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Stoner warms up in style at Laguna

Stoner warms up in style at Laguna

Having topped the timesheets in every session over the first two days of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, World Championship leader Casey Stoner again demonstrated excellent pace in the Sunday MotoGP warm-up at Laguna Seca.

Having topped the timesheets in every session over the first two days of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, World Championship leader Casey Stoner again demonstrated excellent pace in the Sunday MotoGP warm-up at Laguna Seca – going round 0.317s seconds quicker than he did on the lap which earned him pole position yesterday.

The 21 year-old Aussie set another circuit best lap with a time of 1'21.975s, to end the session 0.425s ahead of compatriot and nearest rival Chris Vermeulen of Rizla Suzuki. If Stoner can get away well from pole on his powerful 800cc Ducati Desmosedici GP07 machinery it will be difficult for any of his MotoGP rivals to catch him at this pace, as he goes in search of his sixth victory of the season.

Just behind Vermeulen by 0.046s in third place was his Suzuki team-mate John Hopkins who was disappointed to qualify seventh yesterday, while Valentino Rossi was fourth quickest in the Sunday run-out – lapping 0.782s off title rival Stoner's pace.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Ducati's Loris Capirossi were fifth and sixth respectively, while Rossi's Fiat Yamaha colleague Colin Edwards was seventh – just ahead of fellow American Roger Lee Hayden (eighth) – the wildcard lapping faster than regular Kawasaki riders Randy de Puniet (10th) and Anthony West (12th).

Pramac d'Antin's experienced Brazilian Alex Barros was sandwiched between Roger Lee Hayden and De Puniet in ninth and behind the Frenchman has Hayden's brother Nicky in 11th place – the World Champion not getting the warm-up he would have hoped for at his home race as he lapped 1.762s slower than Stoner and also suffered a crash.

Yesterday's spectacular qualifying crasher Marco Melandri (Honda Gresini) sat out the warm-up, nursing his bumps and bruises in his Honda Gresini pit-box - on the other side of which Miguel Duhamel's preparations did not go well as he also had an accident which meant he was only able to complete seven laps.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, WUP

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