Ducati to the fore at a wet Silverstone

The damp conditions allowed Valentino Rossi a rare chance to shine with the Italian setting the fastest time in opening practice at Silverstone.

The nine times world champion paced the field for most of the 45 minute long session to lead the way from his team-mate, Nicky Hayden, with the factory Ducati’s comfortably faster than the rest of the field with Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner the only other riders within a second of Rossi’s time.

Cal Crutchlow will hoping for a more productive home Grand Prix than last season, he crashed in qualifying and fractured his collarbone, was fifth fastest but almost two seconds off the pace.

In a wet session the times can be misleading but it once again illustrated just how much more comfortable the Ducati riders are in the wet rather than on a dry track.

Stefan Bradl was sixth fastest ahead of both Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo who were unwilling to take risks and push hard in the session.

The closing 15 minutes saw both Ben Spies and Alvaro Bautista crash at Stowe with both riders unhurt. The same cannot be said for Karol Abraham who could only sit and watch the session from his garage as a result of injuries sustained in testing at Barcelona following the last race.

Randy de Puniet was the fastest CRT bike with the Aprilia rider ending the session 12th fastest but once again Daniello Petrucci looked very impressive with the Italian ending the session 14th fastest.

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