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Stoner leading the way again in Turkey

Stoner leading the way again in Turkey

Stoner leading the way again in Turkey

Having asserted himself in yesterday's afternoon session at Istanbul Park Australian rider Casey Stoner was again the man on pace this morning in Turkey as he recorded the fastest time of the third MotoGP free practice session and shaved just over a tenth of a second from his Friday best.

Again Stoner's top speed on the Desmosedici GP07 was impressive, as he broke the 300 km/h mark for the first time this weekend, and in doing so reached a speed 5 km/h quicker than any of his rivals – the second fastest being Dani Pedrosa's 294.9 km/h.

However, with improved track conditions all top ten riders achieved times under the 1'55 mark, which only the Ducati Marlboro pair of Stoner and Loris Capirossi had managed yesterday. Indeed the gap from first to tenth was just 0.836s, results which should make for an interesting qualifying session at 1.50pm local time this afternoon.

Valentino Rossi was the man getting closest to Stoner in the morning session, the five-time MotoGP World Champion lapping 0.249s slower than the Australian, with the pair sure to be close to each other in qualifying.

Third quickest was Honda Gresini rider Toni Elias, whilst an improved showing from Repsol Honda's Pedrosa saw him take a second off his best time from yesterday to notch the fourth fastest time.

Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards managed to take almost two seconds off his best Friday time as the fifth quickest rider on track this morning – meaning there were three Michelin equipped riders in the top five after a Bridgestone dominated session yesterday afternoon.

The top ten was completed by Rizla Suzuki pair Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins, Ducati veteran Capirossi and Kawasaki's French duo of Olivier Jacque and Randy de Puniet.

World Champion Nicky Hayden, trying out new parts, was again a step behind the 2007 front runners in this session, managing only the 17th best time and lapping a second and a half slower than Stoner.

A similar pattern is emerging with Marco Melandri this weekend, having won this Grand Prix on his previous two visits he crashed twice on Friday and was 14th on the timesheet this morning, whilst his team-mate Elias managed a far better result.

Anglo-American Hopkins suffered a crash on one of the Istanbul Circuit's fast left hand corners, but it is not the first time that the Suzuki man has hit the ground this year and he is unlikely to be affected by the tumble. Another familiar sight after his problems yesterday was Shinya Nakano suffering a technical problem in another frustrating session for the Konica Minolta man, which saw him end up 18th on the timesheet.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAND PRIX OF TURKEY, FP3

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