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Stoner leads the way in Le Mans warm-up

Stoner leads the way in Le Mans warm-up

Current World Championship Casey Stoner started the day as he means to go on this morning at Le Mans, topping the timesheets in the MotoGP warm-up at the Alice Grand Prix de France.

Current World Championship Casey Stoner started the day as he means to go on this morning at Le Mans, topping the timesheets in the MotoGP warm-up at the Alice Grand Prix de France.

The Ducati Marlboro rider goes in search of his third premier class victory in succession this afternoon and a fourth win of the season overall as he starts from second place on the grid.

He lapped in 1'35.286s this morning to keep him 0.064s ahead of his nearest rival, Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins - who will be hoping for a second podium position in a row from fifth on the grid when the MotoGP race commences at 2pm local time.

Third quickest in this session was Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda who qualified in a disappointing tenth place yesterday, while the morning's top five was completed Pramac d'Antin veteran Alex Barros and Kawasaki Racing's Randy de Puniet.

In the 250cc warm-up Kopron Team Scot's Andrea Dovizioso lapped the quickest of the 24 participants, showing the kind of pace (1'39.486s) he will need to demonstrate during the race if he is to make up for a disappointing qualifying position of eighth on the grid.

Repsol Honda rider Julian Simon was second fastest, as he was in qualifying yesterday, while the World Champion, championship leader, pole man and red hot favourite for this afternoon's quarter litre contest, Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Aprilia), was the third quickest – just 0.194s slower than Dovizioso.

Alex de Angelis (Master – Mapfre Aspar) and Hector Barbera (Team Toth Aprilia) completed the top five – while Metis Gilera's Roberto Locatelli continued his remarkable rehabilitation as he completed 10 laps as the slowest participant of the session. The Italian has stunned the paddock with his return to action this weekend and is listed to participate in today's race, a decision he said he would take after sleeping on it overnight.

Meanwhile in the first session of the morning the two riders starting at the front of the 125cc grid were the men on the pace as the day's action got underway at 8.30am local time.

Pole man Mattia Pasini of Polaris World led the way by 0.3s, ahead of Repsol Honda's 16 year old English representative Bradley Smith who will be looking forward to starting this afternoon's race in second place and going in search of his first podium finish.

That pair were followed on the timesheets by Simone Corsi of Skilled Racing Team, Bancaja Aspar's Gabor Talmacsi and WTR Team's Andrea Iannone.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, WUP, Casey Stoner

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