Barros tops first practice

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Alex Barros was fastest in the opening practice session for the Estoril GP in the first free practice session on Friday morning.

The Brazilian left the previous round in Jerez far from happy with his fourth place finish and promised to up his pace. He finished the first session with a best lap of 1:40.260.

Suzuki Rider John Hopkins took the second fastest lap just 0.115 seconds down on Barros, while World Champ Valentino Rossi finished third, just ahead of Sete Gibernau.

Gibernau is still recovering from his coming together with Rossi on the last lap at Jerez. The incident inflamed an old tendon problem in his shoulder and he has had to undergo new treatment.

Rossi has apologised for the pain Gibernau was left in - and says he didn't realise how much pain the Spaniard was in after their last-lap clash because he was not aware of the previous injury.

Television replays proved Rossi’s brake lever dug into Gibernau’s tender shoulder. Rossi was left clear to take the win.

MCN’s Matthew Birt is in Portugal to cover the action and get behind the scenes to bring you the stories you won’t find anywhere on the web and the secrets behind the TV pictures. Read his full reports and see our world-class pictures only in our April 20 issue.

But keep bang up to date with practice, qualifying and race results on motorcyclenews.com all weekend.

Official times: Friday first practice MotoGP:

Alex Barros, 1:40.260

John Hopkins, 1:40.375

Valentino Rossi, 1:40.614

Sete Gibernau, 1:40.693

Kenny Roberts, 1:41.500

Troy Bayliss, 1:41.841

Marco Melandri, 1:41.851

Nicky Hayden, 1:41.876

Carlos Checa, 1:43.130

Ruben Xaus, 1:43.157

Makoto Tamada, 1:43.395

Loris Capirossi, 1:43.497

Max Biaggi, 1:43.714

Shinya Nakano, 1:43.735

Colin Edwards, 1:43.777

Toni Elias, 1:43.941

Roberto Rolfo, 1:45.252

Franco Battaini, 1:46.822

Shane Byrne, 1:47.283

James Ellison, 1:47.483

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff