Casey Stoner emerged fastest as Phillip Island dried up for the second practice session of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
Although the strong winds and cold temperatures remained, yesterday's rain was no longer present, with sunny skies greeting the MotoGP field this morning. The track remained very damp in places, though, and there was little activity in the first half of the session.
When running did begin earnest, Stoner's Ducati was fastest for most of the way, and eventually ended up with a 0.757-second gap back to his rivals thanks to a final lap of 1m31.243s.
The order behind him was extremely mixed up, with the Tech 3 Yamahas of Colin Edwards – rapid throughout the morning – and Ben Spies second and third, ahead of world champion Jorge Lorenzo's works Yamaha.
Nicky Hayden completed the top five on the second Ducati, ahead of Honda's Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet, Valentino Rossi's Yamaha, and the two Gresini Hondas.
Gresini's Marco Melandri had been quickest for a while early on, but crashed on a damp kerb at Turn 11 just after hitting the front. He re-emerged on his spare bike later.
De Puniet was the only other man to fall, tumbling from his bike in the gravel after running straight on at the hairpin. A few minutes earlier, Stoner had made the same mistake but managed to stay upright and tip-toe back accross the sodden grass to rejoin, as did Dovizioso when he ran wide at MG later.
Dani Pedrosa was 3.6sec off the pace for Honda as he continued to play himself in after his broken collarbone. He completed 19 laps and was slowest in the session.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m31.243s
2. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m32.000s + 0.757s
3. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m32.101s + 0.858s
4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m32.168s + 0.925s
5. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m32.209s + 0.966s
6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m32.226s + 0.983s
7. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m32.449s + 1.206s
8. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m32.667s + 1.424s
9. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m32.739s + 1.496s
10. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m33.092s + 1.849s
11. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m33.303s + 2.060s
12. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m33.742s + 2.499s
13. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m34.055s + 2.812s
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m34.065s + 2.822s
15. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m34.454s + 3.211s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1m34.718s + 3.475s
17. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m34.804s + 3.561s