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Stoner leads final practice

Casey Stoner fastest during Saturday practice for the British MotoGP at Silverstone.
Casey Stoner retained his position at the top of the British MotoGP timesheets during a cold, damp and windy final practice session at Silverstone on Saturday morning.

The session also saw a revival in form for Yamaha's title leader Jorge Lorenzo, who led much of the session on his way to second place after a relatively poor Friday performance.

But the big news for the British fans was a nasty fall for home hero Cal Crutchlow early in the 45-minute session.

Crutchlow - who broke his collarbone on the Saturday of the 2011 event - was sent bouncing across the asphalt by a lowside through the fast left-hander on to the Hangar Straight.

The Yamaha Tech 3 rider underwent x-rays for a possible ankle fracture but a later update suggested that it is only a sprain. Rookie Stefan Bradl also failed to post a lap time after suffering a finger injury in an unseen high side.

Spots of rain at the start of the session kept most riders in the pits, with the notable exception of Valentino Rossi, fastest in Friday's wet morning session but left eleventh and last of the manufacturer riders in the dry afternoon session.

The Italian superstar missed the inaugural 2010 Silverstone round due to injury and struggled to learn the long and wide airfield layout last season.

Despite the conditions, Rossi beat his best Friday time after ten minutes, prompting others to take to the track - although Rossi then had a big moment, almost losing the front under braking and running through the gravel at the final turn.

Shortly after, with around 30-minutes of the session remaining, Crutchlow and Bradl suffered their accidents.

By that stage world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo had taken over at the top from Rossi, where the Spaniard remained until title rival and Friday pace setter Stoner took over with eleven minutes remaining.

Stoner kept his Repsol Honda in P1 for the rest of the session, setting his best lap time of 2m 3.941s on his final circulation. That was almost one-second under his Friday time and within a few tenths of the official race lap record, from 2010.




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