Casey Stoner waited until the last possible moment of first practice to set the pace in the San Marino MotoGP at Misano as the HRC Hondas, as usual, set the standard.
The championship leader had spent much of the session trading times with teammate Dani Pedrosa, and with five minutes to go the pair were only split by one thousandth of a second. But then Ben Spies vaulted to the top of the times, the Yamaha man looking set to shake up the established form. At least until Stoner delivered his 1m34.180s lap, which put the matter beyond doubt.
Pedrosa ended up third fastest ahead of the last of the HRC bikes – that of Andrea Dovizioso. Marco Simoncelli made it four factory Hondas in the top five, while Jorge Lorenzo completed the top six.
Hector Barbera was an impressive seventh quickest and fastest Ducati rider as he outpaced his old 250cc rival Alvaro Bautista on the Suzuki. Colin Edwards was ninth and Karel Abraham 10th.
What of the factory Ducatis? Well, Valentino Rossi, on home ground, still appeared to be struggling in 11th, some 1.6sec off the ultimate pace, while his teammate Nicky Hayden was 13th.