Repsol Honda duo fastest in Le Mans practice
Retirement plans has not slowed down Casey Stoner as he finished fastest in practice at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans this weekend.
Stoner, who announced he will retire from MotoGP competition at the end of the season, clocked a 1:33.74s in the faster second practice session, 0.26s ahead of his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Leading the championship by one point, Stoner believes making his retirement announcement has relieved him of some pressure.
“After yesterday’s announcement, I definitely felt a weight off my shoulders when I got on the bike this morning” Casey said.
“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.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Alvaro Bautista, Ben Spies finished third to fifth respectfully.
Andrea Dovizoso finished sixth fastest ahead of his team-mate Cal Crutchlow in seventh for the Monster Yahama Tech 3 team. Pramac Racing Team’s Hector Barbera continued his great form, finishing faster ahead of Ducati team duo of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Despite still suffering from pain after his crash in Estoril, local favourite Randy de Puniet put in a solid performance to be 13th fastest.
Replacing Colin Edwards this weekend, Australian Chris Vermeulen finished last as he learns the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter bike.
Qualifying begins Saturday at 1355 local time.