Winner of his first 1000cc MotoGP race just five days ago at Jerez, Casey Stoner finished at the top of the timesheets despite reduced track time at Estoril in Portugal on Friday.

Repsol Honda's reigning double world champion completed just six laps in the damp morning session, in which he was fourth fastest, then returned to the top during the dry afternoon outing.

"We did a few laps this morning to try and understand the bike, to make sure everything was working and like Jerez we wanted to see where the wet patches were on the track," explained Stoner, who will be seeking his first Estoril MotoGP victory on Sunday.

"Then this afternoon, unfortunately there were still areas of the track that hadn't dried out but we managed to get some good dry time, the bike seems to be working ok at this point and we have a fairly good idea of what we need to do tomorrow."

Stoner, who is now just four points from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and the world championship lead, finished the day 0.321s ahead of Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies.

Estoril is the only circuit on the present 18-round calendar that Stoner has not yet won at in MotoGP. By contrast Stoner's team-mate Dani is the defending winner and began this year's event with fourth in free practice.

"It was quite similar to Jerez, in the first session we were almost unable to ride and in the afternoon it was difficult because the track conditions were poor, it was very slippery, we had no grip in the front or rear and it was kind of hard to get feedback from the bike because the tyres were just sliding," explained Pedrosa.

"Water is holding on the new asphalt, so it's necessary to change the line. It would be good if it doesn't rain anymore and if they could dry this area up in some way because in the last corner especially, it's very damp. I hope the track gets better tomorrow on the grip level, so we can start working hard on the suspension. As long as the track improves, the bike will do also."

Lorenzo, who sat out the morning session, was fifth quickest for Yamaha.


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