Stoner sets pace in front of record crowd at Island practice
A record Friday crowd at Phillip Island has watched Casey Stoner re-establish himself as the man to beat for this Sunday’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix.
The Repsol Honda rider, still recovering from an ankle injury sustained two months ago, topped both Free Practice 1 and 2, setting his fastest time in the second session with a sub 1 minute 30 second lap – some eight tenths faster than his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Championship contender Pedrosa had improved steadily across the second session, but was no match for his home town team-mate, who topped his 12th consecutive MotoGP session in a row at the famous 4.4km Phillip Island track.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s report and results from Free Practice 1.
The Friday crowd topped out at an estimated 29,120 – the highest ever recorded attendance on a Friday at an Australian MotoGP.
Yamaha’s championship leader Jorge Lorenzo finished third, ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.
In fifth place was Crutchlow’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who had a solid day, but will have to find something extra if he is to take third spot in the championship off Stoner this weekend.
San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden and Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet completed the top 10.
While Stoner’s Island farewell is stealing the headlines, the second Australian in the field, Kris McLaren, finished both sessions at the tail of the field and will need to find some more pace to qualify for Sunday’s race.
The third and final MotoGP practice will be held at 1110 tomorrow, followed by qualifying at 1455.
Results, Free Practice 2, Phillip Island
|1||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||336.8||1’29.999|
|2||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||335.6||1’30.884||0.885 / 0.885|
|3||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||335.3||1’31.005||1.006 / 0.121|
|4||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||334.9||1’31.367||1.368 / 0.362|
|5||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||334.5||1’31.458||1.459 / 0.091|
|6||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||333.3||1’31.616||1.617 / 0.158|
|7||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||337.1||1’31.702||1.703 / 0.086|
|8||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||334.9||1’32.030||2.031 / 0.328|
|9||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||332.7||1’32.654||2.655 / 0.624|
|10||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||322.4||1’32.674||2.675 / 0.020|
|11||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||338.0||1’32.706||2.707 / 0.032|
|12||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||338.0||1’32.744||2.745 / 0.038|
|13||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||320.9||1’33.835||3.836 / 1.091|
|14||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||316.1||1’34.002||4.003 / 0.167|
|15||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||317.7||1’34.479||4.480 / 0.477|
|16||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||315.3||1’34.531||4.532 / 0.052|
|17||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||314.5||1’34.561||4.562 / 0.030|
|18||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||313.9||1’34.746||4.747 / 0.185|
|19||84||Roberto ROLFO||ITA||Speed Master||ART||312.1||1’34.771||4.772 / 0.025|
|43||Kris McLAREN||AUS||Avintia Blusens||BQR||307.9||1’38.203||8.204 / 3.432|