Kenny Roberts made his return to competitive action after three races out through injury with the fastest time of the first free practice session for the Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, before promptly pulling out of the remainder of the weekend’s action.
Roberts was over half a second quicker than his nearest challenger Valentino Rossi on a cold and windy morning at the Ricardo Tormo circuit but claimed that he had no strength in the elbow which he dislocated at Motegi one month ago. More details of the former World Champion’s unexpected decision are expected shortly.
Sebastián Porto kept his promise of carrying the challenge to the Spanish riders in the 250cc class, setting the fastest time of the first free practice session ahead of local favourites Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elías.
Other than Roberts, the surprise performance of the morning came from local youngster Sergio Gadea, who set the quickest time in the 125cc session after a discreet rookie season. Gadea set a lap of 1’42.000 to hold off the challenge of World Champion Andrea Dovizioso by an impressive 0.215 second margin