Jorge Lorenzo set the pace in his first appearance as the new MotoGP world champion, emerging on top in the wet Friday practice session at Phillip Island.
Heavy overnight rain had left the track flooded in places this morning, meaning a delay of nearly two hours before the session got under way. Although the rain had largely stopped falling by then, conditions remained unpleasant throughout, with plenty of puddles, extremely strong winds and low temperatures making it a tough hour for the riders.
Lorenzo (Yamaha) eventually worked down to a 1m41.146s. He was quickest by a second for a spell, before Ducati's Casey Stoner got to within 0.334sec. The Australian had got up to speed fastest early on, and led by four seconds for a few minutes.
Nicky Hayden completed the top three on the second Ducati. Both Gresini Hondas were quick throughout, and ended up fourth and fifth, Marco Simoncelli ahead of Marco Melandri. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was seventh behind Andrea Dovizioso (Honda).
On his return after surgery on his broken collarbone, Dani Pedrosa only completed seven tentative early laps on his Honda. Tech 3 Yamaha's Ben Spies was even less keen to venture out, doing just three laps before changing out of his leathers.
But others decided it was worthwhile racking up mileage on the damp track, with the forecast poor for most of the weekend. LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet covered 29 laps, while Interwetten Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama did 27.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m41.146s
2. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m41.480s + 0.334s
3. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m41.631s + 0.485s
4. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m41.881s + 0.735s
5. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m41.982s + 0.836s
6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m42.271s + 1.125s
7. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m42.626s + 1.480s
8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m43.013s + 1.867s
9. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m43.476s + 2.330s
10. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m43.984s + 2.838s
11. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m44.179s + 3.033s
12. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1m44.704s + 3.558s
13. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m45.695s + 4.549s
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m46.160s + 5.014s
15. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m48.127s + 6.981s
16. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m51.210s + 10.064s
17. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m58.613s + 17.467s