MotoGP - Round 17 qual 1

Loris Capirossi (Ducati) clocked the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1'32.220, ahead of Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki). Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi finished seventh fastest, ahead of the race that will decide the destiny of the MotoGP World Championship title as the first free practice sessions took place at Valencia. Nicky Hayden (Honda) who is the other MotoGP title contender finished forth quickest.

Motorcycle race fans have already begun to stream into the Ricardo Tormo circuit to witness the first exchanges of what promises to be another historic chapter in this motor sport's great history, with bright sunshine and warm autumn temperatures of 25?C welcoming them to the eastern coast of Spain for the final round of the season.

In the morning session Rossi and his Camel Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards helped raise the heat with a series of quick laps that left the Italian on top of the time sheets, with the American sixth fastest, over lunch. However, the pace picked up considerably in the afternoon as a number of riders tested out their qualifying rubber ahead of tomorrow afternoon's grid decider and the pair slipped down the order, with Rossi ending the day seventh fastest overall and Edwards, who was unable to improve on his best lap from the morning, down in eleventh.

Rossi and Edwards will look to close the gap as they work on further setting refinements to their YZR-M1 machines in the final free practice session tomorrow morning, before official qualifying gets underway at 2pm local time.

Valencia, Ricardo Tormo Circuit Length - 4005

2006 MotoGP Valencia Free Practice
1. Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 1'32.220
2. Randy De Puniet Kawasaki FRA 1'32.408
3. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 1'32.786
4. Nicky Hayden Honda USA 1'33.019
5. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1'33.080
6. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'33.254
7. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1'33.274
8. John Hopkins Suzuki USA 1'33.369
9. Shinya Nakano Kawasaki JPN 1'33.394
10. Troy Bayliss Ducati AUS 1'33.433
11. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 1'33.556
12. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1'33.622
13. Makato Tamada Honda JPN 1'33.689
14. Kenny Roberts Team Robert KR USA 1'33.795
15. Toni Elias Honda ESP 1'33.954
16. Carlos Checa Yamaha ESP 1'33.967
17. James Ellison Yamaha GBR 1'34.323


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