Stoner on Top Again

Henny Ray Abrams | August 28, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG 28 – Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner had an eventful Saturday morning practice that ended with the Australian as the fastest rider on the track for the second day in a row at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.Stoner’s path to the top wasn’t smooth. The first drama came when he lost the right knee slider on his leathes on his fifth lap. The Australian immediately returned to the pits to replace the slider, limping noticeably when he got off the Ducati.Then, on his first flying lap out, he jumped from 17th to third, but crashed on the very next lap, again limping away. The crash came trail braking across the bumps entering the left hand turn six, the same corner where Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Ben Spies crashed on Friday, and one of the corners Stoner was critical of a day earlier.Stoner went out on the second bike and took over second with just over 11 minutes to go. His final push came as the hour expired. Having fallen slightly down the order, Stoner went back into second with eight seconds remaining, then to third when Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa went to the top after time had expired. But seconds later Stoner went back on top to finish his second session in a row as the fastest rider.His lap of 1:40.331 mins. was more than half a second faster than the 1:40.884 he’d run in Friday practice, but only .058 secs. faster than the best of Pedrosa, who finished second.Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso finished third fastest. The Italian had gone to the top with just over six minutes to go before his time came under attack at the very end.Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was just over two-tenths slower than Dovi and about the same gap up on Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden. Hayden was languishing in the bottom half of the order before a very late session surge while chasing Pedrosa moved him up to fifth.Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Ben Spies was sixth in front of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli.The final American, Spies’ teammate Colin Edwards, was a very close eighth and just.040 secs. in front of Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.Rossi was another notable crasher. The Italian lost the front, then lifted the rear and slid out in the left hand turn ten at the end of the middle straightaway. He was unhurt and rode the bike back to the pits.Pramac Racing’s Aleix Espargaro (Duc) was tenth fastest.

Saturday MotoGP Practice:

1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:40.331

2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:40.389

3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:40.432

4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:40.642

5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:40.878

6. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:41.061

7. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1:41.136

8. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:41.192

9. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:41.232

10. Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) 1:41.354

11. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1:41.390

12. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1:41.715

13. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:41.783

14. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:41.876

15. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1:41.922

16. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:42.975

17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1:42.517

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.