP in Le Mans.
The 25-year-old ended in 11th place having only completed eight laps.
Spies and Barbera were certainly caught out by a cold rear Bridgestone tyre, an issue has become an increasing problem in MotoGP and particularly in Saturday morning practice in colder conditions.
Pushing before the rear tyre has reached optimum working temperature has caught out several riders so far in 2010.
The highest profile victim so far has been Valentino Rossi, who broke his right leg in Mugello when he high-sided on a cold tyre during practice for his home race.
Track temperature this morning reached only 18 degrees with air temperatures struggling to break 15 degrees.
Italian Marco Simoncelli also walked away from a spectacular high-side in the final five minutes when he lost control of his San Carlo Gresini Honda RC212V machine at the Village Corner.
The former world 250GP champion was ninth fastest with a best time of 2.06.829.