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Stoner lasts the distance in marathon practice session

Stoner lasts the distance in marathon practice session

In a marathon two hour MotoGP session this morning, Casey Stoner returned to the head of the timesheets despite a series of light run-offs.

In a marathon two hour MotoGP session this morning, Casey Stoner returned to the head of the timesheets despite a series of light run-offs. The 21 year-old has been the dominant force in practice and qualifying sessions over recent races, and clocked some fast times on a nearly completely dry track. Although the current MotoGP World Championship leader's best time was a 1'34.714, the most impressive part of Stoner's performance in the ‘double-header' was a series of consistently quick laps that will have his rivals watching on nervously.

Stoner led most of the extended session –part of a modified schedule to allow the riders to catch up with time missed in yesterday's aborted run out- with only title rival Valentino Rossi coming close to usurping him. ‘The Doctor' eventually came up short, trailing the Ducati factory rider by just over half a second.

The only MotoGP rider to have competed at the revised Misano circuit, Anthony West used his knowledge to the full as he racked up times near to those of Rossi. The Australian had joked to motogp.com on Thursday that he was hoping for rain to hamper the other riders' sessions yesterday, although he surely couldn't have expected his wish to have been fulfilled with such dramatic effect. He headed veterans Carlos Checa and Colin Edwards on the timesheets, with Chris Vermeulen completing the top six.

Just 15 minutes into the session, Marco Melandri suffered a spectacular highside which sent him to the Clinica Mobile and his bike to the top of the tyre wall. The Italian, who makes his return from a neck injury this weekend, was taken to the on-site treatment centre for x-rays and echographs, but showed his resilience by returning for the final ten minutes of the two hour session. The Gresini Honda rider is expected to be on track for this afternoon's qualifying session at his team's home race.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, FP2

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