2. de Puniet
Free practices on Friday were dominated by riders on Bridgestone tires which confirmed Kawasaki test rider Olivier Jacque's observations that the 'stones developed for Motegi were "incredible" and would be very strong at the Japanese track. The exception to Bridgestone dominance was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who was .389 seconds clear of nearest rival Randy DePuniet. The next Michelin rider on the charts was Pedrosa's Repsol Honda teammate Nicky Hayden in ninth. In 5th position, championship leader Casey Stoner stated that the team was going "in circles" trying to find good settings for the GP07. Valentino Rossi, languishing in 14th position, blew an engine on his preferred M1 and couldn't come to terms with the set-up on his back-up machine.