PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, OCT 26 – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner ignored his injured and painful ankle to put on a master clinic on a blustery afternoon at his beloved Phillip Island Circuit.
The Australian may have concerns about his longevity in the race, but they didn’t show in Friday afternoon practice. Stoner lapped the track in 1:29.999 on the harder option Bridgestone rear tire. Though that lap was the only one in the ‘29s, Stoner was consistently in the low 1:30s, a mark that no one else could approach.
After a pair of sub-par performances in Motegi and Sepang, Stoner proved that location is everything and served notice that his quest for a sixth consecutive – and final – win at Phillip Island is on the cards.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa finished second to Stoner at a gap of .885 of a second with that lap coming at the end of the session. Pedrosa is less concerned with Stoner than he is with Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, the third fastest rider at 1:31.005, and .121 of a second behind Pedrosa.
Pedrosa trails Lorenzo by 23 points heading into Sunday’s 17th round of the MotoGP World Championship.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow battled flu symptoms to the fourth fastest time, about a tenth of a second faster than teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
The satellite Hondas followed the satellite Yamahas. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista was sixth and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl seventh.
With all of the Honda and Yamaha prototypes accounted for, Ducatis were next. Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi was .282 of a second in front of teammate Nicky Hayden, who was the only rider not tot improve his time in the second session.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet (ART) was the first of the CRT machines, with Colin Edwards 14th on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter BMW.
Phillip Island MotoGP Practice Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:29.999
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:30.884
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:31.005
4. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:31.367
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1:31.458
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:31.616
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:31.702
8. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:32.030
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:32.312
10. Randy de Puniet (ART) 1:32.674
14. Colin Edwards (Suter) 1:33.835