Casey Stoner has shown he is fit enough after yesterday's qualifying accident by leading the way in the warm-up ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix. The Australian, however, set the fastest lap of 1m21.918s midway through the 20-minute session, after which he ran only one more lap to bring his total to six laps, while most other riders did 13 or 14.
The Ducati rider's lead over the rest of the field thus shrank from 1.2 seconds to a mere eight hundredths over championship leader Valentino Rossi.
The Italian looked set to beat the Australian's time more than once, thanks to being even two tenths ahead at the third sector, but his advantage would crumble each time in the last sector, just as it did in qualifying.
Honda's Dani Pedrosa set the third fastest time, three tenths behind Stoner, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards a further two tenths behind.
Pole-setter Jorge Lorenzo, who was seen limping today after a major high-side at the end of yesterday's qualifying, ran 13 laps this morning at Laguna Seca, with his best good enough for fifth on the timesheets, six tenths slower than Stoner.
Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) was sixth quickest, ahead of Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Marco Melandri, who had a big crash with his Hayate Kawasaki in the closing minutes but was uninjured.
Toni Elias, 12th quickest this morning, also crashed his Gresini Honda, and was seen inspecting his left hand in the aftermath.
Pos Rider Bike Time Laps
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m21.918s 6
2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m21.998s + 0.080s 14
3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda 1m22.252s + 0.334s 14
4. Colin Edwards Yamaha 1m22.459s + 0.541s 14
5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m22.512s + 0.594s 13
6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m22.514s + 0.596s 14
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m22.777s + 0.859s 13
8. Marco Melandri Kawasaki 1m23.051s + 1.133s 10
9. Randy de Puniet Honda 1m23.136s + 1.218s 14
10. James Toseland Yamaha 1m23.208s + 1.290s 14
11. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m23.281s + 1.363s 13
12. Toni Elias Honda 1m23.360s + 1.442s 7
13. Alex de Angelis Honda 1m23.421s + 1.503s 13
14. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m23.624s + 1.706s 13
15. Sete Gibernau Ducati 1m23.683s + 1.765s 14
16. Niccolo Canepa Ducati 1m24.163s + 2.245s 14
17. Gabor Talmacsi Honda 1m24.271s + 2.353s 13