The sun is out in Tuscany and the threat of rain has disappeared, and now the MotoGP riders have set to work exploiting the grip of Mugello's new surface. It is fast: at the end of the session, Jorge Lorenzo had set a lap under the previous pole record set by Valentino Rossi in 2008, on the last of the super-soft qualifying tires. Lorenzo's lap sent a shockwave through the paddock; barely recovered from the previous fastest lap, a scorching lap by Marco Simoncelli already three tenths faster than Lorenzo's former fastest time, the Spaniard then obliterated Simoncelli's time by another third of a second. When the bikes roll out for qualifying practice this afternoon, times are likely to head into the mid 1'47s.
Casey Stoner was left holding the consolation prize in 3rd. The Australian had been close to Simoncelli and Lorenzo all session long, until the two former 250 rivals put on the afterburners for the final couple of laps. Ben Spies' 4th fastest time might almost be described as disappointing, nearly a second off the pace of his Yamaha teammate, despite being nearly half a second under the race lap record. Much more impressive is Colin Edwards, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider taking 5th spot just a few thousandths behind the factory bike of his former teammate Spies, and ahead of the second Repsol Honda of Andrea Dovizioso.
Nicky Hayden is 7th fastest, despite a close encounter with a hare which decided to run across the track directly in front of his Desmosedici GP11, while Hayden's Ducati teammate Valentino Rossi finally got some uninterrupted time on the GP11.1 bike to end the session in 8th, the only minor blot on the horizon being the sight of his bike being pushed back to the pits again at the end of the session, raising more fears about electrical problems. Randy de Puniet rounds out a trio of Ducatis, the Pramac rider taking 9th place, ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the Rizla Suzuki in 10th
|9||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||1'49.985||1.905||0.096|