INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG 27 –

The fastest-ever lap record by a motorcycle was turned at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the rider who set it was no surprise .Chasing his third successive MotoGP win, Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner set the fastest time on the 2.61-mile, 16-turn road course just past the midway point of the 45-minute free practice. Stoner was at the top for most of the session and with just over 21 minutes remaining he broke the previous record of 1:39.730, set by Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa in qualifying two years ago. The championship leader, who's been extremely critical of the infield repaving since the start of practice, lapped the increasingly grippy track in 1:39.538 in advance of this afternoon's qualifying session for Sunday's Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.Yamaha's Ben Spies was also under Pedrosa's qualifying record.

The Texan who was on pole here last year lapped just .132 of a second slower than Stoner and was the only non-Honda in the top five. Spies was using an up-power engine in his YZR-M1 for the first time.Following Spies came Pedrosa (1:39.896), San Carlo Honda Gresini's Marco Simoncelli (1:40.301), and Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso (1:40.326).Then came a pair of Yamahas, Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards about a tenth faster than reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who had no benefit from a new engine. Valentino Rossi was the first of the Ducatis in eighth, his Ducati Marlboro GP11.1 one better than Randy de Puniet on the Pramac Racing Ducati GP11.Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista put in a fast lap at the end that was .001 of a second behind de Puniet and dropped Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) out of the top 10. Hayden was 11th at 1:41.087.Saturday Morning MotoGP Practice:1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:39.538

2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:39.670

3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:39.896

4. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1:40.301

5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:40.326

6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:40.438

7. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:40.547

8. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:40.698

9. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1:40.915

10. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1:40.916

11. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:41.087

 

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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.

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