Yamaha fastest in the desert

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Yamaha have set the pace throughout the first day of the 2007 MotoGP season, with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi alternately heading the morning and afternoon practice session in Qatar today (Thursday, March 8, 2007).

Rossi took the honours as the fastest overall today, setting a 1.56.46 best this afternoon, 0.2s quicker than Edwards' session-leading best this morning.

Third quickest today was Casey Stoner, the Aussie having form at Qatar taking pole their a year ago on his MotoGP debut.

This was followed by Suzuki's John Hopkins putting together a superb afternoon session, despite being under threat of missing the race until only a few days ago with wrist injuries sustained at the same track in testing.

Surprise top Honda was none of the works RCVs, but veteran Spaniard Carlos Checa on his LCR satellite bike in fifth, a hundredth of a second ahead of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa in sixth.

But as far as Honda are concerned of greater concern must be the poor start to the first day for the reigning champion Nicky Hayden.

The American is struggling for front tyre feel and set a best today that was only good enough for 15th overall.

THURSDAY TIMES

1 V Rossi 1.56.46
2 C Edwards 1.56.66
3 C Stoner 1.56.74
4 J Hopkins 1.56.97
5 C Checa 1.56.98
6 D Pedrosa 1.56.99
7 M Melandri 1.57.11
8 L Capirossi 1.57.24
9 T Elias 1.57.38
10 S Nakano 1.57.49
11 A Barros 1.57.62
12 C Vermeulen 1.57.63
13 R de Puniet 1.57.68
14 K Roberts 1.57.73
15 N Hayden 1.57.92
16 A Hofmann 1.58.02
17 O Jacque 1.58.52
18 S Guintoli 1.58.72
19 A Pitt 1.59.93
20 J McWilliams 2.00.12
21 M Tamada 2.00.18

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt