MotoGP Championship leader Casey Stoner knocked nearly half-a-second from his Friday time to return to the top of the Misano timesheets during Saturday morning's final practice session.

Stoner had failed to gain meaningful ground on Friday afternoon, when a big improvement by title rival Jorge Lorenzo put the Yamaha rider in front after a poor FP1.

But the tables were turned for FP3, when Lorenzo trimmed only a tenth from his pace-setting Friday time to slip to third, behind the Repsol Hondas of Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.

The Australian finished practice with a slim 0.099sec advantage over 2010 Misano winner Pedrosa, with Lorenzo 0.323sec from the top.

Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies was fourth, but a sizeable 0.718sec from Stoner, with Tech 3 Yamaha rider Coin Edwards an impressive fifth (+0.754sec) the morning after announcing his switch to Forward Racing for 2012.

Andrea Dovizioso was again the top Italian, but continues to trail his Repsol team-mates (+0.853sec) while countryman Marco Simoncelli also lost ground, being over one-second from Stoner for Gresini Honda.

Aspar's Hector Barbera was again the top Ducati, in eighth (+1.092sec), with Tech 3 rookie Cal Crutchlow improving to ninth and Nicky Hayden completing the top ten (+1.352sec).

Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista dropped to eleventh this morning (+1.357sec) while Valentino Rossi's home event nightmare continues with twelfth place (+1.366sec) on the second factory Ducati.

Rossi, riding with a special helmet design, ran wide several times this morning, while Cardion AB Ducati's Karel Abraham fell at the end of the 45-minute session.

Saturday practice:

1. Stoner
2. Pedrosa
3. Lorenzo
4. Spies
5. Edwards
6. Dovizioso
7. Simoncelli
8. Barbera
9. Crutchlow
10. Hayden
11. Bautista
12. Rossi
13. de Puniet
14. Abraham
15. Aoyama
16. Capirossi
17. Elias


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