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Stoner sets a new unofficial lap record at Le Mans

Stoner sets a new unofficial lap record at Le Mans

Stoner sets a new unofficial lap record at Le Mans

After finishing the Grand Prix Alice de France off the podium in fourth position, Casey Stoner demonstrated that he is still a force to reckoned with when he set a new, unofficial, circuit lap record yesterday in the second day of testing at Le Mans.

Having already clocked the best time of 1'37.1 on Monday, the Australian Carrera Sunglasses – LCR rider, who won the second and third legs of the season back-to-back, was back to dominate the proceedings and clocked an unofficial circuit lap record of 1'36.920.

The previous lap record at Le Mans was set be Dani Pedrosa in 2004 and stood at 1'37.123. Although Stoner has consistently been fast this season, upping the pressure on the likes of Pedrosa, he has maintained a healthy respect for his competitors.

"Everything is going in the best way," said Stoner "The team is doing a very good job, the bike is very competitive and I feel at 100 percent. Last Sunday I aimed to get the podium but the first three riders were too fast in the final laps so I decided to keep my position.

"Fourth place is a pretty good result anyway, especially for the world standings. During these two days we tested some engine and chassis regulations. The fastest lap time came easily and I feel very satisfied but I know that I will have to be steady and concentrated because my competitors are fierce."

The Apilia Aspar team also remained in Le Mans for the testing session, although Sebastian Porto flew back to Argentina after the first day to spend some time at home. Porto left Le Mans happy with the work he put in during the Monday testing session.

"The tests we did on Monday were satisfactory," said Porto. "We tried a new chases that I liked a lot, but we need to go on working to improve. During the morning we couldn't ride due to the wet track, but in the afternoon we completed a few laps and the test finished OK.

"Now I'm going to Argentina to rest and spend some days with my family, I'm only focussed on the next GP. The start of the season has not been good for me but I trust that our luck will change in Italy because we'll ride on an Aprilia circuit."

Porto's French team-mate Randy de Puniet finished the French GP in second place after a head-to-head battle with Pedrosa that had the French crowd on tenterhooks. After a tough weekend of practice sessions and the epic race, the Frenchman felt the additional pressure of the test sessions.

"They were tough tests, especially after a GP. Two days with more work to do is difficult for everybody. Anyway, I completed 140 laps in two days. I gave my best in the test. We made some modifications to the engine and electronics, the results were good.

Yesterday I set my best lap with a qualification tyre and today I spent the day working on the general set-up. We still need to improve the bike, but from the beginning to now I feel more confident with the bike and my team."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX ALICE DE FRANCE, Casey Stoner

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