Casey Stoner sets the pace at Phillip Island

Casey Stoner on his Honda at Phillip Island today

Casey Stoner on his Honda at Phillip Island today

Despite an early off, Casey Stoner has set the pace in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Iveco Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

The Australian hero fell off his Honda in the opening laps of the practice, but took control at his home track, setting an unbeatable 1m30.475s.

Title defender Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) finished the session in second place, ahead of Gresini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli.

Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) had a positive session at a circuit he labels his favourite, finishing the session fourth, while Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) lapped just one hundredth of a second behind the Texan in fifth.

Fresh from his third victory of the season at Motegi, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) ranked sixth, marginally ahead of the fastest Ducati in the session, Nicky Hayden.

Ben Spies (Yamaha) and Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) landed eighth and ninth quickest in the session, while Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) enjoyed a positive session on his return to racing with a ranking of 10th.

Australian Damien Cudlin, who replaced an injured Capirossi at the Motegi round, is appearing again at his home track as a replacement for Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) who is also out due to injury. Cudlin finished the session 0.4s behind Toni Elías (LCR Honda) in 16th.

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