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Stoner sweeps final Phillip Island practice

Casey Stoner fastest during Saturday practice for the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
Home star Casey Stoner increased his Phillip Island advantage to over one-second during Saturday morning's final practice session for the Australian MotoGP.

Riding in cooler condition than day one, Stoner - who held a 0.9s advantage in each of Friday's practices - went a further 0.334s under what had already been race lap record pace to finish FP3 with a best time of 1m 29.665s.

That form again kept the Repsol Honda star, chasing a sixth successive Phillip Island win in his penultimate MotoGP race, comfortably clear of the opposition throughout.

Stoner, who has a special helmet design, set his best time on lap 15 of 19 with five of his laps under 1m 30s.

Due to the cool conditions, the soft specification tyres were the preferred choice, with title contenders Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa again best of the rest behind Stoner.

Lorenzo - second on Friday morning, then third in the afternoon - broke the 1m 31s barrier for the first time this weekend.

The Yamaha star improved on his best Friday lap by 0.321s to be best of the rest behind Stoner, but 1.019s adrift.

Lorenzo, who holds a 23-point advantage over Pedrosa, will be champion if he can beat the Honda rider - and finish on the podium - on Sunday.

Pedrosa had a less successful morning, unable to beat his best Friday time and concluding the session in third place, 1.316s behind team-mate Stoner.

Tech 3 Yamaha team-mates Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso (who fell), plus Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista (who hit a seagull) completed the top six.

Randy de Puniet produced an excellent performance to claim seventh place on his CRT specification Aspar Aprilia.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda), Valentino Rossi (Ducati) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Ducati) completed the top ten.

Pedrosa, Bautista, Bradl, Rossi, Nicky Hayden (Ducati), Hector Barbera (Pramac Ducati), Colin Edwards (Forward) and Michele Pirro (Gresini) did not improve this morning.

Saturday practice:

1. Casey Stoner
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Dani Pedrosa
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Randy De Puniet
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Valentino Rossi
10. Karel Abraham
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Nicky Hayden
13. Hector Barbera
14. Danilo Petrucci
15. Roberto Rolfo
16. James Ellison
17. Michele Pirro
18. Colin Edwards
19. Ivan Silva
20. Kris McLaren

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Fraud46 - Unregistered

October 27, 2012 2:12 AM

Masterclass from Stoner. Meanwhile Rossi hitches a tow from barbera to get 9th and is beaten by a CRT bike yet again. Makes you wonder if the right rider is retiring.

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