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Stoner again in final practice

Casey Stoner leads Repsol Honda 1-2-3 during Friday practice (2) for the Qatar MotoGP. Alvaro Bautista hurt.
Casey Stoner completed a clean sweep of the three Qatar MotoGP free practice sessions, but was made to work much harder during Friday night's final practice.

The 2007 world champion, who has moved to Repsol Honda after four years with Ducati, had dominated the first two practice sessions almost from start to finish.

By contrast, it took Stoner until his penultimate lap to finally quell the challenge of team-mate Dani Pedrosa in FP3, as the Spaniard put up an impressive display in a session that had added significance because it is closest to Sunday's race time.

FP3 ran from 20:55-21:40, while the first grand prix of the year will start at 22:00. Saturday's qualifying session, for example, is an 'early' 19:55-20:55.

Stoner made three short runs this evening, improving from low 1min 56sec on the first, to low 1min 55sec on the last. Both of Stoner's last two laps were good enough to be fastest.

Pedrosa spent his time differently, choosing to do two slightly longer runs. Pedrosa's best time came on his third lap of the first run, but his next best lap of the evening was several tenths slower and he still looks to trailing Stoner on race pace.

Whilst Stoner and Pedrosa have been 1-2 all weekend, third place for team-mate Andrea Dovizioso marked a clear improvement from the Italian. The bad news is that he was still half-a-second from Pedrosa and 0.7sec from Stoner.

Best of the non-Honda riders was world champion Jorge Lorenzo, in fourth place. The Factory Yamaha star may not have threatened the top two riders, but his race pace is once again looking impressive.

Lorenzo put in 13 consecutive fast laps at the end of the session - and he got quicker as the laps went on, setting his best time of the night on lap 12.




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Sad,very sad! - Unregistered

March 18, 2011 8:15 PM

Hey Ringo,why would Stoner want to be spitting his dummy out when he is leading the field in every test? Looks like you are p1ssing into the wind yet again with your anti Stoner comments.The sign of sheer desperation by the look of things.I think it is Rossi who should be spitting dummies around the pit lane dont you?

ooh oh ooooh - Unregistered

March 18, 2011 8:10 PM

Pedrosa comes closer and closer, he's not someone who would show off in practice don't you think? I still expect Stoner to beat him come Sunday, this is Losail after all. But, don't think Stoner can fend off Pedrosa the whole season.



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