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Stoner fast as ever on FRrday at Le Mans

“After yesterday's announcement, I definitely felt a weight off my shoulders when I got on the bike this morning” – Casey Stoner.
If there had been any doubts that Casey Stoner might be a lessor force to be reckoned with following his shock retirement announcement, they were quickly banished at Le Mans on Friday.

Stoner stunned the MotoGP world with his Thursday evening announcement, then promptly returned to what he does best during Friday practice for round four of the 2012 series.

“After yesterday's announcement, I definitely felt a weight off my shoulders when I got on the bike this morning,” said the 26-year-old.

“The last two races I've had a lot of thoughts running through my mind and this weekend I already feel better knowing it's off my chest and we can now focus on the rest of the season, and try to enjoy it".

The reigning double world champion, who took the 2012 lead with his second win of the season last time at Estoril, led both track sessions to finish the day 0.265s ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner revealed he had actually been trying to create chatter today, in order to better understand the long-running handling (vibration) problem with the new RC213V.

“The sessions today went quite well for us. Believe it or not, today we were trying to create chatter, so we can make the most use of this dry time on track to understand it a little better and make some improvements for the rest of the season," he said.

“We are happy to use some of the sessions to focus on fixing the chatter issue, and not worry about the set-up immediately. We started to find some chatter at the end of the day when we switched to the hard front tyre and hopefully it will stay dry tomorrow so we can continue to work on this.”

Stoner's nearest title rival, Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, was third quickest (+0.396s).

Stoner won at Le Mans last year, when Lorenzo was fourth.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, French MotoGP 2012
Smith at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Espargaro at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga celebrate Suzuka win (pic: Yamaha)
Casey Stoner at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic:
Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga win Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Casey Stoner at Suzuka (pic: Musashi)
Pol Espargaro at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Bradley Smith tests for Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Pol Espargaro tests for Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Pol Espargaro tests for Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga ready for Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Marc Marquez tests at Misano (pic: Honda)
Dani Pedrosa tests 2016 Honda (pic: Honda).
Marquez testing at Misano (pic: Honda)
Pedrosa, German MotoGP 2015
Pedrosa, German MotoGP Race 2015
Lorenzo, German MotoGP race 2015

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May 18, 2012 6:12 PM

this guy is just something else. he is nothing like anyone , the rest are all seeking glory even the ones that have already tasted it before. all he wants is to do his job and go fishing , thing is he is simply still too good at this sport , riding around trying make chatter and still top of the times. i have read livio and shuie"s words on what happened an what they think , its totally wild. they chucked out all his pr work and testing duties but it was still not enough to change this mans mind. principles and commitment to your own decisions like that is as high an expectation you could ever expect to live by. i'm going to be happy and enjoy the last year of this prodigy we have rather than be sad and feel down. feeling down can wait till valencia.

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