Motorcycling: Kocinski back to his best

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The Independent Online
JOHN KOCINSKI, of the United States, set the fastest time in yesterday's first official practice for tomorrow's 500cc French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, edging out the former world champion Wayne Gardner, of Australia. After setting the time, his Yamaha skidded and caught fire, but he was not injured.

Kocinski, the 1990 250cc champion has not won a race this season after finishing fourth in the 500cc last year, but he denied rumours of his imminent departure from Kenny Roberts's team. 'This is a circuit made for the Yamahas,' he said.

Gardner, who is struggling with a back injury, was pleased with his time, and said that his Honda was moving exceptionally well. 'The broken rib is still giving me a little bit of a problem and while I am riding I can feel it pinching sometimes, but the worst is after practice when it aches quite a lot,' he said.

The defending world champion, Wayne Rainey, recorded the third-fastest time, just ahead of his compatriot, Doug Chandler.

The circuit came in for severe criticism from some riders. Eddie Lawson, the four-times world champion who is planning to retire at the end of the season, condemned it: 'It has stupid and dangerous corners,' he said.

Official practice times,

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